Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Bear Hunting => Topic started by: billythekidrock on August 11, 2008, 06:16:36 PM

Title: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: billythekidrock on August 11, 2008, 06:16:36 PM
Here is how I do it..

Take the paw and lay it on a cutting board or chunk of wood with the claws pointing to the left. With my thumb and first finger of my left hand, I grab a claw where the hair starts. With my right hand I feel about a half inch behind where the skin starts and feel for the joint. Now with a sharp knife I cut the skin straight down, then rotate my knife hand slightly to the right and cut to the left in a crescent shape.

Once I have all the claws off I clean them up a bit. Here is how I do it.
Holding the claw in my left hand by the long hairs, with the tip facing up and the pad facing away from my hand. Cut straight down between the long hair and back of the claw. Do not remove all of the skin, basically you are giving the claw a close shave. I do this to both sides, then with the pad.

When they are done I put them in a small bowl with Borax. Every couple days I shuffle them around a bit. If they are very wet or damp I lay them on a plate to air dry, then back to borax.

Do not use salt or store in the freezer.

Here are some photos of some claws that I started to clean. They do not have any hair on them but you will get the idea.

I take the claw by the back, where the long hair is and cut right down the back.

(http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/1443IMG_0560.jpg)

Then I do the sides
 
(http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/1443IMG_0561.jpg)

Then what is left of the pad.
 
(http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/1443IMG_0563.jpg)

Here is how I store them.
 
(http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/1443IMG_0564.jpg)
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: robb92 on August 11, 2008, 07:07:29 PM
Good tip thanks for posting it.
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: saylean on August 12, 2008, 08:31:11 PM
Thanks billy...what do you use em for? I was considering making a necklace of some bear teeth or claws next time around...
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: DeKuma on August 12, 2008, 08:33:04 PM
HE uses them in his pierced nipples............ :chuckle:
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: saylean on August 12, 2008, 08:33:56 PM
My eyebrow is pierced...

hmmm...
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: billythekidrock on August 12, 2008, 08:57:25 PM
You guys are funny...NOT.

I only have two or three sets now and they just sit in the bags of borax. Over the years I have lost some and put some on Christmas gifts (key chains, calls & dreamcatchers).
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: ICEMAN on August 13, 2008, 02:51:20 AM
Hey, maybe you can make a real purdy necklace for your wife. That ought to impress her friends!

Just for *censored*s and giggles, you should string one up, and wrap it. Give it to her on your anniversary with a serious look on your face. Tell her how much you love her, and right as she unwraps it, explain how much time it took to make, and how proud you would be if she wore it to work. "It would mean so much to me, so much..."  Fake some tears... :'(
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: billythekidrock on August 13, 2008, 06:19:30 AM
Hey, maybe you can make a real purdy necklace for your wife. That ought to impress her friends!

Just for *censored*s and giggles, you should string one up, and wrap it. Give it to her on your anniversary with a serious look on your face. Tell her how much you love her, and right as she unwraps it, explain how much time it took to make, and how proud you would be if she wore it to work. "It would mean so much to me, so much..."  Fake some tears... :'(

Hell no! Why would I want to give one of my precious claws to my wife?  :chuckle:
She had 3 sets of her own. Besides, she'd just wear the damn necklace to work (or at least wear it out of the house and leave it in the van).
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: ICEMAN on August 13, 2008, 09:10:09 AM
My Bad!  :chuckle:
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: BC CHASER on August 13, 2008, 09:43:22 AM
Btkr are you leaving the quick in them?  The way that I have always don it is cut around the claw and peel the skin back.  Next I will cut the toe off at the first knuckle.  Let them sit for two days then boil some water in a pan, toss them in the pan for about 30 sec-1 min. Pick them up with a pair of pliers then grab the bone with another and pull them off.  Then it is just the claw.  I have done a few necklaces like this now.  How I make my necklaces is after the claws are off I will lay them out on a piece of paper.  Get the hot glue gun out and get that going.  Next you can use a multiple of things to fasten onto the necklace.  I use what I call horseshoe tacks.  They are like wire nails but are much smaller.  You can also use little I-bolts but make sure you get ones with long shafts on them.  Then fill the claw with hot glue and stick your choice of attachment in and let dry.
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: billythekidrock on August 13, 2008, 04:15:09 PM
I leave the quick or bone in.
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: winston2789 on August 15, 2008, 08:03:22 AM
i do the same except i put them in lemon juice for about three days. when you take them out of the lemon juice the tissue pulls right out. they turn out really nice and shiny. after they dry i will put an apoxy in there.
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: littletoes on October 15, 2008, 07:26:09 PM
I hold the feet, with the pads facing up, at the pad that the toe nail is attached, I cut it right in the middle, split the bone, then cut it out the top of the toe.

When the nail is free from the foot, I then hold a bit of the skin that is left on this last joint, and skin it by holding the skin in one hand, and running a razor sharp knife "around" the bone. It will slide easier than fileting fish if you use a good thin, sharp-ass knife.

Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: cohoho on November 22, 2008, 10:18:03 PM
I had a couple bags of claws and we had a parent on our kids hockey team that was into arts and crafts stuff, she made them into individual necklaces with rawhide and we gave them as gifts to the host team (18 kids and their coaches) at a tourney when traveled down from AK to Colorado.  Should have seen the kids that got them, man they were in pig heaven...  Our hockey team was the Alaskan Glacier Bears...  So you see where the ideal came from.  I'll see if I can find a pic of one of them...
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: ICEMAN on November 23, 2008, 06:01:29 PM
Very generous gift.  Great memory to give. I bet they will never forget those...
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: saylean on November 23, 2008, 06:42:47 PM
Im making my GF's boy a bear claw necklace for christmas...should be cool...what 4 year old wouldnt want one!
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: @RCHER on February 13, 2009, 02:08:14 PM
Good post...also, keep in mind, bleach (borax) will damage the bone. If you follow the tips mentioned earlier for removing the claw sheath from the claw bone, then just boil the bones in water with dish or dishwasher soap until the meat is gone. This will degrease and deflesh the bone. Now, just add some 40 volume peroxide to the water and in just a few minutes, those bones will be bright white and won't continue to oxidize and get chalky. It's how many folks do skulls as well.

I use them to make Native American artwork like necklaces, spears, cerimonial staffs, etc...

~ Best
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: bearslayer on March 24, 2009, 05:12:51 PM
We turn our claws into hat bands for our Filson Packer hats.They seem to go over big when your back in high camp and other hunters come in. :IBCOOL:
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: billythekidrock on June 07, 2009, 06:56:02 PM
Finally cleaned the claws from last years "Sleeping Bear" and my wifes spring bear from this year. Thought I would add a couple pictures to this old thread.

(http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/webCollage.jpg)
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: littletoes on June 14, 2009, 08:58:19 AM
Awesome when folks give pictures! Thanks All that do, sure makes it easier for my "minds eye".

I think of it like skinning an orange, kinda. ;)
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: 180-GRAIN on August 04, 2009, 08:40:35 PM
Heres a dumb question where do I find the borax at? Local hardware store or what?
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: saylean on August 04, 2009, 08:46:21 PM
safeway has it too i believe...just a common household cleaner
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: billythekidrock on August 05, 2009, 06:07:35 AM
Heres a dumb question where do I find the borax at? Local hardware store or what?
safeway has it too i believe...just a common household cleaner

Yes, you can find it in the laundry detergent aisle.
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: D_Dubya on July 05, 2010, 08:25:01 PM
Remove the bone/quick from inside the claw - it is easy to do and will keep them from stinking/rotting.  Just a couple minutes in boiling or near boiling water will make them easy to pull out with pliers.
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: scottL on November 01, 2010, 02:20:02 AM
This is GREAT! Thanks gang and thanks for the pics - I've been wondering how to do this for many years!
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: inkfish86 on November 21, 2010, 12:47:22 PM
great info thanks!
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: rhc2000 on January 01, 2011, 01:22:49 PM
lol if i did that i get hung
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: seth30 on July 31, 2011, 10:26:00 AM
can boiling water or any chemical split the claws? 
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: bugs n bones on August 21, 2011, 02:28:42 PM
The easiest way to clean bear claws is dermisted beatles.....its effortless and nothing cleans bones more quickly and effectively without degrading the bone than beatles
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: Seabass on December 21, 2011, 11:54:40 AM
After cleaning I drill a hole in the bone and put them on rawhide as a necklace. I used to have a group of guy's from out of state come over and hunt with me every year. The second year they came I gave each of them a necklace....big hit. I gave one to each of my son's last year at Christmas. One of them has not taken it off since.

I still have a few of them and have given them to variuos hunting partner's over the years. Every time I hand one out it is received with great joy!

Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: starr on April 01, 2012, 09:34:43 PM
Lookin for a little advise on bear claws/teeth. I got teeth i just finished pulling (boiled loose). I also have 3 feet worth of claws (not sure were #4 went). Im lookin to put it all on a necklace for my rearview mirror. Tryin to get a few pointers on the best way to polish it all, and cant deside, quick in or out of the claws, not sure which way i like better. So which will be easier to work with putting on a necklace, and which will stand the test of time better. All  :twocents: welcome and appreciated.
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: Elk whack master on August 19, 2013, 11:10:13 PM
 :yeah: I want to know too!
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: Ductsquatch on September 16, 2013, 12:30:35 PM
seems this thread sorta died.
I have some claws (porkypine) I want to process and not sure I got enough out of this thread to do my own yet. :(
Title: Re: Cleaning bear claws.
Post by: BlackRiverTaxidermy on May 16, 2016, 05:16:53 PM
Great post and pics. Not trying to add a sales pitch here, but if you bring them to me we stick the claws (which don't have to be cleaned off real well) in with our dermestid beetle colony and they clean EVERYTHING off down to the last stitch of tissue, leaving only the claw and nail pedicle. They do and awesome job and it only takes about 2 days to complete a full set of claws.
Joel- BRT