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#1 yotesniper

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 01:38 PM

Hi,I am new to the Tazidermy thing and would love to Bettle a Skull of a Coyote but i have never done this before and was wondering if you all had some pointers. 1. where do i get the Beetles? 2. What are the draw backs of using Beetles?

#2 CoyoteHuntress

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 02:09 PM

Buy beetles from a breeder... Make sure you only get beetles that are healthy and bug free.. Mites and such can wipe out your colony. Switch, on here, sell beetles. Be careful buying beetles on ebay.. As for drawbacks.... You have to keep them healthy, fed, and bug free. You cant just throw in some rotted carcas.. . If they get too hot they will fly, if they get too cold they wont work..So you do have to babysit them... Also if you intend on just doing ONE skull, dont waste your time.. Just send it out or macerate it...
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#3 yotesniper

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 02:15 PM

what is a ball park price to have someone do the skull for you?

#4 Soreloser

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 02:52 PM

$30 - $35
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#5 CoyoteHuntress

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 02:58 PM

40 to 55 Cleaned, degreased, whitened. And that is with a cleaned skull, meaning no eyes, brain or tongue. But if soreloser knows someone doing them for 30 to 35 See what that guy does.. Soreloser can you post the persons name?Also Sacramento Skull Works does cleaning, and so does another member named Scott but I forget his busines name.. Maybe he will see this and post...
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#6 Soreloser

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 09:09 PM

But if soreloser knows someone doing them for 30 to 35 See what that guy does.. Soreloser can you post the persons name?

Sure thing. His name is Tim Lewis aka SoreLoser...I would gladly do any Bobcat or Coyote for $35 that is skinned and ready to go, add $10 for any that aren't skinned and cleaned.
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#7 CoyoteHuntress

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 10:40 PM

ROFLMAO Okay I didnt realize you meant you LOL.... DO you whiten and everything? or just clean?
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#8 Soreloser

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 08:08 AM

clean, degrease and whiten.I started my own colony a couple of years ago with a purchase from Switch. I have always just done my own skulls or stuff for friends, but have just recently started to branch out a little and be willing to do a little more.
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#9 PredatorMaster

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 08:16 AM

(switch) has beetles. I got some from him in the past.

#10 yotesniper

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 08:27 AM

Guys, Thank you so muchi dont have a skull yet but am going to try like h#ll this weekend to get one. Tim if i nail one ill bring it over to BP and hook up with you. My name is Dale.

#11 Jeff

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 08:56 AM

Sacramento Skull Works! :DI've even got yote skulls for sale already cleaned if you aren't successful! Haha.Good luck though!!!!Another great source for healthy beetles if you ever wanted a startup colony is Ken at Kodiak.
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#12 Switch

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 10:09 AM

As has been mentioned, you have to be careful of the stock and where you get them. Soreloser has the beetles I have been raising and selling for over ten years. Keeping them clean and healthy, fed and happy are key. Prepping the skull is also an important step.Yotesniper, if you are only looking to get a few skulls done, I'd hit Tim (Soreloser) up on his offer...you can't beat that price and I've seen some of his skulls...good work. If you're looking to start a colony, drop me a line at the link below.My babies tackling a bobcat skull...they finished it in about 10-hours.Attached File  1.jpg   39.32KB   22 downloads

#13 Jeff

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 10:26 AM

Looking good!I've been to your website so many times Tim, didn't realize it was you! Made my brain blaster based off of your design.
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#14 Switch

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 10:47 AM

Jeff, where's my commission on the Brain Buster design. LOL.Yep, that's me. The Brain Buster has been a hot seller. This little business has been quite a ride. Here are some of the high high points so far.My beetles will be featured in the upcoming Hollywood movie. SALT, starring Angelina JolieMy business has been featured on the Korean version of Dirty Jobs.I was featured on the show, Destination Truth showing off the beetlesA video loop of my beetles at work are being featured at the Los Angeles Science CenterMy beetles have cleaned about a dozen B and C animals and handful of State recordsFor some reason I have received countless free advertising on TV, trapper magazines and outdoor newsletters...I still haven't figured out how.I have supplied beetles to museums, unniversities and hobbyist all over the country...crazy.

#15 yotesniper

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 11:57 AM

I would love to do this myself just as a pride thing. My ultimate goal is to build a clean skeleton of everything I harvest (kill). I don’t know enough about tanning hides and airbrushing and all that to really mount anything but I know I can make a bone white. If I started my own colony by buying clean beetles from one of you guys what are the hazards?I have heard that there is a smell……. I would take the time and get most of the meat off of the skull myself before I gave it the bugs to keep the rot down as much as I could. I have heard about mites…… How do the mites get introduced? If I buy clean bugs do they just appear, what can I do to prevent it? I have two box freezers in my garage that I can convert into a nice apartment complex for the bugs. But I just got to watch the smell as my wife does the laundry out there too. She would flip if it started to stink to high heaven.

#16 Soreloser

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 12:07 PM

The smell is only as bad as you let your beetles get. The more meat you clean off, the quicker the beetles will eat it and the less it will go bad and STINK...I also clean my tanks about every 6 months so that there is fresh paper in the bottom and not a bunch of decayed mess.To give you an idea, I keep both tanks of my beetles in my office in the house and you would not know they are even there.Other than that, SWITCH has all the answers.
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#17 Switch

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 12:17 PM

Yotesniper, not to plug my own deal...or maybe, that's exactly what I'm doing. Anyway, you bring up some good questions. These bugs are not difficult to raise, but there are some subtle things you need to be aware of. I have compiled years of questions and answers in the DVD's I provide on my site. These DVD's will take you from not knowing anything about culturing these animals, to giving you all the information to successfully clean and whiten skulls.Your questions:Mites frequently get introduced into your colony through poorly prepped skulls. You do not want to clean skulls that have been sitting out for weeks, have bits of skin on them or are decaying and dirty. And for God's sake, stay away from roadkill. You would be surprised how many people come back to me becasue they wanted, just once, to clean an animal they found on the road. Mites will kill a colony entirely in about 24-hours, if not less.You need to have adequate ventilation in your freezers. If there is any condensation in the colony, it'll cause excess moisture in the bedding and could cause mold...another bad deal for the beetles. The more ventilation you can provide them, the better.Once you prep a skull (take out the eyes, the tongue, the brain and any extra muscle meat) you need to dry it out. The beetles love drier, beef-jerky-like meat. Put the skull in front of a fan for several hours until you can hold it in your hands without feeling any wetness. Now it's ready for the beetles.Also, drying out the meat will greatly reduce the smell of the whole process.My collection of animals I've taken and cleaned with the beeltes.Attached File  Picture1.jpg   51.51KB   58 downloads

#18 CoyoteHuntress

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 12:43 PM

Hey Switch, Ive heard people say that you should freeze the skull first to kill off any bugs that might be on there.. Is that good or no? I thought of doing bugs at one point, cuz I have this huge fear of sending a clients trophy skull to be cleaned and then not getting it back...So I spent countless hours researching everything I could.. But I just cant get really into the whole build the condo, babysit them etc. What do you do if you want to go on vacation for two weeks? How do they stay alive?
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#19 Jeff

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 12:48 PM

You NEED to freeze the skull. It is a necessity.Tim, I should have said that my brain blaster was "loosely" designed after yours. Haha. I have made the $4 home depot version.
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#20 Switch

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 01:13 PM

Jeff, fair enough...if you built it right, it'll push that brain out in seconds.Rae, I have a very undertsanding neighbor that feeds and waters them for me when I'm gone. If you are away for a short time (3-4 days), it usually isn't an issue. They'll survive a while without food and a few days without water.As far as freezing the skulls, some do it, some don't. I freeze them to kill any large bugs that may be on it (maggots, ants, etc.), but it will not kill mites or mite eggs. I've had customers that thought freezing a roadkill skull would kill everything and end up killing their entire colony when they put the skull in. The best way to to receive a skull is freshly skinned and frozen. If the thing looks dirty or if it's been out for awhile, I pass on cleaning it.As far as babysitting, I have a huge number of taxidermists that get beetles from me during the fall season, use them, and then let them die off and come back the following season. They don't have time to care for them over the off season and just call me when they need bugs.

#21 Shoot-it

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 02:41 PM

You can do it the cheap way get a 5 gallon bucket of water and let it soak for over 2 weeks .It has been hot here and at 7 days it was clean just had nose cartilage and a little flesh on it.This might not work for some of you that live in apartments or in the city it does get smelly.




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