Quick Turnaround European Mounts

Strehb18

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Feb 27, 2017
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With the new CWD rules almost everywhere, I was hoping that I could get a European mount done with a quick turnaround to head home legally if I were to be successful on my Montana elk bow hunt. Has anyone done something similar to this? Reading regs it seems that I wouldn't be able to take the full skull home without first having it professionally cleaned.

I will be sort of around the Dillon MT area and if anyone has recommendation for a taxidermist in the area that may be able to help, I'm all ears. I will make some phone calls on my own as well. I wouldn't rule out anything along I90 in Montana as well if they could accommodate.
 

wllm1313

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With the new CWD rules almost everywhere, I was hoping that I could get a European mount done with a quick turnaround to head home legally if I were to be successful on my Montana elk bow hunt. Has anyone done something similar to this? Reading regs it seems that I wouldn't be able to take the full skull home without first having it professionally cleaned.

I will be sort of around the Dillon MT area and if anyone has recommendation for a taxidermist in the area that may be able to help, I'm all ears. I will make some phone calls on my own as well. I wouldn't rule out anything along I90 in Montana as well if they could accommodate.
What's your hunt plan? Camping/hotel/backpack, what's your "layover" time look like.

You don't need a finished product to be legal, i.e. it just needs to be cleaned the full euro process...
1. Clean
2. Degreased
3. Whitened
4. Sealed

Obviously, a quick turn around is going to make maceration and beetles impossible. I would either see if you can have a taxiermist do a quick simmer for you, or if you are into DIY and staying in a hotel/have a generator go Sous Vide with your head in a cooler.

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teej89

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It's complicated.
we took our bulls to a taxi, fortunately we had 3 guys and two trucks so 2 kept hunting while the third transported. He had a 3 day turn around on our euros and they looked great!

Unfortunately this was in NE MT the opposite side of the state from ya ha!

If I was in your situation, I'd just try and clean it all out myself. Get a drill and a hole saw and drill the bottom of the skull then start boiling and scraping. Armor all detergent seems to help real well to break it all down if you can soak/boil. Then take it home and finish it or give it to a taxi.
 

rlmmatt

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Daytona Beach
What's your hunt plan? Camping/hotel/backpack, what's your "layover" time look like.

You don't need a finished product to be legal, i.e. it just needs to be cleaned the full euro process...
1. Clean
2. Degreased
3. Whitened
4. Sealed

Obviously, a quick turn around is going to make maceration and beetles impossible. I would either see if you can have a taxiermist do a quick simmer for you, or if you are into DIY and staying in a hotel/have a generator go Sous Vide with your head in a cooler.

View attachment 112113
How well does this work compared to the turkey fryer
 

wllm1313

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How well does this work compared to the turkey fryer
Way better to be honest. No more picking.

 

thusby

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I've gotten lucky so far and had some game processors that would euro a skull on 2 days notice. I like the Sous Vide method though, I should try that out.
 

jquigley

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Jan 26, 2015
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Carlsbad, CA
What's your hunt plan? Camping/hotel/backpack, what's your "layover" time look like.

You don't need a finished product to be legal, i.e. it just needs to be cleaned the full euro process...
1. Clean
2. Degreased
3. Whitened
4. Sealed

Obviously, a quick turn around is going to make maceration and beetles impossible. I would either see if you can have a taxiermist do a quick simmer for you, or if you are into DIY and staying in a hotel/have a generator go Sous Vide with your head in a cooler.

View attachment 112113
Find this seriously tempting. May have to get a moose skull back from Alaska and this might be the way to go.

I assume you've got the bag around the skull to keep the grossness out of the circulator on the Annova?

What temp and how long did you end up running it?
 

wllm1313

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Find this seriously tempting. May have to get a moose skull back from Alaska and this might be the way to go.

I assume you've got the bag around the skull to keep the grossness out of the circulator on the Annova?

What temp and how long did you end up running it?
Yep. Although since this post I have been doing it without a bag. Honestly the circulator doesn't have that much pull and most of the grossness just sinks to the bottom. I haven't been having any issue with it clogging.

135 for 36-48hrs has been my go to, I also did 120 for a week with dawn + amonia on a bear skull I'm working on and that worked well.

I think you could away with a higher temp if you did a shorter cook, but it would take some experimenting.
 

jquigley

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Carlsbad, CA
Yep. Although since this post I have been doing it without a bag. Honestly the circulator doesn't have that much pull and most of the grossness just sinks to the bottom. I haven't been having any issue with it clogging.

135 for 36-48hrs has been my go to, I also did 120 for a week with dawn + amonia on a bear skull I'm working on and that worked well.

I think you could away with a higher temp if you did a shorter cook, but it would take some experimenting.
Thanks for the tips! Might throw the sous vide rig in my pack just in case we tag out with a few days to get the skull cleaned up. Being able to drive it home would save a bundle.
 

Strehb18

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Thanks for the responses. That sous vide option looks like it'd work slick, and I will look into seeing if I can rig up something.

I would be doing car camping, but springing for a hotel for a night wouldn't be the worst thing seeing as I could sort my gear, shower, and get a good nights sleep.
 

thusby

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Messages
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A lot of the regs say only skull plates with all tissue removed or finished taxidermy are allowed. I wouldn’t take any chances. I have heard the fine in North Dakota is north of $600
 

wllm1313

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A lot of the regs say only skull plates with all tissue removed or finished taxidermy are allowed. I wouldn’t take any chances. I have heard the fine in North Dakota is north of $600
Agreed, I don't think "finished" denotes whitened but certainly completely clean.

WY Regs:
"Hunters must ensure the head and all portions of the spinal column are either left at the site of the kill or disposed of in an approved landfill. Evidence of sex and species are required in accordance with the provisions found in the current hunting regulations. Only the following portions of any deer, elk or moose taken from any other state, province or country within areas designated as positive for CWD may be imported into Wyoming: edible portions with no part of the spinal column or head attached; cleaned hides without the head; skull plate and/or antlers cleaned of all meat and brain tissue; upper canine teeth; finished taxidermy mounts."

@mplane72 you would absolutely be ticketed in WY for that.

I think this is basically the spot you need to be at to be considered legal.
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