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Lightest weight saw to cap a skull?
What have you guys used? I've been carrying a gerber, but it's kind of heavy. Was wondering if a hacksaw blade with duct tape for a handle would work?
I'm sure it would work (eventually)...depends on how much time and effort you want to put into it.
Skull plate can be the most labor on the entire bull...I prefer something with an actual handle. Slickest and quickest way is to use a hatchet, but unless I'm close to the truck, that's not going to happen.
I’ve found the Gerber that slides back into the handle (not the folder) is the best compromise of effectiveness and weight. I did the blade and duct tape once… it was a $#it show…
I've sawed a couple dozen skulls and hundreds of branches with my Gerber hand saw and it's still going strong. It's lightweight and works fine for both functions.
I've resigned myself to using a WY saw for this. It's not too light, but it sure works well and packs down pretty nicely.
I would not want to cut an elk skull with a taped up hacksaw blade. Have done a couple with the Gerber folder. It works. The last 3 we've used the WY saw. Quick and easy. We leave it in camp. Somebody gets one, we carry it in for 2nd load and cap the skull.
Maybe I'm a glutten for punishment. I carry a gerber or similar saw and the Wyoming Saw. I've always used the Wyoming Saw on skulls, but I sure the other would work too. But using a taped up hacksaw blade to save weight wouldn't even enter my brain.
I use a cheap Corona from Lowes with a 10 inch curved blade. No idea what it weighs, but it's pretty light. And cheap enough I don't worry about breaking or losing
Ike, thanks! I just ordered one to test out!
Been using a Sawzall for a few years. Hard to beat. Previous used a Gerber a lot of years. One trick is skin the hide back from the skull where you will use the saw.
Ike-- I used to use them but had several break. I found them to not be very durable (and I wasn't breaking them by applying pressure on the push stroke, which is easy to do).
Like others, I've used a folding wood saw. Latest one is a Silky. Yes to skinning the cape back from the skull too. Don't get your fingers in the way of the Silky! Don't ask me how I know. And, electrical tape or duct tape can be used to stop bleeding!
I use one from wickedtree gear. At least I think that’s what it’s called. It’s been pretty good and easy to change from a wood blade to a bone blade.
I bought a silky gomboy for this purpose, and a lower tooth count blade for wooden logs/limbs. I have yet to use it for taking a skull cap but it's very light weight, seems well made and made quick work of a 2x4
Did a couple bulls with small gerber folding saws. Broke the blade on a bull and had to finish with a tiny Outdoor edge zip saw made for pelvic bones on whitetails. No fun. Last 4 bulls we have used the same larger blade Corona saw pictured. Much easier and not to heavy.
I've used this Gerber saw with teeth similar to a chainsaw and it works pretty well. It's very light too only a few ounces.
Buy a Buck Crosslok folder or PBS folding knife. It is a combo 3.25 knife blade and saw/gut hook. It works awesome.
Its the one in the center.
Outdoor Edge makes a nice light bone saw.
I didn't realize that many people skull capped elk. Seems like it's a lot easier, although heavier to pack, to just remove the skull at the atlas joint.
Bowfreak, we rarely haul the head out. We cut below eyes & behind back of rack & remove entire head, no need to keep skull unless you want a euro mount or a mount!
With CWD rules you can not legally transport head and bones across most state lines. Might as well cap the scull plate and antlers where it dies. Bone out the good and leave the bad! Unless you have the tools to boil the skull clean in camp.
For light weight? Cable saw. Hands down.
The handle folds in for storage and out for use
The handle folds in for storage and out for use
I've had good fortune with this one over the years and many, many different species of skull plates.
One side wood saw the other side meat saw-------->
Good luck, Robb
Joehunter… not necessarily true. If you clean it properly you can transport a skull. Remove all tissue including sinuses. More importantly clean out the brain cavity extremely well. That includes a stop at a car wash to pressure wash it (wear rain gear) and using a propane torch to completely burn out and dehydrate the inside. No LEO will blink an eye. They’d be happy to see such a good effort and thorough job. But the fact is that nobody will actually check. Of course we don’t ratchet strap them on top of the truck for the world to see either.
I’ve never used this Coghlans folding saw but It looks light. Says 1 pound. Ferber has a similar one that weighs 14oz but the blade is nearly half as long.
Skull cap with a cable saw, no thanks.They are tough
Totally agree with Habitat-- no chance I'm taking on an elk skull with a cable saw! You could get it done eventually, but it would sure suck.
I love Euros way too much to cut a skull cap
WY Saw is the only one I pack. Does everything I need plus more...
fisherick, would really enjoy seeing video of an elk skull being capped off with that 3.25" blade.
Usually I'm indecisive on whether I'll euro or shoulder mount. But either way, best route for me is cape out the skull, get it back to the truck or camp, then once the decision is made not to euro, I'll sawzall the thing.
I’ve sawed enough with my cross lock to know it’s not fun, but it will certainly do the job. It’s the handiest hunting knife I’ve seen/owned. I Frankensteined one together with the cabelas s30v blade.
It's easy to remove brain material and have a clean skull. If you are really concerned you can boil it out on for the ride home. Like Adam said though.....I love euros so I am not cutting the skull.
I drove this one home to Kentucky and had no issues. I had removed all of the brain material so it wouldn't have been an issue even if by chance I was stopped by a C.O.
This is near Kearney NE. If you look close in the background you can see the sign to "Paradise City." Unfortunately it seems they were no longer in business. I'm betting it would have been a great place to celebrate an elk kill. :)
Did this one with the saw Gil and Mike use above. The Gerber where the blade goes into the handle. Worked well for the task.