I got started by purchasing a DVD. The cost was about $20 and is pretty thorough. Shows all the materials you'll need and the technique. The DVD is called Mounting the Flying Duck Master Series (or something along that line). The YouTube videos are OK but they lack alot of the detail you get from an hour and half long DVD. You can also purchase a duck mounting kit for about $20 that includes instructions, available from Van Dykes (or other taxidermy supply stores). To answer your question about the feet, yes, you use the real birds foot, injected with fluid to get the realism back and painted to restore the color. I too am just a beginner and I recommend getting a DVD, then you'll know, besides the materials, the tools you'll need as well. Good luck!
treat every situation like a dog. If you cant eat it or hump it just piss on it and walk away