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Frozen wood duck..How long is to long?

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by deeter73, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. Hi fellas, let me start off by saying I'm a fish guy more than anything else and have never done birds before so if this question sounds dumb please bear with me. I have a wood duck in my freezer that likely been in there for over 10 years. Its a beautiful mature male woodie that I planned on mounting from the day I shot it. Well now I have some free time and I am planning on mounting my first duck. Does the fact that its been in the freezer for so long make any difference in the outcome of the mount or is the bird junk due to possible freezer burn at this point? I have not thawed it out yet so I don't know what kind of surprises I might find? Any opinions or suggestions would greatly be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. txoutdoors

    txoutdoors Active Member

    10 years is a while. I think the answer depends on how it was stored. If double bagged, you might be ok. Can't tell until you thaw it out and see. I would assume it's burned and start off by injecting the head, ends of wings, and feet with dawn and water just to be safe. Then skin slowly and see how bad things are from there. Just my opinion.

  3. Thanks for the quick response txoutdoors. Yes I did double bag it before I froze it so hopefully that will save me abit. At the risk of asking another dumb question, what does injecting the feet, head and wings with dawn/water do? Help rehydrate I suppose?
  4. txoutdoors

    txoutdoors Active Member

    Exactly....if it is burned it will help to rehydrate and allow you to skin. The skin will still be very delicate and rip easily but you wont be fighting dried, hard skin or feet. Inject and let sit a little to absorb the water.

    Good luck!

  5. AMCTaxi

    AMCTaxi Wholesale Small Mammal Taxidermist

    Depending on how it was stored, it should probably be ok. I did a lovebird that spent 13 years in a freezer in nothing but a ziplock sandwich bag. The feet were dried out and so was the beak, but I worked around it and made it happen.
  6. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    This may seem stupid at first but I may take injecting these areas and refreezing, but first don't dismiss it as junk. Feet can be replaced or hidden, wings or head can be tucked in a resting pose. The biggest issue with freezer burned birds is around the eye area where the tissue is very thin, the skin can weld, for lack of a better term, itself to the skull.
  7. Johnnyboy

    Johnnyboy Guest

    Take a syringe and a few drops of dawn liquid soap and water in it. Inject the feet, legs and all around the bill top, sides and underneath the head. No need to refreeze it, just give it 30 minutes to work and then skin it out like usual. I did a wood duck I had in the freezer for 17 years - forgot about it and it mounted up fine.
  8. I had two 10 year old mallards come in the other day. They had been in newspaper and where completely freeze dried/mummified. They didn't weigh hardly a thing and even though they were thawed, they were immovable. I think storage is key.
  9. MallardsFowlLife

    MallardsFowlLife Well-Known Member

    I did a Mottled Duck last year that was 7 years old. It was double bagged and the feet were the only thing that got freezer burnt. Like tx said, it all depends on storage.
  10. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    injecting and re-freezing is usually the best method....when the water freezes it expands cells and when re-thaws allows better penetration.....worst thing you can expect is not getting fluff or "loft" in the crest...mount flying?
  11. Thanks for all the responses guys, sounds like I might still have a good chance of producing a decent mount. I must say, I never heard of injecting freezer burned areas with dawn/water but then again I'm mainly a fish guy and never really come across this other than tails/fins. Would this method work in other aspects of taxidermy such as freezer burned ears on a deer head for example?
  12. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Yes, Stop Rot also works good for injecting.