There are far more talented taxidermists than I out there who’ll disagree with me on this one, but FOR ME, using earliners is the most effective way to achieve a pleasant and realistic looking deer ear on a mount. Remembering that I’ve used sheet lead, tin, aluminum, cardboard and all the plastic liners since Van Dykes came out with their original pink ones, I’ve come to like the OTS 360. FOR ME, it’s the best that’s ever been. I buy them without the earbutts and use the pivot ball as a hinge to move the ear into any position I desire. The first thing I do is to get the pack of earliners and I drill a 3/8 hole right above the pivot ball as shown in the picture. I then go to the form and using a 5/8 inch spade bit, I drill a hole in the spot where I intend on having the center of the ear butt. This will be a receptacle for the pivot ball of the liner. I install the earliners in the tanned hide using Epo-Grip Liquid Fast Set or their Clear Paste. Let cure. I take a doughnut shaped roll of clay and press it into the ear pocket around the ear liner base. Once the hide is fitted over the form, I insert the pivot and roughly shape the doughnut into an ear butt. As Paul Czarnecki warned a few weeks back, the earliner is prone to form creases. As you sew up the “Y” incision, you can add or remove clay to make sure this does not happen. I cut a piece of #6 wire about a foot lone and bend one end into a loop. I sharpen the other with a sanding belt. Once complete, I insert it into the inner ear liner and find that predrilled hole. I push the pin down through the hole and into the form to hole the ear in the pose I desire. This allows me form the earbutt in the clay without moving the ear position As a final step, I take the plastic grid you buy in fabric and hobby shops and cut out a pair of cresents mimicking the outline of the earliner. I sandwich the ear between the mesh and hold the mesh in place with wooden clothespins I leave these in place for no more than 2-3 days so that I don’t imbed a grid into the ears as they dry. It keeps the edges flat and gives a very crisp edge.