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Mule deer, liners or bondo?

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Whitetail906, Feb 14, 2017.

  1. Whitetail906

    Whitetail906 New Member

    Quick question regarding mule deer ears. I haven't done many, and used McKenzie's earlinera before, and I just wasn't impressed. They just don't fit like whitetail liners do. I did use the Bondo method on one, and was concerned about that much bondo being hung on wall......back to my question....is there a decent liner out there that others have used and like them? And where can I order them?

    I appreciate as always anyone who takes their time to comment!

  2. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    I use bondo and have gotten proficient enough to get a nice, smooth, relatively thin ear. I always seem to make a mess with ear-liners and it takes me a lot longer using them. When using liners, I found they almost always need to be trimmed to size, and - again, for ME - I prefer using the celastic liners, as they are easier to cut to size...easier for me.

  3. Dave Ferguson taxidermy supply has the best mule deer liners from what I've seen. Personally I use bondo
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I like the celastic fabric ones from Matuska. Research mannikins has one that isn't plastic, but some kind of resin from Bill Lancaster.
  5. Bill Dishman

    Bill Dishman Well-Known Member

    I use the E104-P liners from Research and make the butts out of clay. In my opinion, if you want your Deer to be all it can be, skip the bondo and spend a little extra time to mount your ears onto a good liner.
  6. Whitetail906

    Whitetail906 New Member

    Thank you all for taking the time to share your thoughts. Looks like more of you prefer the bondo method over liners.
    I wish I felt more comfortable with bondo! Seems like I'm either too thin, or too thick with bondo. I guess comfort comes with experience with bondo. One of the ears on this Muley does have a healed notch on it. I might just have to step outside my comfort zone of liners, and give the bondo the old college try!
    Thanks again
  7. Paul B

    Paul B Active Member

    I was in the auto body industry for 20 years and I use liners for all animals were one is available. Animals with thick skin as in wild boars and smaller mammals like sheep, goats, you can get away with bondo. I see many photos from other taxidermy work, mostly from beginners and not so good hack work, distorted and wavy potato chip ear edges, cupped shaped soup spoon ears, all done in bomdo. They just stand out. Some do a nice bondo ear and I can as well but I prefer a liner, just less mess, faster for me and a better overall thin shape.
  8. Whitetail906

    Whitetail906 New Member

    Thanks Paul! Appreciate the input. I did a boar will over sized ears with bondo and it looked and turned out great! Couldn't find an ear liner to fit that one. But I get what your talking about. I'm a liner guy. And I can make a bondo ear work, but I'm just not that comfortable doing it.

  9. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    Either method you choose, or whatever the type liner you choose, you will need to take corresponding steps to use the chosen material for the optimum result. I've seen at least as many bad ears with ear liners (some from beginners and some from professionals) as I have with bondo. That someone else doesn't use a particular medium well is not a validation of superiority of another medium or method. In that one method is easier for me doesn't mean it will be easier for you. You asked a question as to the options for mule deer ears in that you didn't like the liners you had purchased. I didn't intend to open the door to the never ending debate of bondo vs liners. :) The bottom line is, regardless of my preference, or anyone els's, you need to pick the method from the options available to you that you are most comfortable with and that produces the best results for you. Godd luck!
  10. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    If you are a liner guy, then use liners. Research offers three styles of liners, each made of a different material from the other, Matuska offers two styles of different material, Van Dykes offers mule deer ear liners and many more suppliers offer them. I see no reason for you to use Bondo, unless you just want to experience using Bondo, since you said you don't feel comfortable with Bondo. You have two out five say they use Bondo and one of the Bondo guys suggested using Dave Ferguson liners.
  11. Whitetail906

    Whitetail906 New Member

    Thanks again for all who gave their input! I ordered the liners from Research....
  12. Whitetail906

    Whitetail906 New Member

    Thanks again for all who gave their input! I ordered the liners from Research.... looking forward to trying these bad boys out!

  13. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Which ones did you order? The plastic ones, fabric ones or resin Lancaster ones?
  14. Whitetail906

    Whitetail906 New Member

    I ordered the Lancaster ones....
  15. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Just a little heads up on what to expect. These liners are extremely ridged, meaning no flex. I found it very difficult to get the wide part of the ear through the ear butt area. You really have to stretch the butt area and work that liner into the ear. Once it's in you will have very detailed ears.

    Also, the little ridges that run up the ear from the ear canal, not the bumps, but the three ridges need to be split, as the liner has those replicated. I always split mine, however, many do not. I can't really explain it without giving a visual, but once you have the liner and ears in front of you, you'll see what I'm talking about.

    Another thing. These are made of hard casting, not plastic like the other liners, so, if you need to trim them, I use a Dremel with a round sanding attachment to grind it down and thin the edge.
  16. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

  17. Whitetail906

    Whitetail906 New Member

    Thanks Tanglewood! I will be putting that mount together later this week. But I do know what your talking about. I appreciate you taking the time to give me some insight into what I will be working with.

    Many thanks!
  18. I use liners in just about everything. With mule deer, I keep a box of various liners from different makers and materials. It seems that the shape and size of the ears differ depending on where they were harvested. My local mulies are very different than ones taken in Montana or Wyoming. Having a rather large assortment on hand makes it much easier and quicker for me.