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Turkey mounting ?

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Turkey mounting ?

Old 02-27-2007, 04:15 PM
  #1  
Nontypical Buck
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Default Turkey mounting ?

I mounted my first gobbler this week... I've been wanting to do this for some time now... I bought a few video's from WASCO on mounting the wild turkey... One was on mounting the bird gobbling up on the limb and another is from cally morris on mounting a strutting gobbler. I also bougfht the breakthrough book on bird taxidermy... So I had some pretty good info on the mounting part

the one part I really don't have a lot of info on is the skinning and praserving... I used borax...

What I want to know is what do you do to the cape after you skin it out to make all the feathers look good again???
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Old 02-28-2007, 10:24 AM
  #2  
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Default RE: Turkey mounting ?

The skin needs washed and dried well. Dawn/water will do a good job, but be certain ALL of the soap is rinsed out.
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Old 02-28-2007, 03:35 PM
  #3  
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Default RE: Turkey mounting ?

What about tumbling??? What will it do for the feathers???
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Old 02-28-2007, 07:52 PM
  #4  
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Default RE: Turkey mounting ?

Tumbling isn't absolutley needed. It can help dry and fluff feathers faster than air alone.
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Old 03-04-2007, 03:12 PM
  #5  
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Default RE: Turkey mounting ?

How long do you leave the cape in the soap and water???

And do you yous a hair drier to dry your feathers or do you just let it air drie???

Also have you ever heard of putting the cap in mineral spirits or colman fuel???
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Old 03-04-2007, 07:34 PM
  #6  
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Default RE: Turkey mounting ?

Clean it well, but gently, in the water.Shouldn't need to let it soak.Rinse numerous times until completely clean of any soap residue. I use compressed air, at a distance to dry the feathers. A hair dryer works as well, but no high heat.
Many excellent taxidermists do use gas to degrease or displace water with birds. Manyexcellent taxidermists do not. I personally don't think it's worth the risk or health hazards.
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Old 03-05-2007, 05:38 PM
  #7  
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Turkey mounting ?

After you wash it. There is a lot of water left in the feathers... Do you hange it to let some of the water drain first. Or do you start blowing the feathers off with the compressed air???

I did this once and it took for ever to drie the feathers!!!
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Old 03-05-2007, 07:19 PM
  #8  
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Default RE: Turkey mounting ?

Igently squeeze some of the water out, and hang it to drip dry for a while. Then I use the air. Yes, it does take a while, but there's always something elseto keep me busy.
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Old 03-08-2007, 12:14 AM
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Default RE: Turkey mounting ?

Mr. Longbeard,
The following are the steps I take to mount a turkey.

1. When I take the bird in I skin it before freezing. Whole turkeys take up too much room.

2. My skinning method. Same used by many other taxidermists.
[ul][*]Remove the tail just like you would for a fan mount but leave the back feathers and feathers under the tail attached to the bird.[*]Make an incision fromleg jointto leg joint (joint between fibula and tarsus) across the lower part of the breast, being careful not to cut feathers.[*]skin around the legs leaving the skin attached at the joint and skin back away from body as much as possible with the legs still attached.[*]Cut drumstick (fibula) away from body at thigh (joint between fibula and femur) on each side. You can now skin over where the tail used to be and its at this point that I remove the drumstick meat.[*]Now the body can be tube skinned being careful to cut as few holes as possible. I normally have the bird haning upside down for this.[*]When you get to the wings cutthemaway from the shoulder (joint where humerus attaches to body) allowing you to skin all the way down the neck. You have to be careful in the throat area because of the tremendous amount of fat.[*]Once I have skinned the body out, I reinvert the skin and lay the bird on the ground to remove the head by cutting all the way around at the feather line, leaving a few feathers on the back of the neck and head.[*]I then remove the head and place in a bag of water to freeze for shipment to the freeze dryer.[*]The skin can now be removed completely from the body.[/ul]
3. At this point you have a fully skinned out body and a cut away tail. I place all of this into the freezer after folding the neck over under the folded wings and placing it into a big freezer bag.

4.The first thing I doonce my freeze dried head is in and I have painted it with airbrush and after Iunthaw the bird for mounting is skin out the wings. You can completely invert the wings but I prefer the following unless the underside of the wings are visible. This method is hard to describe and a good set of photos or a video of the process may be needed. Order any Cally Morris article you can from Breakthrough magazine.
[ul][*]I first work from inside the skin to skin over the humerus bone just slightly past the joint between the humerus and radius/ulna bones. Do not cut the primaries away from the ulna.[*]I then reinvert the skin and make an incision on the underside of the wing from past the outside joint (manus and radius/ulna joint) to the inside of thefirst joint (radius/ulna and humerus joint). I skin the wing bones out leaving the primaries attached. At this point I can turn the upperside of the wing over the bones completely exposing them to remove all meat from the bones.[*]I now cut the top nuckle off of the fibula and clean all of the marrow from the bones. Try to not get this on the feathers because it is especially nasty.[/ul]
5. Now that my wings are skinned and all meat removed, I turn my attention to fleshing the bird. The best method I have found is using a pressure washer with the skin inverted over a traffic cone, but this is a relatively new method that you may not wish to try. I then wire wheel the wings. I believe my first exposure to this method was a Breakthrough article as well. If your not using this method the next best method is to use a wire wheel/bird fleshing machine on the entire skin. Be careful to not cut too many holes. They can be fixed however.

6. When my fleshing is complete, I start the washing process.
[ul][*]I use a luke warm water with plenty of dish detergent. Dawn is a favorite but any quality soap will do.[*]I normally do the first wash with the skin inverted to help remove as many loose particles as possible. I then drain all water and do a quick rinse.[*]I then turn the skin right side out and place skin into another bath of dawn. I try to pay attention and remove any particles in the feathers from the fleshing.[*]I like to rinse and wash in soap one last time. I normally allow the skin to soak a few minutes each time.[*]After this washing and rinsing process, I rinse the skin in clean cool water several times until the water stays fairly clean.[*]Remove the skin from the rinse and gently squeeze the water out. I then wrap a white towel around the skin and allow the towel to soak up some of the moisture.[/ul]
7. The next step is controversial, but I prefer it to displace water, speed up drying and I believe add more shine to the feathers.
[ul][*]I carry the damp skin to a five gallon bucket I keep outside that contains coleman fuel. I place the skin into the coleman fuel and allow it to soak for maybe 5 minutes.[*]WARNING: Do not do this inside! Do not smoke anywhere near it! Do not get it near any ignition source! This stuff is flameable as Hell.[*]Remove the skin from the bucket, squeeze excess fluid from it and hang the skin up to allow more moisture to dry (preferably outside also).[/ul]
8. During this time or while I'm washig the body skin I flesh the fan out completely and use pretty much the same washing and rinsing process, although it may not take as much because it will not be as dirty. I also soak the fan in the coleman fuel using the same precautions.

9. After the skin has had time to drip/air dry slightly. I tumble in corncob grit from McKenzie. I do not own a tumbler, so I use a large pillow case andclose the topby holding it with my hand.Then I gently tumble the skin around in the bag by tuning the bag up anddown to allow the corncob grit to floataround in the bag and remove more of the moisture.

10. After thesomewhat of a tumble, Ihang the skin and use a blow dryer to completely (notice completely) dry the feather side of the skin.If the feathers are not completely dry they will look like crap. You should have all of the underside of the feathers fluffed comletely with no matting.This is theonly way to make the bird look nice and be able to groom the feather patterns correctly.

11. The bird is now ready to be mounted. The first step will be to wire the wings and legs. If you hadn't noticed, I do not remove teh tendons from the legs, so wiring can be difficult. Just keepturning the wire starting from the top and exiting at around the second joint of the middle toe. Becareful to not run it into your hand (OUCH!). I wire the wings with a fairly small gage wire if the bird has its wings folded and tie the wire to the bones using either zip ties or heavy cape thread and cutting the tag ends off close to the bone. I then staple the skin shut becuase this is completely hidden on a strutting or standing bird.

12. The mounting method I use is also Cally Morris's method and I can notbegin to explainit without pictures. Not to mention I'm tired of typing. With the method of skinning the bird that I described, you have to take some special steps to insert the wires while getting teh body into the skin. It would do you well tobuy copies ofCally's articles from Breakthrough magazine.

Also, do not use a formthat is too big it will prevent you from taxiing the skin around and will not allow you to groom the feather tracts properly.You want a fairly loose fit.

Just think youhave done all this work and still don't have the skin on the form or anything adjusted. And people wonder why tukeys can't be mounted for $200. Heck I won't mount a standing bird for under $450 and strutting is going to cost you more like $500. I don't even believe that is really enough.

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Old 03-12-2007, 05:14 PM
  #10  
Nontypical Buck
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Default RE: Turkey mounting ?

Thanks for the info!!! I got my hands on the Cally Morris strutting turkey seminar

You guys have been very helpful!!!
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