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Wolf Skull Needs Further Degreasing

Discussion in 'Skulls and Skeletons' started by TheObserver, Dec 30, 2022.

  1. Yeah in the photos are totally dry. I just do personal skulls for myself that I hunt, no customers so not in a hurry but ideally would like to get all the bone grease free and white at some point. I just leave it on the shelf to dry no rapid drying.

    Do you think water and dawn is pretty harmless?
  2. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    In large containers of degreaser, I have used a circulator to keep the temp constant throughout and avoid cold spots. Most of the time, what I have used was a very small pump from an indoor type fountain. It is enough to keep the water moving without stirring it up a lot. Not hard to come by and they are usually cheap. The last one I got was from a indoor fountain that was in a yard sale for $2.00. Junked it but kept the pump.

    The water and Dawn is as harmless as you can get. It won't damage anything which is why it is great to use. Ammonia can also be added to it safely as long as there isn't exposed metal in the container. Metal and ammonia (especially zinc and copper) don't play well together.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2023

  3. I'm going to put the Wolf in 115°F water and dawn, how many months you figure until it will pull out all the grease it can in that? Hard to say?

    I just got a Bear two weeks ago and started macerating, changed the water as it was kind of red. Hoping it was just bloody and not the red bacteria, it is back in now with a pail heater to ~85°F. How long in your experience does a fresh bear skull take to clean off heated? And when macerating do you need to pull the meat and scum off every so often or does all the tissue just fall off into the water?

    Never using any extreme heat again so hope this Bear turns out nice doing things properly (i think.... lol)

    Hope the Wolf grease comes out as well.

    Moose is macerating now too
  4. Here is the Bear is actually my first, never really thought about hunting them before. But they take out a lot of fawns and calves so i'm going to try and get 2 every year. Get a bunch of pepperoni. I actually stalked this Bear to 10 yards and then he came at me, woke me up that's for sure

    Attached Files:

  5. Hard to submerge the Moose fully.....

    Attached Files:

  6. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    The wolf you have seems odd for some reason so I would leave it for at least a week before even checking it. It really shouldn't be months but the previous heat will have complicated it some. The bear should clean up real nice. The red would have been blood but don't change all of the water. The bacteria needs to build up to work well and the more you mess with it, the more the bacteria gets disturbed or dies off and has to start over. Let it sit for a week before checking it. You shouldn't have to pull anything off as there won't be anything left. All the meat and tissue just gets eaten. Bears I get take about two weeks. Strip them just as you did and remove the brain and eyes. They sit for a week and then I stir up the bucket, let it sit for a min for any loose teeth to settle to the bottom and then pour off half of the water. Refill it with warm water as cold water shocks the bacteria and there will be a long pause before it gets really active again. Then, I let them sit for another week and check again. By then, what you have left should be just bare bone. The tutorial I did in that section using a large cougar should give you a good idea of what to expect.

    I'm envious of the moose ... but, if that container is just plain metal, you are going to have an issue with rust stains.
  7. I agree I think ontop of heating it in excess he was super greasy to start, I had it frozen with the hide on for about 3 months not sure if that could have done anything.

    Okay thanks i'll check it out! Looking forward to this Bear skull, I think this is how I will do all of them from here on out unless I try beetles one day.

    Hahah yeah it's pretty cool, I haven't forgot about ya and will post some pics when he's all done. I'm not sure if it is low carbon steel, I believe the drum was for food production so it may be stainless (will check when home) but there is a coating on it that wasn't even effected from boiling water in it so I think it will be okay but will check metal composition when home. I can see rust in the picture but on the outside but that may just be slight contamination from me cutting the drum with a zipcut that was used on regular mild/low carbon steel
  8. Here is the Moose after macerating.

    This worked really good there was a lot of stuff on the back, a lot! There is just a little bit of scum on the top as I couldn't submerge that part, but to me looks good now, going to glue the teeth in when fully dried. Then i'll see if I want to seal it

    Attached Files:

  9. The Bear is doing really well I think, macerated and pretty much everything is off except for some tendon looking things with a bit of fat on them. Started degreasing now, i'll take some pictures of that soon.

    I like this macerating, good stuff it is!
  10. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    LOL. The stink is the worst part but someone quoted as saying it is the smell of money. I have found that when I do a peroxide soak (and I completely submerge a skull in it) the peroxide dissolves all or most of any of those tiny stuck bits of tendon. Bits that were not scraped off with a blade actually seem to shrink and dry clear and are not visible at all. The fat, waxy bits you see will scrub off with a good bristled brush, toothbrushes work great, and some straight Dawn which will rinse right off with hot water. I have yet to do a moose. I have one, but I would like to actually do one for myself. The bear should be easy. Greasy but easy. The moose might present some issues if you want to degrease it without removing the antlers. The moose I have, the antlers were removed with a V cut just under the burrs and fixed so they attach with a piece of steel square stock and a matching socket. On the wall, pretty much can not be seen and they come off easy for transporting it.
  11. The Moose wasn't so bad, but the Bear haha made my Dad almost upchuck once hahah. Thats exactly what happened with my Wolf with ammonia, just literally ate away any little morsel left and came out super clean with nothing left on it at all! Yeah the Moose has been difficult but managed to macerate like 95% of it, I think I will just keep it how it is I don't want to cut the antlers. Bear doesn't seem to be degreasing though, not sure if I am doing something wrong or just being a little on the impatient side.
  12. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    Bears can take months. 115 degrees is good for them but they can have a lot of grease. Expect several months. Try Dawn mixed with ammonia, maybe jump to just ammonia (2 cups per gallon at the least). After a bit, rinse it really good and let it soak in acetone for a month and then go back to the detergents. Lots of times the acetone does something to the grease that gets it to move out. If you go to whiten it, if you submerge it in peroxide, you will loose that golden honey color that the teeth are normally. If you want to save that color and you can't pull all the teeth you will have to try pasting the skull and avoiding the teeth.
  13. He had a lot of fat on his back already for April too. I'm going to change the soap I got now for Dawn, but I don't think they make any clear and odourless dawn. Do you use the blue stuff? Or there is a clear but it has a lemon scent, which also sketches me out a bit. I definitely am planning on keeping the teeth the natural colour, which I think looks way better. Most of the teeth came out during maceration, but some are in the skull good still. Does soap, ammonia, and acetone change the colour of the teeth or just the whitening agents like peroxide?

    Thanks for all your help and suggestions, really appreciate it!
  14. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Well-Known Member

    I use the blue Dawn and only once, out of hundreds of skulls, did one turn a very faint, pastel blue. The color came out with peroxide. I would not use any scented detergent or ammonia. The blue Dawn is not really scented. Not sure why they make it blue. There was a clear that I bought that had no scent but it wasn't as strong as the normal stuff. As far as the teeth, peroxide will be the only thing to affect the color. Acetone only has an effect on grease and oils. It does not react with bone in any way.