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suzy    Posted 02-18-2001 at 15:31:21       [Reply]  [Send Email]

I have a longhorn skull that I want to hang in my house. Does anyone know the best way to clean it and get it white faster than leaving it out in the sun for years......? Thanks!

Robert in W. Mi.    Posted 02-18-2001 at 20:33:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
I did a lot of hunting in Alaska, and some of the guys wanted their bear, moose, ect. skulls cleaned up and white for european mounts. What i always did, was to clean the skull as best i could, then get a pail of boiling water going. I'd dip the skull in the water for a while, and clean it some more, and repeat the process. Proxide will get it white where needed!
Then i'd mix white glue and water 50/50, and brush it all over the skull includeing the teeth. You can put more than one coat of this mixture on if needed. This seals the bone, and makes it look real nice.

Mike Taylor2    Posted 02-18-2001 at 18:26:54       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Set it out close by (but not on) a fire ant mound for a week. If you can find a large patch of mounds, even better!

coaltrain    Posted 02-18-2001 at 18:12:49       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ants work good and you mite watch it if a good skull and horns sure enough dern coyote stray dog , opposom or some other varmit always like the best ones If that is possiability put the skull in a vessel or tub then almost fill with water some ashes build fire boil meat and hide rite off hang on to the horn cap it will fall off too. First blow brains out with water to save to tan his hide. Watch for his teeth to they make trading treasures.

Burrhead    Posted 02-18-2001 at 15:59:47       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yes Mam you just wash it down good with clorox or some other clothing type bleach.

You don't have to soak it but it would'nt hurt anything if you want to because the longer it stays wet with bleach the whiter it will get.

Wolf    Posted 02-18-2001 at 16:47:01       [Reply]  [No Email]
Bad part to that is that the bleach can chemically react with the calcium in the skull and actually cause it to deteriorate faster. We do ours all outside, it takes a little while, but it's a lot safer for the skull.

Burrhead    Posted 02-18-2001 at 17:32:18       [Reply]  [No Email]
I never knew these skulls were so popular til a neighbor got involved with supplying some to a tradeday seller and started getting some from me.

I did'nt know what they wanted with them so I was giving them to the feller. He was bleaching them out and then varnished or shellac them. I don't remember which one he used to seal them.

That rascal was getting around $100 and up for them things at the flea market and could'nt keep enough. Yuppies are buying them skulls to put on their gate post around here.

When you find a skeleton and skull where and old cow has died in the winter here and it was laying til the fire ants get through with it they're pretty well clean and pearly white in pretty short order.

IHank    Posted 02-18-2001 at 17:25:13       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Suzy- Suggest you look around your property for an ant hill of any size or type. Place the skull near the ant hill and be patient. The ants, the sun, the wind, and the rain, will clean it up like you can't believe. Good luck with your project, IHank

Burrhead    Posted 02-18-2001 at 17:34:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
10-4 Dr Hank. I concurr.

I was out posting while you were and did'nt see your note til after I mentioned ants.

We have fire ants bad in this country and they will super clean a skeleton in very short order.

Nathan(GA)    Posted 02-18-2001 at 19:47:12       [Reply]  [No Email]
Burrhead, I know what you mean about them fire ants. Around here they'll make a skeleton out of you if you stand still very long.

They hang out under my catalpa tree waiting for a free meal when one of the worms falls off. It don't take but a minute for them to devour it.

Fire ants are real bad news!    Posted 02-18-2001 at 18:04:14       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Dr. Burrhead- Thankfully, my only experiece with them fire ants was in Vietnam. We'd done an opportune swim and scrub in a little stream one day. I hung my clothes and web gear on a little tree to dry and air out while I was doing my turn in the swimmin hole.

Came out and dried off, then put my clothes on and "saddled up". I just got everything on and adjusted and ready to continue the mission when the painful bites started!

It was horrible. At first I thought I'd been shot. Then I noticed a couple of other guys fast shedding everything like me. Buddies beat a bunch of them fire ants off of me and we spent some time getting them outta the clothes and web gear.

They left some nasty sores, but our field medic would not write us up for a Purple Heart because of hostile action...

Some years later I observed the power of just plain ants in Riyadh. I'd water an itty bitty patch of grass in front of my house each Friday. That caused a gadzillion cockroaches to come up on the sidewalk and driveway to escape the flood. I'd do my cockroach stomp war dance routine and leave to fetch groceries, etc.

When I got home there were no dead cockroaches to be found. Even the stains on the pavement had been pretty well cleaned up.

One day curiousity got to me and I just hung around to see what was going on. After the top side commotion died down hordes of small ants came up from ??? and hauled all the dead cockroach stuff back to wherever they lived.

Frank White took down my skull photo and exiting poem on his web site, so do private e-mail if you want a copy.

Like the old saying, many hands make light the work. IHank

coaltrain    Posted 02-18-2001 at 18:59:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
Had my encounter with fire ants to [first time] Hank back in 76 down on the Yo and the last thing I am going to do is feed the little succers is something to nourish them.

suzy    Posted 02-18-2001 at 19:51:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Thanks for the quick response everyone! Seems like fireants are the way to go. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Chester    Posted 02-19-2001 at 05:38:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]

I guess that'll teach Suzy to ask a simple question!!LOL! It went from skulls, to fireants, to Vietnam!
By the way, Burrhead, are you from Texas, by any chance?

Burrhead    Posted 02-19-2001 at 19:35:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yessir Chester. About 50 mi east of Houston. Where the fireants are still our #1 cash crop.

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