Buck skull

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I went hunting after work today. Sadly, I didn't see any deer, but I did find a prize. I saw the snout of a deer skull peaking up from the dead grass. I figured I would have a look. When I tried to lift it, I felt resistance. I quickly realized it was a buck skull with grass wrapped around the antlers. As you can see, it is completely clean of hide and flesh. I'm sure it is from last year. Considering that, it is in good condition. The antlers are not bleached or porous. It also has not been chewed by rodents.

I would like to clean it up and make a Euro-mount. Since it is clear of flesh, what do I do to clean up the bone? Should I paint it? Any advice would be appreciated.

skull1.jpg skull2.jpg
 

retrieverman

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Wash it off with Dawn dish soap, let it dry, then apply regular drug store peroxide, and after you peroxide it, put it in the sun. It should whiten up.

DO NOT USE BLEACH.

I’ve done A BUNCH of euros in the last 30 years. My east TX buck from last month.
BC566910-F90A-435E-B868-CB3869A82C11.jpeg
 

03mossy

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is that just after one application of peroxide?
 

SuperKirby

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I always heard to use some stuff called 40 Volume hair cream for bleaching hair. My wife needed to go to the local Sally Beauty for some shampoo or something so I walked in with her. I was wearing a camo sweatshirt like I usually do. The lady asked if she could help us and my wife said she knew what she needed but I might need some help. The lady looked at me for a second and said "40 volume? It's down the aisle on your left side, bottom shelf." I admit I was surprised, given the multiple hair colors and even more piercings just in her face alone. As I was checking out she made a comment about how it's late enough in the year I must have used a muzzleloader. She said she didn't like to hunt but her dad hunted everything he could all year long. I told her I was very impressed with her customer service, and that while I will probably never buy anything else from her, I would defintely come back if I needed to.
 

retrieverman

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I always heard to use some stuff called 40 Volume hair cream for bleaching hair. My wife needed to go to the local Sally Beauty for some shampoo or something so I walked in with her. I was wearing a camo sweatshirt like I usually do. The lady asked if she could help us and my wife said she knew what she needed but I might need some help. The lady looked at me for a second and said "40 volume? It's down the aisle on your left side, bottom shelf." I admit I was surprised, given the multiple hair colors and even more piercings just in her face alone. As I was checking out she made a comment about how it's late enough in the year I must have used a muzzleloader. She said she didn't like to hunt but her dad hunted everything he could all year long. I told her I was very impressed with her customer service, and that while I will probably never buy anything else from her, I would defintely come back if I needed to.
I know some people that use that stuff for whitening, but in my opinion, it gives the skull an unnatural bright whiteness (which I personally don’t like). Also, anything you buy like that is going to be a stronger peroxide mixture and can be damaging to the skull if not used just right. The drug store peroxide will do the job without the chance of damaging the skull, but you still need to keep it off the horns.
 

SuperKirby

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I agree. If that will work then do that. I had read that regular peroxide leaves it yellow but I would say Retrieverman’s results disagree with that.
 

bdog

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I think just wash it with the dawn dish soap like mentioned above, then I would let it dry, tape off the antlers and spray with some flat white paint
 

BuckDoeHunter

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Nice find!

This one was done with peroxide, I did not put it in the sun but I will next time, the pic makes it brighter white than it actually is.

TJiMOM3.jpg
 

Tonyg

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I went hunting after work today. Sadly, I didn't see any deer, but I did find a prize. I saw the snout of a deer skull peaking up from the dead grass. I figured I would have a look. When I tried to lift it, I felt resistance. I quickly realized it was a buck skull with grass wrapped around the antlers. As you can see, it is completely clean of hide and flesh. I'm sure it is from last year. Considering that, it is in good condition. The antlers are not bleached or porous. It also has not been chewed by rodents.

I would like to clean it up and make a Euro-mount. Since it is clear of flesh, what do I do to clean up the bone? Should I paint it? Any advice would be appreciated.

View attachment 28482 View attachment 28483
Arm and Hammer baking soda mixed with water in a bucket works, just let the skull sit in there a day or so and clean with an old nylon brush. Less aggressive method.
 
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Lots of ways to go about it… and lots of good advice, here! 👍

Several methods to get good results… the web is full of instructions.

-retrieverman and BuckDoeHunter have both posted nice work, seemingly without hugely complicated processes- looks great!
-practice on an old skull, if you have one available
-keep bleach, and/or peroxide off the antler, itself!
-PLEASE don’t paint the skull white 😳
-clear coat the skull (gloss, satin, or matte, as you prefer) when you’re done, to help keep dust from getting into the bone pores, as it hangs on the wall! Dust in the pores can eventually make the skull look a dingy gray...

I’ve done three. The first one looks more like something found out in the woods, as I didn’t use bleach or peroxide on it.

The other two got peroxide and clear coat, and are beautiful.

My best 10-point European mount was hanging in the rafters for about 12 or 14 years, with no problem. It seems to have “jumped“ off of the rafters while my nosy/snoopy nieces were just here, over Thanksgiving. The delicate parts of the skull shattered, and I’m none too pleased!🤬

I can’t prove they knocked it down, but it seems like quite the coincidence that it happened when they were here. (They’re also known “snoops,” and I’ve kicked them out of my office, before)

Denials all around, of course. Locks have been ordered, for my office door. Enough of this foolishness!
 

retrieverman

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Jitterbug, I was just thinking about how to toughen up the skulls so something like that wont happen. Could a clear 2 part epoxy or polyester resin be put on it instead of clear paint, without hurting it?
Skull are what they are…bone, and they’re fine bones at that. I’m not sure what you could do to “beef up” the bone without distorting the appearance.
 
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Theyre are very dry and porous so they ought to absorb at least a little, thinned out, polyester resin. Just a light coat of a clear non yellowing type. Might make it more tough like fiberglass. Ive got a few deer skulls hanging on the shed and might experiment with one to see what happens.
 

Boone

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Nice find!

This one was done with peroxide, I did not put it in the sun but I will next time, the pic makes it brighter white than it actually is.

TJiMOM3.jpg

Seeing that it reminds me of art that is often seen when I hear "Ghost Riders in the Sky".
 
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