Euro techniques

Bearstew

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We just got home to Virginia from our second rifle in colorado hunt. I am planning to do my own euro mount for my elk. I don’t see spending $250-300 after I had to remove brain and tissue before going to taxidermist due to fed regulations. I was going to do the typical boil and pick as we do for whitetail here but have ordered a sous vide and will be trying that route this time. My questions are, other then oxi clean is there anything y’all are adding to water for this process?
After process is over what if any degreasing will be necessary?
What have y’all found to be best for the whitening as well as sealing process?

looks like some are using plastic wrap and or duct tape on first few inches of base of horns...

someone had mentioned hole saw to back of head cavity, no issues with damaging any bone on internal cavity going this route?

this is my first elk and I would like to put it on a mount and have it look nice
 

wllm1313

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I'm sure you have seen this post.


I just use oxi to clean (grocery store)
1572288085526.png

Then I use this to whiten (amazon)
1572288136133.png

I have done a ton of different methods of wrapping the bases and I find 1 layer or electrical tape covered with a layer of duct tape works best. I wind the electrical tape tight around the antlers starting at the bevel? and go up 6-8 inches. I only apply duct tape to the electrical tape and never the antler itself. (The electrical tape will come off in the water bath, the duct tape will stick but it will gunk up the antler.

I really liked my cleaning result this last one and I went 155 for 1 day and then 145 for the second day.

If after day 2 your head is super greasy you could switch out the water, add more oxi and go for another day at 125.

Ammonia hydroxide (ace hardware) or acetone (home depot), also work but are more of a pain in the butt to deal with... I used those on my bear. I haven't had to do much additional degreasing on elk or deer.

I like to do the "paper mache" method of using the peroxide, but you can also get basic white and mix and paint it on, or you can bring a mixture of water + the developer to a boil and then submerge the antlers and then cut the heat. I just did this on a deer skull that was giving me issues. Seems to work well, but I had to use a metal bucket and a stove. A sous vide circulator isn't going to get water to a boil.

Elk skulls are big and tough so they are a bit more forgiving.

There is no reason nor benefit to cutting holes in the skull, you can get it perfectly clean with a bit of time.

Go slow and be patient, it's easier to do a step twice than it is to fix something later.

taxidermy.net is a great resource.
 

Bambistew

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Chugiak, AK
Lots of tutorials on the net.

clean as much of the meat off as possible, use a wire and get the brains out, rinse with a hose. Don't cut the skull, its unnessary, and you limit the hangers you can use if it has a hole in it. I've cut a few, but didn't find it was any better/worse.

I use a deep turkey fryer pot, keeps the heat away from the antlers. Do not submerge any part of the antler in the water, the grease will stain the antlers and/or the color will wash out, drape a cloth over the area between the pedicles so that the hot water can wick up to that area. there isn't any/much tissue here anyway.

A pressure washer is your best friend if you have one. Light simmer then blast it off, or let it soak in the SV tank, and still blast it off.

I use a little borax, and a lot of dawn dish soap. I also skim the fat off the top, and add more dish soap before pulling the sull out of the water. Will also change the water once.

I will degrease by first rinsing in hot tap water and soap, then fill a bucket with hot water and soap put a fish tank heater in the tank/bucket to keep it warm. let it go for a week, change out the water and soap and repeat.

I use 40% vol H202 creme developer and the whitening powder to go with it, make a paste, paint it on, wrap it up and let it sit for 2-3 days in a warm area. Then hose it off and let it sit in direct sunlight for a few days.
 

Addicting

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This year I did Borax and dawn simmering for around a 3 1/2 hours changing the water once. Then washed it with a hose. Then returned to the pot with just regular household hydrogen peroxide for a hour simmer.

Dried it in the oven at 170 With the door cracked for a few hours, then painted it a bone white to seal it.
5267634F-2169-4B68-89AC-6035873F1319.jpeg2E30B978-DBC6-4732-82C0-6CD38CDA4AA2.jpegC2D3FEB3-B514-47A1-8E9B-E1176E8E8C46.jpeg
 
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TOGIEGOAT

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people are typically boiling the peroxide solution?

does it not work just fine to soak the head in 40V? for 30 minutes? an hour?

I'm aware of painting it on, but soaking it seems so thorough...

@wllm1313 - what's this "paper mache" method you're talking about?
 

Bearstew

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people are typically boiling the peroxide solution?

does it not work just fine to soak the head in 40V? for 30 minutes? an hour?

I'm aware of painting it on, but soaking it seems so thorough...

@wllm1313 - what's this "paper mache" method you're talking about?
I haven’t done the peroxide part yet can’t seem to find a potbig enough from local store. But the sous vide did well I used oxi, dawn and vinegar combo at 155 for 48 hours. Will post final product when finished. 11D5DCE4-476C-4B38-A6B7-1093C74E7A3F.jpegA25482FD-ADF6-4EC6-B17D-DC4DA9067177.jpeg
 

Bearstew

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I haven’t done the peroxide part yet can’t seem to find a potbig enough from local store. But the sous vide did well I used oxi, dawn and vinegar combo at 155 for 48 hours. Will post final product when finished. View attachment 119144View attachment 119145
First photo pre pressure wash, second was after a quick blast around skull. No meat left and color is already looking good.
 

wllm1313

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people are typically boiling the peroxide solution?

does it not work just fine to soak the head in 40V? for 30 minutes? an hour?

I'm aware of painting it on, but soaking it seems so thorough...

@wllm1313 - what's this "paper mache" method you're talking about?
Some people simmer with peroxide, some people will add peroxide to the water bring to a boil, shut off the heat and drop the skull in.

I've not found soaking in peroxide without heat to be effective, it would need a lot of time (days).


Goop on the 50 vol, cover in paper towels, goop on some more, wrap it tight in layers and layers of plastic wrap, put it on a shelf for 10 days or so. If you don't wrap it, it will dry out in a day and the reaction will cease.

1573231077948.png
 

wllm1313

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Honestly I came up with my sous vide, paper mache method as much to save time as to be effective.

You "can" get a great result simmering, if you're careful. I like everyone else have a ton of irons in the fire so I like being able to spend 15-20 min getting things setup and then be able to walk away for days at a time until I have a free moment.
 

Carl 9.3x62

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Laramie, Wyoming
I add sal soda or sodium carbonate when I boil skulls. It kind of turns the meat into a gel and is easier to remove. I have not used it with the sous vide method yet though. I have also simmered skulls in peroxide and dawn soap together, and they come out really nice. But I would be hesitant to do it with an antlered skull. Best to just paint or goop on the peroxide and powder mixture as mentioned above. Also, for whatever reason, after you are done whitening with peroxide set the skull in the direct sunlight for a day or so. This seems to add quite s bit to the overall whitening.
 
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