Animal Bone Hunt, Without hurting anyone

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Silverheart98
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Animal Bone Hunt, Without hurting anyone

Post by Silverheart98 » Wed May 02, 2018 7:47 am

There are those hunters who shoot down animals, and that's how they get nice skulls. I do not support hunting though, even I see that sometimes it is nescessarily. But I would never hurt an animal on purpose. So there is differend way for me to get the bones. I bone hunt.

I already made a thread about shed antler hunting, and bone hunt is pretty much the same, exept I do not go out just to find bones. I find bones normally by accident; walking into carcass.

I own 8 skulls. First bone ever was a raccoondog jaw. But first skull of mine was raccoondogs, as well (name: Orion). But differend animals. (Not to be mixed with raccoon, they are differend species). I found it..I am pretty sure over 5 years ago. I was actually looking for mushrooms when I spotted something white and it was a skull. Second I got from my fathers friend, a gorgeus white tailed buck skull with antlers still on. (Name: Kaarle) The buck got killed by a lynx.

Then I found hare skull (name: Väiski). Soon following by blackbird skull ( Name: Yö = Night). Then I found my biggest found; a cow moose skull. Being around 50cm long, this girl was big. She got the name Bertha. After Bertha I got white tailed deers jaws; Miss Deerjaws. (Great name ik) Then I was successfull with finding white tailed doe skull, Cara. She is still in cleaning process. Then I found Rowen the fox skull just a week ago. Soon followed by very young white tailed does skull, Aspen. She is actually my ninth skull, but it's outside and won't be brought inside due to her growing moss already and I thought I wouldn't mess with her but still decited to bring her on our yard, where she can watch us.

My other finds are two roe deer jaws: Roots and Summer. Of course I have 6 shed antlers to top the bone pile x'3

I clean them all by myself. And I can give out some cleaning methods if you would want to read about it:

Cleaning should always start with boiling water. Depending on how meaty the skull is. Also; be careful while touching dead animals, they might have virus or bacteria. Use plastic gloves or if you doupt that the animal died because of illness, leave it. I prefer seeing bone before touching them. I don't deal with meaty skulls. Well, once I had brains in deer skull...that was worst thing I needed to clean, ever. But were there meat or not, don't skip boiling water. Did you then throw the skull in a pan and boil it, or then boil water and pour it over the skull (I do this, but I recommend boiling in a pan for several hours, I just can't do that yet, I don't have stuff enough for it). NOTE: If your skull has antlers, do NOT boil or wash them! They remain in better looks and colors if you leave them untouched.

After boiling water, brushes, knifes and more is your next step. If the skull has still meat, remove it. After that, give the skull a nice bubble bath in warm to hot water and brush it properly. This might take long times. Specially removing all the meat, you might get frustrated and want to keep a break and continue later. In bubble path, use differend sizes of brushes and don't save the strenght, but be careful on some parts not to break the skull. Clean outside and inside, don't forget brain chamber and nostrils. Do a good job, don't rush it.

Then comes disinfecting. There is several disifecting substances you can use for this. Choose your own, but be careful if it's strong one. Also you can use salt or vinegard. Salt helps you drying off meat inside places you might have not gotten into, it kills the bacteria and dries well. You can also use it to dry the skull anyway. It does good job when poured over the skull and left there for couple days. After that I have just brushed it off with dry brush.

Vinegard can be smelly, but does it's job as well, and is easy to get. It isn't too powerful, but works against mold and most smells.

Salt bath: Salt bath is not nescessarily, but is a cleaning method. It can help getting the fat off the skull, or just cleaning it better. Pour hot water and salt together, and put the bone/skull in. Leave it for a week, but check at times: if the water gets dirty, change it. I have used this only once, but it cleaned up some of the stuff pretty well. Just be careful not to over moist the skull.

To get the skull healthy as possible, you need to remove all rotting flesh and stop the decomposing. If there is anything left on the skull, you will notice by smell. Smelly skull is not a healthy skull. It means something still needs to be done. Was it more boiling, removing flesh, or the disinfecting is not done properly; don't leave it like that, clean it better.

Clean skull is pure bone, whitish yellow and you can't see any sings of meat. It doesn't smell, and it just is ready to be put somewhere nice where you can look at it. Skull should always be so clean that you don't have to worry about touching it.

There is also some ways of naturally getting rid of meat: Ants and maggots. If you find dead animal, wait 'til the skull is out, if you don't want to deal with all the meat, and brains. You can buy maggots that clean the skulls perfectly. If you use ants, leave it on an anthill, but be careful; ants eat the bone too! SO take it out when there isn't meat and don't leave it for too long.

Yes, if you decite to wait 'til the skull is clean before picking it up, it might mean someone gets to it first, animal or human. And I have lost many skulls that way, but I rather still take that risk than clean a meaty skull. Now, I think I wrote most of the stuff here, if you have questions I will gladly answe, or then just leave out a comment. You can also show me if you have bones, I will try to get photos online of mine. x3 I wouold gladly see or hear what you have got!
Last edited by Silverheart98 on Tue May 08, 2018 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Animal Bone Hunt, Without hurting anyone

Post by alethe » Wed May 02, 2018 11:03 am

very cool, but um. Where are you located? I ask because if you’re in the United States, Canada, or Russia, it is a federal crime to own any part of a native migratory bird. Black birds fall under that. In fact, all but three common species of birds (pigeons, starlings, and one other) do. You can get a huge fine for being in possession of a skull, feathers, or anything else.

That’s actually something worth noting on the first post. Even if you aren’t in the USA (no Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the UK) you should always check the laws as to what you can and can’t have.


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Re: Animal Bone Hunt, Without hurting anyone

Post by DaniBeez » Wed May 02, 2018 11:15 am

Thanks for sharing your knowledge Silverheart. The taxidermy.net forums are another great resource for skull cleaning techniques.

I bought all my skulls online, pre-cleaned. Some hunter I am :lol: ! Although they are from sustainable sources, such as the Inuit. Sometimes I degrease them further with Dawn dish soap, and then re-glue the teeth in with super glue.

I haven't come across any skulls in nature worth trying to save yet. Fish are too smelly!

Alethe makes a good point about non-native birds. Could put a note about that in the post, or a link to CITES or similar.
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Re: Animal Bone Hunt, Without hurting anyone

Post by Black Burn » Wed May 02, 2018 11:20 am

This is my place! I used to have a two 5 gallon buckets of animal bones that i found when hiking, I called it The Bone Bucket. Most of my bones were white tailed deer spinal bones and rabbit legs, with an occasional rodent scull and a few deer skulls. I once found a horse scull and ribs, but I had to leave them as they were on somebody else's property (they were letting us hike on their land). Also found a cow scull (that had horns). And at the moment theirs a white tailed deer buck scull that has the antlers on it still, sitting on the porch. Never thought of naming the bones though..



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Re: Animal Bone Hunt, Without hurting anyone

Post by alethe » Wed May 02, 2018 11:25 am

DaniBeez wrote:
Alethe makes a good point about non-native birds. Could put a note about that in the post, or a link to CITES or similar.
its actually not non-native birds that are protected, the native ones are. But CITES is another good thing to bring up. Especially if you’re buying something exotic like a leopard skull. Always ask the seller for their paperwork. If they can’t provide it, run away.

You can keep non native bird parts without a special permit, I believe, you just need the CITES paperwork if it was transported into the country at any time.


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Re: Animal Bone Hunt, Without hurting anyone

Post by Silverheart98 » Wed May 02, 2018 2:14 pm

Don't worry guys. All the bones I have are legal in my country. But good that you brought that up, I didnt know that they are illegal in other countries. x'3 also cool to hear about the bones you others have found!
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Re: Animal Bone Hunt, Without hurting anyone

Post by DaniBeez » Wed May 02, 2018 7:06 pm

Oops, I meant the native ones XD
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