Moultrie Products
Harvest feathers to cut own, worth it?
Turkey
Contributors to this thread:
D.U.O.F 30-Nov-17
Nick Muche 30-Nov-17
Glunt@work 30-Nov-17
craig@work 30-Nov-17
oldgoat 30-Nov-17
D.U.O.F 30-Nov-17
D.U.O.F 30-Nov-17
oldgoat 30-Nov-17
White Falcon 30-Nov-17
Rut Nut 30-Nov-17
Russell 30-Nov-17
APauls 30-Nov-17
GF 30-Nov-17
GF 30-Nov-17
Jeff Durnell 30-Nov-17
Joey Ward 30-Nov-17
jims 01-Dec-17
bud 01-Dec-17
Snag 03-Dec-17
bud 03-Dec-17
D.U.O.F 04-Dec-17
From: D.U.O.F
30-Nov-17
I have Turkeys all over my property. I really don't hunt anymore; but I may take a Doe next year and a Turkey. As a hunter, I only ever take Doe. I leave trophy mounts to guys with money, and I'm not a collector. Now, a Turkey would be good eating my entire Family would enjoy and I like the idea of using the entire animal. So does anyone harvest the feathers and cut their own with jigs? I've seen feather cutters, thought about buying a gross of shafts and getting into making my own arrows and strings, feathers when able; but most likely would have to buy pre-cut in bulk. So, where's the best deals to get started in this sub hobby? I've shot compound for years. I'm trying to go full traditional & learn all I can.

From: Nick Muche
30-Nov-17
I'd say if you want to do it you should, and if you don't, then don't. I think it could be a very fun process, but don't get caught collecting those turkey feathers or arrows :)

I'd guess that 3Rivers Archery Supply would have what you need.

Why do you have to have money to shoot a respectable buck? Don't you think it would be fun to arrow a mature buck, you don't have to keep the horns and it certainly yields more meat than a doe.

From: Glunt@work
30-Nov-17
Head over to the Leatherwall. I haven't done my own feathers but many guys do. They will likely cost more than buying them ready to go if you figure time, but like anything hand-made the value is often in something other than dollars.

I built my own bows for a bit. By the time I had one the way I wanted, I had spent far more than just ordering a nice custom bow. Learning something new and the satisfaction of taking an elk with my own bow far outweighed the cost.

From: craig@work
30-Nov-17
X2 on the leatherwall. There's a guy who posts on the trade thread who will cut and burn your feathers of one wing in exchange for the other wing. He's done some for me and turned out great. I think his handle is stkyzz or something like that.

From: oldgoat
30-Nov-17
The wild feathers are very naturally waterproof, but it's a mess to make the fletches and a health hazard with out a very good dust collection system. There are guys though that will do it for you for a price. There was a guy that would do them for half the feathers as in send him both wings and he would send you the finished feathers back from which ever wing you wanted, then you have to either chop or burn them into individual shapes and fletches. My big complaint with the wild feathers are they are a real easy to lose an arrow with, even some I have that I used both wild and domestic feathers on are a pain to find in the grass. I don't use them anymore, not worth the effort in my opinion and for whatever reason they don't seem to stay on the arrow as well at least for me they don't!

From: D.U.O.F
30-Nov-17
I am new here and unfamiliar w/ where to post what for best results. I'm kind of sticking to the State forum of PA in hopes of meeting nearby Friends. I appreciate the advice.

I don't think I'll be loosing many arrows, I just think buying a gross of good shafts, some tools, adhesive & pre-cut feathers maybe a good way to save some money and have a Lifetime supply. All I really have is time as a stay at home Dad.

Maybe a dumb question, I have been out of hunting for a long time. Heck, I just learned there's no longer an age limit for Youth as long as a mentor is within arms length. So the question is, is it illegal to use the feathers of a Turkey that's legally taken with a tag? I do know, and happen to disagree with the rules on Black Bear. I understand that situation can promote unethical harvesting. I just figure though that many guys hunt bear just for a rug. I've tasted bear and didn't like it. I found it fatty, smelled bad when cooking, and disagreeable to my liking. Though if an animal is legally taken, I see no reason why the entire animal shouldn't be used if it can be, even if for traditional ancient medicines that may be hogwash.

I don't have a problem with anyone taking a Buck for more meat, or trophy mount. My situation though has always been I find many more Doe than Buck and I'd rather just get my Deer and be out. I'm the only one that eats it, so as I butcher all my Deer myself I always got at least 40-60lbs of meat off a Doe. I clean the entire neck, everything. Takes me about a good 10 hours to do it all as well and clean as I like. Then cube everything and pack it in 2lb bags. That's total time but a lot of work.

If I do take a Doe & Turkey next year w/ tags, I'd like to use her skin to make a back quiver (either buy some chemicals or brain & urine tan) & the feathers from a bird for some arrows. Oh, and Cottontails tails don't make bad string silencers.

From: D.U.O.F
30-Nov-17
Some new posts came up while I was typing. I think I'd rather buy a better fletching jig, stockpile of production feathers, good shafts, and go that route rather than buy a cutting jig and not have them perform as well as production ones since accuracy & targets are my passion. Though I won't call this a post a waste as I now know if I do get a Turkey there's a guy who'll gladly take both wings

From: oldgoat
30-Nov-17
There are some very very good resources for doing this kind of stuff on YouTube and you will also from the sound of it find them very entertaining. Check out Clay Hayes and Shawn Woods on YouTube, I think one of them, maybe both actually, did a video on making your own feathers.

From: White Falcon
30-Nov-17
leatherwall

From: Rut Nut
30-Nov-17
Jim- I "dabble" in traditional archery from time to time. With the help of a good mentor, I built an osage backed longbow many years ago. Also bought a chopper to make my own fletching from turkey feathers. If you ever want to play around with it, I could stop by sometime and you could give it a try. It's pretty neat to be able to take feathers off a turkey you harvested and put them to good use! ;-)

From: Russell
30-Nov-17
It's fun and challenging to collect and make/build all your own primitive equipment.

Shot a record turkey once with materials that gathered or traded for (stone point).

You don't need fancy equipment to build a primitive arrow. Sinew from a deer, primary feathers from a turkey, river cane for shafts, and make a trade-point.

In my experience, it's easier to make matching selfbows than to build matching arrows.

Youtube would be a good start to research how to build primitive arrows.

Native Americans obviously didn't use all the fancy stuff that we have today.

Good luck in your new hobby.

From: APauls
30-Nov-17
Wow, that's funny.

I used some turkey feathers that I had from a turkey I shot, and just not even knowing any better I simply cut them off. Did it with a knife. Used my standard glue on the arrows, and glued them on and they worked awesome. I trimmed the feathers with scissors so that the "really wiggly" tips were gone, but I had no issues and they flew true. Didn't do anything fancy and didn't hardly take more time than using production feathers. Guess I don't really know what I was missing. This was for use in a trad bow.

From: GF
30-Nov-17
Everybody I’ve heard from who has used Stykzz has been delighted; he’ll grind and chop to your liking or just grind full-length and you can chop, burn, trim.... whatever turns you on. There are some really inexpensive plexi templates that you can get, too, so the big start-up cost would be the grinder...

Bulk arrow production: might want to start small and make sure you know what you need before you commit to buying everything by the hundred.... there are small-batch and DIY solutions for about everything, but if you start thinking about arrows that are weight and spine-matched within narrow tolerances and really turning your arrow-making into a hobby, it’ll add up fast / taper grinder, feather burner& spine-tester all about $125-$150 (1 burner = about 4 choppers, so may as we’ll find a place down-wind of the house and go for it!) plus a grain scale for another $25 and shafts starting around $225/hundred for electronically sorted, unweighed stock that will require a lot of sorting...

Now, of course....

If you don’t plan on losing too many arrows, you’ll never get close to breaking even on the deal, but more importantly, you’ll never get to really experience what is probably the most enjoyable aspect of “Trad” Archery , which is simply loading up a quiver for a walk in the woods and not coming home ‘til you’ve run out of arrows or daylight or both. Compound guys don’t seem to be interested, and I guess if every arrow cost me as much as a full box of ammo for a centerfire rifle, I wouldn’t be that into it, either. Which probably explains why we no longer think of ourselves as a Nation of Riflemen... the only people who I ever see consuming much ammo are the spray-and-pray boys who just seem to get off on the noise and can’t hit squat.

But I digress....

Anyway, the cost of feathers is the least of your problems....

Use of feathers legally collected is 100% OK; you just can’t buy & sell, which is why the deal with Stykzz is that he’ll trade you his labor for the feathers you won’t use; believe it or not, there are some respects in which our government is actually reasonable and responsible all the way around...

From: GF
30-Nov-17
BTW....

Your thread title asks if it’s “worth it”?

So far as the feathers themselves are concerned.... they’re a by-product of your turkey hunt, so they’re free, and if you love DIY, you can’t put a price on it.

Beyond that, it’s just time or money... although if I were to ask my wife if she (as a stay-at-home Mom) had enough “free” time to become a part-time arrowsmith, I think I’d be sleeping in the shed.

From: Jeff Durnell
30-Nov-17
I live in Pa too, and am on the Leatherwall and Pa state conference occasionally. I fletch my arrows with wild turkey feathers I've ground and have done goose feathers too. I make most of my arrows with hickory, but have used multiflora rose and viburnum shoots, river cane, and others. I make my own bows, knives, broadheads, quivers, etc. Why let someone else have all the fun, right? Anyhow, if you get a turkey and want to use the feathers for some arrows I'll help anyway I can. If you live close enough, you're welcome to come here and I'll help ya. Making a wingbone call is another cool project too you might want to try.

From: Joey Ward
30-Nov-17
Making your own gear, be it strings, arrows, fletching, knaping heads, bows, knives, re-loading ammo, sewing, etc, just adds to the total experience. Gives you more knowledge and can be lots of fun. Is not always the most cost affective approach. But will give you a sense of pride, and an appreciation for those that have advanced their skills in those areas.

If you have the inclination, give it a try.

From: jims
01-Dec-17
I tie my own fishing flies and jigs...always a lot of fun catching monster trout, salmon, etc on home-made flies. I can understand how it would be a kick to shoot game with bows/arrows etc that you make yourself.

I noticed in several posts above that guys were concerned about loosing arrows because turkey feathers blend in? It would be really easy to dye them with bright colors before mounting them on shafts!

I sell turkey capes all the time for taxidermists to mount. There are obviously certain species (eagles, hawks, etc) that are illegal to sell but I'm not aware of any states where it's illegal to sell turkey feathers? If you go to taxidermy.net there is a classified section where you could likely place an add and get as many turkey feathers as you could ever use....possibly some for the price of postage?

From: bud
01-Dec-17

bud's embedded Photo
bud's embedded Photo
bud's embedded Photo
bud's embedded Photo
I have made and hunted with fletching I made from turkeys I killed many times. Not very hard to do. I split the feather with razor knife then put in Bitzenburger clamp. Lightly sand quill on 120 sandpaper till you like it. Tip...don't mix right and left wing on same arrow. Here's couple different styles I made with self knocks tied on with sinew and hide glue.

From: Snag
03-Dec-17

Snag's embedded Photo
Snag's embedded Photo
Not hard to do. They are easy to dye if you want to bright them up for better visibility. I’ve done some in red, orange, lime.

From: bud
03-Dec-17
That's a beautiful set of arrows Snag. Awesome crest work. Kind you like to look at in your quiver on cold frosty morning.

From: D.U.O.F
04-Dec-17
Those are beautiful. I appreciate all the help and responses.

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