Turkey Field Care

Field care is the most important part in ensuring that you end up with the quality mount you are looking for.  The best taxidermist in the world can only return a mount equal in quality to the original specimen. To ensure that your mount is the highest quality possible, avoid any unnecessary damage to the bird or feathers.  Upon harvest try to get to the bird and pick it up by its head to avoid getting hit by spurs.  Try to hold the bird off the ground and away from your body so there is minimal damage to the feathers while it flaps it's wings and thrashes around. Once the bird is no longer thrashing around try to avoid handling the bird as much as possible. Do your best to not hold the bird by the neck.  Instead, try to hold the bird by its feet to prevent damage to the breast/neck/head feathers. Also try to avoid placing the bird on any surfaces that may damage feathers.  Do not slide or drag the bird agains the direction of its feathers.   

To be prepared always keep a sandwich bag with paper towels and rubber bands or electrical tape in your vest to wrap the head before packing out of the field



This will cause freezerburn faster than normal resulting in unnecessary damage to the birds skin





1.  If possible wipe off any excess blood from the feathers to reduce possible staining by using a paper towel soaked with cold water 

2.  Push a quarter size ball of dry paper towel down the birds throat to help absorb any blood that may come out while packing the bird out or upon thawing to start the mounting process

3.  Wrap the birds head in paper towels and then slide a sandwich bag over it.  Use tape or rubber bands to secure the bag around the birds head.  This will prevent any unnecessary blood from getting on feathers while you carry it out of the field.  

If possible try to get it to your taxidermist of choice ASAP so freezing the whole bird can be avoided.  



If you have to freeze the whole bird then continue with the following steps....  


1.  Re-wrap the head with damp paper towels or a rag and re-bag it. 

2.  Using 2 pieces of cardboard sandwhich the tail so that it will not get damaged in the freezer.  

3.  Lay the birds head under its wing and place the bird in a trash bag. 

4.  Wrap bag around the cardboard sandwiching the tail the best you can and tape it closed.  If the cardboard will fit inside the trash bag then simply tape the trash bag closed around the whole bird.  DO NOT BEND THE TAIL TO MAKE IT FIT INTO THE BAG

Finally, Deliver bird to your taxidermist of choice!