Mathews Inc.
Bison horn removal?
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
DonVathome 09-Aug-22
DonVathome 09-Aug-22
Ucsdryder 09-Aug-22
smarba 09-Aug-22
JohnMC 09-Aug-22
DonVathome 09-Aug-22
DonVathome 09-Aug-22
ahunter76 09-Aug-22
smarba 09-Aug-22
cnelk 09-Aug-22
Smtn10PT 09-Aug-22
keepemsharp 09-Aug-22
smarba 09-Aug-22
DonVathome 10-Aug-22
wytex 10-Aug-22
jmiller 10-Aug-22
GFL 10-Aug-22
jwally91 10-Aug-22
DonVathome 14-Aug-22
jmiller 14-Aug-22
Mule Power 14-Aug-22
MathewsMan 14-Aug-22
From: DonVathome
09-Aug-22
Is there an easy way to remove bison horns without cutting in the field?

From: DonVathome
09-Aug-22
Also what is the value of a good cow bison cape? Depending on circumstances I might save the cape for someone.

From: Ucsdryder
09-Aug-22
A bison skull is awesome. Not sure why someone would want to remove just the horns?

From: smarba
09-Aug-22
No idea what you're asking. All horns (bison, sheep, even pronghorn or oryx) need to be rotted off the skull because there is live tissue underneath. Some you can hurry up by cooking or other methods, but there is risk of damage/discoloration to the horn.

If you want to Euro any horned animal you need to keep the entire skull, let it rot until you can slip the horns, then clean the skull and inside the horns. If you want just a skull plate display, cut off the plate, rot the horns off, then clean the skull plate and inside the horns.

As far as value of cow bison cape, I'd guess almost nobody taxidermy mounts a cow bison, but I could be wrong.

From: JohnMC
09-Aug-22
Not sure what you are asking about the horns either. But since you started another thread about euro Smarbs is correct.

I doubt anyone wants a cow for a cape. But I'd think there would be value in the hide for a rug or leather. If that worth is more or less than the cost of the tanning I don't know.

From: DonVathome
09-Aug-22
Thanks guys. I'm playing around with several ideas I already have a cow bison, trying to decide what I want to do with my next one if I'm lucky enough to get one.

From: DonVathome
09-Aug-22
I agree about a cow bison cape but other than size I think they might look alike? I'm only saying that because seven years ago when I had to study the difference between bulls and cows I don't remember anyone ever mentioning facial features.

From: ahunter76
09-Aug-22
My adult cow compared to a friends adult Bull is much smaller. A lot.

From: smarba
09-Aug-22
Agree ahunter76. I'd guess a mature bull is 30-50% bigger than mature cow. I don't think someone could pull off adding bull horns to a cow cape for which the bull cape was damaged. So a cow cape would only be useful for someone who wanted to taxidermy a cow but damaged the cape. Not worth the effort of trying to save if you don't want it yourself IMO.

From: cnelk
09-Aug-22
You have to sweat the horns off a bison. Put it in a large black contractor bag and let it set a few days.

After a couple/few days, start tugging. If they don’t pop, more sweat in bag is needed

From: Smtn10PT
09-Aug-22
boil the skull and whack the base of the horns with a 2x4 a few times, they will pop off.

From: keepemsharp
09-Aug-22
Could this thread apply to buffalo skulls?

From: smarba
09-Aug-22
Sweat/rot, same thing. All horned animals have live tissue in between the skull bone and the horn. It can sometimes dry out and end up OK, but it's prone to stink in humidity and prone to attracting bugs. Plenty of youtube vids on removing yourself. Rotting works much better with higher temps. But stinks a LOT even if wrapped in double contractor bags.

There are a few odd ones like muskox and cape buffalo with configurations that make it impossible to remove the horn, but bison, pronghorn and sheep can be removed with a little work.

From: DonVathome
10-Aug-22
I agree a cow bison is a LOT smaller then a bull. Smarba I remember tossing a set of ibex horns down small cliffs while decending with a rotten set of horns in the Florida's and having the horns pop off leaving a stinky base. Until then I didn't know that horns came off like that and had blood and flesh underneath.

From: wytex
10-Aug-22
Doing the regular euro process will remove cow bison horns, we have 3 of them. You do not have to let them rot off. Take you hide and get it tanned, it will be very nice from a Jan or so cow bison. Moyle does a great job and you could drive it over and not have to flesh it, processor might do that for you- flesh and salt.

From: jmiller
10-Aug-22
Another option for the hide is to have it tanned, hair off, for leather. Bison hide makes beautiful leather.

From: GFL
10-Aug-22
Same technique with antelope, bring to a low boil and pull them off. Let dry and fill with Borax.

From: jwally91
10-Aug-22
As others said- slip them, I've found that as the head simmers, place an old towel on the bases of the horns and pour hot water from the pot over it every 5 min or so. after 15 min take a fillet knife and start working between the horn and skull, careful not to cut the softened horn. work the knife blade all the way around the base of the horn cutting the skin away, pour hot water over again for however long it takes till they start to wiggle, should be able to pull or smack them with a rubber mallet. If they refuse to cooperate drill a hole in the back 1/4 or smaller where you wouldnt see and let hot water go in the hole, also less stinky than sweating off!

From: DonVathome
14-Aug-22
Thanks!

From: jmiller
14-Aug-22
Excellent information! I have a cow tag for the Lower Brule and hunting in late October, can't wait!

From: Mule Power
14-Aug-22
Did someone just ask if bison have anything to do with buffalo???

From: MathewsMan
14-Aug-22
The horns come off just like sheep or pronghorn. Sometimes the pop off with enough force if they tumble down a cliff or take a hard fall. Normally you need to boil or sweat them off.

I prefer beetles and send them to my buddy Brett at Southern Skull works and they come back all nice and finished- no smell or mess involved.

They make artificial skulls if you’re really not wanting to mess with it.

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