Preserving Pheasant - Colorado Fishing Forum

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Old 02-11-2008, 10:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Preserving Pheasant

Im wondering if anyone has any experience with bird taxidermy. I recently tried to preserve a skinned pheasant with all the feathers on it by stretching and packing it with borax. It started to stink and attract flies and I ended up with only the tail feathers. Can anyone clue me in to the right way to do this?
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Preserving Pheasant

stop hunting roadkill you buck-toothed yokal....


salt & sun, scrape it as clean as posible
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Old 02-11-2008, 12:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Preserving Pheasant

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwall
stop hunting roadkill you buck-toothed yokal....


salt & sun, scrape it as clean as posible
add to that, good ventilation
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Old 02-11-2008, 05:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Preserving Pheasant

salt and scrape, I've heard thats how its done, but I've always gotten away with just the salt, I make sure there nothing but skin on the parts I'm preserving. I can't remember the name of the stuff, but its like moth flakes that you can store skin in a plastic bag. It quarantines the skin from the rest of your materials to keep it all bug free and from getting eaten.
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Old 02-11-2008, 05:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Preserving Pheasant

another good thing to do with "wild" feathers. is to freeze them for a week or so. this will kill any mites or other critters living in the feathers that may make a mess down the road
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Old 02-11-2008, 09:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Preserving Pheasant

Good idea for the freezing part. I'm expecting some skins this winter and that's a very valuable tip.

(My freezer's gonna get crowded!)
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Preserving Pheasant

I would have to agree with whoever said to make sure the skin is clean and scraped (no fat at all).

My last 3 turkey fans dried fine and did not stink. My fan from this year had some fat left on it --but I did it in a hurry and left a little bit of fat on it. I packed it in borax and checked it a month later - it smelled like rotting skunk butt.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Preserving Pheasant

I haven't done a lot, but have had good luck with the skins I have worked with. Spend the time to clean the skin as completely as possible. I've just used borax.... I rub it in (carefully) into the back side of the skin which goes a long ways towards drying and then I bury it in a bag full of borax for a while. I did not stretch or put it out in the sun to dry, but I have made it up as I have gone along. I like the freezing idea. I would make sure it has time in the freezer after you have been working on it, since you have to worry about new critters (beetles, etc.) getting on it if it is out drying, etc.. If you get the fat off and the skin dry, smell should be minimal.
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Old 02-17-2008, 02:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Preserving Pheasant

Back to the freezer thing - I had a customer ask me about what to do with pheasant skins just the other day, and I recommended freezing them. Another one came over and said 'thank you' because someone was giving her a back, some wings and a bunch of tail feathers and she had no idea what to do with them. Mites = bad. Frozen mites = dead mites.

Now, for someone trying to kill the smell, does the borax help? Anybody try anything like, say, baking soda, or does the soda react with anything in the remaining skin that will whack the pH and mess it up? (I just know that baking soda will neutralize anything acidic, but I don't recall that skin is *that* acidic... and not sure if it will adversely affect the feathers or tyability, durability, etc)
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Old 02-17-2008, 02:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Preserving Pheasant

You definitely want someone who really knows what they are doing with the taxidermy if you are even going to try. I looked into that years ago. I don't hunt but know people who do and they generally fillet the birds and throw away the feathers. So I thought to see if they would give me the capes/feathers. Through my process I learned that there are a whole host of things to be mindful of. Wild animals carry disease, fleas, and other parasites. e.g. the recent bird flu was a disease from birds.
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