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Brains and borders?
For those who have done European mounts with your trophies, what is the best way to remove the brain while at camp without ruining the skull? I know USFW won't let brain matter come across the border. I have witnessed them sending a moose Hunter back to clean his moose skull.
I have used coat hangers with a "hook" bent on the end and also long handled medical forceps to dig the brain/eyes out of the skull.
A metal baby spoon works. Sorta hard to reach the deep stuff so you get what you can then use a stick, then use the spoon again.
Some people suggest using a DIY car wash. I tried that in NE once and not only did I end up soaking wet in 20 degree weather, but I was covered in brain chunks. Does double to wash hair off of your meat.
One time I just used my pocket knife to carve a single bevel point onto a 3/4 inch diameter stick and scooped it out.
I used a cheap "grabber" that I had bought many years ago to use around the house and garage.
Don't recall the name of it, but pretty sure they are still available at auto parts stores or through places like Harbor Freight, for cheap.
There are some that are similar with magnets on the end of a flexible cable, but the ones that are good brain removers are the ones with the springy flat wire "fingers" that open when the button on the T-handle is depressed against a spring.
They're not quick, but they can get to just about anywhere and retrieve just about anything. I always have at least one hanging near the workbench just to retrieve that aggravating nut or washer that falls into some crevice where I'd need to pull the engine to get my fingers to it. A couple inches of water in a bucket makes it a quicker job, allowing a quick rinse off for the working parts between grabs.
Rob in VT's Link
+1 Buff! Coat hanger with a pre-bent hook end and a hose with a nozel! I have one pre-bent hanger in my travel butcher/capping kit!
Russ, could you post a picture? Is it something like the attached link?
Thanks for the suggestions. Might have to keep a coat hanger handy as well.
. . .
I use a car wash pressure washer. Cleans it right up.
If you can get access to air pressure, you can blow it right out with a long tipped nozzle.Takes about 5 seconds.
My suggestion for a remote camp is to cut one third of the brain cavity with a bone saw. This will allow you to completely remove all brain matter. Then trim all tissue connected to the skull. After all tissue is removed, salt the whole skull. If you have a few days before you travel the salt will draw out the moisture and kill bacteria for transport.
The small missing portion of the skull will not effect the look of the skull mount. The advantage is it will provide a flat surface for mounting the skull to a wall mount.
This picture shows how I used electric conduit components to display the skull mount utilizing the brain cavity cut to fasten the mounting plate.
Here is a picture of the mount.
I take a hatchet or axe and chop a hole in the underside and dig it out.
The cleanings described above may not be enough to satisfy a good inspection. Also, no one knows how to kill the prion that causes CWD.
It's kind of a personal responsibility thing. Do you want to be the guy who started CWD in your area?
I'm with bb on this one. I lose more good wives that way tho....
I liked the idea of a coat hanger on a cordless drill. Scramble the brain on the inside and then rinse them out.
I generally try and scramble the brain prior to boiling with a stick or anything handy. Then when boiling is complete all the little "bits" are cooked and come out beautiful. Then when I run to the pressure washer (in full rain gear - not my favorite stuff) She's so clean it's good enough for a soup bowl ;)