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how to mount a hooded merganser drake, a tutorial by Ryan P Kostyniuk

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by RyanP, May 21, 2011.

  1. I will be creating this tutorial over the next few weeks, as I have time to post pics. There will be pics from skinning to finishing.

    If you have any questions or comments, please pm them to me so as not to break the tutorial up.
    As a final note, I am no professional,, this tutorial is just to help beginners get started in the right direction in bird taxidermy.




    This bird was an ideal specimen being a full plumage drake, with very little shot damage, and no broken bones. I shot it the last week of october, 2010, on chip lake, Alberta.
     

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  2. to begin, thaw the bird overnight, then place in a container of cool to cold water, this will help remove any blood clots in feathers, and will make the breast feathers easier to part for the inscision
     

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  3. after soaking for 15 minutes. hang the bird to drip dry for 1/2 hour. hang by running string through nostrils
     

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  4. next, lay bird on an old towel, (keeps water, blood, and other fluids off of work bench) and part the feathers along the breast as shown,, then make an inscison with a sharp knife, going just under the skin, (try not to cut into meat) stop inscision just before anus.
     

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  5. begin to skin down the sides of the body, use fingers in a pushing motion, rather than a knife if possible to avoid cutting holes (bird skin tears very easily! U will see there is a thick layer of fat on the skin, do not worry about it for now. Skin until you can push the knee joint (thigh and drumstick ) up towards the inscision.
     

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  6. snip the knee joints on both sides then place bird in upright position on breast and carefully skin past anus, then cut straight to wards the backbone. sever the tail from the spine at the point in front of the tailbone which holds the tail feathers in place. skin very care fully here the skin adheres very tightly to the body, and will tear very easily. the pics explain
     

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  7. skin down back toward wings
     

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  8. when u reach the wings, you will have to cut deeply into the body to sever the joint properly.
     

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  9. skin down neck and sever the neck joint at close to the base of the skull set body aside for future reference
     

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  10. turn skin right side out and move on to the head. use a scalpel or x-acto to cut skin all the way around beak. do this very carefully

    Skin past eyes (be careful around eyelids) to the back of the head, where you will find the ears, cut these right against the bone, or u will make a big hole. continue skinning until head comes free.
     

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  11. more pics
    (ears in first pic)
     

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  12. turn skin inside out skin down drumstick portion of leg, and strip all meat from bone sever the bone just below the ball joint, and run a thin wire inside to remove all marrow
     

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  13. same on the wing. skin to second joint, and strip off meat.
     

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  14. on to the tail skin very carefully around the two oil glands and the v shaped portion of the spine that remains in the skin. then remove these, leaveing only the tail feather quills showing
     

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  15. on to the fleshing I use a wire wheel flesher on all waterfowl, They are expensive, but nothing esle does a better job. To use, hold the flesh side of the skin up to the rotating wheel Go extremely carefully so as not to tear holes (which happens very easily if you apply too much pressure) u should practice on some scrap skins first. When fleshed, you will be able to see each feather butt

    The bird MUST be fleshed properly or grease will bleed through the skin and stain the feathers (also will attract bugs)
     

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  16. When fleshed, the skin must be washed in a solution of 1 gallon cold water, 1/4 cup each of dawn dish soap and (optional) WASCO skin prep . use a toothbrush between the feather butts then rinse under running water until ALL soap is out of feathers. then press between two towels to remove excess moisture.
     

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  17. next soak in gasoline or other solvent for 1 hour to degrease use common sense as to saftey when dealing with flammable solvents

    Hang to drip dry for 1 hour or so.
     

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  18. to dry place in plastic bag with hardwood sawdust . blow up like balloon and shake for fifteen to twenty minutes. repeat procedure with diatomaceous earth, available from feed suppliers) and then powdered borax. Final pic shows skin after tumbling.


    I have to go now, will post more pics when I have time
     

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  19. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    Thank you for this great tutorial Ryan. Joe
     
  20. Jdewitt27

    Jdewitt27 New Member

    Thanks this is a great tutorial. Is soaking in gasoline common or are there any alternatives?