Post by Andrew Ray on Nov 28, 2012 11:41:16 GMT -5
Ideally, I would have taken it to a taxidermist and had Toro's head mounted. He was a Hungarian Grey with about 2 foot long horns. But, I don't know any taxidermists here, and with everything else going on, I just didn't think about it when we slaughtered him two weeks ago. Now I've still got a bull head sitting in the yard that the dog and vietnamese pigs have been nibbling on, and I wonder if I just leave it in the woods and let nature take its course if I'll end up with a clean skull with horns still attached that I can mount and perhaps hang over the gate like is done in ranches out West?
Post by Debbie Lincoln on Nov 28, 2012 12:19:28 GMT -5
I have cleaned deer skulls before but never something as big as a cow skull - at least not with much success. I tied a cow skull once to a tree with wire to get it away from the dogs and to let ants and bugs and nature work on it. Unfortunately, squirrels like gnawing on skulls, so it got chewed on anyway. The deer skulls I just leave in a bucket of water. Gets pretty stinky, but the bacteria pretty well dispose of the flesh. If you you have fire ants, leave it near a mound.... Here's a link that might give you some ideas...http://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/natresources/az1144.pdf
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Natural processes will clean the skull but you'll need to cage it - coyotes would likely drag it off, or at very least the bone would be damaged by chewing rodents.
We do the European skull mount with deer and use the natural "bugs" to clean the bones. Deer are easy - the antlers don't come off! On cattle skulls, after the skull is cleaned the horns shells are reattached over the horn cores.
DH recommends constructing a cage using 1/4 mesh/hardware cloth, something with an opening small enough to keep mice/vermin out but large enough to let flies/insects in.
If you can find a taxidermist, a lot of them are now doing the European skull mounts and have "carrion bugs", bugs that strip tissue from bone quickly.
Post by brandygirl on Nov 28, 2012 13:17:18 GMT -5
for what its worth, we tend to clean off the hide parts, and the put the skull part into the ground covered and let it do its thing, with the horns up and out of the ground, and yes, do make a cover to protect from dogs, mice etc etc
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