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Dark Spots After Maceration

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by Randy Curtis, Oct 31, 2021.

  1. Randy Curtis

    Randy Curtis New Member

    I have some large skulls ( bison and cattle) that are giving me troubles. 1st off I use maceration in warm water. It takes me about 3 weeks to macerate, some longer. some of the skulls some dark spots. I believe I should find a way to remove the dark spots, then degrease?

    I have used maceration with antelope, deer bear etc. and have not seen any dark spots like the large skulls have?

    Any advice you may have to help would be appreciated.

    Last edited: Nov 1, 2021
  2. slammerdude

    slammerdude Member

    Share some pics and we might be able to help. Stains from something sitting on skull or grease?

    Maceration should not take 3 weeks, get your temps up higher. Should take 1/2 that time. Make sure they fresh and are fully prepped- no brains, eyes or as much meat/fat as you can take off. Old dried out jerky skulls will take longer to because meat has to re-hydrate.

  3. 13 point

    13 point Well-Known Member

    Clean the water and even do an ammonia soak . Then just proceed as normal with degreasing and whitening they will be fine .
  4. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Temperature to macerate should be between 80 to 90 degrees ideally. Were these animals shot in the head? If so, what you are probably seeing is iron stains from blood pooled in the head. Trimming all the flesh you can and removing the brains/eyes goes a long way in reducing maceration time. With a skull so big you really need to get everything off and out that you can first.

    Photos will help. If the stains are a dark brown, reddish color or orange, I would venture iron from blood sitting in there. This can also happen with an animal left hanging upside down for too long. Continue with degreasing and adding ammonia as mentioned above will help. As long as your skulls are clean and free of grease, whiten them first and then try soaking them in a solution of Iron Out if you still see stains. If it is iron, rust or mineral staining, the Iron out should remove it. If it does, do not put them back into peroxide again. See my post with the pot bellied pig and scroll through all the pictures. There is apparently more than one version of Iron Out. Make sure you get the right one. And I believe this is discussed in that post.
    Skullery likes this.
  5. Randy Curtis

    Randy Curtis New Member

    They were shot in the head. Cattle and ranch raised buffalo. I am not very computer literate to send pictures. I wish there was a better way to send pictures? Also the stains are about 1/2" to 1" in size and fuzzy looking. They are red to orange in color. As I said in an earlier post I macerated at about 90 deg. for about 2 to 3 weeks. The spots are about 1/2" to 1 inch and are all on the forehead of the skull. I will see if my wife can figure out hoe to post an email.
  6. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    It does sound like iron from blood sitting in the cavities of the head. Iron Out will remove it but finish degreasing them and whiten them first.

    For photos, go to this site and set up a free account postimage.org. This is what I use to show pictures. After you make your account, it is easy to add any pictures you want to the site. When you click on an image you want to use, above it will be a choice to "Share". Click on that and the second line you see will be "Direct Link". Copy that and paste that URL into the box that pops up when you click on the little icon above that looks like a mountain with a moon over it. You can easily put up very detailed photos on here using that site.
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  7. DTSkulls

    DTSkulls Member

    Question on the Iron Out. Is this something that can stain/bleach the antlers of a deer? Thinking about trying it to remove some staining on a whitetail, but didn't know if I needed to be cautious of the antlers...
  8. Tnrandy

    Tnrandy Active Member

    Yes, Iron Out will take the color out of the antlers.
  9. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I have not had Iron Out alter antler color like peroxide does. But it can change it depending on what the antlers were dragged through to color them. Blood stains (iron) will be altered but coloring from tree sap and resins should not.