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tot13
11-23-2007, 05:58 PM
Have any of you worked with real animal bones? I had the opportunity to take possession of a deer carcass Wednesday. I've begun cleaning it and wonder if any of you have tried this before and have any suggestions.

Also, at some point in this cleaning process, the bones are probably going to get separated. What do you suggest I use to re-attach the bones?

ClusterOne
11-24-2007, 10:36 AM
If memory serves, during the Frozen Tundra haunt tour I saw a real animal carcass (deer?) at The Burial Chamber. You might try to get in contact with Matt out there, he might know.

-Joel-

Tattoo
11-24-2007, 10:47 AM
We have tons of deer skulls and skeletons at Terror on the Fox (we get them donated from local deer farms, New Zealand Red Deer which are bigger than white tail Deer)

We have a lot of big ant hills in northern Wisconsin, we like to let the ants do the work. We use a lot of loose bones and skulls but have also wired them back together by drilling small pilot holes through the bone and then wiring from that point.

Gore Galore
11-24-2007, 11:06 AM
We have also dealt with tons of Animal skeletons.
I like to treat all the bones individually with fiberglass resin. This makes them very strong and they will last forever this way.
Then we weld a base with a couple support rods onto a rod the same shape as the spine that extends into the head for support and suspend it this way. Then it is easy to just wire all the other parts to the spine.
It is very secure and safe and will most definetely last a very long time.

tot13
11-24-2007, 11:28 AM
Thanks for the replys.

Tattoo, my mom actually suggested the ant beds also. Between the dogs, coyotes, and bobcats, I was afraid I'd lose the skeletons if I tried the ant beds.

Doug Kelley
11-24-2007, 02:25 PM
London's natural history museum uses beetles to clean a skeleton and I believe the Smithsonian does likewise:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3597928.stm

Greg Chrise
11-24-2007, 04:16 PM
I was given a wonderful rare African ram head that had the twisty straight horns. I had no idea what to do with the meat so I buried it figuring I would just get it out in a few months. The dogs dug down the two feet and moved all the rocks and had a feast. Nothing left.

I have heard putting them in a bucket of Bleach but, could just imagine how rank the mixture needing to be gotten rid of would be, plus most good things are bigger than say a 5 gallon bucket.

tot13
11-24-2007, 04:28 PM
I was given a wonderful rare African ram head that had the twisty straight horns. I had no idea what to do with the meat so I buried it figuring I would just get it out in a few months. The dogs dug down the two feet and moved all the rocks and had a feast. Nothing left.

I have heard putting them in a bucket of Bleach but, could just imagine how rank the mixture needing to be gotten rid of would be, plus most good things are bigger than say a 5 gallon bucket.


This deer carcass is not that large,but it is too big for a 5 gallon bucket. I feel like I need to get this cleaned up quickly and I don't have the time to order supplies.

There isn't too much flesh left on it (rib-cage, backbone, both front legs). I know I can get muriatic acid from Lowe's and was considering trying that in a spray bottle (probably a very bad idea) or just painting it on. Muriatic acid has not been among the suggestions from those with more experience than me, so it may be too corrosive.

I've let it be known that I'll take all the deer and wild pig/boar carcasses around so hopefully I'll have enough trial and error materials. I hate to hear about what happened to your ram's head.

Any thoughts about the muriatic acid?

Jim Warfield
11-24-2007, 06:20 PM
I was given a cow skull from the high plains of California. A few months later this really bad smell began hanging around my spooky kitchen once and awhile?
Some brain tissue had come alive in the skull and had something to tell me,

"I am rotting NOW! So suck my aroma up yours!"

Wasn't the flesh eating beetles in a Mummy movie or something?
Maybe one of those CSI shows?
?????
This is one of those things thart will really bug me! hahahah!
I hope they don't file into my bedroom when I'm asleep and treat themselves to a late-night snack.

Tattoo
11-24-2007, 06:37 PM
If you choose to go the route of the ant hills take a piece of chain linked fence and place it over the carcass and put weights on it to keep any potential "big" predators off of your new prop.

Hope this helps, I am sure there are methods with chemicals and bleach etc.

You just can't beat the natural look of nature sometimes!

Happy Holidays!

tot13
11-24-2007, 06:51 PM
If you choose to go the route of the ant hills take a piece of chain linked fence and place it over the carcass and put weights on it to keep any potential "big" predators off of your new prop.

Hope this helps, I am sure there are methods with chemicals and bleach etc.

You just can't beat the natural look of nature sometimes!

Happy Holidays!

Excellent suggestion, Tattoo! Thanks!

Greg Chrise
11-24-2007, 08:20 PM
I think acid will just make it jump up and start bitching and take out a little of all of your mucuss menbranes. It will turn everything into acid stain and the color of the meat is what you will get. Hence white is better to begin with then use stains if you want that are poly something instead of organic death.

Maybe there is a taxadermy dude near you with a vat of some fun chemical?

tot13
11-24-2007, 10:57 PM
I think acid will just make it jump up and start bitching and take out a little of all of your mucuss menbranes. It will turn everything into acid stain and the color of the meat is what you will get. Hence white is better to begin with then use stains if you want that are poly something instead of organic death.

Maybe there is a taxadermy dude near you with a vat of some fun chemical?

Good point about the staining; I had not considered that. I wanted an alternative to the acid as I was afraid an "uh-oh" might be for keeps. I already have the piece of fence that Tattoo suggested as well as a big ant bed. I think I'll get that started tomorrow, although we're expecting rain here.

Scareview
11-25-2007, 06:28 AM
The quickiest way is to build a fire under a 50 gallon drum. Boil it for 3 to 4 hours and then use a high pressure washer with a bleaching agent. Place the bones on a piece of tin and let it sun dry for a couple of days.

Greg Chrise
11-25-2007, 10:44 AM
Carnage at the Car Wash. Be sure to really screw up the foam brush and choose the tire cleaning selection. Eeewww

tot13
11-25-2007, 10:52 AM
Carnage at the Car Wash. Be sure to really screw up the foam brush and choose the tire cleaning selection. Eeewww


LOL. I just finshed burying it in an antbed. It looks like a junkyard with all the stuff I've piled around it to keep the animals away from it.

Jim Warfield
11-25-2007, 01:37 PM
My junkyard provides a home to many critters and creatures, too many sometimes.
I put up a sign warning customers not to pet or hug the animals (You have not been properly introduced!)
Besides that it may be mateing season!

BurialChamber
02-21-2008, 06:47 PM
I see I'm a little late on the discussion, but the best way that I found to keep the animals looking great and holding the bones together is to let the sun beat on the carcass for a couple of weeks or more. The beauty of that process is that the muscles and ligaments stay attached. I would recommend putting some loose plastic to cover and protect it. I typically just put it in a thin plastic bag. The goal is to turn the whole body into jerky. Make sure you gut it first though.

Once you get it into the bag, just throw it on top of your roof and let it bake up there. The strong odor goes away after about a month. Then it just smells like a wet dog....which is always a nice touch.