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It has been a hard year........Pic.... Actually a question on cleaning a Deer skull plate

William81William81 Member Posts: 24,507 ✭✭✭✭

No I am not grilling my antlers !!!! I boiled the thing and got the vast majority of the flesh etc off of it....I then put it in a container and filled it with salt to dry the remaining scraps so I can get it totally clean. Am I missing anything ??

Any input from others that have done this appreciated....


  • JimmyJackJimmyJack Member Posts: 5,373 ✭✭✭✭

    Pressure wash!

  • jimdeerejimdeere Member, Moderator Posts: 25,501 ******

    I dig a hole in a damp spot, bury the skull and leave the antlers above ground. Cover with a wash tub and place a couple of cinder blocks on top.

    Dig it up in April and wah-lah! European mount.

  • bullshotbullshot Member Posts: 14,236 ✭✭✭✭
    "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you"
  • asopasop Member Posts: 8,889 ✭✭✭✭

    Never left them outside. The squirrels and rodents just loved to chew on them!

  • waltermoewaltermoe Member Posts: 1,771 ✭✭✭✭

    You’re doing a cap mount the way it’s cut. If I shot a buck I cut it like that and then just use dry wall screws to put on the side of this old cow barn we got. After a year or two the fur is gone. If you’re going to mount on a plaque and put in the house you would want and get the cap scraped off and skull cleaned and dried.

    I took this picture in the dark with a flash light but you can see the fur is gone.

  • GTRiemGTRiem Member Posts: 307 ✭✭✭

    My pop just fleshed out his weird deer skull. It's a little late around here for natural carrion beetles to do their thing.

    It has worked in the past, but we froze heads and did them in the summer. Protected antlers as mentioned by wash tub, blue barrel half, whatever.

    Dads gonna boil it this weekend. I'm already anticipating the


  • mike55mike55 Member Posts: 2,829 ✭✭✭✭

    The way you cut it, skinning it immediately is the easiest. Use a sharp knife, go under the skin and just skin it like the rest of the deer. Then angle the knife up and get all the cartilage from underneath the base of the antlers(between base and skull plate).

    Once it dries, it gets much harder to get off.

    For a European mount, pay someone that has flesh eating beetles. Erous are pretty, but they take MUCH longer to boil and then get ALL the bits out that can rot.

  • FrogdogFrogdog Member Posts: 2,752 ✭✭✭✭

    I skin my deer heads and hang them in a 5 gallon bucket of water, and then cover it with a Rubbermaid container. Empty water once a week or so and refill. In about 4-6 weeks, European Mount is ready. The microbes eat out everything, even the brain.

    Note: I’m in the South. Will take longer in cold weather. Some folks add an aquarium heater to speed it up.

  • William81William81 Member Posts: 24,507 ✭✭✭✭

    " Once it dries, it gets much harder to get off."

    Yes, I learned that lesson today !

  • mrs102mrs102 Member Posts: 1,159 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2023

    Forensic dentists boil jaw bones in a water/detergent mixture. Flesh removed leaving bone only. Should work on skull plate.

  • tnrangertnranger Member Posts: 344 ✭✭✭

    I just leave the hair on and immerse it in a super saturated borax/water solution for 2 - 3 months in the basement (stirring occasionally) - then let dry and brush the crystalized borax off with a hair brush. I've never had the hair slip from that. YMMV

  • MobuckMobuck Member Posts: 13,682 ✭✭✭✭

    Son has a 'bug box' so the skinned skull plates go in there for a few days coming out clean as a pin and ready to dip in something or other he uses to seal the bone keeping it looking nice.

    Downside is: you gotta 'feed the bugs' year round making things a bit unpleasant during warm weather(roadkill for dinner).

  • susiesusie Member Posts: 7,304 ✭✭✭✭

    Couple years ago I buried an entire skull in the yard. Dug it up the following year. We have clay dirt. Skull was clean and the coloring from the clay was awesome.

  • dpmuledpmule Member Posts: 6,637 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2023

    As mentioned above, take a sharp knife an cut from the burl out to the edge of the skull cap on both antlers,

    then using a small flathead screwdriver, insert into the incision at the burl and work your way around, this will pull the hide from all the little spots in Burl , leaving you with a clean burl with no hide nor hair attached.

    believe me, this is easier down when the skullcap is still attached to the head, but not undoable.

    You can then boil or use whatever cleaning, whitening method you prefer.

    Grandson boils/ whitens several skulls for people for European mounts every year.

    since you only have a clean skullcap, it won’t take much effort.


  • KenK/84BravoKenK/84Bravo Member Posts: 12,055 ✭✭✭✭

    OMG, is the deer, gonna be okay?

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