Mathews Inc.
Turkey prep for mounting
Contributors to this thread:
Knife2sharp 06-May-18
trkyslr 06-May-18
Knife2sharp 08-May-18
Brotsky 08-May-18
jims 09-May-18
From: Knife2sharp
Heading to NE and my partner is considering getting his Tom mounted if he gets one. What is the process for keeping the bird in good condition prior to bringing it to the taxidermist?

From: trkyslr
Make sure it’s feathers are dry then put it into a xxl panty hose head first then freeze... be careful to not bend damage the tailfan feathers.

From: Knife2sharp
Thanks, I remember Cally Morris mentioning on a hunting video once, not to put it in a plastic bag.

From: Brotsky
Knife, if your buddy plans to freeze the bird for any length of time he should place it in a plastic bag to avoid drying out or freezer burn.

From: jims
The first thing I would recommend is to prevent the tom from flopping around once it's down. As long as the tom is flopping he'll likely loose a bunch of feathers. Be super careful not to accidentally pull out or bend super careful with tail feathers! I usually try to either pin the tom on the ground so he can't flop or hold him by his legs. If you hold him by the legs be super careful of the spurs (learned from experience!). Their wings are super powerful and you would be amazed how crazy they can be if you pick them up!

The next thing I do is try to freeze the tom ASAP. It really doesn't matter if you have the tom in plastic bag when you put it in the freezer. I've frozen many toms whole if it's super hot and I don't have time to cape them. I just returned from S Dakota where I shot several toms. I didn't have a freezer so had a giant cooler. I put 2 garbage bags around each bag of ice to prevent water from getting on the capes once it started melting. I kept several bags of ice in the bottom with a garbage bag between the ice and birds (laid on top). I would keep a watchful eye on the cooler and ice. If any water escapes the garbage bags with ice make sure to drain the cooler. The last thing you want is water on the cape/feathers. I place a sleeping bag over my cooler to keep ice longer. If bags of ice unfreeze you may want to replace them with fresh ice. I was gone 4 days and this worked great for me.

I caped all my turkeys so the cape and meat cools down quickly. Caping a tom is very difficult but the best way to store a tom for extended periods of time when away from a freezer. If you haven't done any caping it may be worth either going to a local taxidermist or find a place where you can freeze the whole turkey until you head home. I sell lots of capes to taxidermists across the country and these are just a few pointers. If you have any specific questions feel free to send me a personal message. Good luck on your trip!

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