Northern Shoveler Help

Submitted by Travis P. on 11/28/05 at 9:53 AM. ( )

OK... A little background first, I have helped my buddy mount a Bufflehead a few years that is my experience as far as ducks go. (Very limited) I have a video to get me through the skinning part hopefully. So, now the q. and a. part:

I killed a Hen Shoveler yesterday, she is sleeping quietly in the freezer right now. VERY good visible trauma to her. I was thought the bill was unusual so I thought I would give it a try mounting her. I'm waffling back and forth over using an artificial head, or doing it "old school" and keeping her skull. I'm most concerned about getting the bill painted correctly. If I do use her own skull/bill...will I still have to repaint the bill or does the coloration stay well enough to leave it as is? (I do NOT have an airbrush kit) I know if I go with the artificial I will have to paint her from scratch... SO...if I do need the paints, can anyone help me with the paint scheme for this duck?

OK, onto my next question.... What gauge wire do I need for it's legs/wings/neck, as well as what diameter neck foam should I be using for this hen?

I'm not sure of the pose yet...I want something that will accent that distinct bill, so possibly something with it's head turned, or at an angle so that the bill shape is shown off. Any suggestions?

Final question... Like I said, I killed her yesterday and she is in a freezer bag (head tucked under wing) in the freezer. I plan on skinning her this week... I was planning on using dry preserve on her since I already have some from last years this acceptable? I'd like to make sure I skin it out before buying the materials (in case I screw it up) can I skin it, then refreeze the skin? If I can, should I skin, get the fat off, wash, and put on DP before putting back in freezer....or should I wait to flesh/wash/preserve once I get the form?

Thanks for helping a beginner! Yes, I looked in the archives before all these questions! These ? are what I couldn't find in the archives... I understand this bird is very think skinned so I'll try to not make any holes!

Thanks again!

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buy a video

This response submitted by Mark H on 11/28/05 at 10:16 AM. ( )

on mounting birds.....nuff said


This response submitted by brian f on 11/28/05 at 10:28 AM. ( )

well, first, watch your video. some of those questions will get answered.

I would use the natural bill on this bird - and yes, you'll need to paint it (it will lose lots of color). just check refernence pics to see how to paint. this saves money and I just prefer it for this type bird

if you want to skin before buying stuff...fine. skin, degrease, wash and freeze. then when you want to mount, wash it REAL good, dry it, DP and mount.

good luck


This response submitted by Travis P. on 11/28/05 at 12:13 PM. ( )

Gee thanks for that advice Mark H.! (I have a video if you read my question!) I love the people who's "help" from this forum is a reply like I got from Mark. If you don't want to help a beginner out, than nevermind the sarcasm please. Gesh.

On the other hand....thanks for your HELP Brian. Everyone seems to agree that Dawn will work as the degreaser right?

Anyone know the gauge of wire and neck foam for a duck this small?

Thanks in advance.....


This response submitted by Larry on 11/28/05 at 3:37 PM. ( )

14 guage should work for the legs of a standing duck.

Might be able to go down to 16 guage for the neck and I'd wire the wings with 16 guage as well on the standing pose.

As far as neck width and length, I'd measure it after you skin it, just put back what you take out.

Dawn, scissors and a wire brush will work to degrease, just make sure you get 99.5% of the fat off and rinse 3 times more after you think you've got it rinsed.

As brian said, don't borax it until you are ready to mount, all steps before this can be stopped and the bird can be refrozen.

As for bill colors, just make some good notes and/or drawings of the bill when you take it out of the freezer and this is what you want to reproduce when you paint it.



This response submitted by Travis P. on 11/28/05 at 4:57 PM. ( )

...for the help Larry! I appreciate it.

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