The Skull As A Trophy By Troy Adams


Mar 6, 2008
It seems like the cost of everything hunting related is going up. Ammunition, reloading products, and firearms have all increased significantly in the last two years. Not to be left out, the price of taxidermy has also become quite a bit more expensive. So what is a hunter to do if he wants to have something more than just a photograph as a memento of the hunt? Why not a skull or European mount? Having a skull professionally cleaned for display in one's trophy room is a very economical alternative. Most skulls cost a fraction of what a shoulder or life-sized mount costs. A skull does not always have to be the alternative to taxidermy either. If one kills a bear or mountain lion the skull is often just as important as the mount. The other really nice thing about having a skull as a trophy is that it does not take up much roomRead More...
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That is a great article! I have boiled a few skulls with a buddy of mine and we stunk up about a two block radius for a few days... :) I might have to try the beetles this year.
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Cool! I have also unsuccessfully tried this myself. The link appears to be bad to your web sate at the end of the article. Let me know when it's up so I can book mark you.
The link appears to be bad to your web sate at the end of the article. Let me know when it's up so I can book mark you.

My bad, I don't have his site up yet. I have seen Troy's work in is amazing!
I don't doubt it at all. You do a very nice job with the vendor selection on this site. I'm not afraid to spend my $$ with any of them. I just wanted to book mark him so when I'm ready I'll be able to find him again:D.
i had a black bear skull cleaned with beatles. i wanted to use the skull for the mount, but was told that could no longer be done. i have it on the mantle at our camp and it looks very nice. is this something up to each taxidermist, or do some states have laws controlling that practice? mine was in pa.
Yobuck, I don't understand your question. You wanted to use the skull as part of the mount or you wanted them to put the skull in your mount, as in use it for inside the head?
yes, i wanted to use the original skull for the full body mount. the taxidermist told me it couldnt be done any longer. so i had him have it cleaned for display on the mantle. pa. bear and taxidermist.
The article says the skull is not bleached in "bleaching" i.e. whitening but does not say what chemical is used ??
The article says the skull is "degreased" but does not say what chemical or process is used ??
I too have tried this on bears,bucks and cats and run into: 1) teeth falling out 2) nasal sections breaking off / falling out 3) inconsistent color in differing sections of the skull - I ***/U/ME that is a degreasing factor 4) not knowing how to connect the mandible back to the skull once the connecting soft tissue i.e. ligaments rot out.
Does the mentioned Q&A address these topics ? Maybe I thought this was a " how to " article since he opened with lamenting the cost of taxidermy.
Hey guys, it's probably gonna sound strange but I've had really good luck just hanging the skull in a bucketful of water out in a nearby tree. For horned mounts try to make sure no part of the antlers is submerged, it WILL change the color. The water seems to soften the tissues well and, as it evaporates, the local bugs do the rest in stages. That eliminates some of the smell, just keep an eye on the water level frequently during hot weather! If necessary, as a final "cleaning" I just set it on an ant bed that so frequently otherwise annoy me! Some of the taxidermists I've seen do a real skull mount actually spray paint the finished product with a "Bone" color that really looked pretty good. I guess in the other, more expensive process they add a preformed skull to your horns?
As for the long term lasting appearance I have an 8 point that, aside from hitting the floor a couple of times during moves, still looks pretty good! When it needs a cleaning I wipe a rag with bleach over it and follow with a clean wet rag!

"Poor people have poor ways...."
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If you live, hunt in the Great Pacific N.W. I can recommend Robert Bicknell of SkullDuggery on the web at "skullpreparation" His specimens are always clean yet un-eroded. He is located in Toutle Washington Tel. 360-749-9814 I am on the prowl for a ram to have Robert strip for me.
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