How to Clean, Save and Preserve Bear Claws

Discussion in 'Bear Hunting' started by retiredcpo, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. retiredcpo

    retiredcpo Well-Known Member

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    What should I do with the bear claws when I get them out to How to Clean, Save and Preserve them.
    thanks
    we will be trying to bleach the skull next
    retiredcpo
     
  2. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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  3. jcathunter

    jcathunter Well-Known Member

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    Just skin around them and remove any and all flesh. Set em out to dry and they should be good. If you want, you can put some clear coat for added protection. For the skull, find some commercial hydrogen peroxide. Not the stuff you get at the store but the stuff from a taxidermy supply store. (They sell it other places but I'm not sure where) Research Mannikins in Lebanon Or could probibly help you out if you give them a call. Anyway, Mix the peroxide and baking soda to make a paste that you spread over the skull and leave until the next day. When you brush off the dried paste, the skull will look much better than a painted skull.
     
  4. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    jcathunter, I'm not familar with preserving claws or skulls so what do you mean by better than a painted skull...do foks actually paint them a color?
     
  5. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    No Chas, not in color, not unless theyre weird.
    What he's talking about is;
    after fleshing and boiling or whatever your meathods are, the skull has a part white, part yellowish tint to it, due to oils left in the bone. Most folks that display the bear skull spray it with white/cream enamel, to give it a more consistant dried bone color. As time goes by, the skull leaches oils, and the yellowish color comes back again, but more throughout the skull. Some folks remove the enamel at this point, some re-paint some leave it alone. Ive got a ''few:rolleyes:'' bear skulls. theyve all been boiled and enameled. I just leave em that way.

    Boiled and bleached, but havent tried the peroxide trick yet. Maybe after this August Ill give it a go. Thanks for the tip.
    Claws Ive always left on the rug, but like stated earlier, fleshing and drying(maybe with rocksalt on the ''gooey'' part) then clear-cote. or raid your wifes nail polish for the clear stuff.:D
     
  6. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks winmag, makes sense now. I learned something new today.
     
  7. retiredcpo

    retiredcpo Well-Known Member

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    well we pulled the claws got off as much flesh as we could and have left them out side for awhile
    still have not done the skull yet its still in the freezer.
    I have read that after boiling ect if you soak it in water with dawn dishsoap in it it will get the grease out of the bone to prevent the yellowing.
    but im running out of time so I may have to take it to the taxidmist.
     
  8. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    Only time will get all the yellow out. Try boiling it (in a BIG pot) with water and bleach mix. Works good. Easy to do on a camp stove OUTSIDE:D to prevent the enevitable stink. And as long as you put a coat hanger thru it, it can be removed and scraped/scrubbed at any time. A couple knives and a 3m pad is Way cheaper.
    If you go the Taxidermist route use the beatles then boil it. (LESS SCRUBBING:D)
     
  9. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    winmag, what is meant by "use the beatles"?
     
  10. winmag

    winmag Well-Known Member

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    For about $60 bucks you can take the skull(deer & elk european mounts, bear, boar, whatever) to a ''beatle farm'' or ask your taxidermist who has beatles. You get a ''tag'' with a number on it matching the wire tag tied to the bear skull and lower jaw. The skull is lowered into a big tank filled with hungry beatles.The beatles DEVOUR anything and everything thats not bone. Really helpfull when getting the gums around the teeth and the nasal cavity and all the other nooks and cranny's that are virtualy imposible to reach. A quick boil is sometimes needed afterward for final cleanup before enamel.
    Bears have some incredibly fragile thin little bones in thier nasal cavity. Most guys ''roto rooter'' most of them out trying to clean the nasal cavity.....I did anyway, and Im not alone on this one:D. But when the beatles do it the tiny little bones are left and it looks more professional if you know what to look for. Handy little buggs
     
  11. Chas1

    Chas1 Well-Known Member

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    winmag, thanks for responding. Ya know at first I thought nah can't mean actually beatles as in bugs but, looks like first thought was right. I guess I figured if one was to use insects/bugs then it would be maggots or something like that as I have seen where maggots are actually used on diabetic patients sometimes to get into a wound and they will eat all the infected tissue. Interesting didn't know beatles ate tissue.
     
  12. TheHardWay

    TheHardWay Well-Known Member

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    I have done several euro mounts. After boiling and using a hot water pressure washer, I use the peroxide as well. It works better than bleach because bleach tends to make the bone chalky. You can get the peroxide at a beauty supply store such as Sally's Beauty Supply. The 40 volume stuff works great. You can cut it with water 50/50 and it still remains potent stuff. Be careful not to get it on your skin or in your eyes cuz it burns!
    I let my skulls sit in a tub of the solution for 1-2 days. After you pull it out of the solution, spray it off with a hose, let dry, and then seal it with a clear aerosol ureathane or enamal.

    For my bear claws, I just cut them out and removed as much meat as possible, boiled them, and then scraped the remaining meat off.
     
  13. jcathunter

    jcathunter Well-Known Member

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    Sorry it ook so long to reply. Ironicly, I've been bear hunting. Some good info on here. In my opinion, the beatles are the best. Like mentioned before, they get in all the little nooks and crannies and it sure looks nice when its done. I have quite a bit of experience with taxidermy and, to be honest, its well worth the $60 to send the skull off to someone with dermistid beetles. If you don't want to spend the money, or just prefer to do things yourself, I always boiled in water with some baking soda thrown in. I've heard of people using the dish soap but I've never tried it other than squirting it in the brain cavity and letting it soak for a bit before rinsing it out with hot water. I like to boil the skull awhile, then pick awhile, then boil a little more and so on. This helps keep me from overboiling. When you are picking the skull, be sure not to cut down into the bone because it WILL leave marks if you're not careful. You don't have to baby it but just be sure not to cut into the bone. I use a wire coat hanger or similar and water to remove the brain. There is always little bits that hang on and are a boogar to get out so be patient and thorough. Those little bits will leave grease spots on the outside.
    I, too, prefer the peroxide over bleach for the same reason mentioned. It also does a nicer job, in my opinion. Like was also mentioned, don't get it on your skin unless you want white skin. No kidding, it will turn as white as snow. Trust me, I know. lol It burns, too. Just wear rubber gloves.
    For the claws, just pick everything you can off. I like to take a scalpel and trim everyting possible off including the cartilige.
     
  14. fbeninati

    fbeninati New Member

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    If you are looking to preserve your bear skulls quick and easy the best way to do it is cut off as much meat as you can from the skulls including the brain and eyes. It is important to remove as much as you can know so its less work later. Once done boil the skulls until the rest of the meat is loose and able to be removed. Continue removing the remainder of the meat while still hot if it cools to much reboil slightly. Once all the meat is removed submerge the skulls in hydrogen peroxide until the skulls stop reacting with the peroxide. I use this method all the time and have never had a problem. let me know if you need anymore help.

    As for the bears claw i just got one and am currently salting the ends what is the best method to use? this is my first time doing a bears claw