Waterfowl and Upland Bird 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 reaches the highest quality possible, avoid any unnecessary damage to the bird or feathers.  Some of the worst damage can come from dogs mouthing or playing with the bird. Upon the retrieval of the bird try to minimize contact with dogs and place the bird in a dry place away from the rest of the birds. Avoid handling the bird as much as possible and be sure 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 it may freeze to in order to prevent unnecessary feather loss. 


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 roughly large pea sized ball of dry paper towel down the birds throat to help absorb any blood that may come out upon thawing to start the mounting process

3.  Wrap the head covering the bill/beak and eyes, and feet in soaked paper towels.

4.  To avoid damage or breaking of the head or neck in the freezer, lay the bird on its back and place the head under one of the wings against the body. 

5.  Place the bird breast first into a Ziploc bag that is large enough to not kink any feathers especially the wing tips or tail feathers. Do your best to get as much excess air out of the bag as possible (without compressing feathers, DO NOT USE A VACUUM SEALER).  Double bagging is always a great idea if possible. 


Place bird in trash bag and sandwich tail between 2 pieces of cardboard to prevent bending/breaking of tail feathers. Wrap the bag the best you can around the cardboard sandwiching the tail doing your best to keep the tail as straight as possible.

6.  If possible try to place the bird breast down in the freezer as the breast feathers are thicker and provide more cusion than the easily damageable back feathers.  

7.  Finally, deliver the bird to your taxidermist of choice!