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Bleaching a skull

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by G22 Kid, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. G22 Kid

    G22 Kid

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    hey guys... I got a forked horn this year, but a nice one. Black tail w/ well defined eye guards on both sides.

    Since it's my first, I want to keep him somehow, and not just cut his horns off.

    thinking about bleaching the skull, and maybe have my buddy paint something on it(Indian style!).

    I really like native american art, I think it would be cool.
     
  2. G22 Kid

    G22 Kid

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    anyhow, where do I find info on the process to get all the skin off and bleach it.
     

  3. Dandapani

    Dandapani

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    Probably not what you wanted to do, but we had a calf skull from a butchered steer and we hung it up for 3 years out back on an old clothes line pole in the sun. Bleached out very nicely, thank you :)
     
  4. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    If the skull is not already clean, the best way is to let bugs eat at it. There are other ways, like boiling, but they are no fun. I put my coyote skulls out in the desert on fire ant hills. A wooden box with some slits in it is all you need. Just something that will keep birds and larger critters from gnawing on it, but the bugs can pass through. Not sure what you have up your way. Might need to wait for warmer weather before all the crawlies come out. If you want to get serious you can order some Dermestid beetles. They smell, take some care to keep a colony up and rasing bucketfulls of beetles doesn't sound like fun to me.

    When the bugs have had their dinner, get yourself some 5 gallon buckets and peroxide. Bleach can make the skulls turn yellow after a while. The higher concentrate of peroxide the better. The stuff off the shelf at the local mart will work if you don't have access to a chemical shop. Dunk or brush on the peroxide. Soak it in pretty well then set the skull out in the sun to dry out. I do all of my skulls at the end of the season. I'll soak them for half a day or so then let them sit out for a couple days. It usually doesn't take more than that. Especially here in the land of sun.

    You might loose some teeth. Just plug them back in with crazy glue and tape it up until it sets.

    There are powdered whiteners out there you can add to the peroxide, but I don't like them. I think it looks fake.
     
  5. Hoingshiba

    Hoingshiba willhunt4food

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    mpol777
    what do you do with the coyote skulls? I hunt them in Eastern washington, and it is fun, but it seems wasteful to just take the pelt, so I am thinking of other ways to make it more useful...hmmm...maybe coyote jerky....;Q Anyway, what do you do with a coyote after it is dead-ified? thanks
     
  6. vafish

    vafish

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    My bear skull I boiled. For a long time, outside on the grill.

    My pig jaws we did the anthill thing, then scrubbed them up.

    In both cases the teeth fell out and needed to be glued back in place.
     
  7. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    The bull elk I got a couple years ago we boiled. Here is the process, it is long and drawn out but it turned out as well as any proffesional job.

    1. skin and take the lower jaw off. Remove as much meat as you can.
    2. simmer in a large pot with water and detergent booster. Don't use laundry detergent, just use the booster. Takes most of the day. Remove the last vertabrae and every so often run a long screw drive into the skull cavity to remove the brains.

    3. Soak in plain water overnight.

    4. Soak in a water and bleach mixture for a day.

    5. Wash throughly and soak in a baking soda solution overnight.

    6. Wash off again throughly and let dry. When it is completly dry spray with clear coat paint. We just used Krylon clear coat that we got at Wall Mart. Looks great and there is not discoloration.

    Another thing I saw that looked pretty cool is a guy in Oregon who makes bronze elk skulls and then they bolt your antlers to the bronze skull. It looks awesome. He did a Big Horn Ram with a brass skull. That is too cool. I wish I could post some pics to them.
     
  8. Volponi

    Volponi wiseguy

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    Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) sold for disinfectant or antiseptic use is typically 3%. This is the stuff you'd buy at wal-mart or your average drug store. Concentrations above 8% are considered oxidizers, and some states restrict their sale.

    Hair salons will usually have varying concentrations, but often they will not sell it (because they'd prefer people not do their own hair bleaching, for obvious profit reasons). The hair-salon stuff is screwy anyhow, because it's almost never listed with the actual H2O2 concentration by percentage, but by a system I don't completely understand (listed as "10-volume", "20-volume", "30-volume", where the higher the volume, the higher the concentration, but the "volume" does not translate directly to percentage. I believe that "10-volume" is roughly 6%).

    Depending on the state you're in, you may be able to buy a much higher concentration (around 30% H202) from your local pool store. Look for "Baquacil" brand pool shock and oxidizer. There are other brands as well. Some pool oxiders use chlorine, some use H2O2, some use other chemicals. If you can't find "Baquacil" brand, just be sure to read the active ingredients and look for H2O2.

    Hope that's helpful.
     
  9. mpol777

    mpol777 Feral Member

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    The skull, fur and claws are the three pieces of a coyote that have a monetary value. There are a lot of folks who use them in crafts and the fur market is still hanging on.

    My wife makes jewelry and one of the ladies in her co-op makes native american pieces. I sell her all of the claws. I sell as many of the skulls and pelts locally as I can. I don't advertise or anything, so it's mostly by word of mouth through friends.

    For skulls it's mostly rich folks who are decorating their house or artists looking to make it into something else. High end art shows have both types of people. Southwest themed art with coyotes is pretty big business. My wife sells her jewelry at a few shows, so I meet people that way.

    Some business try to get that old west feel and will have buffalo or cattle skuls as decorations. Anytime I see those I ask if they want coyote skulls too. Sometimes I get weird looks, but oh well.

    Anything I can't sell myself I unload on a buddy of mine who goes to the big trapping conventions to sell alongside his stuff. He's been doing this for a long time and has all the contacts with the big fur companies and such.

    BTW: If you try to coyote jerky, leave me off your christmas list. ;f I've tried coyote chili once at an outdoor festival and it was about the most gawd-awfulest thing in the world.
     
  10. Walter45Auto

    Walter45Auto

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    Cabela's sells bleaching kits. And I LOVE that Idea btw. Wish I knew somebody that could paint well so I could have it done.


    ;g






    ;8 ;I
     
  11. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    I almost have my skull bleached from the deer I got this year. You can see the picts of before and after in this thread

    http://glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=310544

    I skinned the head, then boiled it in a mixture of water, 20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster and Baking Soda (That took almost all day) I basically simmered it, right at the edge of boiling without actually being a rolling boil.

    Then I washed it off really well and then soaked it in a solution of Clorox and water most of a day (about 6 hours). I should have either had the solution slightly stronger or soaked a little longer. I didn't want the clorox to chew the bones that much though. It is not as white as I would like it to be but there are a few spots where you can see the clorox starting to chew a little bit.

    After that I washed it off really well and let it soak in a mixture of Baking Soda and water overnight to nuetralize the Clorox that was left over. Now I am letting it dry. It will lighten up a little when it is dried.

    When it is dried I will spray it with a clear coat and either find some nasal holes in the back or drill small holes to put a wire to hang it on.

    I don't think it turned out that bad for the first one I have ever done. I will have to glue a small bone in his nose back on and my kid pulled it off the counter once so I will have to glue in a couple of teeth. Other than that it turned out well.

    I hope that helps anyone who was wondering how you do it yourself.