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First Canada Goose

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by KLFL, Jun 16, 2019.

  1. KLFL

    KLFL Member

    Hi, I’m going to Attempt to mount my first goose... I have a few questions.. I tried looking it up but I didn’t have any luck, how far down the wings do I skin? The same as a duck to the radius/ulna or do I skin down to the metacarpals to get all the meat out?

    The second question, this is the pose (below) I’d like to mount it in... but my biggest problem with mounting waterfowl are the wings... I can never tell in pictures, maybe my eyes are bad... but are the primaries tilted/facing backwards to the wall? Would anyone also happen to have anymore pictures of this pose or one close to it?

    Thank you id appreciate any help

    (Photo; birdzonetaxidermy.com )

  2. Mario Pinocci

    Mario Pinocci M.V.P. Waterfowl Taxidermy

    I invert my wings all the way down to the wrist. If your wings are placed in your bird body properly you do not have to worry about tilting your primary feathers. They will lay in the position they were intended too. Make sure you cut out your wing socket in your bird body. Look at you carcass to see what the joint does and how it moves.
    It is a good idea to move your birds wings before you start skinning to see what a wing can and can not do. This will give you a better understanding of the pose you want and what is atomically correct in positing you bird. If wing are placed correctly they should be close to your reference photo. I recommend using real photos of the bird your going to mount and not someone's mounted bird. You do not know if that bird was properly mounted.
    Understanding the anatomy of the bird is key. Good Luck.
    magicmick and KLFL like this.

  3. Leonard "Tazman" Qualls

    Leonard "Tazman" Qualls New Member

    I recommend using real photos of the bird your going to mount and not someone's mounted bird. You do not know if that bird was properly mounted.
    Understanding the anatomy of the bird is key. Good Luck.[/QUOTE]

    Solid advice right there.. Always use real bird photis for reference. There is also an outstanding old publication (out of print) I have/use called Prairie Wings that you can still find used copies of online. This teaches and illustrates the mechanics of birds in flight and also shows the pose you have regarded.
    Best of luck to you on your first goose! I hope you charged them enough.
    drob and KLFL like this.
  4. byrdman

    byrdman Well-Known Member

    divide and conquer.... I allways remove goose wings and mount first with plenty of wire extending to "bondo" into form later same with grouse/pheasant tails saves having to spread/pose/card while you are trying to get the rest of the bird mounted, eyes tuned up etc
    GotHonks and KLFL like this.
  5. Wildthings

    Wildthings Well-Known Member

    On my Greater Canada geese I don't invert the wings. I cut them open and remove all the meat and don't stitch them closed until I get the wires installed. Be sure to clean the wrist areas out also as this spot has a good amount of meat in it. DAMHIKT.
    I've inverted them before and it was a bear to try to get them dried afterward in the correct place and position. This way leaves them attached where they belong
    KLFL likes this.
  6. KLFL

    KLFL Member

    Hey unfortunately I already skinned the wings before I saw this... but I Really like that way you said.. I can never get the feathers to how they were... but when you sew it back up, is that way only for a mount where the back feathers won’t be seen?

    For the wrist part... i just want to double check, the picture below... I go one more right? To the wrist(metacarpals?) or am I there already?

  7. KLFL

    KLFL Member

    I did what you said... and I could not get the primaries to bend back like that... maybe the goose was too stiff? So I’m going to change the position.. and I looked for a real picture also instead of another taxidermist, I found ( picture below ) we’ll see how it goes... it seems less hard of a pose? Possibly ? thank you for your help, I really appreciate it!

  8. KLFL

    KLFL Member

    Haha ... free...... lol I regret that now.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
  9. Wildthings

    Wildthings Well-Known Member

    Yes one more! If you can't invert it, make a incision on the ventral side under some feathers. Remove the meat, borax it real well and put a couple stitches in it. Your non paying customer will thank you later!!
  10. KLFL

    KLFL Member

    One last question... what would you suggest for wire size in the wings? I read 10...? I was thinking 12... What do you think?
  11. Jim McNamara

    Jim McNamara Well-Known Member

    I open my up as well. Heavy wires as those wings are long. Remembers that the pose with lots of bend to the wings will need to have feathers bent to achieve. That Canada goose has lots of air pressure under those wings, something we can not replicate. Personally, I could do without the big geese.
    Wildthings likes this.
  12. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    First off, there's nothing wrong with that speckle belly in the picture. The purists are all going to say that about using a live reference, but anyone whose been around taxidermy knows there's one helluva lot of birds mounting using live reference that look like crap.

    Having said all that, you have picked a real charmer to want and mount your first Canada in that pose. That is a ball breaker to get right as the one in that picture.

    IN MY OPINION, using that pose, you MUST skin the wings out just as you have done. Take it all the way down the wrist. Then on the outside, open the metacarpal area and remove that sliver of flesh you'll find there. Fill the void with dry preservative or borax. NOW is the time to run your wire. A 10 will work but and 8 will give you a solid platform. I sharpen the tip of the wire and push it through the wrist into the metacarpal area, fill it with clay and then sew it up using "invisible thread". Before turning the wings, secure your wires to the wing bones using either aircraft "safety wire" or with strong nylon thread. I use clay to fill in the voids around the bones where I removed the flesh. I cut the shoulder "knob" off and wire it into the body. Before you sew up your ventral cut, run a HEAVY wire through the body and out the back above the tail. Some people use 2 smaller wires to keep the bird from twisting by I like using a #8 or a #6 wire to attach it to a backboard diorama. Once mounted, preen your feathers and tape them with painters tape. Readjust daily to insure there are no twisted feathers. When the feather roots are solid, then you have to begin "bending feathers". This is where it gonna eat you up. I used a thumbtack in a piece of dowel. I heated the tack (not red hot) and gently and quickly ran it down the spine of the feather as I bent it to the desired position. Practice on another bird before you screw up your mount. If the tack is too hot, it will singe the feathers so be VERY CAREFUL.
    Wildthings and magicmick like this.
  13. GotHonks

    GotHonks Member

    " Having said all that, you have picked a real charmer to want and mount your first Canada in that pose. That is a ball breaker to get right as the one in that picture ". ...... NO friking doubt ...... That is a great mount ..... But Your attempting a pose that is ridiculously tough for an experienced Taxidermist let alone for your first .... Not saying you can't do it but it's not gonna be easy .... As much as I hate to say it ..I will flat admit that I would have a hard time posing those wings like your example and I've been mounting birds for dang near 25 yrs ... Not that I couldn't because I've found that I can pull a rabbit out of a hat on occasion ...I'm completely self taught , have never had any professional training ... Hope it works out for you ...
    Btw ... the meat at the end of the wrist ... Formaldehyde is much easier way to handle that issue and bugs don't like it ...
  14. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Formaldehyde may sound good but in reality, the biggest likelihood is that it damages YOUR health and the bugs will eventually find it as the formaldehyde evaporates. Remove the meat and fill it with borax which will never degrade.
    3bears and Wildthings like this.