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Questions For First Turkey Mount

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by Wally Gator, Apr 8, 2020.

  1. Wally Gator

    Wally Gator Active Member

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    Good morning friends,
    I have been mounting ducks and geese for a while now, and I want to try a turkey. I have watched some instructional videos, and will follow Tim Jordan’s method. I have the form and head. I have read many threads regarding turkeys, and want to be sure that I am prepared for success before I get started. I have helped a fellow taxidermist with a turkey, but haven’t done one complete by myself.
    I have a 15 lb. jake that a friend donated. I fleshed him the day he was killed and froze the skin, and of course will wash wash wash rinse rinse rinse rinse when I thaw him. I have already set the tail with bondo.
    I have seen some threads about mites and rot in turkeys. I use borax to preserve my waterfowl and as far as I know I have had no problems. Tim also uses borax. Should I take any additional steps?
    I cut the legs off waterfowl for easy painting and to prevent getting MB in the feathers, but I don’t plan to remove the legs of the turkey.
    Do any of y’all veterans have any additional tips or suggestions so I am adequately prepared?

    Thanks in advance.
    Blessings
     
  2. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    I find it easier to remove the legs on turkey. I use either a bikini cut or a leg to leg cut to skin. I like to lock those legs into the form prior to mounting. Turkeys are top or front heavy. I learned some time ago to have more caulk on hand than I think I'll need for turkeys. Some use acrylic and some use silicone or a combo there of. Silicone will set up quickly. On strutters I like to hang them upside down for the first couple of days while it dries, it helps to keep the back feathers standing up. Or you can use cotton batting between the feather rows to help do the same and remove it later. Good luck, they can be fun but also a bunch of work.
     
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  3. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    Wally, remove the legs. I use a leg to leg incision, cutting around the "ankles" wear the feathers meet the leg skin. Its an easy "crazy glue" fix to attach the skin back when you are done.
    Having the legs off, it's much easier to remove the tendons and insert your leg wire.
    Attaching the wired legs to the form and posing the mannikin on your base allows for good posture positioning as well. Once you wire the legs to the form, I use bondo and chopped fiberglass to secure the legs in place. They will never move! You can always remove the form from the base to paint the legs or just run the leg wires through plastic bags onto the base to capture any paint or MB.
    I use 100% Silicone because it sets in about 10 minutes. You can back brush the back feathers and they pretty much stand on their own and dont need to hang them upside down. I recommend buying a chordless cauking gun - I can easily put in 3-4 tubes of silicone into a turkey. If you use a manual caulking gun, you will be sore after a dozen pumps from the gun!
    Good luck, they are frustrating at first. Once you do enough of them you build a routine as to what steps to do first. When you first start, you never know what to do next!!!
     
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  4. GotHonks

    GotHonks Active Member

    One thing for sure if you loose a small pc of Turkey meat weather on the bird or in your shop ... It will stink more than anything you could imagine .. A Small 1/4 pc stunk my shop up.so bad you'd wanna puke so be careful to clean up.... Good luck .. They re a lot of work ...
     
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  5. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    You won't regret removing the legs. I use DP on my turkeys, but borax is fine. There is a ton of meat in the digits of a turkey. I get rid of every little scrap. I don't have Tim's video, so I don't know his procedures, however, I would always remove the legs. Never had a problem with mites, so I have no advice there. I love turkeys, Have some fun with it!
     
  6. Wally Gator

    Wally Gator Active Member

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    Tim does an incision under the wing and removes all meat from the wrist. As for the legs and wings, he doesn’t push the wire through the form and bend them. Instead he bends a 180 in each of them, and embeds the looped ends into holes filed with bondo. I learned on my first standing goose the importance of a very strong, rigid leg wire. That’s why I liked his technique, avoiding dealing with a very long, strong wire. He uses 6 GA on the legs. I have to watch the video again, but I don’t think he opens the bottom of the feet and removes the tendons, which I do intend to do. I may decide to remove the legs based on encouragement from all of you. I typically remove them during fleshing on waterfowl so I can inject and paint them before mounting, especially geese. I also intend to air dry the turkey instead of tumbling to be more gentle on the wing tips.
    Thanks for your input.
     
    Wildthings likes this.
  7. joeym

    joeym Jeannette & Joey @ Dunn's Falls

    I use McKenzie “PRES” on turkeys. It contains a lot more alum than other DP’s, and allows for rapid drying, and excellent preservation. I do not invert wings past the first joint. Cut along the radius and ulna, remove all meat, pack with PRES, and staple the incision together. Don’t forget about the tad of meat in the last digits. Cut open remove meat, and pack with PRES. No need to close this incision. I remove legs, and set up manikin. Poly fill is used to wrap legs. When mounting, I superglue the skin around each ankle, and staple the leg to leg incision. Hope your first solo bird is a success!
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
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  8. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    I too, bend the leg and wing wires and Bondo them in place. Also, I do something most people will shudder at. I remove the wing with the scaps attached from the skin and bondo the wings in place after I mount the bird. Of all the ways I have experimented with, this has worked best for me.
     
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  9. Wildthings

    Wildthings Well-Known Member

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    I don't shudder at all!! I've got 2 to do and theirs wings and legs were both removed. It really helps in fleshing the main skin without the wings in the way
     
    GotHonks likes this.
  10. Wally Gator

    Wally Gator Active Member

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    I would like to see a video or tutorial about removing the wings, such as exactly where to cut and how to reattach. It would surely help prevent feather damage while fleshing and washing.
     
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  11. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Frank Newmeyer has a video of that.
     
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  12. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Yep. Frank's video available through WASCO/McKenzie. He doesn't attach the wings like I do however.
     
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  13. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    You can attach them like Tim does in the video with loop and Bondo.
     
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  14. socalmountainman

    socalmountainman Northwestern School of Taxidermy - Class of '73

    I have Frank's turkey video and his book. He only removed the wings to demonstrate his procedure of mounting and doesn't show where or how to remove the wings. I do not know if he normally does it though....
     
  15. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I have the video but haven't watched it in years, I just remember something about it. I know some folks are removing wings even on ducks. I was at a seminar by Mike Niekelski where he demonstrated it but I have yet to use the method.
     
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  16. GotHonks

    GotHonks Active Member

    Mounted a Stuffer last yr and removed the wings , wasn't to hard ... made working on the wheel much , much easier ... As for the legs I remove them just like a duck or goose ... Same process .... Works for me ... I've got a couple to do this yr , one dead Mount and a flying , and if I get lucky and shoot one the wife says I can do a full strut to display in the house ... So maybe 3 .. Probably finish all the ducks and geese I have before I mess with the yard birds ...
     
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  17. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Frank doesn't show you how to remove the wing, but explains it well enough to get the gist. I separate the feather groups and cut in the skin with little down between the scaps and back hackles then around close the ball joint of the humerus between the wing and breast feathers continuing around between the under wing and thigh feathers and sever the wing at the ball joint wrap in a plastic bag and freeze for a later date. I like the fact that I can work on one wing on day and the other on another day from skinning to wiring.

    When I mount it, I mount the skin on the bird, caulk in the breast area, back and neck as well as the underneath of the bird and around the thighs and then pin the area around the circular incision where the wing was removed. I then pour the Bondo insert the wing wire loop and let it cure. I'm careful with my caulking, so I haven't needed to sew the incision as the caulk holds it in place. This may sound more difficult than it actually is. I did a lot of study and experimenting on this method to perfect it for my purposes.
     
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  18. Wildthings

    Wildthings Well-Known Member

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    So you are circling the ball joint as tight as possible with your incision?
     
  19. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Pretty much. I stay out of the feather tracks and cut in the area with no feathers staying as close to the wing as possible. I want as much body skin left as possible. The hole left by removing the wing is probably close to baseball size. I leave the scaps attached to the wing so the come off with it.
     
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  20. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Tip for tail. I cut between the quills with a scalpel or scissors, put it in a bed of DP and scrape the quills using the scalpel or scissors. Next I take a paper towel between my thumb and index finger and pinch the quill using the towel and my finger and thumb nails and forcibly pull towards me and all the rest of the fat, meat and membrane comes off leaving a quill clean enough to use as chop sticks.
     
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