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Author Topic: Deer Skull cleaning a unique hit  (Read 2709 times)

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Offline Rancid Crabtree

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Deer Skull cleaning a unique hit
« on: November 08, 2010, 06:58:34 AM »
A few folks have asked about the European skull cleaning I did on my buck. I didn't take any pics of mine but my Brother-in-law shot a buck and wanted me to clean his deer skull so I will use his for this pictorial.


Before I go any further, I want to mention 2 things.

1. His shot was deflected by an unseen twig. He did not and does not aim where his arrow hit. This deer died when it hit the ground. No additional shots were required to finish it off. While disturbing to see, the deer expired almost instantly.

2. For those viewing these pics. know that this is a messy and rather graphic pictorial of the process. Some of the pics are going to be gross. you have been cautioned.

OK, as I said, this shot is what it is. This skull will be near impossible to get white for two reasons. My brother-in-law skinned the head and did nothing with the head for nearly a week so I can expect some staining of the skull. Secondly, being shot in the brain means the bones of the skull will have been saturated in blood due to the brain hit. This will certainly stain the skull as well. I was able to remove the arrow shaft but the broadhead is captured in the brain.


I put the skull in the pot at 1:30 pm. I never bring the water to a boil. Its just a simmer with no rolling or bubbling.

2 hours later, the water is very dark with a skim of fat floating on the top of the water.

The meat is already softening and falling from the skull. So much so that I can pull the bottom jaw off.

Then I changed the water and added Dawn dish soap.

After 2 more hours, this is what it looks like.

The meat can be easily removed at this point.

I change the water again and again add Dawn dish soap and let it simmer for two more hours.

After two hours, I use a small knife and cut and scrape away any remaining meat. Then I use a stiff scrub brush and soapy water to scrub the skull. I use a needle nose pliers to pull out sinus' and spray water in the back of the skull to flush out the brains. Then I use Oxi Clean and a toothbrush to scrub the skull. Then I rinse it well and let it air dry.

The squiggly expansion joints in the skull are normally white but the blood seems to have stain them. Also, it seems like the blood stains the skull with a greenish color. My buck is on the right.

The entrance hole

The Bear razorhead is forever captured in the void where the brain was. I coaxed it out a bit with a  needle nose pliers for this picture.

The whole process can be accomplished in an afternoon.
Any day in the woods is a good day.