Anyone else /vultureculture/?
Share your stories
Here's one of mine, it happened during my senior year of high school
>lived in wooded area before going to college
>lots of whitetail deer
>see something red in the woods
>it's a dead buck
>recently deceased, good condition, some scavengers had already starting picking at its butt but it was otherwise intact
>only apparent cause of death is red stuff around its mouth too bright to be blood, maybe it drank paint?
>2 of sisters friends were over, made them and sister help me carry this 200lb dead deer into my backyard in a place hidden from my parents and out of reach from my dogs
>neighbors looking at us weirdly
>deer is heavier than it looked
>walk to the house is about a quarter mile
>we get the buck into my yard
>i want to skin it to speed up decomposition so I can get to the bones
>don't have a hunting knife
>use exacto knife
>takes forever, don't get very far into the skin (hide is very thick) give up and decide to let it rot naturally
>spend like 2 hours sawing off one of the antlers with a hacksaw and give it to a friend who was into pagan stuff
>fast forward about 5 days
>decomposition is progressing nicely, but a huge amount of vultures are hanging out in the trees of my back yard
>mom is like "hey anon do you think there's something dead on our property?"
>tells me she's scared to look and doesn't check
>go forward another day
>groundskeeping crew arrives
>they're gonna see the deer
>check after they leave
>deer is gone
>mfw i worked so hard to drag this deer from the woods into my yard and spent hours with my hands inside of it and i didn't get anything out of it
I pulled it onto my property so it WOULDN'T disappear. I wanted to bury it or attempt cold water mastication (had a lake and dock) believe me, but even digging a shallow grave for something so big is a lot of work and there was no way to me to easily create a container for it so I could hang it off the dock.
Also you need a box to bury corpses in to make sure the bones don't get lost and I didn't have a deer sized box.
>stray cat befriends our family
>He killed a bird for us. My sister told me he also killed a baby rabbit as well but didn't tell me where it was. But at least I knew the whereabouts of the dead bird, it was right by my windowell.
>got to watch the process of decomposing bird. I was lucky that no scavengers got to it. Eventually it was all bones and I snuck it into my room.
>one day I walked on the side of the house and spotted something in the bushes
>I bring that inside as well
I'm not sure what I want to do with the bones yet. So far I think I might want to paint on them or possibly make little terrariums with fake plants.
Since my room is in the basement, often times mice fall into the windowsills. So I scavenge the skulls. The rest of the tiny bones are hard to find amongst the pebbles.
I've been scavenging since I was a kid and before I moved, I used to make quite a pretty penny selling off my finds. Where I live now unfortunately, there's just no place for me to be cleaning carcasses. Sometimes I'd keep and tan hides, but for the most part everything was too dead so I'd settle for cleaning and articulating skeletons. Before I moved, I had actually moved away from scavenging so much and got into buying cheap, frozen carcasses and hides but yeah, unfortunately I had to stop since I can't just hang up a carcass or leave one in a bin to macerate.
I only kept things legal for me to keep, even if it wasn't legal to take them(deer antlers, for example in my home state are illegal to take off roadkill, and so is picking up naturally shedded antlers) because it's a bs law. But no birds aside from pigeons, sparrows and starlings, which is a shame because I've found osprey and barn owl feathers, a full set of heron wings, dead turkey vulture, etc. No bear or fawn parts either. I've missed out on so many great finds because I didn't want to mess with that part of the law.
As for stories, I don't really have any interesting ones.
>be 14 or so
>found a dead doe on the side of the road
>come back late at night to take it's head and drag the rest of it into the woods
>summer so it's at the point where it had already bloated and collapsed
>truck comes roaring by a little too close
>trip into a pile of rotten cervine
And this was before I found out about the magic of putting vick's vapor rub under your nose when working with dead shit.
I'm new to this but have been doing a lot of research and slowly accumulating supplies to tan hides and clean bones.
I put a roadkill salvage kit in my car since there's often a ton of roadkill around here but of course, as soon as I put the kit in my car I haven't come across any suitable finds yet...
So I don't really have any stories yet.
>I'm not sure what I want to do with the bones yet. So far I think I might want to paint on them
I really want to paint designs on skulls. Or do stuff like pic related.
Like the other anon said, it's animals and nature related. So it definitely belongs on this board. It could probably go in /out/ too, but I feel like there's a lot of overlap.
That looks pretty cool, I like how they made a landscape on the surface of the skull. I've seen a lot of pictures on Instagram where some people get minerals to aculmulate on the surface of skulls and insect specimens. Pretty neat stuff!
As I mentioned before about painting, I had part terns in mind as well.
Pic related. I'm not entirely sure if the guy gets the crystals to grow on the specimens or if he just glues them on..
Just bought a 50 pound bag of salt from Tractor Supply Co for salting pelts.
Can we post questions here too? I'm unsure how to properly salt pelts to prevent/stop bacterial growth and set the hair so it doesn't slip? Salt it then hang it up (adding more salt again later?) Salt it and lay on a flat surface? Salt until completely dry?
I've been trying to research but a lot of sources aren't very clear about it so...anyone?
Yeah, those crystal skulls are beautiful. I have heard people grow the crystals right on the skull, but I don't know if you could do that with something so fragile as an insect. Pretty cool nonetheless!
I'd love to get more into vulture culture but unfortunately I'm just too busy right now. Had to pass up a gorgeous immature fox that had been hit and a few rabbit skulls from the wild rabbits at mine (there's an outbreak of calicivirus right now so you find lots of dead rabbits lying around).
I'm reading up more on the legality of picking up native australian fauna; I volunteer as a bird bander and on my firat trip out we went to a rocky outcropping that was loaded with seal pup carcasses. There were so many skulls, I would have loved to grab one! As it was my first time with the group however and I was unsure if it was legal I had to leave it. Oh well, next time!
Right now all I have are two Sambar deer skulls, a stag and a young deer. I'm still learning to preserve hides, but I plan on getting meat rabbits in the future and making throws out of the hides for a nice chunk of change. What methods do you guys use to tan hides?
Huh, didn't think there was a name to go along with what I've been doing. I'm so gona print that bumper sticker off.
Anyway, I pick up and tan dead animal hides. Yes, people think its nasty, but I don't pick just any dead thing up. Its gota meet some standards. Smell and looks mean a lot, no skid marks on the pelts, and the temperature it has reached outside that day has to have been pretty low or if I know it was hit fairly recently on a warmer day I'll pick it up.
Luckily, the animals I like to work on usually get hit on mass around the fall of the year (foxes/deer/coons). I'll take it out to th nearby gamelands and skin it, then leave it for the buzzards. Th closest gameland is right by the county dump, so it doesn't take long for them to show up.
I work the skins in this order; skin/wash/de-meat/salt overnight/toss the hide salt and all into a pickling mix fo 4-5 days/ then a 40min dip into a bakingsoda mix/ rinse/dry/work taning oil into the skin side/fold the skin sides together/sit overnight/dry and work for a fer days and bam, done.
They can turn out rough sometimes, like the one on the right, of I have to cut out badly damaged areas. The one on the left does have a small skid mark, but was to nice looking to pass. My best one was given away as a Christmas gift.
Oh yea, you get better as you do more, here's my first fox, it did not go well.
I'm not into this stuff but it is definitely interesting.
Please ignore >>2036679
Unless you start killing them and have sex afterwards.
If people bother you about it just tell them you are into biology/ecology, because that is what this is.
We would not know a fraction of what we know today if people weren't interested and observant like the people in this hobby are.
Been doing it all my life and I've never killed anything, I don't rightly plan on starting. Even with hunting, I know so many hunters I skin and prep for - I don't even need to hunt when I get so many left overs.
Taxidermy is still a business and I donate things to my old school science labs. I gave my old science teacher a shitty old leopard pelt(with its original bill of sale from the 50s) because I moved and its illegal to move it across state lines.
I hate shit like this...
Aside from the fact that most of the people in this hobby are against killing animals for it...
You do realize humans have been making things out of bones and animals pelts for tens of thousands of years, right?
You do realize that this kind of interest has led to many a scientific discovery and helps people learn about animals, right?
I bet you use/buy leather products. You do realize that leather is tanned cow hide, right? Do you call everyone wearing a leather belt a serial killer? That's insane.
The people in this hobby love animals and are generally very empathetic people who care about animals and animal welfare. They are some of the most humanely-minded people I've met. They do this because they appreciate animals, studying them and creating art out of something that would otherwise go to waste. These people don't glorify death, they celebrate the life around them.
One winter found a beaver that got road-killed less than an hour before I found it. Took it to my taxidermy friend and got a $250 dollar pelt for the cost of a few drinks (and I gave him the meat).
Not only have animal remains been utilized and as you had put it
>these people don't glorify death, they celebrate the life around them.
( I really do admire how you put that to words anon, it's beautiful.)
In other cultures human remains even become part of people's lives. I know we're strictly conversing about animal remains here, but I thought it would be interesting to shed some light on this custom:
If you read the article it mentions how in some cases the skulls are robbed from unmarked graves but I find it interesting how they are given a new purpose.
I'm not justifying grave robbing here, I just thought this was fascinating.
I keep forgetting that jello, gummies and marshmallows are created from animal byproducts, aka bones.
I'm the anon you quoted. To be completely honest I was fucking around, it's easy to take shit out of context through text.
I see nothing wrong with the hobby as long as it is practiced responsibly, like I said I was poking fun.
Look, doing what these anons are talking about (bringing home roadkill, dealing with carcasses) doesn't appeal to me in any way, either. But, throughout history people have been known to hunt and to make use of every part of an animal (some Native Americans, for example).
Taxidermy is a legit job. So is forensic pathology. My uncle happens to be a veterinary pathologist. Many jobs involve dealing with the dead and their bodies - humans and animal.
SO... like I said, doing things like this isn't anything I'd personally be interested in, but I don't think someone is a sick fuck for having unusual hobbies and interests, or ones that are different than mine. And, in fact, I rather like that in a lot of these cases (see pic related >>2035902), parts of these animals are being used that otherwise wouldn't be. I think making art that way is pretty brilliant.
go talk about your serial killers on /x/ then. if you knew anything about biology, or serial killers, it'd be easy for you to see what's being talked about in this thread is nothing like a troubled kid torturing the neighbor's cat and growing up to be a rapist. use your brain.
Yes but where do you think leather comes from? Someone has to skin the cow and tan the hide. Were those people serial killers? What about farmers who butcher their animals for food? Are they serial killers? What about those who perform autopsies for a living? What about archaeologists who dig up fossilized and mummified remains and preserve them? It's all the same--implying anything different is nothing but a knee-jerk reaction of "ew gross dead animals!"
In any case, we don't "enjoy" the act of butchering the animal. We enjoy taking the remains and creating something beautiful and immortal from them. It's a way to honor animals and their lives.
When you skin a dead animal, it doesn't hurt anyone. It doesn't hurt the animal--it's already dead. No harm is being caused. That is very far removed from serial-killers-to-be actually hurting, torturing, abusing, and killing animals for fun. They are not even remotely similar.
VC hobbyists would never dream of hurting an animal, and the idea of harm coming to an animal is awful. All of the animals' remains are treated with respect and dignity, and we are mindful about being responsible with our activities so that in no way does it cause harm.
While picking up roadkill might seem gross to you, it doesn't harm anyone and in fact saves the lives of other animals who would have otherwise gone to scavenge the carcass and gotten hit by cars.
I realize you might be trolling, but I know some people really do think like this and so for their sake I hope they can educate themselves.
>his hobby involves cutting up dead animals
It's already dead and we just want the bones/hide
Who cares? Many cultures scavenge, early humans probably did too when they couldn't catch something. It's not like we're eating the rotting flesh or killing animals solely for their bones or sport. The majority of people involved in this hobby believe in wildlife conservation and the humane treatment of animals. Hell I've even seen few militant tumblr-style "meat is murder" vegans involved in this.
>Someone has to skin the cow and tan the hide. Were those people serial killers? What about farmers who butcher their animals for food? Are they serial killers? What about those who perform autopsies for a living?
They're potential serial killers if they enjoy what they do.
fuck off anon
your whole argument of "potential serial killers" is a load of shit.
anyone who is armed with a knife is a potential murder,rapist,bank robber, etc
if youre so concerned with violent serial killers and socipaths go bother the gun toting nutjobs on /k/
This isn't really that relevant to the thread, but I don't have anywhere else to ask it that I won't get flamed. Should I be concerned? I was skinning a fox that came out of a trap and then I got to his head, and his mouth was foamy. He was killed by suffocation in a conibear and his mouth wasn't foamy before I took him out of the trap. I had a trail cam set up and he was acting completely normal. I have seen people die of rabies and I'm about ready to shit my fucking pants right now.
Unless you made out with it, rubbed it's mouth over open wounds or ate it's brains, then you're fine. It's transmitted by saliva, and it infects nervous tissue of the host. Blood, urine, feces, etc will not transfer the virus to you, if it was rabid to begin with. I'm also assuming you were wearing gloves.
That being said, the virus makes it difficult and painful to swallow. The salivary glands spasm and produce more saliva. Without being able to swallow it, it has no where to go but out. I highly doubt the fox was rabid - it was suffocating to death, possibly for awhile. Between suffocating, probably being unable to swallow because of said suffocation, the anxiety and struggle to try and escape all could easily cause the foaming. Even some dogs just foam at the mouth after exercise.
Thanks; I'll avoid making out with fox corpses in the future. Anyway, I wasn't wearing gloves at first (which was actually really fucking stupid) but yeah. I put them on as soon as I noticed which was about right after I got done with the tail + back legs. I finished skinning it out and I'm probably going to tan it.
I don't think it was struggling very long, just based on the position I found it in, but I've never had any other critter in that trap foam before, even the stuff that managed to get caught in it weird and not die. I'm probably just being paranoid though, it was acting totally normal on the trail cam.
Is there anything you have to do to pelts to make them taxidermy ready? I've never skinned anything for taxidermy before. What do I do to the feet, nose and ears?
That dude is also a chemist if i remember correctly. His work is badass. He has proprietary processes he uses to grow different colored crystal formations/ colors directly onto different specimens. I remember a rant he did about how people don't stop asking him how to do it so they can do it for them selves.
Yeah, you're fine. Even if you somehow got its blood in your bloodstream and it was rabid, you wouldn't get rabies. You'd have to get its saliva/brain tissue into your bloodstream somehow. Though yeah, gloves are obviously a good idea for plenty of other reasons.
As for skinning for taxidermy, I'm not experienced in this but you have to do special skinning/trimming around the face--eyes, ears, nose, and lips. And I'm not sure about the feet.
Here's a resource about skinning the face for taxidermy: http://www.animalarttaxidermy.com.au/files/Ears,%20eyes,%20nostrils%20&%20lips.pdf
My sister is a dirty hippie.
She picks up roadkill all the time. She skins them and makes stuff from their pelts, and does little ceremonies to thank them for their life and letting her use their bodies, etc.
Her weirdo friends are always bringing her dead animals that they want her to skin for them...
Our dad sent her a nice skinning kit for christmas a few years ago. He was a licensed, non-practicing taxidermist.
Not sure about wet specimens, but look up Trubond, they have good shit for home tanning (for crafts or for taxidermy.)
As for other supplies you can get glass eyes and taxidermy forms from various places online.
And lots of how to resources online if you're patient enough to look for them. Youtube videos, taxidermy forums, and tumblr has a VC community with a lot of people willing to help a newbie out.
I feel like articulation would be the thing to learn now (no garage or similar area to work with fur/flesh/ect) but eventually id like to learn to preserve fur and eventually entire bodies.
Used to live in quite a rural area and would spend hours as a kid wandering the nearby fields. Made some pretty interesting finds including most of a fox skeleton complete with skull and jaw, and plenty of owl pellets containing various bits of vole and mouse. Wish I'd hung on to some of it, especially the fox skull, but it all got lost/discarded when we moved. Also tried my hand at cleaning a sheep skull with some skin and fur still attached I found on some farmers land, but I was dumb and didn't know what I was doing. I dumped it in a bucket of bleach soloution for a few days and was suprised to find it virtually falling apart when I removed it. Personally I find skulls and skeletons fascinating and beautiful, obviously if you killed the animal for the sole purpose of keeping its parts thats messed up, but I don't see the harm in collecting something if its allready dead. I'd rather see something appreaciated then let it go to waste, especially in the case of things like roadkill, which can also be used as educational tools to help highlight the issue of wildlife being killed on our roads.
Where did you find those owl pellets? Were they out in their hunting fields? I have a barred owl buddy that sleeps in a tree next to my house, and I have never found any of its pellets. I know it eats mice around here, so it's gotta be barfing them up somewhere.
It seems neat, if gross. Skin and flesh creeps me out but bones might be cool to keep. I'm learning how to build/keep terrariums and bones could be cool additions. Too bad I live in a town and there's not much dead stuff around and what there is is usually cleaned up or stolen by a cat within a day or two so I never seeanything skeleton stage.
I'd usually find them scattered around the base of this big, old, mostly dead tree in the middle of a nearby field. I mostly used to look during summer when the ground was quite dry, they're fragile things so if its been wet they might disintigrate. You'd still expect to find scattered animal remains though, odd. Keep searching the area, maybe look under nearby trees too. Places like abandoned buildings are also good places to look.
You'd be suprised, just keep your eyes open. Pigeons are frequent casualties, check for them on roads and building ledges, might be a bit tricky getting to them though or picking them up without people noticing. Rats are quite common, especially around the back of supermarkets, pet stores and resteraunts where they aften leave out bait for them. They have amazing looking skulls and are often found in relatively secluded spots. Urban seagulls too, especially around the time young are starting to fly. Many of them take the leap of faith too early, or aren't wary enough of traffic. Even saw an entire brown owl on train tracks once, was seriously tempted as the wings were pretty intact, but it was far too risky and public. Parks are good places too. Depending on where you live, other things you might come accross are various kinds of small birds, magpies, jackdaws, crows, squirrels, ducks and such. Failing that, you could always ask local museums if they have any old material they're looking to get rid of, of check to see if they're throwing anything out. The art block in my old uni had an entire hippo skull I was told a student found in a skip behind a local museum. Crazy looking thing.
>throwing out a hippo skull
What the fuck? Honestly, that's the kind of shit that makes me want to take up dumpster-diving. As disgusting and legally dubious as it may be. I'll keep a closer eye out while I'm walking my dog and whatnot. Would it be weird to carry around one of those airtight jars in case I find dead stuff? Could work for maceration. And thinking about burying stuff, reminds me that I fished a dead frog out of the pond last summer and buried it in a pot. Hmm.
God, am I developing a creepy interest here?
Just picked up my first roadkill coyote today.
I actually found him/her (haven't checked yet) yesterday but wasn't able to pick it up until today. As such it's been dead too long for the fur to be usable. Something was already making a meal out of the eyes and entrails... But it should be good for bones.
I'll admit, it was nerve-wracking collecting it, and very gross.
How does /an/ clean their bones? I'm planning on leaving it out back behind my house to rot for a while, then doing maceration once a lot of the flesh has been cleaned up by scavangers.
Update: It's a he.
He's currently under a laundry basket staked the to ground at the edge of the woods behind my house (yes, it's on my property.)
I am sad though. After looking him over I saw that his skull was very clearly broken in several places and pretty much crushed. So unless I can glue it all back together, skull is out of the question. His jaw seemed ok though.