The following article is from the original WHITETAIL DESIGNER SYSTEMS website. Hilton "Pedro" Eppley has since formed Hilton Eppley Forms, LLC. He can be contacted at:
Hilton Eppley Forms Telephone 1-888-398-1546
Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, the WTDS product developer was sculpting ear butts on a mount for one of his customers.
He stepped back to take a look at his work. Then he said to himself, “Self, this would make a good visual for the website.”
Then he says to himself, “Self, I need someone else to point out what is right and what is wrong with these ears. I cannot misguide the Website visitors. I need a Wizard!”
He pondered for a short time, and then he said to himself, “Self, I’ll call the Wizard of Eyes.”
The Wizard of Eyes has been known to win numerous state shows, the National, receiving the Bruchac Award for Highest Scoring Whitetail, International Guild of Taxidermists, and Best in World Whitetail, all in Master’s Division. He is a certified National Taxidermy Association Judge, having received Division of Excellence Awards. He also sculpts whitetail and mule deer and antelope and salmon and largemouth and small mouth bass and trout and musky and small mammal mannikins for Buckeye Mannikins. (Some things were left out to save on download time).
The Whitetail Designer Systems product developer (henceforth he shall be knows an P.D.-saves on download time) put in a call to the Wizard of Eyes.
P.D., “Mr. Hilton Eppley Jr.?” (You can’t call a wizard up and say, Hey Wizard.” That would be a show of disrespect.)
Mr. Hilton Eppley Jr., “Yeah.” (Henceforth he shall be known as Hilton-No disrespect, Sir, -saves on download time.)
P.D., “You’ve been known to judge a taxidermy show.”
Hilton, “Couple of times.”
P.D., “I’ve got this idea for a website article.”
The conversation did not stay on one track. It was constantly being broken up by an exchange of fishing secrets-these will be left out to save on download time.
Between it all, P.D. told Hilton of this idea of taking before and after pictures of pre-sculpted ear butts and having them critiqued on the website-ruthlessly-no candy coating-call it like you see it.
Hilton is one of those “good guys” (This part of the Wizard’s credentials was left out earlier-saves on download time) and initially had a hard time with the idea of a public butt ripping’.
When it was explained that a visual of what was wrong with something could be just as important a learning tool as a visual of what was right, he warmed up to the idea.
Hilton, “Man, I can really take ‘em apart, rip ‘em?”
P.D., “Rip ‘em!”
Hilton, “O.K. then.”
Before and after photos were taken and sent.
A few days later, one of those brown vans that connect lands far away left a package.
P.D. said to himself, “Self, that’s an awfully big package for a floppy disk and a written critique.”
The first thing that came out of the package was one of those state of the art ear butt reference casts designed by Cary Cochran.
P.D. says to himself, “Self, this could be a bad sign. Hilton must think I don’t have one already.”
Further examination of the cast showed it to have a bunch of foot long names written all over those little bitty muscles.
The next thing that came out of the package was “the critique.”
P.D. had asked Hilton if he could come up with some kind of value, grade, scale, “etc.” so that anyone not familiar with the “taxidermy language” could read this article and come out with a better understanding of what was correct and incorrect.
Hilton sent the critique back in taxidermy Latin in the form of judge’s notes and in the language we can all identify with, letter grades A to D.
First thing P.D. picked up on was all those D’s. Had one of those recurring childhood traumas, he did.
Before going on, you will want to study the pictures of the cast and limber up your tongue so you can say all those names, and memorize the location of the muscles and the spelling of their names. Your grade could depend on it!
Above conch-Scuto-Auricularis Externus
Below conch-Zygomatico Auricularis
At arrow- Superficial Cervico
Middle Cervico Auricular
At X Parotido Auricularis
Top most identical muscle
Cervico Auricularis Prof. Magor
If you would like to obtain one of these reference casts, or you too need a second one, they are available exclusively from Buckeye Mannikins. They are available painted, without ink marks, or unpainted. To order, 1-800-468-3131
Mr. Hilton Eppley, Jr.'s Critique
Left ear-is rough from muscle to ear liner, the Superficial Auricular is not visible
Right ear-looks good from back view
Left ear-shallow where muscle meets cartilage, very tight.
Superficial Cervico Auricular a little full
Right ear-rotation questionable.
The Dreaded Grading Period Starts Here!
Blending of the muscle could be a little smoother.
Grooming of hair patterns on upper top edge of ear. Hair patterns are off. Overall commercial work, not bad.
Hair pattern rough, hair could be groomed on back of ear. MiddleCervicoAuricular a little full for rotation of ear.
Not real bad for commercial work.
Ear butt union questionable, roughness where muscles blend to ear liner.
Ear liner tight to muscles, Superficial Cervico Auricular not blended to ear liner proper.
Roughness of hair pattern, not flowing with ear. Needs to be groomed more. Good for commercial work.
Not bad ear rotation. Cannot see ears or ear butts properly to analyze. Veins in ear look good, but may be too big.
Overall not bad, edge of ear not on ear liner properly. Hair needs grooming on ear butts. Depth of ear butt questionable, may be too full-a tad bit too low. Left eye a little too full. Nose symmetry not bad. Overall looks not bad.
Zygomatico Auricular not visible. Parotido Auricular not blended to form. Auricular Externus may be a little full. Overall not bad. Ear butts could be blended to form better.
Hair pattern on edge of ear rough. Ear butt may be a little full top to bottom. Hair pattern on ear butt swirly.
Auricular Externus a little sharp, should blend better to ear liner, needs more flow. Ear rotation questionable, may be a little high. Overall-bottom of ear butts could blend to form better-could flow better. Bottom of butt a little full where it comes up to ear conch.
Hair pattern protruding to ear conch a little rough. Ear angle may be a little high. Could use grooming.
The descriptive statements in this critique describe minor faults.
On longhaired deer the muscles do not need to be as prominent or defined. As they go into the late fall and rut period the muscles will be more fluid filled and loose definition. You just don’t see the definition of individual muscles as much on longhaired deer.
Shorthaired deer will show more muscle definition.