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Thread: First Head

  1. #1

    First Head

    Hi,

    Going to try preparing my first buck head next weekend (as the FPO's away). Its presently in the freezer and I was wondering if its better to cut the skull whilst everything is frozen and then just boil the "cap", or should I defrost, skin and boil as all the manuals and videos seem to show?

    Cheers

    Ade

  2. #2
    I usually defrost, skin (and eyes out), cut (long nose usually but whatever you like). Then I will boil, scrape clean, bleach.

  3. #3
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Cut whilst frozen, then discard the bottom half. Put top half in bucket of water to assist thawing, then skin, boil and bleach as per normal.

    In future you might want to skin and/or cut before putting it in the freezer, which is what I normally do if I don't have time to prepare the head on returning from stalking. That way it takes up less freezer space, looks less like a dismembered body in the freezer (aaaagghh......who put that head in my freezer!!) and takes less time to subsequently prepare for boiling.

    The challenge sometimes with frozen heads that are uncut is getting the cutting jig to close, as the frozen eyeballs prevent the guides on the jig from fitting into the eye sockets on the skull.

    Hope it goes well and please post some photos of the result when you're done
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  4. #4
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmer_mike View Post
    I usually defrost, skin (and eyes out), cut (long nose usually but whatever you like). Then I will boil, scrape clean, bleach.
    First two answers suggested opposite approaches - showing there's no "one correct way" with these type of tasks. That's what I like about this site; even if you've worked in a certain way for years you can read about alternative approaches that you may not otherwise have considered.

    I cut when frozen as I find it easier to cut through "solids", but that's just me (or rather, that's just my saw).
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  5. #5
    To suggest another solution, a taxidermist I spoke to told me his method was to skin then boil uncut head then cut as required with a Dremel!

  6. #6
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmer_mike View Post
    To suggest another solution, a taxidermist I spoke to told me his method was to skin then boil uncut head then cut as required with a Dremel!
    That sounds like it could end up being very messy!
    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by willie_gunn View Post
    That sounds like it could end up being very messy!
    It does sound that way, I've never tried to cut a head after boiling as I've heard the bone can be quite brittle. The taxi I was talking to thought the dremel was the cleanest way to cut the boiled head without risking the bone breaking.

  8. #8
    Don't use bleach though! It will ruin the skull. Hydrogen Peroxide. Also, don't let it dry out between the boiling and whitening or it will stain.
    MS

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey Spanker View Post
    Don't use bleach though! It will ruin the skull. Hydrogen Peroxide. Also, don't let it dry out between the boiling and whitening or it will stain.
    MS
    +1
    Jelen have a series of 3 videos on utube about trophy prep, well worth a watch!
    part one here:

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by palmer_mike View Post
    It does sound that way, I've never tried to cut a head after boiling as I've heard the bone can be quite brittle. The taxi I was talking to thought the dremel was the cleanest way to cut the boiled head without risking the bone breaking.
    I tried sanding my roe skull recently because the cut wasn't quite straight (I'm going to buy a jig now....) and broke a whole chunk off! I glued it back and left it as it is, wonky cut and all.

    I do the same as W_G, I skin the head before freezing it. Generally, I try and remove as much surplus material as possible before boiling, so the skin, ears, lower jaw, the palate and lower section of the skull, nose, etc. It all makes for less stuff to scrape and scrub, which is pretty unpleasant, so I want to do as little as possible. I saw when it's frozen but that's more down to logistics than anything else. I think I'm probably just making more work for myself.

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