Taxidermists all over the country are in a constant battle with time. During hunting seasons, trophies come in the door every day and need to be prepped and preserved prior to decay. During these seasons, it is difficult to deal with the handful of customers who want to have skulls processed and mounted as a European skull mount.
Because dealing with animal hides that need to be preserved and sent to the tannery are time sensitive, many times skull mount clients’ trophies are put in the freezer until later. Some taxidermists do not even process skull mounts because they do not have time and can’t handle the distraction. Using a wholesale service like Bare Bones Inc. allows taxidermists to use their time and skills on the art of taxidermy while still providing quality skull mounts to their clients who want them.
How to choose a wholesale skull cleaning shop
When choosing a taxidermy supplier, there are a few factors that are important to consider. The supreme consideration is the quality of work. As a taxidermist, when you entrust your client’s trophy to another processor, it is important to be sure that the work they will do is of the same high quality as your own work. Qualification of a quality mount is up to the taxidermist, but here are our suggestions for standards:
- Is the finished skull uniform in color?
- Many processors do not degrease adequately, and can leave yellow, brown and orange stains throughout the skull
- While all skulls may not whiten perfectly, generally a uniform coloration is achievable
- Are bones and teeth intact and attached correctly?
- In animals like black bear, raccoons, and even whitetail deer, certain processing methods can break down or disintegrate bone structure and can even destroy fine bones like the nasal bones of a black bear.
- Degreasing causes many teeth to fall out. It is important to be sure your processor reattaches the teeth, and that they do it in the correct placement.
- Some processing methods also are prone to cracking and breaking teeth when they get too hot.
- How is the skull preserved?
- Some methods of preservation change the look of the skull by adding a lot of shine, yellowing, or creating blotchy whitish spots from the products used.
In addition to the quality of work, communication is an important factor. When your customer calls wondering about his skull mount, it is important that you can get timely answers from your processor.
The final factor is profitability. Can you still make a profit if you use a processor for skull mounts? The answer is different for each taxidermist, but is a very important consideration. It is not unusual to fail to consider the value of our own time. If you can find a skull processor who will communicate well with you, provides quality work that you are happy to put your name on, and you can spend your time on the art of taxidermy while making some money on the skull mounts, you have a winning combination.
At Bare Bones Inc. our goal is to support taxidermists with quality work they are proud to promote so that they can be more profitable and focus on their art. We use Dermestid Beetles to remove the flesh from all bone structures while leaving fine bones intact. We never boil or simmer skulls in order to preserve the bones and teeth of our client’s trophies.
We employ an extensive degreasing process that gently removes grease from bone structures without degrading the structural integrity of bones. After degreasing and whitening, we use a museum grade thermoplastic dissolved in acetone and alcohol to completely saturate the bone structure of a mount and preserve it while leaving it with the look and feel of the natural bone. We learned this process as a part of museum restoration projects and use it today in all mounts to protect them perfectly every time.