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How to Make a Mallard Skull European Mount


Photo by Jarren Vink

Here's how to turn a duck skull into a wall-hanger—or, at least, a rearview mirror-hanger.   

Cleaning Service
Flesh-eating dermestid beetles can clean a duck skull in a matter of days. Many museums and nature centers keep a colony or two of the insects, and a modest contribution—say, $25—can often earn you a spot in their beetle box. You'll first need to skin the upper legs and cut away most of the muscle, and skin the skull and cut out the tongue, but the bugs will do the rest. Another option: Ask a local taxidermist if you and your buddies can toss a few duck skulls and leg bones in with a load of deer skulls being prepped for European mounts. Tell the taxidermist there's no need to go through the degreasing process. You will do that yourself in the next step.

Grease Remover
Once the bones are back from the beetles, degrease them by soaking them in warm water and Dawn dishwashing detergent for a few hours. Rinse well. Dry in the sun. To further whiten the bones, soak them overnight in hydrogen peroxide and set in the sun to dry. Use small dabs of wood glue to strengthen any loose joints. Brush bleach on stubborn brown spots, or leave it natural. If you want, use yellow acrylic paint to color the bill.

Come Together
Cross the leg bones and use hot glue to hold them in place. Once it has dried, build up a few layers of glue in the concave underside of the bill for a flat base, then attach the crossed bones to the back of the skull with more glue. Finish the skull with a leather lanyard and, if you're lucky, a snazzy bird band to bling it up.

Comments (7)

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from Dangle wrote 17 weeks 2 hours ago

Looks like some Hollywood Rock Star, substance abuser's idea of something that would look good on the wall.

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from mayoaaron wrote 16 weeks 6 days ago

Dangle, did someone piss in your cheerios or has your wife cut you off?
I think it's a pretty cool idea

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from Mickey Summers wrote 16 weeks 6 days ago
from wittsec wrote 16 weeks 6 days ago

Sorry Mayoaaron, I'm gonna have to side with Dangle on this one. That think looks "unusual"

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from mayoaaron wrote 16 weeks 6 days ago

to each their own I guess, I think it looks kinda cool but I guess it's not something I would hang up in my house either

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from Dangle wrote 16 weeks 6 days ago

mayoaaron..You don't need to pass the pipe, you can have it all for yourself.

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from jusdane wrote 15 weeks 6 days ago

Dangle - ignore mayoaaron, he must not be happy unless he's attacking someone else's opinion. I agree with you, this thing looks ridiculous and I wouldn't consider hanging anywhere close to my summer cabin.

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from Dangle wrote 17 weeks 2 hours ago

Looks like some Hollywood Rock Star, substance abuser's idea of something that would look good on the wall.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mayoaaron wrote 16 weeks 6 days ago

Dangle, did someone piss in your cheerios or has your wife cut you off?
I think it's a pretty cool idea

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mickey Summers wrote 16 weeks 6 days ago
from wittsec wrote 16 weeks 6 days ago

Sorry Mayoaaron, I'm gonna have to side with Dangle on this one. That think looks "unusual"

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mayoaaron wrote 16 weeks 6 days ago

to each their own I guess, I think it looks kinda cool but I guess it's not something I would hang up in my house either

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 16 weeks 6 days ago

mayoaaron..You don't need to pass the pipe, you can have it all for yourself.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jusdane wrote 15 weeks 6 days ago

Dangle - ignore mayoaaron, he must not be happy unless he's attacking someone else's opinion. I agree with you, this thing looks ridiculous and I wouldn't consider hanging anywhere close to my summer cabin.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment