Good Afternoon Chaps!
Just thought I'd put up some pictures of my first roe buck, and the first go I have had at solo trophy preparation. Having done a few before with fellow stalkers and guides, I thought I would have a stab at it! The whole head has probably been in the freezer for around 10 months, so I was keen to do it before it was thrown out by "management".
Head was skinned and took off as much meat and crud as I could before boiling for around 40 minutes. I then removed the head and worked away at the remaining gunk.
Unfortunately, I could not do the whole lot in one hit, so when I went out for the afternoon, I left the head in water before returning to it later. When I eventually got back around to it, the gristle and cartilage had toughened somewhat, so I re-boiled for around 40-50 minutes, which only had a moderate effect.
I'm not sure how clear the photos are, but you should be able to see that although I cleared most of the nose, eye-sockets, cheek parts and cranium, there is still a little rubbish left on the rear underside of the trophy.
By the look of it he was an old boy, and I am rather pleased with the result (for a first solo attempt!). I am also contemplating having the lower jaw send away for aging, and not sure whether or not to cut it or leave it whole (I like the look of the whole head in all honesty!). Not sure of the weight, or whether he would make a medal though. The coronets are fairly large and joined at the bottom, pretty coloration of the antlers and it has a fair weight to it.
Just as a final question, are older bucks a little tougher to prepare and clean? Or is it all in the method and just a case of trial and error?
On reflection, ideally I would have boiled the head for far longer and done it all in one hit but there you go! Still happy none the less