What are your euro/bare skull mount techniques?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by jmorris, Jan 25, 2022.

  1. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I know a bunch of you do your own, I never have but thought about it a few times.

    I was curious what you do and how about showing off your work?
     
  2. courtgreene

    courtgreene Member

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    I do it the lazy way, and the results are not great, but good enough for me. I chain the antlers to a tree and let nature take its course. Usually I lose a bit of nose in the process. Got lucky with one and got a complete nose. Then I screw them to a board and stick them on the wall. Like I said, lazy. Works, well enough though.

    Edit to add: if I remember, I'll take some pictures tonight when I get home.
     
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  3. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    I did my first this year .... turned out good .....I still haven't bleached it white yet..

    I boiled the head about two hours at slow rolling boil ...after I got it to a good rolling boil...
    Took knife and and tore what I could off ....the eyes and ear canals are the hardest to get out...

    I then took pressure washer with 0° direct stream tip and blasted away every thing I could ....

    I then put it back in the turkey fryer pot for another hour ....keeping the base of horns out the water best I could ...

    Then another pressure wash session to get the deep stuff out ....be careful around the nose area as it is pretty fragile...

    My next step which I haven't done yet ...is bleaching with the 50 grade hair bleach from Sally's or other hair places .... you must wrap the horn base with tape and cling wrap ....and keep out the bleach as it will remove the color from the horns ....

    Here is a tip ....don't wait a week after you kill to do ....the smell will make you puke!! I did my son's like this .....lesson learned..
     
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  4. JDeere

    JDeere Member

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    I started using the maceration method. Takes about a month and all clean. I use an aquarium heater to keep the water at about 80 as it works faster. Don't submerge the antlers or they will discolor. If part of them at the skull discolors wood stain will fix them up. Put em behind my shop where the critters cant get to them. I use to put them in a fire ant bed but the damn squirrels or the likes would still get to them and chew the antlers.
     
  5. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    If you can find someone who has the beetles, they will do the work for you. It takes a little time and costs a few bucks, but they produce a nice white skull.

    I'm with @JimKirk , you better have an iron stomach if you are going to boil your skull. It takes a hot fire, a big pot, lots of time, and a good constitution.

    My quickest and easiest homemade mounts are my skull cap mounts like these.
    . 20190116_110706.jpg 20161225_141136.jpg
    I have several.
    Take s Sawzall and cut down behind the antlers and cut down behind the eyes
    Then make a straight cut above the eyes and cut off the skull cap. Screw it to your board...then staple some vinyl and stuff it with fiberfill...



    Edit to add skinning the skull cap before screwing to the board.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2022
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  6. JimKirk

    JimKirk Member

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    This is where I am with mine ... should be good and dry by now ...
     

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  7. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    Not an option here- way too many squirrels. I had one climb into my attic a few weeks ago when I was putting away Xmas stuff, and I had to evict another one this morning that had built a nest in the storage loft of my shed (using paper towels, bore cleaning patches, etc.). They chew up just about everything outside- one even chewed up a lead 4 pound dive weight, so I probably have a very sick and disturbed squirrel running around here somewhere.
     
  8. courtgreene

    courtgreene Member

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    DD8659EA-4DC2-43E0-95C2-DD70024F6924.jpeg
    I know squirrel problems… this just happened at church, during Sunday school, This week.
     
  9. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

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    40 years ago this spring my old buddy and I chased a squirrel into the L-shaped courtyard of our high school. Seeing that he was cornered, he tried to make a break for it into the open doors of the school. What followed was purely what legends are made of.....a squirrel spinning his wheels and sliding around corners in the hallowed halls of NCHS. Girls screamed, books flew, boys whooped, teachers cursed.....the day the squirrel went to school! After scurrying down most of the hallways, he finally made it into the open door of the ag classroom (my home away from home!) The squirrel dug into the rough brick wall and climbed up onto the giant blue felt FFA banner where he held on long enough to get his picture taken for the annual yearbook before making a getaway out the overhead shop door and onto the football field.
    It was epic!
     
  10. courtgreene

    courtgreene Member

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    I’m glad that DIDN’T happen Sunday, as high schoolers tend to be more rugged than octogenarians, but my god I wish I’d been there to see your story in person.
     
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  11. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    You guys are making this WAY more complicated than it needs to be.

    1. skin off the head, remove the eyes, using a drill open the foramen magnum. Use a flat blade screw driver to remove the brain.

    2. Use a steel, NOT ALUMINUM turkey fryer pot and propane burner, add 1lb baking soda per gallon of water. Boil for about 3 hours. The baking soda changes the Ph of the water just enough that any remaining tissue will simply fall off the skull, no pressure wash needed.

    3. Use 40 volume cream developer hydrogen peroxide hair bleach gel to coat the skull, cover in Saran Wrap let sit for about 12 hours.

    I learned this from a taxidermist, it’s simple, effective and the skull will turn out white and clean.

    Note;
    The boiling should be done outside. If you’ve got antlers to deal with wrap the bases in aluminum foil and rig up stick and wire to keep the antlers out of the water while boiling. They will get bleached if they are in the water. And obviously don’t get any hydrogen peroxide gel on anything you don’t want bleached white.
     
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  12. Axis II

    Axis II Member

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    I did one and never again.

    Got the skinned head from the butcher, boiled it in a bucket with a heating element in it, dawn dish soap and borax. Change the water every hour or so and power wash the meat right off. Once the meats off boil again until everything is gone and power wash again. We needed hemostats to take out the meat in the nose and other small areas. For the brain area, take a coat hanger and cut the hook off, chuck in a drill and shove it in the spinal cord hole and chop it all up. Power wash that area out and then boil again with some dawn soap and borax. Once the meats all gone put in a bowel of peroxide for a day or so and then go to the beauty supply place and get their hair bleach and paint it on.
     
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  13. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    See description above of the right way to do a euro. You’re making it way tougher than it needs to be.
     
  14. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I more or less use @H&Hhunter ‘s method. The baking soda is key. I didn’t know there was a problem with aluminum. I have used both aluminum and stainless with equal results. I have a stainless now though.

    I read somewhere to use an L shaped large gauge wire chucked in a drill to blend up the brain and pour it out. It worked great for me so that is how I still do it.
     
  15. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    Aluminum degrades the efficiency of the baking soda according to my taxidermist buddy.

    A large gauge wire bent into an L shape! That’s a great idea….Thanks for posting that.
     
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  16. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Is this it?

    https://www.amazon.com/Super-Stabilized-Peroxide-Developer-Hc-50402/dp/B0002Z916W

    I ask because I had wired a boars head to a tree awhile back, maybe 2 years. Its free of meat but pretty gray, thought about doing something with it and maybe learn something.
     
  17. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah that should work, but no guarantee on a weather aged skull, I’ve never tried to whiten one in that condition before.
     
  18. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I will let you know if it works.
     
  19. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    Great, looking forward to seeing the results.
     
  20. Telum Pisces

    Telum Pisces Member

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    Throw a hundo at my taxidermist and pick it up in 6-8 weeks. That's how I do it. There are things in life that I refuse to spend money on. Creating a skull/euro mount is not one of them. Well worth the money to have someone else do it.
     
  21. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    It’s more time than money to do a euro. If you’ve got the burner and the pot you’ll have almost nothing to spend on supplies. My taxidermist buddy loves to do euros at $100 a piece minus plaques and mounting. He’s got a huge steel vat that he can do 10 at time in. It’s the highest profit margin of any work that he does.

    I fully understand not wanting to do it yourself. But this thread was about doing it yourself.

    Every time this subject comes up I explain the correct and easy way to do it and I always get examples of how not to do it.

    It’s kind of like changing a tire. It’s explained that you’ll need a good jack and a tire iron. Then have a bunch of folks telling you that they changed a tire once but they didn’t have a jack or a tire iron and it was HORRIBLE!

    If you want to do the job yourself you’ve got to have the right tools and the ability to follow simple directions. If you don’t want or need to do it yourself that’s fine too. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2022
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  22. md7

    md7 Member

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    I send mine to one of my clients. My belief is to do business with those who are doing business with me.

    But what he does is to remove the hide, eyes, and brain and then he boils the head in a pot. At some point he uses peroxide to whiten. He will also use paint if you prefer paint.

    I would follow @H&Hhunter procedures if I were to undertake this on my own. It sounds very similar to what my taxidermist is doing.
     
  23. bigmike45

    bigmike45 Member

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    I had a whitetail buck skull done the euro style. The lady that did it for me simply placed the whole skull on a Texas Red Ant bed for two days. If there was anything left it rinsed right off just using a garden hose and nozzle. When finished she used a standard garden sprayer to apply hydrogen peroxide/bleach mix then coated the skull with a matte clear paint finish. Mounted it on a rough cedar wall/desk mount she also made.

    IMG_5297.jpg
     
  24. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Thats how this all started. :)

    I thought the tooth wear was interesting, so I wired the head to a sheet of 1” steel plate so varmints couldn’t drag it off and dropped it off at an ant bed. They didn’t do anything except keep other critters, insects from having any.

    Wired it up to a tree after that and rediscovered it last weekend, now it’s ready.
     
  25. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    I looked into Scarab Beatles, they seem like a stinky pain in the neck. Plus if they get out they’ll eat your mounts and leather furniture. I’ve tried the ant hill thing. Apparently our red ants in this area aren’t the flesh stripping kind so it didn’t work out.
     
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