See cleaning page for the following topics:
Skull Prep
Ear Bone Removal
Removing Pronghorn Sheaths (Horns)
Pressure Spraying / Power Washing

This is where you “rot” the meat off your skull. Arguably this can be the most effective method, and is recommended by professionals. This is a preferred method for small skulls that can't be simmered or beetled due to delicate bones/tissues. Other pros: One: very little money/energy investment. Two: the bacteria naturally breaks down the grease and make it easier to produce white skull. In summer it can be done with a 5 gallon pail and a long distance from your house. In winter, it requires an insulated bucket (bubble wrap etc.) and a good aquarium heater (probably the best option) or bucket heater (could corrode and overheat and quit working) than can heat the water to 80 or 90 degrees. The head can be left in the water for a couple weeks until you can pull the head out and most or all the meat falls off. Some find it beneficial to dump out half the water after a week and re-fill, others don’t change the water. Watch that the end bones of the nose or teeth aren’t lost in the process. When it appears that sufficient meat has fallen from the skull, take a hose with good spray nozzle on the end, and spray it clean. If the skull won’t be in the house, then it isn’t as necessary to get every single little piece cleaned off (namely the back of the skull). Use rubber gloves due to the bacteria and nasty smell (it can even penetrate rubber gloves and will stick to your clothes). I handle nastiness and dead things very well. But when I temporarily use my degreasing tank as a rot tank, I gag at the smell beginning on day 3 and immediately regret macerating. 

For the elk in this picture, I was using my degreasing tank. Unfortunately the gunk burned onto my heating element and fried it for the first time in three years. It probably would have helped if I'd lowered the temp to 80 or 90 degees instead of leaving it at 120 (my normal degreasing temp) because then my element might not have burned up. The water was like a septic tank/sewer. Nasty. I couldn't stand it any longer and put it into my simmer pot. Since it was already partially decomposed, after 45 minutes I pulled and sprayed it off.

I may use macerating more in the future...and use aquarium heaters and a plain plastic tote that I could place away from my house to where the winds wouldn't carry the smell towards my house, next to a hole, so I could just tip the tote over when I was done. Placing some kind of drain at the bottom of the tote would be useful too, so as to minimize splashing the nastiness onto myself.

Website called skullsite with a lot of information about maceration. You can also do a search on

Blog post about aquarium heaters on

Make a free website with Yola