Waterfowl Taxidermy by Master Waterfowl Taxidermist Skip MillerWaterfowl Taxidermy by Master Waterfowl Taxidermist Skip MillerWaterfowl Taxidermy by Master Waterfowl Taxidermist Skip Miller
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YOUR TROPHY FIELD CARE

There are many factors that go into a high quality trophy mount.  Each step done as best as possible will aid in the overall quality and beauty of your trophy for years of enjoyment. You, the hunter, play a vital roll in this overall process with the proper care given in the field and home prior to delivering the specimen to me, the taxidermist.

To aid you in this process, I have outlined some key points to make this a simpler process for you.

Preparation Field Kit:  Cotton balls, paper towels and an old pillow case.  All of these will fit nicely into a Zip-loc freezer bag to stay dry while in the field

First and foremost:  Treat the bird as gently as you would a fine garment. if at all possible you, the hunter, should retrieve the bird to avoid any damage done by the dog.

If the bird is still alive:
DO NOT wring the neck or strike it in the back of the head. 
DO NOT run a sharp instrument from the underside or back of the head on the bird that is to be
   mounted.
For the best results employ this method: in one hand hold the bird by the breast. With
  the other hand start at the neck and run the thumb and forefinger up the back and underneath the
  wings.  You should, then, feel the soft tissue of the breathing lungs.  Then with your finger-tips
  placed on the lungs, pinch until the bird succumbs.

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES field dress the bird that is to be mounted.

DO NOT carry birds to be mounted by the neck.  Carry them by the feet where there are no feathers to be damaged.

Wipe off as much blood as possible.  Place a cotton ball in the mouth of any bird that is to be mounted to protect the feathers from any fluids that may be leaking out.

To prevent the bird from spoiling:
NEVER place the bird in direct sunlight!
NEVER place the bird in a tightly closed plastic bag or a rubber lined game pouch before the bird
   has time to properly cool down.

The bird should be placed in a cooler with ice as soon as possible. 

To transport the bird from the field:
Lay the bird on its back
Fold the head and neck to one side of the body
Place gently into the pillow case or a soft garment
Set aside and carry out gently

Once you are home the bird needs to be prepared for storage in the freezer:
Remove the bird from the pillow case or garment.
Wipe off as much blood as possible.
With the bird in the same position, place inside of a plastic bag and seal tightly making sure as much
   air is removed as possible and none of the tail feathers are bent.
Place this inside a paper bag or wrap with freezer paper and seal.
Never wrap the bird so it is in direct contact with paper.  This will cause severe freezer burn and
   ruin the bird.
Do Not bend the tail of any bird, especially pheasant or pintail.  Use a bag or storage container
   that is big enough to avoid bending the tail.
NEVER leave the neck extended straight out from the body.  This increases the chances of the
   head and neck breaking off from the body.

Deliver to your taxidermist as soon as possible!


Master Waterfowl Taxidermist
Skip Miller
23592 Mirabel Road
Middletown, CA 95461
Days: 707-355-0867
Evenings & Weekends: 707-987-3472
eMail
skipsvmax@hotmail.com

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