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Thread: Turning Griz ears....did I screw up?

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    Default Turning Griz ears....did I screw up?

    I posted in the hunting forum about shooting my first griz a few days ago. It is my first bear period. I have never skinned a bear but did this one and I think it turned out pretty good. I have never caped a critter either. Just never felt the need to do a head mount. Anyway, I skinned the head very carefully using a scalpel and was careful and think I did good on the eyes. I split the lips all around the mouth as best as I could figure and salted everything real good. I turned the ears but didn't know what to do about the ear cartilage. Whether I should remove it or not. I couldn't remember in what I had read. Anyway, I used the scalpel and removed it. Did I screw up?? From what I can find usually the hide goes to the tanner with the ear cartilage and the taxidermist may or may not remove it.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    most guys leave the cart that way its holds up better in the tan. but after the tan they usually just pry it out. but i've met guys that take it out before the tan as well...should be fine.
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    Default ooops

    well did you put a bunch of holes in it???if you didn't then you might be ok.....most of the taxidermists up here use the bondo ear method...meaning they squirt an amount of bondo and shape an ear really quick as the bondo hardens....this method is very difficult without the cartilidge to provide a general shape to the ear....you probably also cut out the ear butt....the very bottom of the cartilidge with the ear canal and all....that will suck because without that the bondo will squirt all over the place.....the reason some taxidermist cut out the cartilidge is for using earliners, which are plastic/fabric cut out in the shape of that specie's ear...but even when the taxidermist does this process he or she often uses the ear butt and only removes the upper cartilidge....however lots of the newer earliners do have these parts molded in and are very anatomically correct.....basically the skin on the inside of the ear is the thinnest skin on any animal.....but as long as you didnt' mangle it, you should be fine...ask your taxidermist which method they use....and what they prefer.....i prefer the bondo method...but have done earliners as well.....and i have done many many ears with the bondo method that people have removed the cartilidge from...minus not having an ear butt(which few people will ever notice, especially on a bear) they turn out fine......whats done is done.....i wouldn't sweat it....just dont' do it next time...just turn it out til you get to the thin edge of the cartilidge and remove all the meat from the ear butt......i read your story and looked at your bear.....thats a gorgeous bear..congratulations!!..were you going to get it mounted...looked like it would make a nice rug...if you did an open mouth rug with the ears back there would be no way to tell that there was no cartilidge in the ears as long as the taxidermist knows what a bear ears looks and feels like and did a good job ....make sure you get all the toe bones out out too...the very last knuckle actually is the core of the claw so don't try to take that out.....the lips you want to make sure that its just flat out...if they aren't turned all the way you will feel a ridge where the end of the lip is..usually you can see where the hair follicles are and when they run out you should be flat and have a dark line running around where the very end of the lip is...also you have to split the cartilidge of the nose....skin around the cartilidge as far as you can toward the end of the nose....then come back about an inch and a half and cut the excess cartilidge off...then split the septum, the middle peice of cartilidge..once you split it all the way the this will open up the nose area to allow the salt you put on there to get to the hair line around the nose and to the end of the nose itself....well that was kind of long winded but i hope any of this helps you out in the future..once again, great bear!!
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

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    Hey thanks a lot guys. I sort of resigned myself to the fact that this being my first bear I may make a few mistakes. Actually I did a pretty darn good job removing the cartilage. I had the scalpel. I did cut one small hole, maybe an 1/8 of and inch right at the very tip of one ear. It sounds like I did not quite get the lips all the way and I did nothing to the nose. Hopefully it will be okay. I'll get it sealed tomorrow and then to the taxi if I can. Otherwise I'll do the lips a little more and tackle the nose.

    Any advice on freezing it?

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    they can use a artifical nose as well, i know a pile of guys that thats all they use now...
    turnin' lips takes a couple tries for you to figure out what on earth is going on in there, lay them out flat and run you finger down it, if you feel a bump in the fold...its not turned enough.
    you can't use to much salt either....
    don't forget the tail bone...
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    Default you did ok

    really it doesnt sound like you did that bad....i wouldnt worry about your ears....i would finish the lips and split the nose....i have used the fake noses and they work good but if you dont split the nose all the surrounding skin may spoil and not tan properly, and end up being weak which sucks either way real nose or fake nose.....if you want to freeze it dont' put salt on it..just wrap it up hair side out and turn our freezer on high for a two days.....and jake is right...dont forget the tail bone...i get a laugh out of all the tail bones i see in hides.....i just don't understand how trying to split the tailbones is easier than just skinning a 3 inch tail...split it up the bottom and it comes out in three seconds....i like to put a fine layer of salt on a hide, roll it up and let it make a brine before i flesh it....but after its all fleshed...there is no suck thing as too much salt....
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

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    It sounds like you will be ok, a Taxidermist worth his salt can fix just about anything. You should see some of the skining jobs I get in, and I have not lost one yet. (example, last year small bear for rug with no bottom jaw) The trick is to find yourself a good dermist who really does the work for the love of it and not the money. There are some of us out there.
    Alaska Mountin' Man Taxidermy
    North Pole, Ak 99705
    (907) 488-7083

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    Thanks Tucker. Ya, I just dropped the bear off with Terry Marquette, Black Bear Taxidermy in North Pole. My boss told me about him and has known him for years, they shoot trap together. I called him yesterday and went out to his place today. His home is his shop and is full of tons of his work. He said he does about 50 bears a year and has been doing them for 13 years and he really loves doing grizzlies. He had a couple whoppers there. Nice guy, very helpful for a newbie like me when it comes to bears. I'm really excited now that I have seen his work. He strikes me as a guy who does it because he loves it. He retired from the school district here back in 95. He's got some nice rugs there and everything else you can imagine. I felt really comfortable leaving it with him. He looked it over and said no prob and that I have done 90% more than most guys. He'll use inserts and bondo for the ears I think he said. No biggie from his perspective. I'm number 45 on his list!

    Huh, I guess I could have come and seen you as well. But, my boss gets a beer from Terry out of the deal and that will make him happy A happy boss is almost as important as a happy wife

    BTW... I see on your website you went to Taxidermy school in Bonner. I'm from Missoula. Moved to Fairbanks in 91. I still have family and friends there.

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