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Author Topic: How to prepare your bird for a taxidermist?  (Read 556 times)

Offline jmerchant1

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How to prepare your bird for a taxidermist?
« on: April 19, 2022, 10:23:23 PM »
I have shot several turkeys and always cleaned them myself but never got one mounted. If I would want a full body mount done in the future, is there anything in need to do in preparation after the kill? Or it is as simple as freeze the whole thing as is and get it to my taxidermist asap?

Offline GobbleNut

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Re: How to prepare your bird for a taxidermist?
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2022, 11:12:22 PM »
Of course, if you are in a position to freeze your bird and then deliver it to your taxidermist, that is probably the best way to proceed.  Often, that is not possible for a lot of folks to do, however.  Personally, I think anybody that has plans to eventually have full mounts done should take the time to learn to cape their birds.  It is not at all difficult and makes the process from shot to taxidermist a LOT easier to deal with.   

You can find the caping process on YouTube (and probably other video sources) if you choose to go that route.  Regardless of which way you go, just take as much care of the bird as you can in terms of not crushing/breaking feathers as much as possible after the shot, and then make sure you either freeze or otherwise keep the bird/cape on ice or refrigerated (freeze it if it is going to be more than a few days until you can get the bird to your taxidermist).

A good taxidermist can deal with some lost feathers, but if the cape on your bird spoils due to decomposition from not being kept cold/frozen, you are screwed. 

Offline JeffC

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Re: How to prepare your bird for a taxidermist?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2022, 08:10:58 AM »
Try to remove all the blood off as soon as possible, feathers stain pretty easy, a wet towel will will save your taxidermist a lot of trouble later. I will put head in plastic bag as soon as possible. Talk to your taxidermist, he/ she will explain what you need to do to make his work easier. Good luck.
Print by Madison Cline, on Flickr

Offline Taxidermist58

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Re: How to prepare your bird for a taxidermist?
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2022, 10:10:17 AM »
DO NOT attempt to cape, gut, skin or do anything to the bird ! Get it frozen whole or to your taxidermist ASAP.

Offline GobbleNut

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Re: How to prepare your bird for a taxidermist?
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2022, 09:27:40 AM »
DO NOT attempt to cape, gut, skin or do anything to the bird ! Get it frozen whole or to your taxidermist ASAP.

Not wanting to be disagreeable, I will state upfront that, if someone has the option of freezing their gobbler and getting it to their taxidermist whole, that is probably the best thing to do.  The problem with making that blanket statement is that some folks that read it may make the decision not to have a turkey mounted that they would like to have done because they are not able to get the whole, frozen bird to a taxidermist right away.  I would like to reassure folks that they have other options IF they just take the time to learn them.

The quoted statement makes it sound like there is some sort of rocket science involved in learning to cape a turkey.  Frankly, there is not.  The process just isn't that difficult.  As one who has mounted around 100 gobblers and caped probably another hundred for others, I have some level of confidence that anybody can do it. 

Bottom line in this comment is that, if anybody that reads this kills a gobbler that they want to have mounted but can't get it immediately frozen and to a taxidermist, you should be aware that you have other options.  Caping a turkey for mounting is, quite honestly, simple and easy.  Learn to do it yourself (you can practice on gobblers that you are not planning on having mounted to gain the confidence needed to do it right). 

Simply stated, a caped gobbler is much easier to deal with in terms of keeping in condition for mounting IF you don't have the option of getting your whole/frozen bird to your taxidermist.  Taking the time to learn to do it yourself will eliminate any thought that you will not be able to have a bird mounted because you can't get the entire bird to a taxidermist in mountable condition. 

Offline Taxidermist58

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Re: How to prepare your bird for a taxidermist?
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2022, 02:28:30 PM »
I'm sure most taxidermists have their way of skinning the bird to be mounted. I know I have mine, and I will not accept a pre-skinned bird. First off, I have no idea what the measurements were that I need to get, Second, I'm not going to spend half a day or more sewing holes that were cut in the skin while skinning it. I simply will not make my job any harder than it has to be. Proper measurements and proper skinning help make the mount come together as it should. It's each taxidermists decision as to what they are willing to work with. Mine is to do the work myself, so I know what I am working with and there are no surprises awaiting me that are going to cause me more work and headaches, and, possibly make the finished product, with my name on it, less than acceptable for mine or my clients standards.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2022, 09:58:16 AM by Taxidermist58 »