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Got any tips of the trade ?

21471 Views 88 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  alanwebfoot
Wel l since I have been in picture taking mode I thought some people would find these tips and methods useful… I also thought this could be a great way to learn from each other :thumbsup:

Many times we all have seen pictures of mounts where there is no smooth transition between the head/neck/breast junction. People always say that the skin needed to be "taxied" forward. Odds are many people are thinking "what the heck does "taxi-ing" mean.

Here is a bird where you can see a head with a thin neck ending abruptly into a wide breast…

All I did was pull the breast skin forward toward the head to thicken the neck up and to give it a smoother transition for a more pleasing look. This literally takes less than a minute to pull the skin forward and to work the feathers back into place. This is what is ment by "taxi'ing the skin forward". Now you can pull too much forward for the no neck appearance so it is always a judgement call as to how much do you adjust. I did some modification to this hen after the picture but thought you would get the idea.

Another easy fix is the mud or rust stain found on many birds breast and neck areas. On this pintail you can see it has quite a bit of stain…

All I did was applied some Whink's to the stained areas with the feathers being wet. Within a few seconds you will see the stain simply disappear. A second application may be needed if you miss a spot. After the stains are gone I just rinse the skin in water and proceed. There are numerous products that do the same thing so this is just what I use.

I use latex gloves because of certain chemicals so I wanted to share a great brand of them I have used for the past few years. They are super strong and can be taken off and re-used multiple times. I originally bought a box for 14$ from a supplier but have since found that you can buy them for 7$ a box straight from the company. You can hardly by the cheap, rip if you look at them wrong brands for that.

I really want to get other's input on this topic since we are never too old to learn new tricks. Some of us take for granted that we use this or that because it has just been how we learned way back when even though some better method or product has existed. If you have any tip about this or that please post it up.
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Frank Newmyer call me the other day. We go back all the way to 1981. Asked him what he soaked his birds in after wheeling. He said Dawn then Downy with a rinse. No gas he said. Sooo, everyone uses what works best for him but the "laugh in the face of danger", "walk on the wild side" guys aren't afraid to experiment. I've tried Downy and it seems to slow my drying process down. But. I'm a rogue taxidermist with methods derive from about a dozen taxidermy Gods that have felt sorry for me and showed me a few tricks under sworn secrecy. I use a warm water wash with Dawn after spraying off residual fat from wheeling, but WalMart's "Fake Dawn" is just as good and a lot cheaper BTW. Any potential areas subject to slipping is treated with de-natured alcohol before washing. Any blood clots is hit directly with Era that is the best clot buster and blood removal solution I've seen. Work it into the clot and soon your spray nozzle will make it go away. Any mineral stains are removed with Winks and then after blotting dry it goes into the gas. I gas outdoors of course in a well vented gazebo with a ceiling fan using nitrile gloves or something similar to handle the skin with. Blot with a towel after squeezing out as much gas as possible. I then place the skin over a floor fan for a few minutes then into the tumbler with a 50/50 mix of hardwood sawdust and corn cob grit. I use a dog groomer blower that takes care of any residual sawdust and dries the skin quickly without producing any harmful heat, again outside. Like I said, one man's passion is another man's poison. Most all of us that piddle with birds develop our own technique and it is derived from many trials and errors.

One thing about this site is that all the wise asses don't last and the comedians find another venue also. I appreciate the moderators keeping this clean and helpful. Lots of good information here, not necessarily mine but a lot of good tips, tricks and ideas.
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Swans were put on this earth to punish, annoy and frustrate taxidermist. The feather quills soak up water like a sponge especially around the head and neck which makes them problematic to dry in a lot of cases. So many are killed early in the year and I refuse to take one killed before Christmas. Every time I get one I swear it will be my last. My hats off to you guys that do them well and a helluva job on the reed mounts to BTW. I end up making minimum wage by the time I'm done with one. Brian, I think I'll send everyone to you that calls me!! :smile: Great idea on taping the primaries , Brian. An old dog can learn new tricks, thanks. Will be a good idea also on the big city park sky carp that everyone that kills one believes they weigh 20 pounds! The foam idea to keep the buggy whip syndrome is good also.
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Two airplanes!! I've got 6 Tundras. Now that I think about it, I am crazy!! That not counting other Swan species. I've sworn off of them now!! Maybe :wink:
beretta24 said:
The Waterfowler said:
Two airplanes!! I've got 6 Tundras. Now that I think about it, I am crazy!! That not counting other Swan species. I've sworn off of them now!! Maybe :wink:
Don't have a trumpeter yet, do ya?
Going to start putting in for Freeze-out! Should have already but my calendar stays pretty full.
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