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Why are Elk ears so hard?

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by gutnstuff, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. gutnstuff

    gutnstuff Member

    Why are elk ears so much harder to remove the cartilage than anything else. I always end up tearing the crap outta the ears before I get the cartilage off. Dose anybody have any suggestions and dose anybody else have this problem. I know how to do it I can do deer an antelope all day with no problem. So WTF
  2. Why remove the cartilege...why not leave it in and bondo them?

  3. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Elkie, because he wants to use liners you dumb bell.
  4. well if he's tearing them trying to get the cartilege out maybe try bondoing them to see if it might work better? ear liners can be a bigger pain than bondo
  5. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Maybe he should try rehydrating them well before removal. Elkie, you are always the easy way out short cut guy arn't you.
  6. well there is always another easy way to do things when the regular way doesn't always work
  7. sawtooth taxi

    sawtooth taxi New Member

    Keep a water bottle handy when you're taking them out. Spray them often. Work slow and take your time towards the edges
  8. #1 headhunter

    #1 headhunter New Member

    I just mounted one. I left earliners in and used Bondo. Looks better than ripped up ears.
  9. gutnstuff

    gutnstuff Member

    Sounds like I need to learn how to bondo ears.
  10. fozziebear

    fozziebear New Member

  11. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Drill holes in your earliner, rough it up & use a thin bondo/resin/chop mix with it.
  12. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    They aren't any tougher than some deer.
    Let me tell you what you're doing. You're inserting you ear separating tool and opening it perpendicular to the cartilage.

    First thing to do is to skin the ear butt down to the cartilage area. Set you openers into the ear and grabb them through the skin of the earbutt. OPEN THEM SIDEWAYS. Instead of putting all that pressure in the center of the ear, you've now ocnfined it to the sides of the ear instead.

    Once the ear is opened as far as it will go, invert it and use your scalpel to free up a bit more. Once the ear is opened all the way to the edge, scribe a cut with the scalpel tip about half way down from the front side to the back side. BEND the cartilage and when it stanps, use a good pair of needle nosed pliars to pen up the ear's front side. If you don't get your elk in until a week after it was taken, then the skin is dehydrated just like it would be on a whitetail. Rehydrate it and finish the job.
  13. wow I seem to be missing something here.
    I just mounted one. I left earliners in and used Bondo. Looks better than ripped up ears. Didn't know Elk have earliners.
    Drill holes in your earliner, rough it up & use a thin bondo/resin/chop mix with it. How does this make removing cartilage easier?
    Sometimes it seems easier to work from side to side instead of bottom to top. Also you can work from top to bottom but always take your time and remeber to whistle while you work, it is suppose to be fun right?
  14. michael p.

    michael p. Getting better with age :)

    Leave the cartlidge in.
  15. Or just use the bonded ear method! Click on my banner and watch the video, It works on all types of ear, Just make sure do all the prep work!
  16. python12

    python12 Member

    I just mounted a big one up, removed the cartilage like anything else,
    inserted ear liners and came out great..
    just soak cape, keep cool (in fridge) overnite
    and the next day thin facial areas & remove cartilage..
    shouldnt be that hard..
  17. Bill Dishman

    Bill Dishman Well-Known Member

    sometimes i leave an Elk cape in the fridge for 2 days to soften the cartilage enough to be be able to remove it. But earliners in my opinion are the very best method.
    Even if i have to repair a couple of spots on the ears from removing the cartilage, its way better than bondo.
  18. gutnstuff

    gutnstuff Member

    George do you remove the cartilage before tan.
  19. Cole

    Cole Amateur Taxidermist

    I have nothing against Bondo, and I still use it on certain occasions, but the guy asked about removing the cartilage for a reason. Earliners give a superior result to Bondo, and I don't blame him for wanting to remove the cartilage. Using liners with Bondo, is a drumming and thickness disaster, and straight Bondo w/ no liner is what it is. Like a couple have suggested, make sure they are well hydrated and have fun, those elk can be a pain in the ass.
  20. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member


    Wet tanning will be easier. If you soak from a dry tan, Relax it over night. Freeze then thaw. This will beak up the fibers more, then let sit in the fridge for a couple days. That should make everything a little easier.