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Hair slippage behind the ears of a WT

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by traceyinpa, Mar 3, 2018.

  1. traceyinpa

    traceyinpa New Member

    Looking for advice...

    I've just mounted my 3rd Whitetail and I've been having some problems with hair slippage.
    The first mount turned out great, but both the 2nd and 3rd deer had slippage behind one ear (both times around the size of a quarter) which I only noticed when I came around to mounting them on the manikin.

    The first time it happened, I hoped maybe bacteria had got to it before I received it from the customer, but now that its happened in the exact same place on the next deer, makes me think it has to be something I'm doing wrong.

    I will go over my process and see if any of you can point me in the right direction as to any mistakes I'm making...

    1) Receive frozen deer cape and head from customer
    2) Wait for entire thing to be ALMOST thawed and skin out the head, turn lips and ears
    3) Freeze it for another time
    4) Defrost it in acid (until its just thawed)
    5) Flesh it with flesher (takes around an hour)
    6) Put it on a plastic sheet covered board and salt liberally (board is tipped at an angle so moisture runs off for 4-6 hours
    7) Quick rinse in water and straight into pH checked pickle solution (Mckenzies Ultimate acid), for 3 days....making sure it is weighted down in the solution and moved around every day to reagitate it
    8) Take it out, do a final fleshing with flesher (takes around 40 minutes)
    9) Put it back in the acid (pH checked) until the next day
    10) Take hide out of acid and neutralise it in baking soda/water solution for 20-30 minutes
    11) Drain and damp dry with towel
    12) Spread Mckenzies tanning oil over the hide liberally and leave according the the instructions for 4-6 hours.
    13) Rinse off tanning oil, drain and damp dry by rolling up in a towel

    Sometimes I will then leave the hide in a very cold room overnight. The next day I will then take my time patching up any holes with super glue/ hide thread and I will also Bondo the ears.

    Then usually I will put the hide back into a cold room and mount within the next day or 2.
  2. Mike Powell

    Mike Powell Well-Known Member

    I have never heard of defrosting in acid and can’t imagine how that could be good. But to the point of slippage behind the ears, you are probably handling them too much or roughly while turning them, or leving them inverted and moisture is being trapped inside. The two principle causes for bacteria growth that causes slippage are heat and moisture. Be sure to turn the ears right side out and dry them really well every time the cape is submerged im any liquid.
    traceyinpa likes this.

  3. dbronco

    dbronco Member

    I think Mike is right on with over handling when turning. Grip the skin behind the ear very gently when turning ears, especially if you are using an ear opener.
    woakley144 and traceyinpa like this.
  4. Tom Maul

    Tom Maul Active Member

    Brian Hendricks thaws in a pickle all the time.
    Is that what you mean?
    Also, Do you mean the backs of the ears?
    Ticks and other bugs can do some real damage on the backs of those ears sometimes. Are you sure they slipped?... Maybe they were bald to begin with(?) Just a thought
    woakley144, traceyinpa and John C like this.
  5. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    The slippage on the back of the ear is more from rough handling than anything else. Wear gloves, and be gentle when opening. Sometimes it happens in spite of your best efforts. Airbrush the hairless areas when doing your finish work, and DO NOT point out this out to your customer.
    woakley144 and traceyinpa like this.
  6. traceyinpa

    traceyinpa New Member

    Thanks for all the replies. This has been very helpful.

    Tom: I was talking about the back of the ear at the base- right where the Ear Butt would go.
    They definitely slipped as once I noticed the missing patch, I could further peel off a small area of the surrounding hair with a fine layer of skin stuck to it. I hastily purchased Stop Slip and sprayed liberally.

    I do try my best to be gentle around the ear area but I think Mike has hit the nail on the head when he talked about inverting the ears. I think I am leaving them inverted at most stages throughout the process. I recall thinking to myself that I would leave them inverted so that the salt, then pickle, then tan could really get to and penetrate the hide, but in hindsight, I guess having the ears inverted for days on end, that delicate outer skin with the hair on is just being contorted and bent back unnaturally combined with moisture being stuck in there.

    My husband and I are self taught taxidermists only using DVD's and by watching literally hundreds of hours worth of videos on Youtube. It sure is a learning process! The thawing in pickle method we did indeed get from Brian Hendricks via his youtube channel.
    woakley144 likes this.
  7. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    I leave the ears inverted throughout the process so, I doubt that has anything to do with it. Handling too much or too rough is more likely part of the cause, also mange could be a possibility. It seems that is the first place deer seem to show it. Ticks also congregate in locations like that. Stop slip is no more than a glue or high strength hair spray. Next time get some stop rot and apply it on the outside and inside of the ears while thawing. I would also try to only thaw them when I have time to cape , flesh and salt in the same day but, I know how that goes, freezer space is often limited.
    traceyinpa likes this.
  8. Tom Maul

    Tom Maul Active Member

    Totally agree with ya on the stop rot, 3bears.
    I'm the definition of slow... lol... I think stop rot keeps me out of trouble even more than I know. I'll happily pay that price for the extra insurance when I feel I need it.
    traceyinpa likes this.