Wednesday, 28 October 2015

How to prepare a deer skull

I found a skull and backbone in the forest. The coyotes and/or coywolf took the lower jawbone. (You can see my daytime coyote video below. That is the only time I've seen them. The Trailcam picks them up frequently.) Coyotes can't take down a healthy deer, but we have a lot of roadkill, from which they harvest and haul pieces away.

 I put my skull and bones into the seed starter greenhouse, attached to the shed, for the summer. The bugs did their job, I covered it in leaves, and pretty much cleaned it off.

Next, Google 'cleaning a skull', then send hubby to the store for hydrogen peroxide! It's pretty inexpensive and a simple thing to do!
Normal people put seedlings in here,
I have the bugs process my bones!

I soaked it three times. It bubbles and froths. I used an old toothbrush and cleaned its teeth! You can see inside the skull where the fine bones support the nasal cartilage, and how complex their sense of smell and the system that supports it! There were still bits of matter in there.

Then I painted it with anti-rust spray paint, which works on metal, plastic, wood. It didn't go well with the 2nd coat on the top. Rubbed it off. Start again. I sprayed it with adhesive spray to let it have something to stick to. That worked.

Then more coats. Finally, after one coat of lacquer per day, for four days, sitting it outside in the sun on a sunny day, I tried it in water. It seems OK. I've put it into the fish tank and does it ever look cool!

I took it out after a week just to check it, and it smelled a bit like lacquer. OK. Probably not a good move. I took it over to my client yesterday afternoon. She quite enjoyed seeing it. She's a mother of 7 adult children, 19 grandchildren (she thinks!), and has coyotes, turkeys and deer on her farm. Nothing but snakes phase her!

Coyotes from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
I can't tell if we had 3 or 4 coyotes at 3:00 a.m.!


William Kendall said...

These animals must have good night vision, being out that time of night...makes you wonder when they sleep.

Regarding your question at my blog, I don't have pets, but one of the other apartments in the house I live in, the guy has a couple of cats, and they often come up in the evening to say hello.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
I have to say I worried a bit for your fishies at that thought of chemicals in their water! Though it does look suitably 'davey jones'... YAM xx

Red said...

Neat story on preparing a deer skull. Coyotes have some clever methods to bring down deer. They will run deer into a chain link fence so the the deer is injured or killed,

Mrs Shoes said...

Even though we live in the bush, there are tons of hunters around here not to mention I see live deer a couple of times a week at least, & when I'm on the trails I try to keep my eyes open, I rarely even come across shed antlers (let alone a skull).
Boy, the bugs really did a good job of cleaning it up; reminded me a bit of that place in VA (I think) called 'The Body Farm' where they study what happens to bodies left in various outdoor conditions over time.
The painted skull looks pretty cool in the tank - wonder what the fish think of it, do they swim right through it like some gruesome castle, or maybe they're too big to do that?
One fellow down the highway has a weather-bleached skull on every fencepost for at least 1/2 mile, but they look like cattle skulls to me.