what I have so far

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what I have so far

Postby openwaterhunter2 » Sat Dec 31, 2005 12:44 pm

Fleshing job.

Image


My problem area.

Image

My sewing job.

Image

The back side or the side that will show.

Image


I am going to try the hanging mount. Less critical on the proper form and more on the taixidermy part.
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Postby Pete-pec » Sat Dec 31, 2005 4:19 pm

Is that top picture the completed fleshing job? If it is, you need to go back and hit it again. You've left too much meat and grease on the skin and between the quills. Did you invert the wings completely? You need to invert the wings all the way to the wrist of the bird. Did you think that the broken wing was going to be a problem? You can replace broken wings with doweling or wire, so that can be fixed. It sometimes makes it a bit more difficult to invert the wing, but I promise you that you need to remove the flesh that is in there. You don't need to do a dead mount because you have broken wings, that can all be fixed. On your first photo, you need to remove as much tail bone at the base of the tail. and flesh the oiler glands and the tail feather quills or you'll get bugs and an aweful odor. Don't worry about the burn through that you have on the back of the skin, that is do-able still. You can use a piece of fabric softener sheet cut to size, and glue with a dab of suberglue right over the hole. No stitching required.

Lastly, what kind of duck is that? A Ringneck?

-Pete
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Postby openwaterhunter2 » Sat Dec 31, 2005 4:41 pm

Pete Thanks for replying. I fleshed it more after the photo was taken. I nit picked it to death. I stitched the burn threw up. I didn't think about the super glue. I DID invert the wings down to the first joint. In my video it showed to make an insision to get the meat out from between the other two joints. That is what I was refuring to as my real trouble area. It wasn't broken. I have trouble stitching it back up without seeing the thread. I did get about all the meat I could from the tail bone and got the oil glands. (two little white balls right?) and sniped the bone between the quills to get the tail splayed apart like in a turkey fan.

It is a ringer.
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Postby Pete-pec » Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:06 pm

Sounds as if you are well on your way. The video must have been a good one, although I would never split the skin under the wing, and would always choose to invert the wing. Did you get your artificial head back? Let us see some photos of the finished product. :thumbsup:

-Pete
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Postby openwaterhunter2 » Sat Dec 31, 2005 6:26 pm

I don't have it yet. I ordered it and a bill body and head as well. I will def. get some finished pics on here. Thanks for the help pete.
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Postby openwaterhunter2 » Sun Jan 01, 2006 9:23 pm

I skinned my bill out today and to say it is greasy is an understatement. I can't believe how greasy it is. I have only a wire brush and scissors to get the fat off. It is pains takingly slow. I did get the wing skinned down to wrist like you stated pete. It took a while but it was alot easier than I first thought and alot better than cutting the wing. I got it very clean with your method. I am haveing trouble telling if I have gotten all the grease off. It was getting pretty bad and I was about over it tonight so I washed it in a cool dawn bath, rung it out alittle and stuck it in the freezer. I will post a pic either tomorrow or tuesday when I get it thawed out and dried off. If you wouldn't mind telling me where I need to clean up some more. Oh and I got some oderless mineral spirits today as well. How do I go about using it to dry it off? Please explain that to me. Thanks for all the help already.
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Postby Pete-pec » Mon Jan 02, 2006 12:27 am

If you only have a wire brush, you're at huge disadvantage, but that doesn't mean absolute despair. I have a wire wheel, and have never had to use a brush, but that's how it was done for many years. If you're really going to stick with birds, I would either rig up something with an old fan motor or drill, etc. or buy a wheel, but either way I would have something that spun. It is so easy to let the motor and brush do the work rather than by hand trying to be delicate. So far you've worked on two divers. Alot of fat? Yes!, but a thick skin as well. Wait til you do a puddle duck or worse yet a Teal or Woodie. That's when you'll decide if bird taxidermy is for you! LOL! those birds have a thinner grease (viscosity) than a Diver, but where the grease and fat ends, the skin begins, and it isn't much thicker than toilet paper. I just don't think you can do a real good job fleshing without a wheel, but like I said, I never used just a brush.

Skinning the wings, or inverting as I call it is very easy, and should only take you 30 seconds per wing, once you figure it out. At the arm pit you can pull till you get to your first joint (elbow), without using anything more than a firm tug. The only way you wouldn't be able to do so is if there is a big old BB hole where the armpit or elbow would be. Once you get to the elbow, you can take your thumb and remove the secondaries right away from the bone, popping them off with you thumb as you give it a slight tug. It gets easier with every bird, just make mental notes on the anatomy, not just for the mount, but for the ease of skinning the bird as well.

The odorless mineral spirits is just an easy way to evacuate the water from your skin after the washing and rinsing. You said cool water and dawn dishsoap. You can use warmer than cool water. It will help to remove grease just like doing the dishes. The sudsy water works better at washing away the grease if it is warm rather than cold. Put some Winks or Oxyclean in with you soapy water. I use a small amount of 35% peroxide. It will wash away all the rust and blood, and bring out all the vibrant colors. Like I said before, once you have washed and rinsed the bird real well, you can roll it up in a towel and pat it dry, then you can completely cover the skin in mineral spirits. Shake the skin in the solvent for like five minutes, you'll see water that comes out in the bottom of the mineral spirits. I use an Ice cream pail, and recover the remaining solvent and pour it back in the original container. try to avoid pouring the watery greasy stuff back in the container. You can use a gallon on about twenty ducks easy enough. Where some nice nitrile gloves or some two-ply latex gloves to avoid exposure through the skin.

Any more questions, just give a shout.

-Pete
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Postby openwaterhunter2 » Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:02 pm

I went to just test fit my new bill body I got today and it doesn't seem as tight as the ringer form was. When I pull the body up to where I think it should be I have about an inch at the bottom. What should I do here?
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Postby Pete-pec » Thu Jan 05, 2006 1:42 pm

Did you measure the form rather than just order a Lesser Scaup form? Very rarely any form fits exactly as the book recommends per specimen. The best thing to do is measure the body once the bird is skinned, and add a bit of girth for the fat removal from your fleshing process. The skin will also stretch during the fleshing process. I just did a drake Common Eider, and the skin was so stretched after fleshing, that I had to go with a Snow Goose form. You can easily fill the extra skin area with some filler such as Polyester or Cotton batting. see where you are as you're sewing up the body, sometimes as you run wires and fill with caulk in the neck and wing area, this will often times take up the majority of the slack in the skin. If you still have some slack, fill the sides and rear with some filler.

-Pete
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Postby openwaterhunter2 » Thu Jan 05, 2006 2:23 pm

Thanks Pete. I feel like a total idiot when it comes to this. I am still getting my stuff together and figuring out what is what. I still don't know how to order eyes yet and I didn't know that their was that much diffence in the sizes. I mean I had some idea but I figured that the forms were correct. Thanks again.
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Postby Pete-pec » Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:18 pm

If you think I figured this out because I'm some kind of genius, you're sadly mistaken. I learned like you, trial and error, and a little help from my taxidermy friends, and snooping around on taxidermy.net. That's why I'm willing to help. Some people in the business would tell you to pay to learn, but this isn't a trade secret, and isn't too difficult to perform. It does take some artistic talent however, and if you have none, your work will never hit the level of a true Master, but who really cares as long as you're happy with it and satisfied with the work?

For the Drake Scaup, use an 8mm yellow eye, and for the Ring-necked duck, if it is a hen, 8mm hazel, and if it is a drake 8mm straw. Hope that helps you.

Here are some toll free numbers to get some catalogs so you can order anything you need.
McKenzie Taxidermy supply: 1-800-279-7985
Van Dykes vandykestaxidermy.com: 1-800-843-3320

-Pete
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Taxidermy.net

Postby BSUTravis » Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:27 am

Pete-

By those people that want you to pay to learn, are you refering to George? hahahaha.

New to this site.....frequent visitor to taxidermy.net.... Some great folks over there, just don't ask George the wrong question or he'll freak out on ya!

Love what you are doin' here! Keep up the great work!
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Postby openwaterhunter2 » Sat Jan 07, 2006 10:07 am

Pete

I am using the Mckenzie and Van Dykes on line store. I have placed a request for a catalog at both. I do have some artistict talants. I draw pretty well and I used to carve alot as a kid. I know I should probably just quit asking so many questions and do a bunch and if they don't turn out just rip the forms out and start over. My problem is I don't have enough "stock" to do that. The season is getting HARD around here and I only have a few more birds to work on. I have thought about going to a game farm and buying some pheseants and quail this summer but that ain't cheap. I don't want to go threw a spell of not working on at least something until I get the hang of this down pat. On another note. I skinned out my first mallard yesterday. I done it fresh and it seemed that feathers would fall out just laying on the table, not alot but some. Is this normal with mallards or would freezing it and then working on it work better? I am also glad that I have skinned those divers first. I knew alot better as to what to look for as I was skinning and you can look at that mallard and tair a hole in it. I did good and only got two small holes. I was suprised at the lack of fat on it. I am really enjoying this. I washed my bill and used the mineral spirits and it was alot quicker drying. I put everything back in the freezer because I went to order my paint and I came up to 180 $ worth of paint. I think I need to wait on a paycheck before I get it. :laughing: As soon as I finish one I will be posting some pictures. Thanks again.

Danny
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Postby Pete-pec » Sun Jan 08, 2006 1:05 am

BSUTravis,
First off Welcome to the site. Yes George is an old fart. LOL! He does have some good information to give out, but he definately refers to the orange search button. He is an old school sort of fella, but for the most part, he's just sick of people wanting the quick answer, without doing the research. I on the other hand like to help people try to figure out the craft, so they don't feel embarassed to ask any question that may arise. I don't want to make anyone feel inferior. I want everyone on this site to feel like they can ask any question that they want, no matter how insignificant it may seem. I am not here to judge. I've been there, and I want to shorten the climb for everyone else to follow.

Danny,
the mallard with no fat on it seems a bit weird to me. Mallards and geese are some of the fattiest waterfowl around. Did you shoot this bird early in your duck season? The fact that it has very little fat would lead me to believe that the bird didn't have much fat reserves going into the winter or it's migration, therefore probably an early bird, and probably full of pin feathers, that's why the feathers seem to be falling out of the bird. As you get more familiar with what to look for when it comes to picking out a good specimen, you'll soon realize that not every bird is a wall mounter. You will find that most good birds are either from the latest part of your hunting season, (or someone elses) or are from a reputable breeder. I do have a few friends that will help me out when it comes time to getting a true fully plumed specimen. The problem with me, is I live in Wisconsin, and unfortunately for us, our season ends before our birds come into quality plummage. The exception to the rule is our Wood Ducks and Mallards. They will be in plummage, unlike the rest of our birds, provided they are shot in the latter part of our season.

-Pete
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Postby openwaterhunter2 » Sun Jan 08, 2006 7:48 am

Pete

I shot the bird the day before yesterday. That is a weird one then because it has virtually no fat at all. I wish now I had took a picture before I stuck it back in the freezer. If I rememeber I will snap one when I get started on it again.
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Postby Pete-pec » Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:37 am

Danny,
The other reason it could be so fat-free, is that it had migrated from the north, and had consumed some of it's fat reserves from the flight. I'm not sure if this is the exact reason or not, but I have gotten some ducks from a friend in California that are half the size of the ducks we shoot here in Wisconsin, and they also have very little fat. Some birds will lose 1/3rd of their body weight during one single migration.

-Pete
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