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Coyote Hunting - From 10 Yards to over 1,000 Yards Techniques For Coyote, Fox and Cat Hunting


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DIY Skulls

 
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  #1  
Old 09-11-2013, 04:34 PM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 74
DIY Skulls

Every hunter needs a few skulls in his trophy case. Around here you usually have to pay a taxidermist about $40-$50 and wait a month or so to get it back. I've always thought predator skulls look awesome.

I'm sure many people know this already but I found a easy way to clean coyote skulls at home with no special equipment and pretty much for free. It would be an easy way to European mount your big game too. Some of you guys might find this helpful.

I did a coyote and badger skull start to finish in less than 3 hours.

Step 1
skin skull and trim the major muscles as much as you can, don't be too picky

Step 2
Boil a big pot of water with some laundry detergent and borax (available at dept stores) in it. Boil the skulls for 20-30min. You can probably get away without the soap and borax but it seems to break up the connective tissue better than just water.

Step 3
Pressure wash skulls. I did mine with a smaller washer (1500psi) This strips off the flesh and brain incredibly fast and leaves the bone clean. If you don't have a pressure washer there's always the self serve car wash! If everything doesn't come off just boil for another 5 min and pressure wash again.

Step 4
allow to dry then bleach with peroxide or hair products (I used some peroxide cream nail developer the wife had laying around) until it gets the shade of white you want. I put on a light coat of aerosol satin polyurethane to give it a slightly glossy finish.

That's it. quick and easy

The first pic is a skull that the taxidermist did for me, the others I did myself.
Attached Thumbnails - Click to View Larger
DIY Skulls-beetleskull.jpg   DIY Skulls-raw.jpg  

DIY Skulls-closedmouthfreal.jpg   DIY Skulls-closedmouth.jpg  

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  #2  
Old 09-12-2013, 11:07 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Tooele, UT
Posts: 155
Re: DIY Skulls

I would recommend that you dig the brains out before you boil it. The brains contain a lot of grease that will absorb into the skull.
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2013, 10:48 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Wasatch Front, UT
Posts: 11
Re: DIY Skulls

We did 2 of our own deer skulls last fall. The skulls with antlers were a bit big for a regular pot. Ended up using 5 gallon buckets. And dumping boiling water in. We followed a tip I got somewhere online, using Arm and Hammer washing soda. Skinned the heads, cleaned off what was easy and "cooked" with the brains in. The washing soda seemed to neutralize all the fats, with no spotting or staining of the skulls. The rest cleaned of pretty easy with some small knives and picks. Final clean up was helped along with high pressure air using the garage compressor.
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  #4  
Old 10-09-2013, 09:42 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 10
Re: DIY Skulls

Good stuff - thanks!
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  #5  
Old 10-09-2013, 10:49 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 209
Re: DIY Skulls

I did mine last year. I looks better in person. Cell phone pic. If you over do it in the hot water the bones will separate a little...Once mine dried and cooled off they came back together and tightened up.

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  #6  
Old 10-10-2013, 10:36 AM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 74
Re: DIY Skulls

Here's one more I did a while back. I did not use the pressure washer for this one, just boiled with laundry detergent and borax then scraped with knife and pick. It turned out good but was way more time consuming. I will never do it without the pressure washer again. When you use the pressure washer you can reduce the boiling time a lot which keeps the skull in better shape. BTW the left cheek on this guy was cracked before I started, long story.
Attached Thumbnails - Click to View Larger
DIY Skulls-skl.jpg  
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  #7  
Old 10-19-2013, 12:23 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 205
Re: DIY Skulls

I have found that the skulls I have boiled turn yellowish after a few years, I think beetles are a better option if you can.
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