title (15K)

Field Care

When out in the field there are several things you can do to bring back a nice specimen. Bring some clear plastic produce bags with you (the kind you find on rolls in the produce section) and put a couple paper towels in them. Wipe off any excess blood, dirt/mud, or water before you place the bird in the bag. Put a portion of the paper towel in the birdís mouth to keep any additional blood from getting on the feathers. Do not gut the bird. Keep the bird cool and get it into the freezer as soon as possible. Zip lock bags tend to squish tails and the tips of the wings so I donít recommend them. (Unless you get one bigger than the gallon size)

I do NOT recommend using nylon panty hose. You may find some taxidermistís that do but I am not one of them. In my opinion, they serve absolutely no purpose. You do not gain anything in the outcome of your mount if the feathers of your bird are flattened out. When you drop a bird into panty hose and it reaches the bottom, once it stops the hooks start working backwards against the feathers and cause unnecessary ruffling and damage. Stick with a plastic bag.

I have seen every method imaginable for killing a bird in the field and even after you get home. Wringing the neck, bashing the head on the gunstock or the side of the blind, biting the head, putting an icepick or a knife in the head, putting the duckís head in an exhaust pipe, putting the live bird in a freezer, pinching the windpipe and itís nose, squeezing the entire bird to suffocate it, etc. etc. While some of these will kill the bird, (some wonít) none of these methods are recommended for a bird to be mounted.

Here is the best method for extinguishing a bird you want to have mounted. No mess, no blood, no nightmare for the taxidermist to deal with later. You will need a flat hard surface that is not too high. (A blind stool will work if it is not too soft. A bench is better) Place the bird chest down with itís feet under itself. Assuming you are right-handed, place your right hand over the bird and put itís head in your left hand. Holding the head taut in your left hand, put the pointiest part of your knee right in the middle of the birds back. (Right between the shoulder blades) Press down with your knee until you hear/feel the birdís back break. Keep the pressure on the bird. Not so much that you flatten the bird completely. Keep the birds head extended and tight in your left hand. When you break the birds back, you end up puncturing itís lungs. As long as you keep pressure with your knee you will not allow any air back into itís lungs. The bird will be done in less than 1 minute. This works with a teal or a honker and anything in between. Any questions on this feel free to call or email me.