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Author Topic: Severing skull with just a knife?  (Read 2551 times)

Offline knob221

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Severing skull with just a knife?
« on: September 18, 2022, 11:32:48 AM »
I have not found any good videos online showing where/how to sever the skull from an animal with just a knife. I am backcountry hunting and will not have a saw or hatchet. I have read, "the atlas joint", but was unable to locate it on my fall bear.

Any videos or photo series would be very helpful. Thank you!

Offline bigdub257

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Re: Severing skull with just a knife?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2022, 11:46:18 AM »
I think Randy Newberg talked about this on a video of his regarding the "gutless method" on an elk. 

Offline Rutnbuxnbulls

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Re: Severing skull with just a knife?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2022, 11:52:06 AM »
Iíve done it a few times.

After I get done with meat care, I will try to find the first vertebrae after the skull usually a few inches away from horns. Dig knife into neck and make your way around the neck. Easier without hide but Iím usually in a rush. Then once the hide, muscle and connective tissue is cut, twist the head several times and it will come off. Crude but effective for a euro mount.

Offline greenhead_killer

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Re: Severing skull with just a knife?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2022, 12:15:31 PM »
Very easy to do. After skinning/cutting meat etc, find the base of the skull and insert your knife on the top side. Then score all the way around the head/neck area so nothing is attached meat wise. Then go back to the base of the skull and insert your knife. Working it around to cut any connective tissues. Grab the head by the antlers and give a good twist. Should pop off and then cut remaining tissue away and youíre good to go

Offline huntnfmly

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Re: Severing skull with just a knife?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2022, 02:01:00 PM »
Iíve done it a few times.

After I get done with meat care, I will try to find the first vertebrae after the skull usually a few inches away from horns. Dig knife into neck and make your way around the neck. Easier without hide but Iím usually in a rush. Then once the hide, muscle and connective tissue is cut, twist the head several times and it will come off. Crude but effective for a euro mount.
Very easy to do. After skinning/cutting meat etc, find the base of the skull and insert your knife on the top side. Then score all the way around the head/neck area so nothing is attached meat wise. Then go back to the base of the skull and insert your knife. Working it around to cut any connective tissues. Grab the head by the antlers and give a good twist. Should pop off and then cut remaining tissue away and youíre good to go
^^^^ This
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Offline bkaech

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Re: Severing skull with just a knife?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2022, 09:54:03 PM »
Just start cutting. Once you get to bone find the joint between vertebrae and cut through it. If you are off you will have to go up or down and cut a bunch more and dull your knife up....but that is how you learn, the next time you will find it easier. They first hunter to cut a head off used only a knife and didn't have a tutorial...just give it a go.

Offline Mulie87

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Re: Severing skull with just a knife?
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2022, 05:39:04 AM »
 :yeah:
What they said. It may seem impossible when youíre doing it but it works. Take your time, cut all the tissue around the neck and find that first vertebrae below the skull to get your knife in. Twist the neck 360į when you think youíre close and itíll pop off. Good luck.

Offline Griiz

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Re: Severing skull with just a knife?
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2022, 06:43:07 AM »
Iíve done it a few times.

After I get done with meat care, I will try to find the first vertebrae after the skull usually a few inches away from horns. Dig knife into neck and make your way around the neck. Easier without hide but Iím usually in a rush. Then once the hide, muscle and connective tissue is cut, twist the head several times and it will come off. Crude but effective for a euro mount.
Good description and head twists right off👍

Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: Severing skull with just a knife?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2022, 09:12:03 AM »
Once you've skinned the neck up to the antlers, look for where the heavy muscle of the neck meets the skull. With your knife tip start poking from the skull down the neck in half inch distances. "Tink,tink,tink goes the knife point on bone until you hit the atlas joint and the knife point will penetrate easily. Cut there. Comes off very easily after that. "Ring" the neck muscle there, pop the joint, and the head comes right off. Once you do it a couple times you should be able to remove the head in under a minute no prob :tup:
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Offline blindluck

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Re: Severing skull with just a knife?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2022, 08:15:56 PM »
Super easy, the bigger the antlers the easier it is, leverage for the twist.

Offline hunter399

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Re: Severing skull with just a knife?
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2022, 08:30:00 PM »
First time I seen it.
Was about 6 years old.
Dad took a deer to the butcher with the head attached.
Butcher said ...ill show how this is done.
Took its head off with just a knife.
Some things as a kid ,you just don't forget.

Offline Airohunter

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Re: Severing skull with just a knife?
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2022, 10:49:57 AM »
It took me a few years to discover but if you come in from the front (throat) the joint is way more visible than coming in from the back side (below skull cap). Blew me away when I found it.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Severing skull with just a knife?
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2022, 11:33:02 AM »
Took off a 1400lb steers head with just a knife, and many many smaller animals.  Throat side is easier, push down on the chin with animal on back or on their side, have a partner or rope the bottom leg up higher makes it easier, get knife in the joint chin will slacken then your in it, bit of twisting and eventually you'll get the head to twist 360, quick nip on the knife and its free

I don't ever saw heads off

Offline OutHouse

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Re: Severing skull with just a knife?
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2022, 03:20:07 PM »
Very easy to do. After skinning/cutting meat etc, find the base of the skull and insert your knife on the top side. Then score all the way around the head/neck area so nothing is attached meat wise. Then go back to the base of the skull and insert your knife. Working it around to cut any connective tissues. Grab the head by the antlers and give a good twist. Should pop off and then cut remaining tissue away and youíre good to go

 :yeah:  Also, after just doing step one above you can twist the antlers around a few times and it pops right off. At least it does for a three year old whitetail!

 


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