1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

Four Practice Turkeys. Need Time Line Help.

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Nana65, May 8, 2019.

  1. Nana65

    Nana65 Member

    Howdy! I did mammal work for about 15 years and have not done much with birds. I have been out of taxidermy for about five years. I am getting back in the business and I have four donated turkeys to mount for practice. I have watched the Campbell, Whitehead and Owens videos.

    The birds are skinned and pressure washed with feet and tail removed and are in the freezer. I have the freeze dried heads back from Boondocks and have finished painting them.

    I work a full time job and a lot of my weekends are full so I do most of my work at night. I am trying to figure out the best way to proceed.

    I am now going to take one bird at a time. Each step to be done in a separate evening. The first bird will be standing. The other three will be strutting.

    1) Wash and dry tail and get pinned.
    2) Test fit skin on body to allow for loose fit. Flesh wings and wheel bones/skin. Freeze.
    3) Wire feet and attach to body (bondo) and inject.
    4) Wash skin (bunches of times). I don't do gas. Tumble in grit, blow dry. Rebuild wings and close. Mount.

    My main question is in step four. If I run out of time after the skin is ready to mount can it be kept overnight in the fridge? Do I need to refreeze? Once I retire from my day job and go full time in 18 months this won't be an issue.......

    I also welcome any suggestions for how to break this process down into manageable sections. Thanks!
  2. krollh

    krollh Active Member

    I've kept turkeys in a fridge many times overnight. They are usually not 100% dry ready to mount, but close to it. I wrap in newspaper then plastic bag.

  3. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Same here.

    Sometimes, I will work on a turkey over the course of a month or more. Little by little.

    I skin, flesh, wash and freeze when I get it. Then at my leisure, I prep the form, wire the neck to the form, wire the legs to the form and temporarily attach to base, inject feet and bondo the tail into the desired pose on a piece of card board or foam . It might be a week or a month or two before I get to it again.

    When comes time to mount, I dry with corn cob grit and then a shop vac on reverse to 90% dry, do the wings and mount in the same day or I will mount it the next day. After the skin is on and sewn, I will completely dry the feathers with the shop vac making sure that all the down is dry and fluffy. Grooming is done throughout the week.

    This allows me plenty of time so I don't get rushed and forget something like missing a step or getting frustrated by time constraints.
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  4. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I might add that this works for me because the turkeys as far as life size goes is for me only. It also works for beginners that are naturally going to be slower and intimidated by the many steps in the proccess.
  5. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I was going to leave this out, but, I will tell you that I cut the wings and scaps off the skin when I skin the bird out. This also allows me to work on the wings at separate times and fleshing and washing is much easier for me. When it comes time to mount I bend a loop in the wire at the end of the humerus after wiring the wing drill a 5/8 hole at the attachment point in the form and bondo the wing into place and pin the scaps into there proper place. This is done after the body skin is sewn on and preliminary grooming is done.

    It makes caulking the skin easier this way because the wing is not in the way and pining the breast and thigh skin is done before the wings go on.

    If you get the strut turkey DVD from McKenzie/WASCO with Frank NewMeyer, it will show you some of these things. It is FULL of useful info on turkey mounting. It is also full of preachy pricing and stuff that is difficult to get through at times and it is full of Frank rambling, however, if you can get through all that, it is worth it for the info gleaned from it.

    Taxidermy Insider has online turkey course that is a good one for sure. Aaron Stehling is the instructor.

    If you can't tell, Turkey mounting has become my favorite form of taxidermy.
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  6. Nana65

    Nana65 Member

    Thanks for all the help! I figure doing four in a row will help me figure things out. Going to try several different methods.