replace/lengthen pintail drake tail feather

Submitted by Kevin on 2/12/01. ( )

Anyone have a hot tip for lengthening or replacing the long tail feather on a pintail drake. I don't do too many in my part of the country, but have a customer request to lengthen this feather.
Thanks in advance.

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Is that like a Plumbers pipe stretcher?

This response submitted by George on 2/13/01. ( )

Sounds a lot like a your customer should have shot an adult sprig instead of a juvenile. We all hear guys wanting us to make their scrub bucks into "full rutted Mr. Wonderful's". There are no "tricks" to stretching feathers that I know of. You can replace it with a matures sprigs tail or even use the feathers off an Old Squaw, but other than that, you need to educate you customer that "What you shoot is what you get."

Ducks not a juvenile, neither am I

This response submitted by kevin on 2/14/01. ( )

This was a mature bird shot in ND by a local game warden. We don't get pintails with sprigs with any length during our seasons here up north, unlike the pintails shot down south in January. It just didn't have a long tail, and I had heard one time that another bird's feather could be used. Just asked a question, and didn't expect to be treated like a novice. I thought we were here to ask?


This response submitted by Frank Kotula on 2/14/01. ( )

How you said it takes makes us laugh at it. You wanted to know how to make a tail longer. Sorry but Georgey boy was right in what he said.
You not being treated as a novice but got an answer for what you said.
And he did answer your question. You need to replace the tail with a new one. The problem is try and find one. If you try to replace it with a feather from another bird a guy who knows his ducks will know the difference between the two.

Split out the retrices.

This response submitted by stephen on 2/14/01. ( )

About the only way you could make the bird appear to have longer retrices would be to split them out from the upper and lower tail coverts and set them independently in the hand carved body. To hide the modification, especially on the top, you could also split out the rows of coverts and apply them individually to cover the fact that some of the individual retrix feathers are not fully grown. Concominently, you could position the wrist of the bird further foward to give the appearance that the tail is longer. And lastly, don't allow the feathers of the upper and lower tail coverts fluff as wide as possible, pin them slightly down when drying. That is as far as you could go without purchasing replacment retrices.

The Taxidermologist

Simple Solution for "Sprigs"

This response submitted by David on 2/14/01. ( )

Kevin, Here's a simple solution to your problem. Almost 100% of the time, a male Pintail will have 2 "sprig" feathers. Simply pull out the upper feather, snip off about 1/2" of the tip of the quill. Insert a 4" piece of straight small diameter wire into the quill opening (be sure to pre-fit, usually need to sharpen and add a drop of super glue GEL), set aside to dry. Mount Pintail and when ready to card wings/tail, push wire into Pintail body, leaving the "sprig" far enough out to lengthen. Cover wire/quill with tail coverts. This should solve your problem.

Thanks for the help

This response submitted by kevin on 2/15/01. ( )

Your replies were appreciated.

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