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Rocky Mountain Head Hunters
Dropped off a head to Matt last night for a beetle feast. I’ll post up some pictures when I get it back, and maybe a short story to go with it. Anyway, it was worth the trip just to see all the cool stuff in his shop! Matt showed me a bunch of different critters that had been brought in this year. It’s worth the trip to Fort Collins and based off the samples I saw of his work, I don’t think I’ll be boiling anymore heads!
Matt did my elk from 2017 and did an incredible job! I spent an hour with him when I picked mine up and had a great time seeing the process and touring the shop.
Matt does amazing work. He has done eight different heads for me, they all turned out great. Matt always has some interesting animals heads he is working on.
Matt's the best. Started using him several years ago when I shot a big bear and wanted the skull scored. Been taking him elk and antelope ever since.
Does amazing work. Love his passion and attention to detail. You won't find anyone better.
Matt did the new world record brown bear a couple years ago. Some of you guys probably saw it at the PnY Convention. If he gets world record stuff, you know he's good.
Ive known him for almost 20 years and does all my stuff
Got stephs bull back. I can’t express how much fun I have going to Matt’s shop and looking at all the cool stuff. Oh and check out what an amazing job he did!!!!
I’ll get a closeup of the skull. I wish I had gone the beetle route a long time ago.
Matt has done several for me, top notch!
Matt has done several for me, top notch!
I see that the nasal and upper palatal bones are separating and warping out of place.
Sometimes skulls get cleaned too well and the connective tissue between bone plates is lost. Might be worthwhile to glue some of the sutures in the correct place before they warp too much.
Walking buffalo, I’ve never seen a head that had zero splitting of the bone. If you’ve ever seen a boiled skull you’d agree this is significantly better. Please post up a euro with no separating. I’d like to see it.
Did they stain or darken the antlers or are they natural like that?
I tried boiling my first deer head this year, didn't go great. Then I stumbled upon some blogs and posts about "maceration".
Which is the controlled decomposition and putrificaiton of flesh off of bone via water.
Basically it involves submerging the skull(without hide) in water for a few weeks. Changing the water out every few days to replenish the aerobic bacteria. This causes the flesh, and everything to simply fall of the bone. It was a moderately disgusting process but highly effective. Certainly superior to boiling and talking to taxidermy people it's on par with the beetles, has advantages and disadvantages.
Currently my skull is flesh free and soaking in simple green and pine sol to degrease/desmell as much as it can since I boiled it in to start.
I looked into the beetles, very cool. I think if I ever get a really trophy worthy skull I may go the beetle route.
No he didn’t stain them. One of the pluses of beetles I guess. Still has the sap from the trees!
I had a very reputable taxi in Utah do a bull for me last year. He just boils but he did use some type of epoxy to strengthen around the nasal area. It seemed to work great and you couldn’t see it.
"Walking buffalo, I’ve never seen a head that had zero splitting of the bone. If you’ve ever seen a boiled skull you’d agree this is significantly better. Please post up a euro with no separating. I’d like to see it."
I agree. That's why I typically re-enforce the nasal and palate bones with white glue or an epoxy before they fully dry.
Tape the bones in place from the topside and around the circumference, glue from the bottom. Clean up any excess glue after it hardens.
I think Matt @ RMHH has it under control - since he does over 1000 heads a year
Check out these two bear skulls. One on right was done traditional boil and bleach. One on left was done by Matt with beetles. Look at the delicate bones in the nose cavity. Amazing difference.
Nice, and look at the joints on the left one - no gaps, and no erosion on the teeth sockets. Beetles are way better than boiling or bleach.
He did my sons buck last year. Great dude and great experience overall. I would definitely recommend him!
They look great bud, it's amazing how snow white they get, thanks for posting your photos!
Not the best photo, but Matt did a great job with this skull of mine. It was a rifle hunt, and a second “insurance” shot knocked the right 3rd point off, never to be found. Matt found a match, though, and fixed it ... and you’d never know. It looks great. People can’t guess which tine is “fake”
Another vote for Matt's work. A buddy recently brought over a skull boiled and bleached by a local taxidermist for roughly the same price as Matt would charge. The skull was still flaking, nasal bones were trashed, and it was sort of off-white, bordering on yellow in places. Everything Matt has done for me has been stellar. I quit doing my own boil-bleach since discovering him.