Contributors to this thread:
How to display fans
So... What do folks do with their fans?
I have two mounted on the standard wood plaque. That is nice.
But what about all the others? I assume most folks get 1 to 3 a year. What do you do with all the fans?
I keep teasing my wife telling her that I am going to cover a living room wall with fans. I would look like giant turkey-fan shingles. That idea got voted down so I need other ideas.
I save my fan and use it in my heads up decoy!!
I know about that. I also have a few fans for an old Pretty Boy decoy and a Heads Up decoy.
I wonder what folks do with the other 10 or 20 or 50 turkey fans...
Go to Pinterest and type "turkey fans" in search box. BTW, a wall of turkey fan "shingles" would be a dusting nightmare!
Seriously, why would you want to save all of the fans?
I have three or more gallon ziplock bags filled with beards in my freezer, and 30 or so sets of legs with spurs still attached. I keep saying someday I'll put them on something like a fish stringer and hang them from the wall in my basement...but I've been saying that for at least 15 years. :-)
I keep a few cans around the house in case someone needs one for a decoy.
Lately we've shipped a lot of fans and wings to a friend, who sends them to a friend who is Navajo and uses them for some purpose related to their heritage.
I quit saving fans 25 turkeys ago.
I did start a new cool tradition last spring. I started keeping one tail feather from each bird, starting from the far left and each bird I count over and take the next feather... 18 birds later I will have a full fan with all the beards hanging below. My buddy made a wooden plaque with 18 holes drilled into it to slide the quills down into.
Since I have full strut decoys and reaping/fanning decoys, I've just been freezing mine for the past several years. I cut them off the bird, then remove the row of feathers behind the fan and the two muscles on either side of the base of quills. I fold it up straight and put the base end in a ziploc sandwhich bag. The bag is perfect width and depth, it keeps the fan narrow and the plastic helps avoid freezer burn.
It's amazing how durable my fans are and I still have my first B-Mobile fan from '07. They get beat up, but I store my strutter decoys on goose decoy stands in the off season with the fans on. They just return to their normal shape.
I clean and boil my spurs and they go on leather hat bands. These are the brimmed hats with leather chin straps that wrap around the front of the hat. My beards go on beard plaques, the ones with the spent shotgun shell casings, even my only bow kill bird, which is my largest at 12+" that I shot in the fall.
I have all my spurs on a rope necklace. I hang it from the mirror of my truck in the spring.
It is about full. I think I'll start a new stand with the three sets from this year.
I guess I haven't killed many birds. When I first started, I was so excited by each bird. And I only got one or two a year. They held a lot of value for me. So I kept all the fans, preserved them myself and hung them in the hunting section of my unfinished basement. I nailed them to the exposed studs and they lined up nicely.
Now, I've got close to 20 fans. I still find them very pretty and very interesting. If I had a bigger hunting section in my basement, I wouldn't mind displaying them all in rows along one wall.
But... Once I get to be a turkey master like you guys, that won't be practical.
I don't know if I can bring myself to just take the meat and throw the fans away... That is my struggle and why I posed this question
We all value things differently, and I think it has little to do with how many of this or that we've taken.
I have quite a few antlers from bow-killed animals I haven't done much with, including some European mount style skulls. No more shoulder mounts for me, thanks.
As I approach retirement age I'm wondering what to do with all the stuff hanging on the walls of my basement, already. Why add more to it?
I don't even have a lot of photography of kills for about the past 15 years, either.
Few people, though, are more fanatical about caring for the meat and making sure what we don't use, goes back into nature instead of a landfill.
I usually save Spurs and beards. Don't save fans other than for decoy purposes.
I only have 3 full fans on display with their beard and spurs on plaques, my first bird, a meriam and the tom I got last year, an Eastern, but with very light brown tips on the primary and secondary feathers. Look like a Rio/Eastern cross.
I killed my 56th spring bird this year and I have kept all the fans ! After working to get that bird in for a kill and seeing that beautiful full fan while he struts in there is no way I could just toss them can't do it ! Some I use for decoys and some are special mounts but the rest I put on a plaque and set up on a wall in the garage ! I have a buddy that capes out every bird and has almost every wall in his house covered with them !
I found this on Facebook, looks pretty cool. Its on Lowcountry Game Pannels
Hmm that is very cool ! I was trying to think of something to do with the various different species I have killed and that would be cool one of those each for easterns, osceolas, merriams and rios with a nice tail fan and all the beards and spurs plus the call or ther momentos of the areas ! New project.
That is a great idea with the panels! It looks like something that would be fairly easy to make. You could customize it in a bunch of different ways. It would look pretty neat with turkey tracks burned into the wood. The same thing could be used for big game or fish as well.
I saw those panels and thought they were really cool! The guy has a bunch of pics of these with turkey tails, deer shoulder mounts, and fish mounts on facebook.
Had this one done that I shot this year like this, I like it a lot. Even though it was shot with shotgun. Tough hunting this year with a bow, had a lot of hunters where I hunt this year.
Lots of good ideas there. I also take the beards and take a shotgun shell cut it down to about 3/4" from the brass an glue the beard in it, even on a bow killed bird. Shawn
Love the look of the panel. A person could use one fan, and a lot of beards and spurs on something like that.
That is a nice display. I have two fans in simialr mounts. I was wondering what folks do when they get 20 or 40 or 100 fans.
I only display a few fans with a small wooden plaque over the base of the tail. I keep all the beards & spurs, each bird strung together with leather cord and hang them on a wooden curtain rod. Here is a photo of a couple of fans and a few of the beards & spurs.
Open two fans 180 degrees and pin so they'll stay open. Put them together so they form a 360 degree circle and put a small circular clock in the middle! C
I have a few of these vertical fan displays in the house. I also have 5 fans mounted horizontally on the valance above our bed. I change out the fans each season as we kill a bigger bird or get a fan with a different color variation. For the Slams we have the fans mounted with the adjacent photos of each bird.... Not sure what you would do with more than 5 or 6 in one display. I would like to see that myself.
Deer season is over. So I am thinking about turkeys again.
I search a bit and found this picture. I think it will let me display a lot more fans:
WRITER, Seriously? Why don't you just give them the GPS coordinates to the roosting trees...
Sorry, C J, you lost me there. (I'm easily lost, though,...)
You mean because I don't do mounts or hero shots any more?
Pretty sure you had a similar response to my reply on the P&Y thread...
Here's a mount I made for my son. Fans take up a lot of room so I don't do many. GhostBird, I like your beard pole! How is the string attached to the beard? Can you post a close up please? Thanks!
I'm impressed with the fans in the photos above,.,especially the ones with multi-species/pictures included in the display! I started turkey hunting around 3 years ago...pretty addictive! I saved the fans off the first birds I harvested for display. I also use several for turkey decoys as mentioned above. If you are really up for a challenge possibly try your own turkey taxidermy. There is nothing worse than poor taxidermy but there are enough youtube and other videos available that with practice it's possible to mount your own birds. Believe it or not skinning turkeys is somewhat similar to skinning a fish or other animal. They are a heck of a lot of work so I wouldn't go into it thinking it's going to be an easy task. Turkey colors and feathers are pretty phenomenal and there is nothing better to showcase your bird than lifesized mounts. There are lots of different poses available.
I have killed over 50 birds with both bow and gun. I only have two fans and 2 sets of spurs. I do however have about 45 beards. I glue each into a cut down high brass shotgun shell. Shawn
Great display GhostBird! I'd like to see a close up photo of how you attached the beard and spurs to the leather chord.