DIY Euros

Discussion in 'Taxidermy' started by Ragman, May 15, 2017.

  1. Ragman

    Ragman AH Fanatic

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    First off, I am NOT a taxidermist. What real taxidermists can do is something far beyond my talents! But I do like to do my own Euro mounts if at all possible and enjoy learning new methods to make it easier. However for some reason in the last few years I kind of dropped the ball and let a couple heads sit around getting stinky and dried out. This last month I finally got my butt in gear and decided to get a couple done, which were my whitetail bucks from 2015 and 2013. The following pics show the skulls in various stages through to completion.

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    The two skulls after sitting in my garage for 2-4 years. 2015 on the right and 2013 on the left. Gross!

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    After a week soaking in water to try to rehydrate them. This was really bad! :Vomit:

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    In the cook pot.

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    After the initial clean. Looking much better now!

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    After the whitening process, ready for the wall!

    I'm sure there are lots of guys on here doing this at home, and most probably better than me, but the difference in these skulls from beginning to end result was pretty satisfying, so I thought I'd share.
     

  2. jasyblood

    jasyblood BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Looks like they turned out well! Good job!
     
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  3. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    You did a good job! Those look like nice bucks too!
     
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  4. Nosler guy

    Nosler guy AH Veteran

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    Good work Ragman
     
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  5. rinehart0050

    rinehart0050 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Very nice! Other than animals hunted overseas, no reason not to do the Euro yourself!
     
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  6. Ragman

    Ragman AH Fanatic

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    That's exactly right. I've had a wolf and Lynx skull that I got from my trapper buddy in my freezer for over 5 years now that I intend to get at sometime in the next couple of weeks. And another hunting buddy has a big moose skull that he shot last fall that he wants me to do. I just have to come up with a pot big enough to accommodate it!
     
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  7. dobber

    dobber AH Enthusiast

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    i found a young lady who was just getting into taxidermy last fall and she did my buck from last year, certainly worth it cost wise and who am i to not support a new taxidermist lol
    Gave her a bunch of elk sheds as well to practice her carving
     
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  8. slam8031

    slam8031 AH Veteran

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    Nice job!! I have played with dermestid beetles and they do a great job of cleaning skulls. Then, bleach at the end. You can buy the beetles on the internet and they are fairly cheap.
     
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  9. Ragman

    Ragman AH Fanatic

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    I would love to try beetles, but my better half won't allow them in the house! Lol.
     

  10. slam8031

    slam8031 AH Veteran

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    Forgiveness is easier than permission...
    I built a plastic container to house them, placed a fan to dissipate smell and a light to maintain temperature. They do create a bad odor from the decaying flesh.
     

  11. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I did the same thing with my elk head in 2010.
     
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  12. Dinsdale

    Dinsdale AH Enthusiast

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    Those look terrific! Nice deer too.

    Need to send you to SA and do skulls; last ones of mine that came from D&P guy were the worst I have seen ever. Total crap. Could have done better buying a pot and burner and doing them in a parking lot. LOL
     
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  13. curtism1234

    curtism1234 AH Veteran

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    Looks good

    I've got a guy who runs a campground down the road from where we do our local hunting. For 120 dollars you just bring him a freshly sawed off deer head and he'll take care of the rest and mount it on a cedar shingle. Easy Peasy

    I'd rather spend my time butchering the meat to make sure it's clean
     
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  14. Nyati

    Nyati AH Ambassador

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    Nice job !
     
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  15. Ragman

    Ragman AH Fanatic

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    I made the mistake of getting her to watch a YouTube video of beetles cleaning a skull. She definitely did not share my interest!
     

  16. Adrian

    Adrian AH Enthusiast

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    I enjoy doing my deer skulls.
    I usually remove the head and leave it in a bucket of water for a day or two for the blood to leach out as much as possible. Then I skin it and cut it to the way I want.
    When no-one is about I boil a pan of water with a small amount of washing powder and a little washing up liquid.
    I immerse the skull making sure the antlers are clear of the water and leave it on a rolling boil, checking occasionally to see how the meat is coming away from the bone.
    When I judge it's done I take it out and scrape the meat and gristle off.
    I then soak it again in hot water for a short time, just to make sure the bone is wet.
    Then I put it in a stainless steel tray I have especially for this use and paint hydrogen peroxide cream all over the skull, making sure it is in every crack and crevice.
    This is left on for about 24 hours before I take it off and pour the excess back in the bottle.
    A rinse under the hot tap to get every last bit off and it's left to dry in the sun which actually helps the whitening process.
    When dry it's ready for a shield and hanging.
     
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  17. siml

    siml AH Legend

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    Looks great.
     
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  18. Ragman

    Ragman AH Fanatic

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    My 2016 mule deer.

    image-2.jpg image-3.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2017

  19. Ragman

    Ragman AH Fanatic

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    I am fortunate to have a buddy that runs a trapline and every once in a while he saves me the heads off of the different furbearers that he catches. So this was my project on the weekend: wolf, lynx, fisher, otter and marten.

    013.JPG
     
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  20. Nosler guy

    Nosler guy AH Veteran

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    Good Work there Ragman - Wolf skulls are awesome!!!
     

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