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Wanting to European mount the mule deer I got this fall. I did a white tail several years ago, but can’t remember if I should get brains out before or after boiling. Any other tips would be appreciated as well.
 

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Sultan of Smack
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The one I did this year, I boiled it with the brains in it. No issues. Also, keep the water more of a simmer instead of a full rolling boil.

SCFox
 

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I try and get out as much as I can before putting it in water. After that a pressure washer works wonders...boil, pressure rinse, repeat..
 

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Get all skin/meat off as possible including lower jaw.
SIMMER with dish soap for 1.5-2hrs, pressure wash, repeat, then pick off anything that is left.

Brains will come out the second time pressure washing.

Change water and add a cup of Oxiclean, simmer for another 30 min.
Remove and let dry.

Remember nasal bones are VERY fragile.

Here’s a couple I’ve done this year.



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I don’t cut a bigger hole, just use the hole that is left where the spine comes out.

If you cut a bigger hole in will not work with a Skull Hooker, and that what I hang all mine on.



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I’ve done a few and they all turned out pretty good. I skim it out, then pressure wash as much meat and flesh off as I can then simmer with peroxide for a couple hours the rest comes off with a wire brush and pliers. Then whiten it with Powder bleach mixed with 40 volume developer. As noted above nose bones are fragile, and if it’s cold out or you’re using cold water careful not to crack the skull going from hot to cold water.
 

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I saw online a couple a think called a brain blaster, all it is, is a water hose sprayer with an adapter on front taking it down to a 1/4” copper tube. You slide the copper tube in the back of the skull at the brain stem and spray the water. The raw brains will shoot right out, at least most of it.
 

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Get all skin/meat off as possible including lower jaw.
SIMMER with dish soap for 1.5-2hrs, pressure wash, repeat, then pick off anything that is left.

Brains will come out the second time pressure washing.

Change water and add a cup of Oxiclean, simmer for another 30 min.
Remove and let dry.

Remember nasal bones are VERY fragile.

Here’s a couple I’ve done this year.



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Does the oxiclean mess up the antlers if it get in it?


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For me, preserving the antler color and all the bits that were rubbed on my the deer is important. I don't want to have to re-color.

For that, you do not want the pedicle in the water, once you have all the flesh removed by knife, place skull in water without submerging the pedicle but as close to the water as possible.

Drap some old towels, across the top of the skull and into the water so they soak up the hot water. I then poor the hot water of the top of the skull every 30 minutes.

Whenever you need to use a hose to rinse do you best to not get it on any of the antler, color comes off easy and will start to wash away what he put on there naturally.

I do not use a pressure washer, yes it's a pain and yes it takes longer, but the result is his antlers look the same as the day he hit the dirt.

I have found it does help to take a wire with a hook bent in and stir the brains on the first bath/boil, then keep checking them each time you pull the skull to remove more flesh.

Also, watch using too much oxiclean, it will make the skull flakey. I use Dawn for all fleshing, then once fleshed, new water and an 1/8 cup of oxi for no more than an hour.
 

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If you're wanting to keep the bark in the bases of his antlers like desertbird mentioned above it's best to tightly wrap Saran Wrap around the bases and tie it in place with string. I no longer boil/simmer my skulls but I macerate them to rot the flesh away in a bucket of water. It smells horrible and takes longer than boiling but the outcome is much better. When boiling the risk of damaging the nasal bones is very high. Oils are also usually left behind that will eventually surface and discolor the skull. Lots of people don't mind the oil or discoloration but I just like the clean white and oil free skull and maceration is the way to get it. When sealing them I use Paraloid B72. It mixes with Acetone and does a really good job of sealing the skull making it much easier to keep free of dust. I've got gator, bobcat, coyote, turkey, turtle, hog, and deer skulls that were done this way several years ago and they all still look great.
 

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Bloody Arrow = Happiness!
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Low heat....just enough to make a few small bubbles every now and then. Let it soak for 24 hours. Take it out and scrape the skin and meat off of it. Then strap it to a tree and hit it with the pressure washer. Get every bit of meat and brains off of it. Then bleach or not. Its up to you.
 

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