European mount DIY

Discussion in 'Hunting and Fishing' started by Strigidae, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,879
    Likes Received:
    11,378
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    United States
    Figured with all the hunters we have on here you all could get some use of some of my trial and error.

    **I'm not a taxidermist I'm just sharing what i do and if we have some on here feel free to chime in and add to this**

    What you'll need:
    Skull
    Big pot to boil (i use a canning pot from walmart)
    Fire
    Gloves and other PPE
    Needle nose pliers or some sort of picking tool

    After the hunt and during butchering I will removed the head at the last vertebrae. This can be difficult so take your time or use brute force but be careful not to hit the skull. Ive found that rotating the head around will give me an idea of where the vertebrae and skull junction is and that where i cut. Its a ball and socket sort of joint. Go slow and refer to animal bone anatomy pictures if needed. You'll get sticky clear fluid in the joint space that helps guide your cuts. If you are a good skinner go ahead and skin the head out. If not then wait as harsh knife cuts can show up on your end product.

    Once its cut off you can do several things. Go ahead and boil it out or freeze it and wait. I prefer to freeze it and wait for bug season. The brain and nerves are difficult to get out without significant rot or bug intervention. Once spring is sprung ill stake out the skull or put a bucket over it and let the bugs have at the inside stuff. If frozen ill let a week for it to thaw and another week to get gooey. This part can be smelly. You can lose your product to scavengers and other things so keep an eye on it.

    Once I feel it is half eaten on the inside ill start the boil. DO THIS OUTSIDE. Also, plan the day to do it. Ill run the fire big enough to have a rolling boil but not shooting up the sides as the antlers can get singed and darken. This will take patience and time. I boil for a few hours then pull it out on a table or trash bag and start picking at the soft half off tissue. If you did the rotting part right the brains and nerves will be gone and you wont have much to remove from inside the skull. You'll notice a thin layer of tissue over all of the bone that will boil off. The nose will have several sheets of cartilage on the outside that will come off. There are also sheets of mucosa IN the nose that will need to come out. Be careful or you will break the thin latices of bone in there. Go slow. Be careful of the small bones at the front of the skull as a good rolling boil can cause a bounce and fracture them off. Not a big deal as they can be glued back. Teeth as well can be glued back but Ive never had an issue there. The boney portion of the ear at the base of the skull will fall off during the boil or can be manipulated off. Those can be reattached or left off. This process is the time consuming part. Pick and boil.

    Once you've gotten all the soft tissue parts off ill wash the skull out with fresh water and keep looking for things Ive missed. There are a lot of nooks and crannies. Once all set ill let it dry outside for a few days. When its dry ill put a layer of satin polyurethane on it but thats not really necessary. There are recipes for bleach water and peroxide etc but i like the slightly yellow bone look. The brilliant white looks fake to me. Hey its your project do as you wish!

    Ill post more as i think of it and some pics if i can find em.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  2. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,879
    Likes Received:
    11,378
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    United States
    IMG_4619.JPG

    Boiling process.

    IMG_4629.JPG

    End product on "little hooker" hanger. Barn wood, drift wood etc also make good hangers so use your creative mind to make your memory look nice. It is a lot of work but you can do it, save some money and be proud of what youve done.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  3. mwramos76

    mwramos76 Member

    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    2,061
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    SATX Go Spurs Go
    Very nice. My brother has been doing his own for years. I'll see if I can find some pics.
     
    The Marsh Gorilla and Strigidae like this.
  4. mwramos76

    mwramos76 Member

    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    2,061
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    SATX Go Spurs Go
    IMG_3138.jpg Here's one my brother did for my brother in law a few years ago.
     
  5. mwramos76

    mwramos76 Member

    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    2,061
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    SATX Go Spurs Go
    IMG_3139.JPG This one he did for our cousin
     
    The Marsh Gorilla, IW17, Zeek and 2 others like this.
  6. mwramos76

    mwramos76 Member

    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    2,061
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    SATX Go Spurs Go
    As you can see my brother normally uses the bleach to whiten the skulls. I think they look great either way.
     
    The Marsh Gorilla likes this.
  7. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,879
    Likes Received:
    11,378
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    United States
    Totally personal preference for sure. Got a buddy that likes em super white.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
    The Marsh Gorilla and mwramos76 like this.
  8. SEMO

    SEMO Member

    Messages:
    1,648
    Likes Received:
    5,811
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Southeast MO, Mississippi River Bottom flatland
    I always trade out work for this. I make plaques and trade to a friend who does the cleaning.
    He doesn't like wood working; I don't like brains. Works good for both of us.
     
    The Marsh Gorilla and Strigidae like this.
  9. SEMO

    SEMO Member

    Messages:
    1,648
    Likes Received:
    5,811
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Southeast MO, Mississippi River Bottom flatland
  10. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Moderator of the Century Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,555
    Likes Received:
    7,237
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Australia
    I am doing my Kudu and Cape Buffalo much the same way. Going to make a coffee table around the Croc skull and the Warthog will be the whole skull/jaw cleaned and flat mounted on a base.
     
    The Marsh Gorilla and Strigidae like this.
  11. Strigidae

    Strigidae Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,879
    Likes Received:
    11,378
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    United States
    Pictures of that when done. Sounds amazong sir.
     
    The Marsh Gorilla likes this.
  12. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Moderator of the Century Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,555
    Likes Received:
    7,237
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Australia
    Over a year after I left Mozambique the skins/skulls just made it to the taxidermist in South Africa. NOTHING happens quickly and without motivation ($$) in Mozambique. I expect them all to be here mid next year.
     
    The Marsh Gorilla likes this.
  13. B-line

    B-line Member

    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    58
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Montana
    That coffee table idea sounds awesome. I'd like to see pictures as well.

    Here's the one and only euro mount I've done so far.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I found this last summer when I was hiking and need to clean it up and it will make a pretty awesome mount. It has been chewed on but is still pretty impressive.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Zeitgeist

    Zeitgeist Member

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    393
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    South Coast
  15. mtngoat

    mtngoat Member

    Messages:
    1,988
    Likes Received:
    4,312
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    Awesome work guys, I saw a guy on YouTube uses a low psi pressure washer to remove all the little bits from the skull after boiling.
     
    Zeitgeist likes this.
  16. Bcamos

    Bcamos Member

    Messages:
    2,442
    Likes Received:
    4,881
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tejas
    Awesome thread. I've been watching some videos from WhiteBone Creations and he shows you how to do this stuff with some really great detail.
     
    Zeek and mtngoat like this.
  17. Bcamos

    Bcamos Member

    Messages:
    2,442
    Likes Received:
    4,881
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tejas
     
    Zeek and mtngoat like this.
  18. Bcamos

    Bcamos Member

    Messages:
    2,442
    Likes Received:
    4,881
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Tejas
    This was one of my favorite videos by him
     
    Zeek and mtngoat like this.
  19. mtngoat

    mtngoat Member

    Messages:
    1,988
    Likes Received:
    4,312
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    Yup that’s the guy
     
  20. ManOfSteel

    ManOfSteel Member

    Messages:
    4,022
    Likes Received:
    8,361
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    NJ
    I plan to euro mount my 2 most recent 8pt bucks. I plan to follow this thread to do so.
     
    Zeek, The Marsh Gorilla and Strigidae like this.

Share This Page