Got my first Wood Duck today.

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Got my first Wood Duck today.

Postby COYOTE JLR » Fri Nov 29, 2013 7:12 pm

I shot my first wood duck this morning, which has been my all time dream bird since I was 10 years old. It was wood ducks that got me interested in duck hunting when I saw them for the first time on a small pond locally. The even better thing about it was that I shot it this morning when my wife accompanied me out into the field for the first time ever. It's a pretty cool and meaningful bird to me and I would love to get it mounted.

Now, I don't think it's the prettiest wood duck I've seen, but they are far from a common thing out here and it's the meaning of the bird that is most exciting to me. I think overall the plumage is in decent shape and I didn't notice a bunch of pin feathers or anything like that when I was looking it over.

The bigger issue is that one of the wings got broken pretty bad right by the shoulder. It doesn't look like there was much more damage done to the wing aside from the broken bone, but I'm not really sure how much that will limit what I can do with it. I've never had a duck mounted before. What are my options in a situation like this?

Other than that broken wing it's in pretty good shape. It took a pellet through the eye and I didn't notice any other obvious damage. Didn't wring it's neck or anything like that.

What would you experts recommend? Thanks in advance.

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Re: Got my first Wood Duck today.

Postby Pete-pec » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:08 am

I would recommend taking a bit more care in the field when considering mounting a specimen. I like to keep them away from a dog that might be tempted to lick, and store them belly down on a dry non freezing surface to prevent feather loss.

The wing will not be an issue for any mount. The bird's crest is not real full, and might be a hatch from this year. I would doubt it would have a bunch of pin feathers, and would certainly mount up.

If it is special, which I believe it to be from your description, I would take it to the taxidermist, and let him tell you what the condition is, and if it's a specimen worthy of the wall. I would mount it flying with the less than ideal crest (just my opinion and preference). The pellet through the eye will possibly enter the eye, but rarely ever exits the other eye, so there may need to be a certain way the head needs to face to hide the pellet hole if there is indeed one present. Stitching pellet holes in the head and neck can be tricky as it tends to torque those tiny feathers as you tighten the stitches.
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Re: Got my first Wood Duck today.

Postby COYOTE JLR » Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:06 pm

Thanks for the information, Pete.

Out of curiosity, what would you recommend for care in the field? I got out to it as soon as I could and it was still flopping around pretty good so I squeezed it until I was sure it was done. I tried to be careful when doing that, but I did ruffle up the feathers a bit by accident. I made sure not to set it down in the mud or under anything or in a bag anywhere. I carried it out by hand instead of on a strap. This is the first time I've ever considered mounting something, so I'm not super familiar with field care techniques.
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Re: Got my first Wood Duck today.

Postby Pete-pec » Sat Nov 30, 2013 12:17 pm

Take a look at the field care sticky above.

You didn't do any more to it than a taxidermist will. They certainly go through some abuse during the skinning, fleshing, washing and drying process, and bounce back pretty darn nice most of the time. I place the duck on its back and drive my knee into its sternum. Your bird will be fine. I tend to baby mine more than I need, but it sounds like you did about the same. They are fragile little birds, and anything I can do to increase the outcome of completion, I do it.
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Re: Got my first Wood Duck today.

Postby johnsonthehunter » Wed Dec 04, 2013 10:37 pm

Great duck! Being from western WA myself i can respect the rarity of the bird! I have a drake and hen at the taxi right now. Got my first one done by some local guy and looks like garbage so i spent some money on this one! Congrats! (Here's my bird)
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Re: Got my first Wood Duck today.

Postby Pete-pec » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:42 am

We shoot a lot of them here, so we sort of take them for granted. They are beautiful birds for sure. There are birds in the Pacific flyway I wish I could hunt every day, so each flyway certainly has their specialties. We shoot a lot of mallard, wood ducks, canvasback, goldeneye, and Canada geese. Of course the Mississippi has just about everything but our season starts way early ending way early, and our birds are not plumed to my liking.
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Re: Got my first Wood Duck today.

Postby COYOTE JLR » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:33 pm

Thanks, Johnson! That's a beautiful bird you've got there yourself. Who is the taxi you sent that one to? Have any pics of the finished project?

All of those birds that you see regularly, Pete, are birds that I wish I saw more of. In my county we don't even see a whole lot of mallards and I've never seen a Canvasback, though I know you can find them in this state if you know where to look. Late in the season here we get some beautiful, stud Pintails though and a lot of Wigeon.
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Re: Got my first Wood Duck today.

Postby johnsonthehunter » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:58 pm

Edited by Moderator.

Please PM him the details on your taxidermist.

Thank you,

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