From the Marsh to the Wall ( How to ensure your duck or goose is ready for the taxidermist)
American Wigeon Taken by Charles NunneryWe all have that special duck maybe its the beautiful colored wood duck drake you took on your first time duck hunting, or maybe its a mallard that your favorite four legged hunting partner brought back on his firs retrieve or last, or is it that perfect sprigged bull pintail that you have been trying to harvest for years, if you hunt long enough there is going to be a duck or goose that you want to have mounted to preserve the memory of that special day in the field.
Here are the best tips on getting your bird ready for the taxidermist .
A good taxidermy mount starts in the field.1. Don't wring the neck, or hang on a lanyard by the neck this can damage head and neck feathers.
2. If you can try and rinse off any blood or mud, especially important on white birds ( snow geese or swans ) blood can be removed by a taxidermist but it can cause a stain, its a good idea to try and rinse away what you can.
3. Be careful about laying the bird where the feathers can freeze to a metal object such as a boat.
4. Treat it with care while in the field, be careful not to damage feathers.
5. Once you return home or back to duck camp, you want to fold the head under a wing or lay it on the birds back, if its a fresh kill make sure that you let it cool before closing up in a bag.
6. Wrap it in several quality freezer of heavy trash bags and make sure you remove as much air as you can! ( Don't wrap newspaper around the feet as that can cause freezer burn to happen faster also avoid putting the bird in pantyhose as this can cause damage. )
7. One of the most important factors that will ensure you will have a quality mount to enjoy for years to come is selecting the right taxidermist, Take time to research taxidermist in your area or check out social media sites like Facebook for their business pages and links to their websites looking at pictures is a start, but seeing their work in person is most important, Once you have selected a taxidermist, make a time to visit their shop and inspect their work in person, pictures are no substitute for seeing the work up close, look at eye sets to determine if they are set properly and that the feathers are groomed correctly. Before you go look at pictures of live ducks or geese online and have an image in your mind what a live bird looks like and let that help you determine if you want to have that taxidermist mount your bird.
Following these tips will help ensure that you have a mount that you will be happy with for years to come!