Ear Cartalage

Submitted by Dan R on 8/6/99. ( )

If you are going to use ear liners in deer ears
do you remove the cartalage before you salt and
tan the cape or after?

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Remove them after!

This response submitted by Mike on 8/6/99. ( )

You remove the cartlidge after it is tanned!

Before and After

This response submitted by Leanna on 8/7/99. ( scardeer@cornernet.com )

I've always removed the cartilage before salting and pickling, but I tan my own hides. Is there a differance as to the outcome? (as to leaving it on or off) I'd like to know. Also, have always had difficulties removing cartilage from earbutts without alot of tearing. Would leaving this area of cartilage on ear till after pickle, aid in easier removal? Thanks muchly!

Ear Cartilage

This response submitted by John Bellucci on 8/13/99. ( ArtistExpr@aol.com )

Leanna, and anyone else wondering...

My best suggestion is to remove the ear cartilage, AFTER the skin has been, at least, pickled. When I wet-tan "in-house", or receive a skin back from a commercial tannery in a wet-tanned state, is when I remove the ear cartilages.

The pickling and tanning process REALLY toughens the otherwise delicate ear skins to the point where removing the cartilage all the way down into the "bowl", or bottom of the ear, is LOTS easier than when the skin is fresh.

This doesn't mean it won't or can't tear or be torn. That all depends on how well you can finesse that skin from the cartilage. Anyone who does this can attest to the care required in this step.

Another reason for leaving the cartilage of the ears attached to the earskins during the tanning process, is that it is SAFER for those delicate earskins.

Although earskin "blow-out" is always a possibility, it is less likely to occur to ears that are processed with the cartilages intact. Earskin blow-out is when the tip of an ear blows out from sawdust entering the earskin, and once impacted to its' fullest, the tip lets go. An ear without cartilage can tear unmercifully during the tumbling stage.

Earskin blowout aside, just the ordinary handling of the skins at the tannery require the ear cartilages be left intact for the entire process -- lessening the chance of the ears tearing through handling.

There it is. Hope this gives you all more useful information. If you have any more questions you think I can answer, feel free to e-mail me, or post them somewhere. Either way, if I can answer them, I certainly will!

Best to all ... John B.

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