I took my bird to the taxidermist whole. He skinned it while I was waiting, and gave me the breast to take with me for the fryer.
A buddy shot a nice Tom last fall, and swore up and down that he knew how to skin it. He said that a friend of his from Washington (who was also a taxidermist)showed him how to skin a turkey. We skinned it the way he was taught, and he took it to the taxidermist. The taxidermist was quite aggrevated and said that he wished that my buddy would have just let him skin the bird. I guess the point I'm trying to make is not all taxidermist do their art the same, and since they are the ones responsible for making the animal look good they know how they want to cut the skin. My taxidermist still gets frustrated when he talks about the cuts we made on my buddies turkey, and the time he had to put into fixing it to make it look good. I guess the best thing to do is talk to your taxidermist prior to the season to find out how he wants the animal cared for for when you do bag your trophy. Good luck and Good Hunting!
That Hazel Creek link is excellent information but Id like to expand just a bit on their suggestion and add a tip that will better preserve the turkeys feathers and make the taxidermist very happy. After you have folded the head under the wing, take the entire bird and slide it front end first into a womans stocking. This envelops the feathers and pushes them to the body in their natural position and keeps them from getting any damage due to shipping movement. Then you can protect the tail feathers with reinforcement wrap it in a pastic bag freeze ect. What this does is cut the taxidermist preening time on the finished mount considerably and in effect send a better finished mount back you.
Let me tell youwhat looks real odd however....three grown men in camo buying womens stockings. LOL
Welcome to the forum hatracked Great information. We were looking for a particular bird that we thought would make a good mount. He escaped another year. Very old bird, hope he makes to next year so we can have another crack at him.
Thanks for the welcome I have been enjoying browsing the site and jumping in on some conversation for a good part of the morning. Talk is slow around the net this time of year.Myself Im pumped up heading to idaho in afew short weeks to start the years bowhunting challenges.
Good luck on that turkey next year. Sometimes those nemisis birds are better left for memories while you hunt a killable tom. Had more than one old bosstom die of old age on me.
A perk of majoring in wildlife biology in college is the plethora of hunting knowledge that you collect throughout your course load. One of the most important factors in whether an area can hold large quantities of animals or produce large antlers is forage.
Most universities, state schools and even community colleges offer basic botany courses and plant ID courses. Although it might not be feasable for the average middle age hunter to pay tuition and go back to college to learn hunting...