Cleaning Skulls for an Elk European Mount
Whether you were lucky enough to tag out on your first bull elk ever or your 10th trophy elk, there’s no denying that those antlers seem to captivate us. There’s something about the unusual symmetry and glistening white tips that just amazes us. But if you want to display them, you might have a problem. Full elk shoulder mounts come with a large price tag and they take up a lot of space on a wall. So the next best option is doing your own elk European mount. European mounts are beautiful in their own way, offer a simpler looking design that doesn’t occupy a whole wall, and they don’t cost a fraction of a full mount. And if you’re looking for elk mounts for low ceilings, this is also the way to go. So if you’re wondering how to do a European elk mount, here’s what you need to know.
How to Clean an Elk Skull
This process is very similar to cleaning a deer skull since they are in the same family. You’ll first need to skin the head and remove as much of the muscle tissue as possible. Keep the knife blade flat against the skull as much as you can so that you don’t score the skull, which will show up in the final elk European mount. To remove the eyeballs, grab them firmly with a set of pliers and cut around the eye socket to free it up a bit. Pull it further out and cut behind the back side to remove it. On the bottom jaw of the skull, use your knife to cut a V-shaped wedge so that you can remove the tongue and most of the esophageal tissue. Then clean up the sides along the jaw bones and any muscle tissue on the top of the head. Once the skull is fairly cleaned up, it is ready for the next step.
Though there are technically a few options you could try at home to make your elk European mount, the best option might be hard for you to do. You’ve probably heard it by now, but dermestid beetles are the best way to clean a skull. They efficiently remove every little scrap of meat from the smallest nooks and crannies, all without weakening the bone structure (like boiling or chemicals do). But keeping your own colony of beetles is a full time job and might take a little too much persuasion and brownie points for your significant other. Instead, ship the skull to Beetle Juice Skull Works, where we have all the beetle colonies ready to go. Our skull cleaning services will completely clean the skull, degrease it, and whiten it for you. See here for our skull cleaning prices.
Elk Skull Mount Options
Now that you’ve got your skull back, it’s time to actually make your elk European mount look great up on the wall. You could simply hang the skull on a piece of wire attached to a screw in the wall, get a skull wall hanger, or you could buy a European elk mount kit at the store. Some people prefer to get an elk European mount plaque for their trophy elk mounts, which definitely spruces it up a bit. Depending on what color/shade the antlers are, various types of wood plaques look better together. We can do the plaque for you as well if you wish.
That’s all there is to it. With a little knife work, some patience while the beetles do their job, and some creativity in how you display it, your elk European mount will look fantastic.