I've skinned and tanned my first coon, with liquatan. I plan to mount him later this week. I left what I guess is the cartilage in the ears, which is now pretty hard. I'm planning to make some earliners or apoxy sculpt, because there are too many holes for bondo. Should I/can I remove that cartilage? If so, can I cut it off with a scalpel? It feels like it has become one with the rest of the ear. Or should I cut if off after I rehydrate it, just before mounting? Also, I figured since he's so hairy, this would be a good time to learn how to use the skife knife, and I put a few holes in him. And the flesh side is pretty rough. I've heard tell of sanding the hide. Will this help me smooth it out and what should I use to sand him? Thanks in advance for the help. I'm real close to scrapping this one and trying another. But if I can salvage him, my next one will certainly be better.