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Removing cartlige in WT ear question

Discussion in 'Deer and Gameheads' started by Bucksmith, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. Bucksmith

    Bucksmith Member

    I have been doing earliners now for a year, and I like the results alot better than my bondo ears....however one thing that I am struggling with is removing the cartlige on older deer.....it seems that young deer such as your 1 and 2 year olds come off real easy....but once i get into my 3 year olds +, that cartlige seems to be harder to separate from the thing lining and wants to rip when trying to get it off. DOES ANYONE have any tricks or suggestions that might loosin the cartlige from the thin skin or somehow make it easier to separate ??? If I could just figure out how to avoid having tears to fix on my ears i would be much more inclined to stick with earliners. Any suggestions are appreciated.

  2. brian89

    brian89 Member

    I've found that putting stop-rot in the ears on the hair side helps the cartilage separate easy.. I had the same problems until i tried this..

  3. jk

    jk Active Member

    I have the same issues. Older deer just pull harder, have to take your time. Mule deer also are tough to pull. Every species is a little different. Bears and boars do not pull out, if you plan to remove these you have to usually skin them out with a scalpel. Most just use bondo ears on these. I have not tried the stop rot method, may give that a try.

  4. big dan

    big dan Member

    Also try and use a rolling motion with your fingers and fingernails on the cartilage not the skin as apposed to a pulling motion. I always start from the top edge of the ear and work my way to the bottom edge not tip to ear canal. I always leave the inner ear cartilage in it gives you the inner ear detail and that's the hardest part to remove anyway. Any time you start seeing hair coming through stop what your doing and skin with the scalpel. I also use water mixed with a little fabric softener on the more stubborn ears like mature deer or elk. patience, take your time, don't rush it, walk away for a min if you have to and you should have less tears, although you will still have some.
  5. I agree older deer may seem a little tougher at times but I think it's mainly because of the scar tissue that may be in an ear from a previous fight. Take your time around these spots. If you watch my video I split the ear cartilage in half and remove it this way. I'm sure you do the same. What helps me is getting it started. I use one of my modeling tool, not one with sharp edges, and get between the skin and cartilage in the first 1/4 to 1/2 in. Then I use my thumb for the rest. For some reason this makes it easier to remove.
  6. Slate Run

    Slate Run Member

    I send my capes out to get tanned and I have found it is sometimes easier to remove stubborn cartilage after the cape is tanned.
  7. Harvestmoontaxi

    Harvestmoontaxi Lake of the woods walleyes

    Turning ears is my least favorite prepping step. I use a spray bottle of water as I go, sometimes it helps sometimes not. Injuries to the ear compounds the problem. Have fun!
  8. AJH

    AJH Member

    I also wait until after tanning. Never a fun process though. After I start the separation, I grip the cart. w/pliers and use my fingers to separate the skin from the cartilage. It almost seems easier to separate the skin from the cartilage than pulling cartilage from skin....for lack of a better description.
  9. I have found that if I drop my hide in pickle without the ears turned yet it makes the skin tougher and less tearing. I will turn everything else and pickle for about a week sometimes two before I ever touch the ears, makes a big difference.... for me that is
  10. livbucks

    livbucks Well-Known Member

    Wet the ears well with Stop-rot when you skin the head. Remove only after tan.