Taxidermy Forum Sponsors

Bear Skull Mount Question

Discussion in 'Taxidermy Forum' started by PrairieDream'n, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. PrairieDream'n

    PrairieDream'n Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    414
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    The Last Red Dirt Road, NC
    Any recommendations on cleaning a bear skull for European mount? I'd like to do it myself, the taxidermist around here want 300+ bucks to do it ... Thanks in advance
     
  2. musher

    musher Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    4,580
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I've done many for us and friends. One of the best ways I found is to put it in a sealed bucket of water for about a week. Change water and rinse meat off. Depending on freshness of the skull and temperature it may take a couple times or can be done sooner than a week. Not the most pleasant excercise but makes for a clean skull.
    Once all the flesh is cleaned off soak it in clean water and dawn soap to degrease it. After degreasing soak it in a mix of water and hydrogen peroxide. Get the stronger peroxide used for dying hair. Don't use bleach!
    When you are going through the rinsing process keep
    an eye out for loose teeth. Some will fall out and you can glue them back in later.
    You can boil the meat off with a product called sal soda. Any taxidermist supply will have it. It works good but be carful not to get it to hot. I place some stones on the bottom of the pot to keep the skull away from too much direct heat and prefer a long simmer rather than a boil. The sal soda will make the meat jell up and come off easier.
    One last tip. Use rubber gloves, without gloves your sandwiches may taste different for a while.
     
  3. Brad's Birds

    Brad's Birds Elite Refuge Member Sponsor

    Messages:
    1,136
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois south part
    Have you checked into having it beetle-cleaned....other than the $300 quote from the taxidermist. Google beetle cleaning skulls and you should have several in your area and I'm pretty sure for a lot less than that. If not, you can ship a frozen head pretty easily to someone. The bugs do a perfect job of cleaning without all the work. You can have them whiten it or just have it cleaned and you can whiten it yourself as described above. I go to a pool supply store to get peroxide but be super diligent in not getting it on your skin/clothes it will burn pretty badly. Another word on whitening, just soaking it in Dawn will degrease it to a point, but if you keep the water hot, which isn't easy, it will do a much better job just from my limited experience. I have a couple coyote skulls that I used soapy Dawn water to soak them in for several days without keeping the water warm-hot, but they have some yellow areas as opposed to pure white.
     
  4. cholt

    cholt Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    331
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Location:
    Oneonta al
    Helped my buddy while doing skull mount on the bear skulls they are full of grease best way we found is using beetles to clean skull he also boiled one to just see what the difference would be. We then soaked them in Coleman white gas for about a week the dawn wouldn't touch the grease they have in them then go to Sally's beauty supply buy you some powder hair bleach and some accelerator then wrap it in plastic wrap over night if you could put a halogen light on it to heat it up may have to repeat it several times but they turned out great solid white they have been done for two years now and are still white no fading from oils
     

Share This Page