ORIGINAL: Everyday Hunter
ORIGINAL: mark hay
very nice Bobby
Agree. What a museum! You must have an unlimited budget! [:D]
Do you do those capes yourself? If so, how do you do them?
Thanks guys and Mike I'll attach a couple more shots tomorrow as they're on the office computer.
No man I'm far from having an unlimited budget. Everything except the Rios and Merriams came from Ga either from a hunting lease I was on or public land. I did keep a running tab with the taxidermist for a while that cost me.
I do cape my own turkeys. It's really not that hard to learn to cape em and prepare them. It cost nothing to do this. A box of Mule Team Borax for curing goes along ways.
First of all you have to take good care of the bird from the time you shoot him. Be care ful to not let his fan feathers get messed up. He'll look better later if you take precautions
I hang em up by their heads and start skinning from there. Theres a line that you can see along the feathers that runs down both sides down towards the wings. You try to follow this. Clipping the wings makes it a little easier to keep your bearings when you get to that point. Make the first cut where the feathers start on the neck and work down each side. You litterally start out at about an 1.5" wide and widens as you go. Trickiest part is working past the wing. After that angle out to be safge and work down to where you can feel the spot you'd normally cut a fan off.
Theres one area about 2/3s down that you have to be real careful not to cut thru the cape. You'll see what I mean when you try it.
If you've done it right, it'll all be in one piece. If you haven't then you'll have to do re-attachment surgery[;)]
One key when you're cutting is to pull and hold as you cut from the inside skin and not pull on the outside/ feathers. You can get your finger tip behind the skin and pull and cut more from the inside than out.
Once you work you way to the fan you just cut that off (as part of the rest of what you caped) and your done with step one.
After that you cut as much meat off the tail as you can without getting into the main quills. I drive nail thru the center of the base on the fan and then stretch the head end out and tack it down, I then take small nails 2-3 on each side and open the fan up and place the nails to keep it even and open.
I then open up the cape in between these tacked end and tack them with a nail in a couple of places.
Then its just a matter of salting or using Mule Team Borax which you can buy at the grocery store. Put them somewhere they can't get knocked over and leave them for a month. Taking them up to early might increase your fly hatch population (speaking from experience)
To hang then just drive a nail thru the outer / show side thats long enough to come thru the quills and just pin it on the wall.
It really cost you nothing but a little time. You'll learn to cape em in 10-12 minutes and it takes 20 minutes to prep and stretch per bird.
The following shots give you an idea of what you're doing in terms of preping the capes