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Turkey Beginner Observations.

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by Nana65, Nov 13, 2019.

  1. Nana65

    Nana65 New Member

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    I am now done with three of the four donated turkeys I took in last year. One standing, two strutting. The last will also be strutting.

    1) Pressure washer fleshing is awesome. I got one of those Ridgid Flip Top portable work supports. It is light, easy to clean and folds flat for storage. And it can be raised up enough to save me from back strain. I attached a 1.25 PVC pipe section vertically with a clamp and use that for the neck.

    2) You can get nice clean feathers without gas. Dawn is a wonderful thing and you can't rinse enough.

    3) 10 Gauge wire is just not gonna work for wings for me. I just can't bend it (tiny chic hands). I use my vise and pliers to bend 6 gauge leg wire, but have had to drop down to 12 gauge for wings. So far so good. I make sure I have pins in the necessary places to add support.

    4) I have tried four different forms. For ME, because what I am mounting seems small, the C Morris forms with drumsticks seem to work best. With more experience I could probably drop back to the ones without the drumsticks but for now they help with leg position. I really like the Bad Boy bodies, but even the extra small is just too big for what I am trying to mount. I plan to revisit the Bad Boys once I start taking in some larger specimens. Of the four I tried these are the two types I liked best.

    5) It is possible to break it down into steps to allow for shorter available time to work.

    6) Just because it looks rough the first day doesn't mean it won't get better with some grooming and patience. This is when the form being to large becomes an issue. They end up looking like they slept in their feathers! I find that I struggle most with the area right below the head. It just looks rough with lots of down showing. All the rest of the feather areas end up fine with patience and grooming.

    7) I found that watching lots of different videos and picking and choosing techniques from each helped me create a process that seems to be working for me.

    7) I LOVE mounting turkeys! Every step......so far what I like best is painting the freeze dried heads, tail prep, and grooming feathers. 13 months until retirement and then I can devote MUCH more time to getting this off the ground!

    My advice to any other beginner is give a turkey a try! I was so intimidated and have found a new passion.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 13, 2019
  2. Wildthings

    Wildthings Well-Known Member

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    What a great thread!! Thanks for sharing! Pictures??
     
    Micah Howards and MixedupMel like this.

  3. Nana65

    Nana65 New Member

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    I'll get a few together tonight to share.
     
    Micah Howards likes this.
  4. Frank E. Kotula

    Frank E. Kotula master, judge, instructor

    Try copper wire 10 gauge for your wings. You’ll be glad you tried it
     
    pir^2h likes this.
  5. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    Interesting tip. Never thought to try copper. I think I have some scrap house wire laying around that is 10 gauge. Thanks for the tip Frank!
     
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  6. Nana65

    Nana65 New Member

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    Thanks!
     
    Frank E. Kotula likes this.
  7. 15pt

    15pt Member

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    Alabama
    Those birds look great. Have you tried Boondocks Turkey bodies?
     
  8. Nana65

    Nana65 New Member

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    Thanks.....Boondocks and Bad Boy are the same.....
     
  9. 15pt

    15pt Member

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    Alabama
    10 4 I didnt see you had tried them. I see it now.
     
  10. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I found that the leg/wing mounting kits from Noonkester saved me countless cuss words for bending wire.

    I may be mistaken but it looks as if your leg wires are running down through the heel. If you want to pick up better motion, run the wire down the center toe to the last joint. This will allow your mounts to "walk" much more realistically.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
    pir^2h and Micah Howards like this.
  11. Nana65

    Nana65 New Member

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    Thanks for the tip on Noonkester. And thanks for commenting! Helpful tips are much appreciated.

    Regarding the legs......I agree about leg position. I am struggling as the donated birds all had pretty hard dried legs. I could not pull tendons or get the wire down beside/behind the bone. Had to drill down thru the bone itself. Not sure if that allows me to go on down through that toe? Or could I stay inside the bone down to the foot bottom and then rather than having it exit by bending the toe, keep the toe straight until it exits the bottom of the toe at that last joint?
     
  12. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I remove the drumstick and drill down through the center of the foot bone from heel (where the scaly part off the foot starts) to the toes and down through the middle toe and out the second to the last joint. I run my six gauge wire down through that. No tendons in the way. Just an open path for the wire to run. I don't use the drumstick bone. I just wrap the wire that is the same length as the drumstick bone.
     
    drob likes this.
  13. Nana65

    Nana65 New Member

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    That is what I am doing also but was coming out the heel. Will try coming out the toe with this next bird. Thanks for your input guys!
     
  14. AZ~Rich

    AZ~Rich " Africa" never fails to satisfy

    Try drilling down inside the bone as mentioned until you get into the heel area but don't let the bit come out of the heel. Stop there and then after flushing or blowing out the marrow you can insert the wire sharpened on one end down to the heel area then bend the feet downward so they are aligned with the wire and proceed to carefully push and work the pointed wire tip out on the underside of the middle toe until the last joint. I generally make a very small incision where I want the wire to exit under that joint and push the wire through. That's easier (safer) then trying to force the sharpened tip through that tough grizzle. Also you can rehydrate the legs if they are too dried with a syringe and plain water or some might suggest using Stop Rot or relaxing fluid injection. I like Stop Rot as it also starts to "fix" the tissues similar to a very weak formaldehyde solution. I think you'll find that eliminating the drumstick as noted by Tanglewood will make it a bit easier to fit the skin on the form. I like the Badboys forms as well.
     
    Tanglewood Taxidermy likes this.
  15. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    For wings I like to use 12 gauge annealed wire on all turkey wings except open wing mounts.. It bends so much easier. Closed wing hens and jakes get 14 gauge annealed wire.