im just curious as i was looking through the archives (i consider to be my own private taxidermy course consisting of numerous instructors) and began to notice that there are several different "ideas" behind the removal of the ear cartilage. i have always removed the cartilage during the pickling process after i shave then replace back in pickle before tanning....just looking for some personal preferences as to when you all remove the cartilage on your mounts ie: before salting, after tanning etc. (always looking to try new ways of doing things)
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mine after 24 hours in the pickle,thin hide after 48 hours and back in for another 24 hours then tan.
So I end up taking it out after they come back. When I did, I always figured they came out easier when the deer was fresh and before I ever fleshed the cape.
I pull cartilage off during the initial fleshing before salting. Ive also done it after pickling,both seem to work for me,but i prefer to do it before salting. That way its over and done with.
I have started taking mine out after I tan with liqua-tan. It seems to make them softer and they seem to come out much easier for me. I have yet to tear an ear since I started doing it this way.