A European style mount or skull mount is a great way to display and remember a successful hunt. There are many options for this type of mount which include nature scenes, wall mount plaques, desk or shelf mount plaques, or simply displaying a skull by itself. No matter how you choose to have your skull mounted, a skull mount offers you a unique and long-lasting way to preserve your memories.
What’s the Process?
Skull mounts, no matter what the technique used, all begin similarly. The hide and majority of the flesh of the animal are removed by hand, taking care not to harm the bones beneath the tissues. The eyeballs and the brains of larger animals are removed in order to expedite the cleaning process and reduce the smell produced.
Once the initial work is done, there are various methods to remove the remaining tissue from the bones of the skull. After all tissue has been removed, the remaining bone has many stains and is covered in grease. In order to produce a uniformly white finish for the skull, it is necessary to remove the grease and stains from the bone, while taking care not to damage the integrity of the skull. The degreasing and whitening processes to eliminate these stains can take a lot of time and effort, but pay great dividends in the finished product.
After the skull is completely degreased and whitened, there are various methods of preserving the bone. These include urethanes, acrylic sealers, and the use of museum grade thermoplastics that are dissolved and then used to saturate the bone. The method used for preservation and sealing will affect the longevity of your skull once exposed to various forms of light, dust, and the passage of time. There are many accepted methods for sealing and preserving, but their common goal is to make sure that your skull is protected and will last for years to come with the finish you want.
Our Methodology: Your Trophy. Your Story.
At Bare Bones, we believe that Dermestid beetles are the best option for cleaning a skull. The beetles get into every nook and cranny, and offer the safest environment for a trophy skull to be cleaned. We have also chosen our methods for degreasing, whitening, and preserving skulls with the least amount of harsh or caustic chemicals possible.
It is our goal to finish a skull perfectly, every time, in a manner that our customers will be proud to display. Some portions of our process, particularly our degreasing methods, can take much more time than other processors.
After the beetles are done cleaning the bone, we allow a mixture of warm water (120° F) and dish soap to penetrate the skull and slowly remove the grease. After a series of water changes when the skull is fully degreased, we use a low concentration of peroxide to whiten the skull, taking special care to protect the antlers. Once we are confident the skull is completely whitened we allow it to fully dry and then preserve it.
Unless otherwise requested, we use a museum quality preservative that penetrates and preserves the interior bones, as well as the exterior visible bones. Our preservative offers protection from UV rays and strengthens the bone. This method also prevents degrading over time. Depending on our customer’s wishes, various finishing options are available which include replacing missing teeth, leaving them natural, or a natural finish, either just out of the beetles or after degreasing without peroxide or sealing. It is extremely important to us to educate customers as to the process we use, and be sure that we are finishing their trophy in a manner that they will be proud to display.
We constantly evaluate our process and techniques to continue to offer a high level of customer service and quality work, while researching and testing new methods. Overall, we believe the steps we take offer the best long-term results for your trophy, providing a lifetime of enjoyment and memory of your successful hunt.