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default Welcome

Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 10th November 2009, 5:41 pm

Welcome one welcome all to the home for dead animals.

In honour of the opening of the new forum we have whole herds of beasts large and small to dispatch, dismantle and turn into a flavoursome feast.

So come one, come all, grab yourself a gun and a sharp knife, blast something into oblivion and get stuck in. We have moose, bear and giant beef steers for the hungry and adventurous and dormice from international waters for the more timid beginners and calorie conscious.
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Post by chickenofthewoods on 10th November 2009, 9:26 pm

I found a young fox yesterday (a hit and run victim, sadly) & I'm tempted to snaffle it so that I can use the skull and possibly the pelt when we're working with kids at bushcraft meets. Any suggestions about the best way to tackle the job?
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 10th November 2009, 9:58 pm

The snaffling or the pelt curing?
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Post by chickenofthewoods on 10th November 2009, 10:16 pm

Razz Facetious boy.

What do you reckon about the skinning and removal of the head? If i do it I'll probably freeze the pelt till I can deal with it properly and maybe bury the skull or pop it up onto the shed roof (somewhere out of harm's way) to decay naturally till I can get it sufficiently stripped to clean up.
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default cleaning the bones

Post by Mike on 11th November 2009, 1:16 pm

To clean bones of a specimen, especially fine bones, the "professional" method uses insects. I don't know your local species that are best for the purpose but a book on preparing specimen skeletons should tell you (and then you probbaly need an insect book to find them). But while not necessarily the very best for the job, ants should be able to get the skull reasonably clean and an ant colony not hard to find.

Our own report? Yesterday got a close up of a young buck with a small but decent rack. By close up I mean a few meters. This morning we have trapped a critter as the small "Have a Heart" is rattling. I won't know which species of "mouse" until I've driven the trap a few miles away and opened it up. Yes I know, very unlikely to survive since all territories occupied but it has a chance. With our mice you have to take them over 3 km away or they'll make it back "home".

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Post by chickenofthewoods on 11th November 2009, 7:20 pm

Thanks for that advice Mike, that's very useful. Initially I did consider maybe putting the skull into our compost heap where I know many creatures are likely to be so that they could start the process. I'll have a scout round the veg plot for an ant nest.
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 11th November 2009, 8:19 pm

I usually just simmer skulls to clean them. Never tried a fox though so don't know how fragile it might be. I would suggest scraping the pelt as much as poss before freezing it.

I might do a proper photo-tutorial on curing skins. We have a mega bunnyathon planned in a few weeks, and I am also off on a hunting trip in Slovakia in the interim - we shall see what that yields...
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Post by chickenofthewoods on 11th November 2009, 8:27 pm

It crossed my mind to try that but I think himself would baulk at the prospect, so I'm going for the soft option of letting nature and the wrigglies do their stuff. Slower admittedly, but then I'm in no rush.

I'd certainly be interested to see any tutorial you might come up with. What sort of stuff do you anticipate getting in Slovakia?

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 11th November 2009, 9:18 pm

And the one-legged jockey said....

Deer, elk, boar, wild geese mainly. Brown bears are excluded from the European protected species list in Slovakia but I have no desire to kill Mr Bruin. Unless of course we bump into one another and he decides he would like to kill me. In which case we could do a pretty epic pelt-curing tutorial... Very Happy
mmm, nice big furry bedcover. Probably a great skull as well. And bear steak marinated in buttermilk... mmmmmm

Of course most hunting trips in Slovakia start with a bottle of Slivovitz at 6AM so the likelihood is that we will be lucky to coming away without having shot ourselves or each other, much less any animals.

Am just trying to imagine the customs officer opening my suitcase to find a bearskull grinning up at him... might try to fob it off as Leo's teddy.
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Post by chickenofthewoods on 11th November 2009, 9:45 pm

Laughing

Getting all of those in your handluggage will be interesting. Doesn't pretty much any activity in Slovakia start (and end) with a bottle of Slivovitz?

Happy hunting!

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Post by GB on 14th November 2009, 11:42 pm

Meal worms! The larva are tops at cleaning bones Cool and every pet store has them. You have to do the first bit yourself, take out as much meat as you can - tongue, brains, cheaks and eyes - and then snuggle the part cleaned skull into a plastic tub of bran and worms. They will just work away and HEY PRESTO, clean skull Very Happy

I usually boil skulls too but having only done pigs skulls and one grouper by acsedent, dont know how a fox would hold up. If you go that rout, just simmer VERY GENTLY till the meat falls from bones, no pre cleaning needed so much nicer to try.

And yep, scrape what you can off the skin and then freeze it till you can work up the energy to tan it. That way you come to it all calm instead of "OMG that has to be sorted NOW!!!"

I am trying to summon up funds for 2 or 3 have a heart traps for squirels. Not to rehome them, I hasten to add, but to trap and bash for dinner Laughing lots of them around here but its not a shootable area.

At one time in my misspent youth I raised long haired mice. Did you know that mice will eat each other? Neither did I 🤢 but as they leave the skins behind I started tanning them for my mums doll house. They made GREAT bed throws Laughing

And I have already told hubby I want an Alasken hunting trip for our 15th wedding aniversary. By then I will have actually gotten some proper hunting behind me and really want that bear skin throw for the bed. Is the meat really nice Billy? It sounds lovely but have never had someone to ask.
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Post by chickenofthewoods on 14th November 2009, 11:58 pm

Awww... GB it's so lovely to have you here!

Thanks for the advice, I hadn't thought about mealworms and they'll be very easy for me to get hold of. After spending the afternoon skinning poor Vixen it became apparent that her skull is at the very least fractured, possibly worse. I'll continue prepping it tho' as it's useful practice for other stuff (I also have a mole in the freezer awaiting my attention). Anyway, the pelt is now stretched out and on the way to being scraped clear of the remaining fat and flesh. Got any ideas about the simplest way to tan it though? I've taken it as intact as possible so her paws, head, tail and ears are still there and I'd like to keep her fur in as good condition as possible if I can.

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Post by GB on 15th November 2009, 12:23 am

chickenofthewoods wrote:Awww... GB it's so lovely to have you here!

Thanks for the advice, I hadn't thought about mealworms and they'll be very easy for me to get hold of. After spending the afternoon skinning poor Vixen it became apparent that her skull is at the very least fractured, possibly worse. I'll continue prepping it tho' as it's useful practice for other stuff (I also have a mole in the freezer awaiting my attention). Anyway, the pelt is now stretched out and on the way to being scraped clear of the remaining fat and flesh. Got any ideas about the simplest way to tan it though? I've taken it as intact as possible so her paws, head, tail and ears are still there and I'd like to keep her fur in as good condition as possible if I can.

Its lovely to be here Chicky Wink

I use to use mealworms for little lizard bodies, they work really well but you have to watch em close or they will eat teh entire thing, bones and all Laughing

The skin, hmmmmmmm, I have only bummbled my way through skins but I started with stretching them, salting them well, soaking for a bit in REALLY STRONG TEA and then working well with a nice hand cream (Mum was LESS than impressed at my using her hand cream Embarassed ) till soft and supple.

I KNOW that thats NOT how its done but it seemed to work, the skins I still have are a tad stiff but still fresh smelling and have all their hair. It was before the internet so I kinda made it up as I went along.

Now though? I would probably google it, take anything read with a grain of salt and try a few hunting forums and then mix and match the info and bummble my way through Laughing

The second pig skull I did was GREAT for forensics, she had had a broken jaw that hadnt healed right so it was all spongy looking. The break went into her upper cheek and had deformed her teeth so was probably in rather extreme pain most of her last year or two but was a MOST interesting skull.

I didnt know my dog could eat an entire pigs skull Evil or Very Mad

Have I mentioned my dislike of dogs lately? Laughing
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Post by GB on 15th November 2009, 12:51 am

http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_l/l-103.pdf

I havnt had time to read it but from a quick scan it looks promising Very Happy
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Post by chickenofthewoods on 15th November 2009, 8:40 am

Morning! I rather like the sound of your improvised technique! I had briefly considered brain tanning but somehow couldn't quite bring myself to that, at least not this time around. Anyway. I have some more scraping to do today so I'll have a read through your link and see what inspiration it brings.

Your dog ate a whole pig skull? So far the worst my wee hairy beastie has managed is to scarf an massive chunk of salted belly pork that was soaking in a bucket. Made himself really ill too, daft dog. Rolling Eyes

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Post by chickenofthewoods on 15th November 2009, 8:49 am

Great, I already have borax, salt and soda in the house. Now All I need is to find some alum.

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 15th November 2009, 9:18 am

I'm really intrigued by the brain-tanning technique. Gotta give it a try.
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Post by Compostwoman on 15th November 2009, 9:36 am

It smells de-gusting..as Compostgirl was wont to say when younger..

seriously , it is vile...on a scale of vileness, it exceeds maximum vileness by a very long way...

trust me, your barrel of dried pigs blood would be sweet nectar compared to brain tanning... Very Happy

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 15th November 2009, 9:54 am

CW, you had me at de-gusting.

Definitely gotta give it a try now.

I just found a bag of frozen brains in the freezer just now while hoiking out a roasting joint for tomorrow. Although them's eating brains not tanning brains.

I went past a tanning salon the other day. I wonder If I could just take some uncured pelts in there and get them to do it for me?
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Post by Compostwoman on 15th November 2009, 10:25 am

crylaugh

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Post by chickenofthewoods on 15th November 2009, 12:52 pm

Brain tanning would probably kinder on the skin than anything they currently offer.

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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 15th November 2009, 1:10 pm

I suspect their usual clientele might be the exceptions to the rule that every creature has a brain large enough to tan its own hide, though.

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Post by GB on 15th November 2009, 2:00 pm

Wilhelm Von Rhomboid wrote:I suspect their usual clientele might be the exceptions to the rule that every creature has a brain large enough to tan its own hide, though.

Surely thats "Enough brains to PRESERVE its own hide?"

Laughing

I wondered about trying the brain method but gave up when I read putrid brains Shocked Now, thats just NOT a pleasant thought!
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Post by Wilhelm Von Rhomboid on 15th November 2009, 2:48 pm

GB wrote:
Wilhelm Von Rhomboid wrote:I suspect their usual clientele might be the exceptions to the rule that every creature has a brain large enough to tan its own hide, though.

Surely thats "Enough brains to PRESERVE its own hide?"

Laughing


No-one with the brains to preserve their own hide would be in a tanning salon.

Although back in the day I tanned the hides of a few... actually, let's not go there.

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Post by GB on 15th November 2009, 2:55 pm

Laughing perhaps not Laughing
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