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duxrus  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, November 26, 2013 11:20:24 AM(UTC)
duxrus

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I get asked many times each year "How do I take care of my bird before getting it to you" ?

I would suggest just buying a box of 1 gallon ziploc bags and putting some in your blind bag "just incase". Once you have your trophy in hand let it cool off for about 10 minutes before putting it in the ziploc. Drop it in and make sure it's head and neck fold up against the body. Now it is protected on the trip back home and ready for the freezer.

UserPostedImage


If you aren't sure how long you will have it in your freezer before handing it off to a taxidermist, I would go one more step in protecting it. Once frozen with the head and neck up against the body, take it out of the bag. Wrap it in about 10 WET paper towels, making sure the head and legs are covered and re-freeze. This will create an ice barrier and add years to the bird's shelf life. This trick will protect from freezer burn that will start showing signs after a year or so in the freezer.

Do NOT's......

Use those cheap grocery store bags (zero insulation or protection from freezer burn)

Wrap in DRY paper towels (will suck the moisture out of the bird and speed up freezer burn)

Wrap in News Paper ( Will suck the moisture out of the bird and has potential to leave ink on bird)

Use Pantyhose (does nothing for freezer burn protection and can cause sever feather damage if they don't lay perfectly when applying....now if you enjoy just having women's ware in your blind bag then so be it :)

Vaccuum seal bags (Can and will leave those "dot" impressions on the feathers if sealed too tight. If done loosly it is fine )


What about blood on the feathers ? Either in the field or in the kitchen sink, use COLD water to lightly rinse off any blood you see. This is not a must but does lessen the taxidermist's work once they get it. Warm or hot water will set the blood stains to the feathers and could potentially ruin a mountable bird.

What about broken wings ? On flying poses broken wings aren't usually an issue unless the (wrist) bone is broken (the small bone connected to the primaries). If it is broken there is no way to support that area and it will potentially break in the future. Basicly it is like carrying around a potatoe chip forever and thinking it won't break. I will not take the chance of mounting something that WILL break in the future. Also, wing shot birds missing more than one main feather are not for flying poses.

UserPostedImage
GOOD wing

UserPostedImage
BROKEN wing. Notice it is broken up against the body. This is an easy fix.



I suggest after shooting something you want for the wall or thinking about it anyway, hold both wings open and check for missing feathers. Then look at it's head, back, and belly for severe damage. At that time you should see anything that may pose a problem for your taxidermist. Many issues can be fixed or hidden but if you might shoot something better you atleast know what you have.

UserPostedImage


This bird looks good...

UserPostedImage
Until I flipped him over to find an area of missing feathers on his chin from pellets. This was a client's supposed "perfect" bird.



For birds that have been in a freezer a long time, check their feet to see if freezer burn has begun to set in...
UserPostedImage
The "whiter" one has severe freezerburn compared to the fresher "orange" one. Both of these were killed the same year but one was in a Wal-Mart bag and the other in a Zip-Loc before they got to me.You can see the drastic difference that proper storage can have. As freezerburn sets in the coloration will go to a cream or white color. Both are bad signs that it's quality is lessening. With a little extra work I got this "damaged" bird back to good condition but there is always a point of no return.


I hope these tips come in handy if and when a trophy bird hits the water this season. Good luck and be safe.

Brian

Edited by moderator Thursday, November 24, 2016 6:05:17 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

thanks 9 users thanked duxrus for this useful post.
hammer_dawg  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, November 26, 2013 11:46:57 AM(UTC)
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Great information- Thanks for sharing !!!




















Thundersnow  
#3 Posted : Saturday, December 14, 2013 10:14:15 PM(UTC)
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Very good information, BUT if you take a duck to Dux, pull some feathers out of it, cut off a leg, or smash the beak....he likes a challenge.

Seriously, my son killed a black duck last year that look great. When Dux skinned it, there was a big patch of missing feathers on the breast. He mounted it face on and unless someone told you, you would not know it. He did a great job! BUT, not every taxidermist is as good as Dux. It would be best to try to make it easy on them as you can for the best result.

Dux may not be able to kill them, but he sure can make them look good.BigGrin
Flyfish37129  
#4 Posted : Sunday, February 09, 2014 6:37:11 AM(UTC)
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Question: If you shoot like Turpin does LOL and just wing the duck how do you recommend dispatching the duck without messing the bird up?
duxrus  
#5 Posted : Sunday, February 09, 2014 10:55:53 AM(UTC)
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Do NOT ring its neck because that can cause severe damage.

The easiest way to dispatch a live bird in hand is to basically squeeze it to death. Just take your thumb and pointing finger on opposite sides above the rib cage and SQUEEZE with the palm of your hand on its breast. In most cases they will die within a minute.

Some people try drowning them but forget that birds have hollow bones inabling them to potentially gain oxygen through broken bones. Unless you want to hold the entire bird underwater just give it a squeeze :)

Sometimes a good whack to the back of the skull will end a ducks career but like breaking their neck you potentially could damage your trophy

On our sea duck episode on Vertical Decent Outdoors I actually use my squeezing method to put a trophy harlequin down so you can see it in action .

Hope this helps

Edited by user Sunday, February 09, 2014 11:00:39 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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