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preserving turkey feet, starting to smell

Old 05-03-2016, 07:14 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2015
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Angry preserving turkey feet, starting to smell

This is my first time preserving turkey parts, I did the tail feathers, no problem after viewing many YouTube videos, the beard no problem either but the feet are starting to smell. The videos I watched said just to cut them off and put borax on them a couple said salt so I made a 70-30 mix of mostly borax to the parts.
After a week the feet started to smell so I drilled the center of the legs with a drill bit and covered the complete feet in borax, after a week no smell. Now going on 3 weeks I can smell the feet under the borax. Is there anything I can do or will the smell just leave in time?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:49 PM
Giant Nontypical
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Time will take care of it.
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Old 02-04-2017, 04:57 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: NY
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After taking a bird, I save the beard and cut off both legs at the leg joint. I just let the legs dry for 3-4 months until they get rock hard. Then while using a band saw, I cut off the spurs from the legs and mount them on a display.
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Old 03-22-2017, 04:17 PM
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Location: Wisconsin
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I dry the feet as may tom does. You can also dry them standing up as if the bird was walking or curl the toes and make the last act of defiance jesture.
Or if I am saving the spurs I cut immediately and drop them in a tub of simple Borax. 50 mule team borax works well.
I also use various legs for hands on demos at the Learn To Hunt programs I teach with the state.
Or a series of cut spurs on a leather strand makes a great hat band.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:20 PM
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I cut about 2 feet of 1" dia pvc and put a cap on each end. Drop the beard in one end to the cap and put cap on the other end. Then get the borax ready and pull the end with the skin you want to dry just out enough to fill the cap with borax and cover all the skin. Then put the cap back on and stand it up in a corner or I've put a string on it and hang it up from a nail.

It keeps it out of the way, the skin covered in borax, seals the whole thing from additional moisture while drying AND keeps the beard straight while it's all setting.

After I had ONE of those tube set ups I found all kinds of other uses for them through the rest of the year and made four more just because they are handy. If you ever carry a turkey feather as a coyote decoy, it keeps it from getting it all beat up when you are carrying it around from set to set.
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Old 06-09-2018, 11:53 AM
Join Date: Feb 2018
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It not the borax or the salt... You have to leave it for months to dry up
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