I just won a turkey shoot...... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: I just won a turkey shoot......

Dble Haul
12-20-2001, 06:55 PM
....actually, the turkey was shot by a friend who knows that I tie flies. My question to all of you out there is this: if I'm getting feathers from a freshly killed turkey, do they need to go through any kind of treatment for storage or are they OK as is? I've always bought my feathers prepackaged, so this is a new experience for me.

Thanks for any input.

Now if I can just find someone who hunts some of the exotics...:devil:

12-20-2001, 07:39 PM
Gotten pheasant skins over the years from several hunter friends.

Salted them down (the inside) and tried to stretch them on a board put in basement or other heated area for them to dry. They smell for a while but that is all I ever did to them. I trapped in my childhood for muskrats, rabbits, etc. and that is all we did with those skins also before we sold them to my friends father who was the town's furrier. God can't believe I did that I use to skin them in my house basement. No wonder my mother yelled at me. :devil:

God bless her what she had to put up with me and my two brothers.

I am sure there are more modern techniques others can advise on. I still have some these pheasant skins in fly tying inventory from ten years ago, so it works

Good luck

Tod D
12-20-2001, 08:49 PM
DH - my CT in-laws have an enormous flock of turkeys that roost in their woods, so I'm always well stocked w/ turkey feathers. I've had great success storing them in a glass jar (actually an old glass pasta container) w/ some cedar wood shavings. Haven't had any bug problems in 5+ yrs of doing this.

12-20-2001, 11:03 PM
If you get only fethers plucked off the bird, then Tom's method is fine.
If you get a skin or cape, then use Borax instead of salt, it will kill any nasties and then store the skin in a jar/box ets. and put some "real" cedar or other aromatic wood shavings in it.

12-21-2001, 11:55 AM
to add to Pete's suggestion - a skin or cape should be:

scraped clean of as much fat and flesh as possible;
soaked in a strong solution of alum and salt for several days;
removed from solution and rinsed well with clear warm water, then shaken, not stirred :hehe:to remove as much moisture as possible;
liberally dusted with borax and stretched to dry;
when dry, excess borax shaken/brushed from skin.

If you choose, at this point, you may rinse the skin again to remove borax. It isn't necessary. If you do, set it on the stretcher again and use a blow dryer and soft brush to straighten/ rearrange feathers.

If you suspect "just" feathers, you can, again, liberally dust them with borax and contain them in plastic bags or whatever for quarantine for several days.