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Thread: Natural Method of Roe Skull Preparation...

  1. #1

    Natural Method of Roe Skull Preparation...

    I've done a trophy before and am very pleased with the results, however a couple of weeks ago I shot a cull buck with deformed antlers... I was going to boil it up as an interesting one to look however mine and my girlfriends birthday's got in the way and it ended up sat in the garage for a week in a bucket!

    As you can imagine it was crawling with maggots. I managed to hold my nose and skin it, and got most of the flesh off the face and out the mouth before deciding I couldn't do any more. I wasn't keen on boiling it because of the inevitable smell in the house, so I decided I might try and see if the maggots will do the job for me... so far after a few days the eyes are gone and some of the remaining face flesh...

    Does anyone have any experience with the "leave it and see what happens method"?!?

    Is there a stage at which I should just bite the bullet and boil it up?

    I've heard of people burying them before - does that actually work?

  2. #2
    As an experiment I once buried a head up to the coronets.
    After a couple of month lifted it out and the creepy crawlies had actually done a very good job.
    Only needed bleaching.
    You have to protect the antler as the elements (rain/sun) will bleach them and wash all the colour out.

    I certainly wouldnt advocate this method for a trophy head but if its just a bog standard head for hanging on your shed etc then this is a lazy way of doing it.

    ATB

    CVK

  3. #3
    wouldnt bury it personally.
    I have left red skulls, rough cut to remove the bulk of the skull hanging in a stable. its out of the elements and the maggots make quick work of the flesh leaving a few tufts around the pedicle to cut off.
    its more than a week though and by the end it wont smell as there will be nothing to be rotting

  4. #4
    Apart from practices which are illegal, I think that leaving deer heads to rot is possibly the most unprofessional thing a stalker can do. If you didn't want to keep it then dispose of it with the rest of the gralloch, if you want to keep it then treat it with the respect that it deserves. Plenty of good advice on here on how to do it properly.

    It's no good saying that you don't have time, how do you think professional stalkers manage doing several each week on top of stalking twice a day?

    JC

  5. #5
    bit harsh.
    we are not advocating chucking them on the road side!
    perfectly natural way of cleaning a skeleton or skull without the cost or environmental impact of wasting energy and disposing of gallons of used chemicals

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by JC275 View Post
    Apart from practices which are illegal, I think that leaving deer heads to rot is possibly the most unprofessional thing a stalker can do. If you didn't want to keep it then dispose of it with the rest of the gralloch, if you want to keep it then treat it with the respect that it deserves. Plenty of good advice on here on how to do it properly.

    It's no good saying that you don't have time, how do you think professional stalkers manage doing several each week on top of stalking twice a day?

    JC
    Well that's ok then coz I'm not a professional - it's a leisure activity

    As for respect - how is leaving it out in my garden for the food chain to benefit from less respectful than putting it in a saucepan and boiling the brains out? Is there some sort of funeral/ceremony of respect that I should have been doing in my kitchen that I didn't know about? You're hilairious JC!

    What do you do with your gralloch's? Personally mine get left somewhere discreet for the corvids and foxes, along with the head if I don't want it... so sorry but I just don't get your point.

    Stalkers manage it because it's their job and they get paid for it - I work 12 hour days regularly and had unavoidable commitments outside of work. If it were edible meat then I'd agree it's disrespectful, but something that most people would just ditch or feed to the dogs is surely ok to reclaim later?!

  7. #7
    p.s. Thanks to Bewsher and CVK for your answers - did you have any problems with wildlife trying to take things off? I have a lot of seaguls and cats near me and have had entire pelts disappear before!

  8. #8
    I have just completed a skull using dermestis beetle and larvae, being honest it has taken a long long long long zzzzzzz time, I skinned it all back and emptied the cranial cavity to help prior to introducing the betles, job has turned out ok, but time is the issue, Skull is in good condition.

    In all honesty boiling the head is the preferred method for me. it has its fall backs if you over do it but is more hygenic and no bad smells etc.

  9. #9
    I've done well with burying and then bleaching - though mainly with small carnivore skulls.

    One thing to be very careful of is the acidity of the soil. Acid soils appear to render the bone very brittle if left too long.

    Beetles (like burying beetles and museum beetles) work very well as well.

  10. #10
    Put all mine in the top of the compost heap, leave the lid ajar and in the summer in a couple of weeks all done. Boil off outside usng a camping stove, add a bit of vanish, and sorted. Will post some pics when I get a chance.

    D

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