Skull of a bear. hunting trophies

Skull of a bear. hunting trophies
Skull of a bear. hunting trophies

Since ancient times, trophies have adorned the homes of the best hunters, being an irrefutable proof of the strength and valor of the owners. Often the skins and bones of animals were used for religious purposes: they protected settlements from evil spirits and hostile entities, were used by shamans and healers for rituals and rituals, decorated altars and temples.

bear skull

A special place among other trophies and totem amulets is occupied by skins, bones and body parts of large animals, hunting for which was invariably associated with real risk: bears, wolves, wild boars. Many peoples believed that the one who emerged victorious from a fight with a dangerous beast was worthy of praise and respect, and the hunters themselves of all peoples and times took good care of the trophies, took care of them like military awards. This tradition is still alive today.

But keeping the skull of a defeated beast in the proper form is not an easy task, with many nuances. Our article will tell you how to process a bear skull so that it is suitable for interior storage.

Archaeological finds

An example is the Azikh cave (Nagorno-Karabakh), the exploration of which began in the second half of the pastcenturies. Among the primitive tools and household utensils, archaeologists discovered a neat pile of bear skulls, folded between the stones. It is no longer possible to establish what exactly it was - hunting trophies, ritual attributes or home decorations. One thing is clear: the owner took care of the collection.

The inhabitants of the cave were Neanderthals. As you can see, even in those distant times (about 300 thousand years ago), the bear's skull was considered a cult item worthy of its place in the cache.

brown bear skull

This example is far from the only one. Similar finds are found all over the planet. Many peoples, cut off from the big world by snowy deserts and dense forests, still treat such trophies with the same reverence.

Meaning of the bear skull and its parts in different cultures

Sharp, slightly curved bear fangs have been used for protective purposes since ancient times. The peoples of the Russian North, pre-Colombian America, the Himalayan mountains and other places where bears are found, have always believed that there is no better protection from the evil eye and hostile forces than a bear's tooth. But if earlier they were supposed to be worn only by the hunter who defeated the beast, today many souvenir shops and specialized stores offer such amulets.

Samoyeds even now, going hunting, “arm themselves” with amulets made of bear teeth, which scare away forest spirits, do not allow them to stupefy, confuse a person. The Nanais, on the other hand, hung their teeth over the baby's cradle so that the spirit of a strong bear would protect him.

Use cases also knownlower jaw. Some ancient Slavic peoples believed that it could be used to treat diseases. The Assiniboine Indians made knives from half of the lower jaw, which, according to their ancient beliefs, made the owner invincible.

Evenks have long used a skull or a whole head of a bear to give unbreakable oaths. Many Siberian peoples had the same custom. On the head of a bear, the leaders swore allegiance to the Russian princes.

In Yamal, it is customary to lay out an altar with bear skulls, on which gifts are offered (mainly oil and vodka). Tuvans prefer not to touch the found bear bones. The place where the skull of the owner of the forests rests is considered holy. It is customary to treat him with great respect so that smart children are born in the family. But the one who is not respectful enough is destined to produce only fools - so the old people of the Tyvalar say.

hunting trophies

Hunting trophy

Of course, ancient legends are not alive everywhere. But in any civilization, a successful bear hunter is held in high esteem. And therefore, everyone who was lucky enough to emerge victorious from a dangerous battle strives to preserve the memory and testimonies of this day for a long time. And if someone likes the heads prepared by a taxidermist, then many prefer to keep a laconic bear skull. Such a trophy is especially valuable if it is not only obtained, but also prepared by oneself.

Building features

The bear skull has an oblong shape. The facial region is elongated, the cheekbones are well defined, attracts attentionpowerful jaw.

When preparing the specimen, the teeth and all fine details must be preserved. Irregularities are usually subjected to grinding and polishing, then the skull looks more aesthetically pleasing.

Color depends on dressing. Ideally, it should be a light milky or ivory-like shade. Yellowness is a sign of poor-quality processing.

The skull of a brown bear, obtained from an adult animal, has a rather impressive size. The incisors and canines are pronounced, but the remaining teeth are usually small and can be reduced. This is due to the mixed type of nutrition of the beast. In total, when processed, you can find about forty teeth.

adult bear skull

Preparatory work

First of all, the bear's head must be stripped of skin, fat, tendons and muscle. Experienced hunters know that it is impossible to wield a knife and any other metal object - there is a high risk of scratching the bone. Through the hole in the back of the head with the help of a wire coiled into a spiral, it is necessary to remove the brain. It is unlikely that you will be able to completely empty the skull, but you should strive to take out as much as possible.

Followed by washing. Since ancient times, rivers and streams have been used for this purpose. It is worth saying that there is nothing better in our time. Secure the skull with ropes, securely tie it to a tree or a peg on the shore and leave for a day.


No matter how well running water works, the process of digestion cannot be avoided. It is advisable to use clean river, rain or spring water. The bear's skull should be immersed in coldwater. Foam must be removed.

Bone sutures will loosen, teeth may fall out. You need to carefully collect them in order to fix them in the holes later. Remove the remaining tissue with tweezers and a scraper.

Leave the skull in running water again, this time for 8 hours. You need to dry it in the shade, in a draft.


The bear's skull fits well in a bucket. Make a 10% solution of ammonia and immerse the skull in it for a day. Next, wipe the bones with chloroform, gasoline or ether to remove fat.

The next step is to stuff all the cavities with cotton or gauze swabs. To prevent them from falling out, the skull should be tied with twine or bandages. The hydrogen peroxide solution will give the trophy the desired shade.


The skull of an adult bear often has bumps and roughness. They look unaesthetic, besides they collect dust. For polishing, a mixture of one part of “elutriated” chalk and two parts of Vienna lime is used. The paste is applied with a cloth, and polishing movements are made with it.

It's not worth varnishing the bone. It is better to use colorless paraffin.

Bear skull in the interior

To give the product a finished look, it is attached to a tree cut. The skull of a bear can be a wonderful decoration for a hunting cabinet, armory, restaurant in the appropriate style. It does not require maintenance, it is enough to dust it off from time to time.

bear head

Well, and those who are not fond of hunting, but want to put such an unusual decoration in their house, todaycan easily find any copy on sale. The cost of a well-crafted bear skull averages 8-10 thousand rubles.

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