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Tail mount Advice

Old 04-26-2017, 12:34 PM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Tail mount Advice

So three weeks ago my brother shot a nice tom on the youth hunt and wanted to keep the tail. He put the tail in salt to dry it but didn't tack it out and now it's dry and it try's to fall apart if you try to open the fan is there way to save it?
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:52 PM
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Probably not. You can try to soak it in water or glycerin to see if it softens up but if he has already cracked the flesh and skin there is a chance it won't work. You may calling a taxidermist and asking them.
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:07 PM
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You may be able to stick the individual retices (tail feathers) and secondary covering feathers, in something like foam to re-create the fan. You'll have to glue them somehow. It will take some careful work to get the placement right.


Then get a fan mount that covers the base of the tail.


Next time, don't use salt to dry out the skin. It will soak into the wet tissue, and draw water out. But, the salt will then pull moisture back into the skin and tissue.


For your next fan, remove as much muscle and fat from the tail as you can. Watch that you don't cut the feather bases inside the tail, and don't remove too much of the tendons that link the feather bases.


Then rub in some borax. Then tack the fan in position and cover the base with borax, making sure to get some underneath too. Let it sit for a week, and replace the borax, especially any that is discolored from oil, fluid etc. Let it set for 2-3 weeks until really dry, and you should be good. There may be better methods, but the above method is easy and requires easy to find materials. Good luck.
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:07 PM
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Here is one I have had drying for a week. I know its not perfect, but its only my second one I have done, so I am learning.
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:34 PM
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Looks good to me BD12t!
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Old 04-26-2017, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Topgun 3006 View Post
Looks good to me BD12t!
Thanks! I am patiently waiting for it to dry, so I can mount it.... Its kind of special to me, since it was a bearded hen.
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:08 PM
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As Joe said, don't use salt. Always use borax. If you remove enough meat, bone, and fat, you won't have to wait three weeks. It will be ready in a week or two.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:22 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Shall08 View Post
So three weeks ago my brother shot a nice tom on the youth hunt and wanted to keep the tail. He put the tail in salt to dry it but didn't tack it out and now it's dry and it try's to fall apart if you try to open the fan is there way to save it?

Yes, you can save it!

You will need to rehydrate it first. You can search the web for other options but you can soak in a bucket of straight water for a few days, in a solution of soap and water or in an ammonia (e.g., Windex) solution. There are also agents you can buy from taxidermy shops, but water is really all you need for fans (I would recommend adding a little soap, it will cut down on any fat/oil).

I would personally not use borax for round 2 (the skin will get brittle from repeated drying). Instead, I recommend removing the quills and setting them with Bondo or hot glue. To do this you will need to use a razor blade and open up the fan, removing each quill (you can use a sharpie to number them to keep them ordered). Next, use a solvent (acetone) and wipe each quill to remove the fat - you need to remove the fat to expose the porous surface of the quill, which is needed for the bonding agent to adhere to the feather.

Once you have the individual quills cleaned you can then arrange them to your liking. Some guys simply use a big washer, others use a small piece of cardboard, some use 1/4" plywood (whatever you want) - regardless, this will be your holding/backing plate. Set them in place with Bondo or hot glue. Bondo will be permanent, but hot glue also works and you can melt it with a heat gun if you screw up.


I've rehydrated dried fans after they were held in dry storage for 4-5 years, no problems. I still have 2-3 sets of numbered quills that I need to finish prepping into fans. I prefer the hot glue method, mostly because my dad owned an auto-body repair shop and I sanded way too much Bondo as a kid
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