What might I be doing wrong?

Submitted by Homer on 01/16/2003. ( )

My last 2 Deer heads have turned out quite on the weird side, I used forms with preset ear canals, and the bas of my ears are back to far,I cut the skull plate about 1 1/2 " down from the burr to the eye and when I mount the antlers and taxi the cape my base of the ears are about 3" behind the antler base..What am I doing wrong here? That is an awful big gap dont ya think? should I move the skull plate back to accomodate this space? Or do I need to alter this form in some way?

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This response submitted by J. Uecker on 01/16/2003. ( )

Go back to the beginning of this section and scroll down about 10 posts to "Alteration? Need Help!". This was just covered a few days ago. You might find what your looking for. Also try taking measurements from the tip of the nose to the antler burrs before skinning that way you will know where you should be. Good Luck!



This response submitted by Mike Dunbar on 01/16/2003. ( )

Are you taking carcass measurements when caping your deer? Setting the antlers correctly usually involves measuring from the tips of the beams to the nose, and I usually measure from the antler base under the burr to the front corner of the eye. (usually around 3-31/4")
If you don't have measurements, how about when you test fit the cape? There should be a comfortable amount of skin between the antler base and the eye, not a bulge, and the eye skin shouldn't be pulled back so tight that they are slanting.

Are your antlers set low enough? Many times they are set too high, usually if a line is drawn from the nostril across the top of the eye, the antler base will sit right on the line. Also, when the antlers come off the head, they should slope with the contour of the deer's head angle,(forehead to nose).

I would make sure the antler set is correct first, and then work on the ear positioning. If the ears turned forward in the "alert" position, then there should be extra skin folds in front of the ear. You do not have to pull the ears back to take up the extra skin. Get some hunting magazines out, and use the photos for reference, or get some books at the library, or on the internet you can find photos, if you haven't done this already.

There was a Breakthrough issue not too far back that showed ear anatomy on the side profile of the buck "Woody" with his antler cut off at the base. It really shows right where everything should be. I believe Rick Carter did the article. It also goes through the anatomy of the ear butt, as it relates to positioning.

Hope this helps.

Hide Paste around ear butt's

This response submitted by Jay on 01/16/2003. ( )

Homer, try this. Right before you sew your neck up, if using clay in your ear butt's, fold the skin back from around your clay and coat the clay butt with hide paste. Same thing with ear liner's. Then you can taxi or slide your extra skin toward the ear easier. Use a large pen or nail or your stout rougher to move it. Brings the ear closer to the antler base. I insert a wire thru each ear into the form to hold ears in place while sewing. I also file down the rasied ear area on the form before setting ears. That's if I'm using clay butt's.
Hope this helps.

May be your mannikin

This response submitted by Kenneth on 01/16/2003. ( )

I have noticed there are different problems with every mannikin on the market. Knowing these and correcting these are part of the battle. Your ear problems could be contributed to your mannikin. I know McKenzie's have the ear butts molded in place, but they normally need to be removed to position the ears correctly for ears back. So, knowing your source of forms may help answer your question. Another idea, is many taxidermists don't understand correct WT ear/ear butt anatomy and positioning. Check reference and study live deer. A WT deer's ears are nearly pointing directly back when his ears are completely back. Many will tell you this is incorrect or it will seem incorrect to the eye, but a whitetail is fully capable of it. Hopefully, this and the above answers will help out a little. Good Luck

rule of thumb

This response submitted by terryr on 01/16/2003. ( )

my rule of thumb for antler placement is bottome of burr to center of eye is 2 1/2" - unless deer is very large this is cast in stone

Burr varies

This response submitted by Mike Dunbar on 01/16/2003. ( )

a lot in size, do you mean from the antler base below the burr? Measure up under the burr to center of eye? I would find that hard to set in stone if its based on the burr?

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