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Turkey Field Care

TURKEY Field Care; Now you have prepared for this turkey hunting trip all winter, checked your shotgun pattern and shells (or better yet, your bow), got all of your calls tuned and ready, got the best camo on the market, put a nylon stocking in your day pack. What! A nylon stocking, for what? Glad you asked. When you go into the field you should be equally prepared to preserve that bird in the best condition for your taxidermist i.e. THE NYLON STOCKING.

We all know a lady, maybe a wife, sister, girlfriend, mother, aunt and even a neighbor if need be. They go through nylons like we go through shells, so just ask for an old pair that they are going to throw out anyway.

Now what you will need to do is cut about two (2) feet of the thigh area of the stocking for a big bird like turkey or Geese and the calf area for smaller birds like ducks or grouse. Tie a knot in one end of the hose. Then when you harvest that bird take a paper towel and stuff down the beak to stop the blood from running out. Now put the head first into the nylon stocking  (you can also tuck the head up under the wing) and just let it slip on down tying a knot at the other end. This will hold all of the feathers tight to the body and will prevent them from being broken.

All your taxidermist will have to do is cut the knot at the head end and slide it out, i.e. perfect condition!!. Remember the better shape you bring it to your taxidermist the better it will come back to you.

If you are not going to take it to your taxidermist right away, then you will need to freeze it, so get a plastic garbage bag and put the turkey and stocking into the bag, wrap it and freeze it. Whatever you do, DO NOT GUT it! If you want the meat, get it to the taxidermist right away.  Make sure to keep it cool until you get it there.

The best time to go visit your taxidermist is before you go hunting. Ask questions, like will he/she be available on the days you will be hunting, so you can bring the turkey to be skinned, (because you want the meat). Ask to see reference pictures that he/she will use to mount your bird.  If they say they don’t need reference pictures it is time to get out of there and look somewhere else. Also don’t be limited to your driving area.  If you know a good taxidermist there is always overnight mail. It always upsets me to hear someone say they have a bad mount, but they had to use the only taxidermist in their area. It may cost a little more for the shipping cost, but the rewards are well worth the cost. You might want to ask how he/she will preserve the head, i.e., skin mount, artificial, or freeze dried. I like the freeze dried method myself .  It eliminates the chance of bugs getting into the head, and the head hair stays intact.

If you need more information or Question Please Email me. Good Hunting.

Larry Reese