This style of skull mounting is an alternative to the bare-bones-rack or the full-blown-mount. It is not overly difficult to do, nor is it expensive. All of the materials required can be purchased in your local Wal-Mart. You might be taken for a red-neck (or worse) for considering this project in full view of your neighbours. However, considering that you are this far into it…you probably are a red-neck and don’t really care about what your neighbours will think. The pictures pretty much explain the whole process…things you will need:
Filet knife/skinning knife
Pot, can or barrel to cook the head in
Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (an excellent degreaser/cartilage separator)
High Pressure Water Hose
Pieces of 12/14 gauge bare copper wire
Sever the vertebrae from the head, skin and clean off as much meat as you can. No need to remove the brain or eyes as these will cook out/spray out…get rid of the tongue though.
A moose head will require a large cooking vessel. Notice the cut outs in the sides of the garbage can. Fill the can/pan/pot with water, add plenty of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda and turn on the fire. I used a cast iron camp-type, propane stove. This unit easily boils a garbage can full of water. I have also used the barbecue/fire pit you see in the background of picture number 3 (I boiled a deer head indoors one time…not recommended if your wife is home). I made the cut-outs because I inserted the head vertically into the can. The antlers seat themselves into the cut-outs, below the level of the top of the can, enabling me to put the lid on top. To avoid bleaching out the antlers I wrapped the bases with tin-foil.
Once the head is in, cover up the can, bring to a boil and let simmer for 3 hours. Replenish with water and Arm & Hammer Washing Soda periodically. Simmering too hot or too long may weaken or fracture the skull. Apply only enough heat to keep it simmering!
If you value the teeth, do not throw out the water until after you have checked that all teeth are still in the skull. After pulling the head out of the water, you can easily remove the lower jaws by hand. If you want to keep the front teeth on the lower jaws remove any loose ones prior to spraying. Use a high pressure water sprayer to blast away any flesh still clinging to the skull. Flush the brain cavity completely out; the brain should break up and come out in chunks. The final product should be completely free of any flesh, sporting a bleached skull and antlers in their original stained state.
There will be some stubborn klingons in the ear canal and other membrane holes in the skull. These can be cleaned up using the pieces of copper wire and the filet knife.
The skull in this photo was just sprayed, as you can see it is clean…after minor clean-up to remove some stubborn cartilage it is ready for mounting on a shield/plaque of your choice.