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Mummified Bison

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by jfake, Oct 14, 2021.

  1. jfake

    jfake Member

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    Hey all. I had a customer bring me a bison yesterday. Normally not a big deal as I have done many. The only problem is that it was killed 3 years ago and the hide was left on. The nose is as hard as bone so skinning it now will be impossible. Any ideas on what to do? I normally macerate but never with the full hide and hair. Any help would be stellar.

    Thanks so much
     
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    drop it in the maceration tank with a good funk going, it will clean up.
     

  3. jfake

    jfake Member

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    Would I still remove the horn sheaths first?
    Thank you
     
  4. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    I would attempt to do as I normally do, drop the whole skull in a garbage bag with a cup of water and sweat em off, if that didn't work, I would drill holes in back of horn and inject a little of that funk from a maceration tank and bag. Lastly, I would steam em off but be careful with that method easy to damage horns that way.
     
  5. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Write up a document before doing any work and have the customer sign it. Their lack of care for their "trophy" has caused a situation that may well damage the end result. Any damage is 100% their fault and not yours. As above, you can try to drill a few holes through the horn caps into the cores and let it soak in water for a couple of days and see if that helps to soften the tissue at all. Then bag and try a warm place for a couple of days more. Too much soaking will ruin those horns. They need to know they have created more work for you by their failure to do things properly on their end and you might also want to add an additional "idiot" fee for your time to try and correct it.
     
  6. slammerdude

    slammerdude Member

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    The first skull I ever macerated was an old mummified Bison Bull I picked up dead. I had to take a saw and work at cutting the dried skin away from the rest of the bone pile to get the head. Even that was an undertaking! I then got a plastic 55 gallon barrel cut in half and dropped the head into it with full water. The horn width prevented it from getting into the water. I then let is sit outside in the summer for a few weeks. The stench was horrible and my neighbors were horrified and complained! I then managed to sluff off all skin/fur. At this point the horn sheath were still on. I took a rubber mallet and beat on them and managed to slip them off. Once the horn was off I cut the bone cores down and slipped the whole skull into the barrel and heated and degreased like normal. The skull has 2 holes in the forehead but they don't go all the way through. I have no idea what caused them, the bone is thin and honeycomb like around them?

    I would beat on the horn to see if you can loosen and see what happens.

    upload_2021-10-16_9-2-44.png
     
  7. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I can see the holes in the bone in your photo. Abscesses will do that and I might venture bot fly damage.
     
  8. Great Skulls

    Great Skulls Active Member

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    Those skulls are beautiful!