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How To Tell What Roadkill Is Salvageable For Bones

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by BreadTM, Jul 7, 2020.

  1. BreadTM

    BreadTM New Member


    I am a new artist that has recently found some interest in animal bones and skulls. I just need some help with identifying what roadkill is and is not salvageable. I am not looking for skins, all I am interested in are the bones. What is a quick way to tell if they are not all messed up and broken on the inside? Is decomposition faster and cleaner if I remove the skin first? I am hoping to make a "decorated bone string-puppet/sculpture." Hopefully I can get my hands on a full Deer or Horse skeleton.

  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Any road kill is going to have something broken. Even something that looks whole and fine is going to have shattered bones. Work only with something fresh. Skin it and remove as much tissue as possible. Then it is relatively easy to macerate it and all the bones will be clean in less than two weeks. It's going to smell bad but that can also be controlled if in a populated area. If you just leave things outside to rot, you can potentially lose a lot of bones. You might be better off dealing with some of the trappers on the site that you could purchase entire skeletons of raccoons, coyotes and the like with no broken bones at all. For deer, ask around at any of your local sportsmens shops. During hunting season, you could easily get an entire skeleton from a hunter. Many of them bone out the carcass and keep just the meat. Horses can be obtained from farms and places that have them. When one dies, they normally just dig a hole and bury it on the property. You might be lucky to find one that didn't get buried and is still laying out in a field but these days, that no longer happens in most areas.
    BreadTM likes this.

  3. BreadTM

    BreadTM New Member

    Thank you so much for all of the suggestions and methods!
  4. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    Generally, the skull will be mush on roadkill. I hate to see it come in. Bobcats seem to be the primary creature that people pick up to have mounted, followed by foxes and squirrels. I will not accept a fox or coyote roadkill. If they lay out in the sun for any length of time, the hair will slip. For bones, many might be OK. You never know until you skin them.