ears tearing open

Submitted by steve on 02/09/2004. ( )

This is my second year doing taxidermy work. I've fleshed around sixty whitetail capes.I usually flesh immediatly after skinning or put right into the freezer and flesh later.The problem I'm having is opening the ears whith out them tearing I'm useing Jonas ear openers and it seems no matter how careful I am or how slow I go the skin keeps tearing.There is a spot about 1/4" of the way from the tip of the ear and about 1/2" from the bottom edge that's tearing.There is a blood vien that runs down that middle crevice that I can't pull the skin from without tearing.Do I just need more practice?Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Return to Deer Taxidermy Category Menu

I know how you feel.

This response submitted by Jeff Acord on 02/09/2004. ( )

I have gotten to be quite good at repairing torn ears as I have been quite good at tearing them also. I very seldom use an ear opening tool anymore. Most of the time I just use my fingers and a scalpel to separate the ears. When you get to a place, like the vein you mentioned, use your scalpel to cut it loose. Do the same at places where the hair is pulling through. Hope this helps!

Try moving the openers form side to side

This response submitted by JK on 02/10/2004. ( taxidermyjeff@msn.com )

and push the openers up tight to the un opened cartlige before you apply presure. By moving them side to side it will help eliminate tears. Only open about a quarter of and inch at a time when you reach the mid section. While some ears that may have dried out on the tips will tear no matter what you do. This will help not to tear as much

A neat little trick I use

This response submitted by shooter on 02/10/2004. ( ccannon@telepak.net )

I open the ear w/ an earopener until I am very close to the edges, however I don't try to use the opener to get them to the edges. At least not the usual way.

Once you have the ear open to that 1/4 inch mark, turn the ear inside out. Now take your opener and insert it back into the ear. Stand it up and using the tip of the opener. starting at the bottom and working towards the tip slowly begin applying pressure on the edge of the ear. NOTE: If the ears are dried out apply a little water w/ a squirt bottle onto the ear to rehydrate them. As you begin to apply pressure the rest of the ear will begin to open up. you can see where you are on the ear as you will begin to see the edges of the cartalige begin to show.
Go Slowly w/ gentle pressure, work to the tip on one side and then start on the other. Then you can begin to work the tip itself. Use a scalpel to cut any veins that are attached.
You may bust an ear as you get used to doing this but once you get the hange of it you can turn an ear to the edges very fast.

God Bless,


thank you

This response submitted by steve on 02/10/2004. ( )

Thanks alot to everyone for taking the time to respond to my question.I'll give those techniques a try.Thanks again.

Try some dry preservitve

This response submitted by Rino T on 02/11/2004. ( )

open the ear a little bit and pour a little dry preservitve in the opening and work your ear opener in that spot as the ear starts to open the dry preservite will follow your ear opener and make the ear open alot easier .stop be fore you get to the tip. blow out the exess preservive and gentley use your thumnail to open the tip .apply a little preservite to the spot your working. try it you will be surprized. then go about your normal tanning. it works great on those stubborn ears

Return to Deer Taxidermy Category Menu