How to Remove a Horn From a Buffalo Skull


Buffalo horns have traditionally been used as decoration as well as to create powder horns and similar containers. Though the harvesting of new buffalo horns is often not possible due to legal considerations, horns can be removed from existing buffalo skulls with relatively little effort. It should take approximately two hours to remove a horn from a buffalo skull.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Stock pot (large enough for section of skull where horn connects to be immersed in boiling water)
  • Soft wire brush
  • Rough-grit sandpaper
  • Clean the skull completely. This can be done by skinning the skull and removing any excess meat from it, if the skull was not cleaned previously. Place it into a container with beetles or other insects commonly used by taxidermists for this purpose. If the skull has already had the skin and meat removed, simply clean it with water and a soft wire brush to remove any dirt or debris.

  • Place the tip of your screwdriver at the edge where the horn meets the skull. Tap the screwdriver several times with the hammer, just enough to wedge the tip between the skull and the horn. Repeat this around the entire circumference of the horn.

  • Boil water in your stock pot and place the skull and horn into it. The water level should be high enough that the horn is submerged completely, as is the portion of the skull that it connects to. Allow it to boil for one hour.

  • Remove the skull and horn from the water. While still hot, place the screwdriver in the gap you previously created and tap a few times with the hammer to wedge it firmly between the skull and the horn. Use the screwdriver to begin prying the horn free from the skull; reposition the screwdriver and repeat this process around the circumference of the horn until it is free from the skull.

  • Use a rough-grit sandpaper to smooth the horn as needed once it has been removed from the skull.


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