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turkey fan mount?

Discussion in 'Upland Game and Hunting Dogs' started by traphunter, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. traphunter

    traphunter Guest

    I was wondering if anyone on here could give me some advice on how to fan mount a turkey. I would like perserve the fan, legs and beard of the turkey I shot this spring and was wondering if there is any simple way I could do this myself without paying the $ of a taxidermist doing it. It seems easy enough but Im not sure. Its in my freezer now. Thanks in advance,
  2. It is fairly easy, but there are some things you'll need to do that many people don't. First, many people salt them. Don't use salt, as it doesn't really preserve anything. It dries it and makes a less than ideal habitat for bacterial and bugs, but it doesn't protect. Option 1 for the tail: take off ALL of the meat and fat you can get off. This included between the quills. If you left some of the back feathers, you can slowly peel back the skin holding them and get any flesh between that skin and the tail. Ideally, the only thing holding the tail feathers together will be a small piece of skin, by you likely won't get it quite that clean. Once you have everything as clean as you can possibly get it, apply a light coat of borax (from the grocery store) to every bit of flesh. Arrange the feathers how you like them and let them dry for about a week or so. I like to use a piece of cardboard as a back board and I place some pins near the base tail feathers to hold the shape until dry.
    Option 2 for the tail: this is the better way, but many people don't like the idea. It's not really that bad. Pluck all of the tail feathers and arrange them to look the way you like. I like to place the quills on a bed of clay, slightly higher in the middle. This give a more natural shape. Pour some Bondo over the quills and let cure. I like to thin the Bondo with some resin first. When the front is hardened, turn over and put some Bondo on the back of the quills. If you have some back feathers, slowly skin the piece of skin holding them off of the tail butt and treat the flesh side with borax. When dry in a week or so, glue that to the tail feathers. This way is intimidating to many people, but it's actually a bit easier and it ensures that all of the meat and fat is gone. Homemade turkey tails are probably the number one cause of dermestid infestation, and dermestids are attracted by meat/tissue.

    For the feet, there's not a lot for the do-it-yourselfer to do. Ideally, they're injected, but it's not something you need to worry about. Cut them off where you like, and apply some borax. Dig out the marrow if you cut them below the knee joint and stuff in some borax. Prop them up somewhere they will hold the shape you want and let them dry for a couple weeks. There will be a lot of shrinkage, but that comes from the insides drying up (this is what the injections are for).

    The beard is the easiest. They should be plucked from the skin, like a feather. This leaves no skin for bugs to find. If you already cut it from the skin, see if it's possible to pull that skin off. If so, after the skin is gone just cover the end of the beard in epoxy and that's it. If you can't get the skin off, trim as much as possible and apply some borax. Let it dry until hard.

    Everything should be treated occasionally with a good bug spray to ensure the bugs don't get into it.

  3. traphunter

    traphunter Guest

    Thanks alot for the info. It is much appreciated. I will be sure to try some of your suggetions when I find some time to mount it. Again thanks alot for the quick response and info.