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Advice on Gobbling Turkey

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by DJ II, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. DJ II

    DJ II New Member

    I think I have attached a picture of a turkey that I am working on. Wanting to see if I have everything positioned right before proceeding with mounting. Thinking maybe the head / neck should be raised higher but not sure. Any opinions / advice would be appreciated.








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  2. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    PERSONALLY, I think the tail should be down. When they gobble from the limb like that, they shift there center of balance forward and use the tail lowered to give it the extra distance for balancing. They usually gobble downward at other turkeys or intruders on the ground below. As such, I'd tip the head farther down. I'm sure at some point in time, however, your pose is correct.
     

  3. I'm not going to say George is wrong, but I've never seen a turkey gobble DOWN AT something below them. Maybe they do, but I have never witnessed it. I've seen several turkeys gobble from the limb and they've all done it just as they do on the ground - head slightly up. Afterwards, they look down at what's below them. It seems like turkeys gobble ALMOST like we sneeze - it just kind of comes out without a lot of control. However, I have seen a myriad of mounted turkeys gobbling with their head down. It looks cool, but so do Jackelopes and Swamp Monkeys.
     
  4. A- Fish

    A- Fish Stehling's Taxidermy

    I would angle your body up a little more...this will bring the tail down slightly and the head up.
     
  5. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Perhaps "down" was not the proper term. Here's a link to a mounted turkey's done by someone who's done a few more than I have.

    http://www.hazelcreekinc.com/taxidermy.htm
     
  6. A- Fish

    A- Fish Stehling's Taxidermy

    Cally Morris is an excellent taxidermist, but I wouldn't be using anyones mounts as reference.

    I made the mistake when I first started doing turkeys of making my gobbling birds gobbling straight or down. As long spur said, they rarely gobble straight out or down. They CAN do it, but I rarely see it.

    I keep six reference turkeys, and even when they are on there roosts, strutting and gobbling at the birds below them, they still gobble with there heads slightly upwards. Boondocks freeze dried gobbling heads are the best I have used to really capture what a turkey looks like when its gobbling.
     
  7. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Aaron you're obviously correct...especially to taxidermists. HOWEVER, many of our customers are fed this sort of thing through media and outdoor shows. They show up telling us they want it mounted "just like this picture". How many of is had to paint our deer noses whiney black for 40 years because of that???

    And saying that, UNLESS you listen to guys like Aaron we'll be stuck the same way. (BTW I never liked Cally,s paint schedule either. LOL)
     
  8. DJ II

    DJ II New Member

    Thanks for the comments. I agree that most turkeys I see gobble with their heads tilted up somewhat. I wasn't sure whether I should tilt the entire body back or just make adjustments to the head/neck. The head BTW was done by Boondocks and turned out great.
     
  9. ElkinsTaxidermy

    ElkinsTaxidermy www.ronelkinstaxidermy.com

    The head was, but the neck WASN'T. There is the problem. Cally ALWAYS has neck anatomy issues with his mounts, and so do his forms.
     
  10. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    WHEW!!!! I don't guess his bank account shows that and I think he has a few national and world championships someplace along the way. I may not agree with some of his work, but that's just my opinion. I'm not about to say his products have "issues" or he's wrong.
     
  11. Well George, this time I will say you're wrong. There are issues with his work - especially anatomy. I don't care how much money he makes or how many mounts he's done. He is a very talented taxidermist and does some beautiful work, but that doesn't make him right on anatomy. His legs are almost always too short, his necks are often too short, and his paint schedule is just ho hum IMHO. He grooms the coverts on his wings backwards. All you have to do is look at 100 reference pics of wild turkeys and see which way they stack. Then look at Cally's and see which way he stacks his. The proof is right there. And the fact that he has won National and World competitions just goes to show that competitions don't mean crap! They may mean something to his bank account and the tally of turkeys he's mounted, but I'm living proof that winning a competition don't mean squat. I won blue ribbons at the NWTF 10 years ago with crappy birds. I've since lost competitions with FAR superior mounts. I've seen crappy ducks beat outstanding ducks. I could go on and on. Do a great composition and half ass mount and you can win. Do a perfect mount and a half ass composition and you don't stand a chance. If you run into a judge with more knowledge than ego, alert the press. It's a rare event. Aaron hit the nail on the head. NEVER tell someone to mimic another taxidermist vs the actual animal or taxidermy progress stops. Cally deserves a ton of credit for bringing turkeydermy to a new level in the 80's/90's, but he isn't the end all be all of turkey taxidermy, ESPECIALLY not just because he's successful. For the record, the 3 most financially successful taxidermists I know turn out pure crap on a daily basis - bug eyed, glue covered, ungroomed, unfleshed, CRAP. But, they make a lot more money than I ever will. I wouldn't put Cally in that category by any stretch, but he's far from perfect.
     
  12. A- Fish

    A- Fish Stehling's Taxidermy

    Just for the record, my remarks were not intended to say anything bad about Mr Morris's work. I like his work.
     
  13. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    IMHO, as a rule the upper mandible should never be above horizontal. I have never seen a turkey gobbling up in the air. While the neck may be positioned upward the mandible will certainly be either level or angled downward. I'm sure someone will come on here and prove me wrong and that is OK. The back of the neck should be either a straight line or slightly humped. The sway back that is pictured is not correct IMO. Almost 99% of the time there will be a slight hump. You also have the turkey standing on his heels. They don't do that. The distribution of weight is ACROSS the toes and not all the way back on the heels so this is throwing your balance off making the legs too straight. You also have the tail attached to the body incorrectly. The tail should be an extension of the spinal column and not as high as you have it attached. I also agree with Aaron that the body should be tilted up a little more. A rule of thumb would be to have the forward section of the body (from the humerus attachment to the femur attachment) horizontal with the back section angling downward to the tail. This will give you a high point on the back hackles and then they would roll downward to the tail as they should be. Without seeing it in person it's hard to tell but the neck seems a little short. I hope that I'm not sounding too critical but now is when you need to correct these issues and not when you have the skin on.......
    Good luck and post a pic when you get it mounted.......
     
  14. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Thank you Aaron. I didn't take it any other way. I have to apologize for putting a link to his site in this post. Certainly Cally didn't ask for it and I think it's a bit fickle to beat up on a guy who just happened to be an innocent bystander. I 've always been cautious you birdbrains, but I think some of you bird guys eat your young.
     
  15. hodx

    hodx Herman Darr

    i watched a video last night about some guy who raised wild turkeys from eggs..he even learned all there calls...i remember seeing it gobble...starting from head in strut position..then out to a tapered hump in the neck...gobbling half way through
     
  16. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    Oops, I meant to say the neck was a little long....Anyway...Good luck!!!!
     
  17. royalpalm

    royalpalm do what u luv & luv doing it-remember y u started

    I have never seen a turkey mounted that way. All that work to the form and the things with the legs must have taken up a lot of time. I use a Tim Jordan body and i do nothing to body itself and while i am mounting it i make the legs and attach it right there into the body..you can bend your legs in any postion while mounting it. I do not understand the whole doing the body first then mounting the bird?? How do you know exactly how wide to make your drum sticks? I am very confused by this method..
     
  18. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Just another way to "skin a cat". Tim Jordan uses a ventral cut bird. Cally uses a tube cut bird where it is split from knee bone/vent/kneebone and mounted sort of inferted from the front. As you install the wings your roll the back body skin reaward and then sew and superglue your skin around the legs. I like that way better myself, but I'm not Tim Jordan or Cally Morris. Just the way I prefer.
     
  19. Harry Whitehead

    Harry Whitehead I love to hunt Buffalos!!!!!

    royalpalm, once you understand the skeletal features of turkeys this method makes way more sense than doing it any other way. It takes a little more understanding and in time if you attempt it chances are you will do a better turkey mount. Tim does a fine bird and I'm not really sure his methodology but this way really does work......
     
  20. DJ II

    DJ II New Member

    Mr. Whitehead,

    Thanks for the critique. I've been making some adjustments and think it is looking better. As far as the neck goes it measures 10.5 inches from the earhole to the point the neck attaches to the body. I was thinking this was about right and could tweak it when I got the skin on.