View Full Version : European Mount

11-05-2012, 09:04 AM
Just finished up my sons buck from this year, my first attempt at a european mount. Was actually not to bad with a pressure washer and a little time with a knife, pliers and some wire. Hope he likes it, he was gone over the weekend when i did it.

11-05-2012, 09:37 AM
Nice work, looks like you saved yourself a few pennies!

Kevin Root
11-05-2012, 10:09 AM
Looks good Roboz. Getting all the meat off can be a bugger. Nice work!

11-05-2012, 10:25 AM
Well done, looks great. How did your boy react?

11-05-2012, 11:30 AM
Did you dye the horns?

11-05-2012, 11:45 AM
He was very happy with it, and i was happy for saving some coin as jjenness said. I didnt dye the horns, thats just the way the picture turned out. When i first started this project i was thinking to myself what the heck are you getting yourself into, but once i started seeing progress there was no stopping.

11-05-2012, 12:48 PM
Looks awesome Roboz. Man those horns look black in that pic!

11-05-2012, 03:11 PM
Must look that dark from the cloud cover?????

11-05-2012, 06:42 PM

11-05-2012, 07:00 PM
If you pull their teeth out they will lay flatter against the board.

Then what I do is belt sand down the back until they are 100 flush with the board.

About the only animal that can't always be mounted this way is an elk. As their royals may cut the perpendicular line that shoots from board back to the royal/monarch points.

As for getting the meat off the skull the best way is what is known as cold water masceration (rotting).

This is the University of Arizona method, which is fairly close to my own method.

Maceration is the simplest method and can work very well for most any skull. Maceration is simply soaking the fleshed-out skull in water until all the remaining flesh has been removed. The time required to remove all the flesh varies with the size of the skull and the temperature of the water. The ideal water temperature is about 90 F. Soak the skull for several weeks, change the water clean off the skull and start again if you still have meat on the skull. In this method, the skinned head is simply placed in an appropriate sized container (can, bucket, barrel, etc.), covered with water and left to stand. About 2 tablespoons of an “enzyme” laundry detergent per gallon of water will help de-grease the skull. Water should be added if evaporation has exposed part of the skull. The putrid water should be poured off periodically and replaced with fresh water. The water should be poured off through a sieve or wire screen to recover teeth that have loosened and fallen out of the skull. The skull may be removed from the water periodically and flesh may be pulled or rinsed off. Final cleaning can be accomplished with a tooth brush, dental pick, or similar tool. If the skulls are soaked outdoors, try to keep leaves, soot and other debris out of the water. These contaminants can discolor the skulls. After removing all the remaining flesh, a couple of 24 hour soaks in fresh water helps in eliminating odor. After all the soaking, let the skull dry thoroughly. The advantages of cold water maceration is that it is easily done and will not damage or shrink skulls. The disadvantages are that it is smelly, very slow and teeth will most likely fall out.

After the cleaning process, skulls may be bleached or left their natural color. Bleaching can remove small pieces of tissue and other debris from inside skull cavities. Bleaching also removes most of the odor of the skulls. However, severe bleaching can make skulls look unnatural and remove certain characteristics such as the teeth stains in herbivores. Severe bleaching may also break down bone tissue. Some bleaching is probably best, but not enough to make them completely white. Air-dried skulls may be bleached by soaking
them in an approximately 3% to 6% solution of hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide solutions that are used to bleach hair can be purchased from beauty supply stores. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide in these products is usually expressed as “volume.” 20 volume is approximately 6% hydrogen peroxide, 30 volume is approximately 9% and 40 volume is approximately 12%. These products can be diluted with water to the desired concentration. The time required to bleach the skull will vary with species and the whiteness desired. When using hydrogen peroxide, most of the bleaching process will have been completed when the solution stops bubbling. After the skull is bleached to the desired whiteness, it should be rinsed with water and allowed to dry completely. Hydrogen peroxide can cause serious damage if it comes in contact with your eyes. If this occurs, flush the eyes with plenty of water and contact a
physician immediately. Hydrogen peroxide can irritate skin and rubber or latex gloves should be worn when immersing hands into the peroxide solution. Chlorine bleaches should not be used because they can dissolve bone tissue.

2 big notes.

1. Use completely enclosed buckets for all cold water maseration, in fact you could also bury them under some dirt to help with the smell.

2. Use a cheap hand washing dishwater detergent to degrease all animals before bleaching. Same process as the masceration after you have cleaned all the meat off of your skull.

11-05-2012, 07:29 PM
I didn't think about pulling the teeth, but it would definitely sit flatter. Thanks for the tip.

11-05-2012, 10:10 PM
If you don't like the look of it with the teeth pulled out, just run him across a belt sander until his teeth sockets are gone.

I usually fill the back of the skull full of 2 part rifle epoxy so I can bolt the board onto the skull tight.

11-06-2012, 08:55 AM
Depending on whether or not you prefer the plaque look, you could also get either the EuroMounter (http://euromounter.com) or Little Hooker (http://skullhooker.com) to display your trophy. I have both and love the way they are displayed.

11-07-2012, 04:12 PM
I do not think that I could sell my Wife on the "rotting" method. I remove as much meat and hide, including the lower jaw, and complete the process by boiling the skull at a low rolling boil. At various stages, I will remove the skull from the boiling pot (an oblong shallow washtub from Home Depot), and clean out as much meat as I can reach with dental picks (usually 2-3 times, change water and add Arm & Hammer Washing Soda to remove the grease.) A high pressure hose will break up the brain so it can be washed out of the skull. The oblong shape of the pan usually keeps the antlers out of the boiling water. After the skull is clean and dry, I will give it a peroxide bath using the same cheap low grade peroxide sold in the grocery stores and Wal-Mart. I tried the beauty supply stuff and found it to be a little bit faster and lot more expensive. It usually takes overnight for the low test solution to do its work, but it is not as hard on the skull. Rinse the skull and be sure it is 100% dry (2-4 days depending on where you live). I spray my skulls with a flat polyurethane spray. This gives them a pleasant antique ivory look, prevents flaking, and discourages any insects. Use old barn wood, cedar shingle, etc. for a mounting plaque. This is a cheap way to do a European mount, and they look as good as some of the taxidemist versions. You can find the washing soda at Wal-Mart.

11-07-2012, 04:59 PM
Boiling destroys the bone fibers, you don't want it to get past simmer.

11-15-2012, 04:03 PM
That is what I meant by "low rolling boil". Just could not think of the word. "Old Timers Disease", I guess!

11-16-2012, 07:48 AM
edeweiss, that your bull? thats has some funk to it. and great buck mount. so many diff methods that work well. nice work