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How to Get Your Own Elk European Mount

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.

Unique Turkey Mounting Ideas and Skull Mounts

Turkey Skull Mounts and Mounting Options

When you think of mounting a turkey, you probably immediately think about tail fan mounts. That’s definitely the most common turkey mounting option. Another is full body turkey mounts for those exceptionally big or beautiful birds you luck out with. Both mounts are great ways to preserve a hunt, but there are plenty of other unique turkey mount ideas to add a little diversity to your home collection. So if you’re looking for a fresh idea this spring, consider trying turkey skull mounts or one of the other turkey mount options below. If your wall is filling up with the same old turkey fan mounts, one of these could be your new favorite idea!

How to Clean a Turkey Skull

If and when you kill a turkey this spring, you need to be a little careful how you prepare the skull to send it in for skull cleaning services. Since bird skulls are lightweight, hollow, and somewhat delicate, you do not want to break anything. That being said, cleaning bird skulls is not a hard task if you know what you’re doing.

Remove the head from the neck by making an incision between the skull and the last vertebra and then twisting the head to sever it. Make an incision under the skin from the beak all the way up over the head and peel the skin and feathers off each side of the skull. Keep the knife blade flat against the skull as you‘re peeling the skin around the eye sockets so you don’t nick them. Last, make a V-shaped cut along the underside of the jaw, which will almost free the tongue from the mouth so you can remove it. At that point, it is ready to send in for European skull cleaning.

Many people are confused about the best way to clean a skull. You might think you could just toss an animal skull into a pot of boiling water to clean it. While that would indeed remove the fat and flesh, that has several drawbacks. The boiling water leaches minerals from the turkey skull mounts, softens them, and it may also turn them yellow. Dermestid beetle skull cleaning is definitely the best method to clean bird bones, mostly because they’re so brittle and delicate. Skull cleaning beetles can easily and quickly clean a turkey skull without weakening the structure of the bone. Our skull cleaning business uses a process that starts with you sending the skull in for the beetle cleaning. After they‘ve been picked clean, the skulls are degreased to remove fats and oils present from the flesh. The time required for this degreasing process will vary from animal to animal. After drying for a few days, it’s whitened in a two-step process. If there are any off-colors or blemishes left after this method, we’ll whiten it again. At that point, you can also choose to have your turkey skull mounted on a wooden plaque, which brings you to several turkey skull mount ideas and options.

Turkey Skull Mounts and Other Ideas

As mentioned, there are many other interesting ways to display your turkey mounts. They can be displayed separately as standalone pieces or mounted to wooden plaques or displays. Similarly, you can obviously use any of the ideas below alone or in combination with other full body mounts or turkey fan mounts. If you feel wasteful about mounting only the tail fan and want to use and display more of your turkey, this is a great way to do that. If you already have several other existing turkey mounts in your house, you can also simply display these new additions alongside them. They’ll look great regardless of what route you take!

The most basic turkey mount idea here is to just display the turkey skull mounts by themselves. Turkey skulls are really interesting to look at with their numerous delicate bones and yellow beaks. The skulls can be displayed on a plaque or simply placed on a shelf. You can paint them various colors or dip them in camouflage patterns if that is a style you like. Plain skulls also look great when paired with other bones, feathers, or mounts too. For example, for turkeys with really long or wickedly curved spurs, you could showcase it in a turkey foot mount. This idea is really unique and is a conversation piece for sure. We clean these leg bones stand them up for display like the picture below.

If you’re mostly interested in turkey fan mount ideas, you’re really only limited by your imagination. Some hunters prefer to just display the tail fan itself, which is easy enough to do yourself at home, although it does take some elbow grease and time. Alternatively, you could display the tail fan and beard together on a plaque, which is what many people decide to do. But here’s where it can get a little more interesting. On top of the turkey tail mount plaques, you could also add the turkey skull mounts or portions of the leg bones with the spurs. You could even arrange the leg bones in a skull and crossbones style on top of the wooden plaque, which is a common waterfowl skull mount style that also looks good with turkeys. These options allow you to display more of a turkey than you normally might and are different from what the vast majority of hunters display.

If these turkey skull mounts and turkey mount pictures look interesting to you, keep them in mind for this spring. Turkey season is just around the corner now across most of the country. In just a few short weeks, you could be in the field with a gobbler down in front of you and you’ll definitely think of these mount ideas from Beetle Juice Skull Works in that moment!