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I want to try to mount some birds. What do I need to get started? Tool, easy birds to mount, and anything else that I would need.
 

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Hope you have patience... :roll: Most taxidermists will tell you that birds are by far the most challenging...I would start on a pheasant or a diver of some sorts...Bufflehead is a good one because it's small.
There are so many tools that you will need, I would suggest going to taxidermy.net and purchasing some beginner video's and try to learn as much as possible. It's a very rewarding craft, but like I said...Lot's of patience...It's not something you are going to pick up overnite...Good luck.
 

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I have always thought to start with a Pheasant. The hardest part is picking all those damn feathers into place. It sucks. Go to vandykestaxidermy.com and get a starter kit. It has everything you need AND detailed instructions.
 

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IMHO I really think that the ducks are easy than the pheasants, maybe it's just because I enjoy mounting them more than pheasants. Basically what I would suggest getting for say a teal mount is,

Your going to need a form,
so http://www.vandykestaxidermy.com/product/01001407/

your going to need eyes
http://www.vandykestaxidermy.com/product/01340453/

Borax is also a must, at least I use a ton of it
http://www.vandykestaxidermy.com/product/01346894/

Some guys I know use fake beaks and what not, I just use the one on the duck. Your going to need a a small knife, like one you would use to disect something with. String and thread to sew up the neck where you have to cut it in order to get to the brains. A bigger knife, to crack the skull in order to get to the brains. Something that you can rip the eyes out with, clay to fill the eye socket after you clean it out. Your also going to need some wires that go through the form into the wings(if your flying the duck) and wires to go into the feet, pins to pin the body up when your ready to seal up. some guys probably sew it, but my grandpa has showed me a much easier way and more effecient way by using small pins.

Thats all I can think of right now.
 

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WingedShooter7 said:
IMHO I really think that the ducks are easy than the pheasants, maybe it's just because I enjoy mounting them more than pheasants. Basically what I would suggest getting for say a teal mount is,

Some guys I know use fake beaks and what not, I just use the one on the duck. Your going to need a a small knife, like one you would use to disect something with. String and thread to sew up the neck where you have to cut it in order to get to the brains. A bigger knife, to crack the skull in order to get to the brains. Something that you can rip the eyes out with, clay to fill the eye socket after you clean it out. Your also going to need some wires that go through the form into the wings(if your flying the duck) and wires to go into the feet, pins to pin the body up when your ready to seal up. some guys probably sew it, but my grandpa has showed me a much easier way and more effecient way by using small pins.

Thats all I can think of right now.
Josh, couple of things...Artificial is what 99% of the leading taxidermists in the country use...I would not advise wasting your time perfecting the art of using the real skull...Your bill will shrink overtime and you will have a duck with a normal head and tiny a$$ bill. Not a good look. I cast my own heads from a lot of the birds I mount. That is the most accurate method you can use for heads. Artifical!

The other way you suggested, in place of sewing the cut on the belly...Using pins. Think about it. It's called taxidermy...If you can't "Taxi" the skin where you want it to go, well your stuck. If you pin your skin to your form, there is no way to move that skin where it's suppose to go. When, I look back at my earlier mounts, taxing the skin is one of the biggest issue's I had. Most guys I see starting out seem to have that very same problem. I would suggest using at thread and needle. Once again, that is what 99% of what people use and for good reason.

I wish you the best...Just trying to offer some advice that I've learned over time.
:beer:
 

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Rick Acker said:
WingedShooter7 said:
IMHO I really think that the ducks are easy than the pheasants, maybe it's just because I enjoy mounting them more than pheasants. Basically what I would suggest getting for say a teal mount is,

Some guys I know use fake beaks and what not, I just use the one on the duck. Your going to need a a small knife, like one you would use to disect something with. String and thread to sew up the neck where you have to cut it in order to get to the brains. A bigger knife, to crack the skull in order to get to the brains. Something that you can rip the eyes out with, clay to fill the eye socket after you clean it out. Your also going to need some wires that go through the form into the wings(if your flying the duck) and wires to go into the feet, pins to pin the body up when your ready to seal up. some guys probably sew it, but my grandpa has showed me a much easier way and more effecient way by using small pins.

Thats all I can think of right now.
Josh, couple of things...Artificial is what 99% of the leading taxidermists in the country use...I would not advise wasting your time perfecting the art of using the real skull...Your bill will shrink overtime and you will have a duck with a normal head and tiny a$$ bill. Not a good look. I cast my own heads from a lot of the birds I mount. That is the most accurate method you can use for heads. Artifical!

The other way you suggested, in place of sewing the cut on the belly...Using pins. Think about it. It's called taxidermy...If you can't "Taxi" the skin where you want it to go, well your stuck. If you pin your skin to your form, there is no way to move that skin where it's suppose to go. When, I look back at my earlier mounts, taxing the skin is one of the biggest issue's I had. Most guys I see starting out seem to have that very same problem. I would suggest using at thread and needle. Once again, that is what 99% of what people use and for good reason.

I wish you the best...Just trying to offer some advice that I've learned over time.
:beer:
Well I guess I'm just doing what my grandpa had showed me and hes been doing it for 25+. How the heck do you even put the fake head on?!?!
 

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You skin the flesh and Feathers CAREFULLY off the the skull (sock it) and then you put the fake skull/bill (painted) in through the neck until the bill comes out. Use RP-500 or any other strong superglue to leave the skin where needed. Just make sure the adhesive doesn't get on the feathers, it's a real pain to get off.
 

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artifical bird heads are much faster. you put you bird togeather, the artifical head is the last thing before taxi the skin in place. you do not put the head through the neck. you hot glue the head to the neck and pull the skin over the head,pinning a bird skin is not the way to go at all! you need to sew the bird.
 

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boranger said:
artifical bird heads are much faster. you put you bird togeather, the artifical head is the last thing before taxi the skin in place. you do not put the head through the neck. you hot glue the head to the neck and pull the skin over the head,pinning a bird skin is not the way to go at all! you need to sew the bird.
your right, boranger, sorry I explained that wrong.
 

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If you take the time to make sure that there are no feathers in your stitches, it will look a lot better. Believe me, I've tried both. But, I'm not "all knowing" by any means. If your method works, and holds up after a few years, who am I to tell you it doesn't work.
 

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I have been in bird taxidermy for 30 years , I have did it all , you do not pin for one reason you can not move the skin if it is pin to the form. you have to get the wings right and neck skin right , pull the skin to the right place. it will not work if the belly is pin to the form.You can mount a bird in many ways. Alway have good reference, and take you time and make it look alive! :beer:
 

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[/quote]

Well I guess I'm just doing what my grandpa had showed me and hes been doing it for 25+. How the heck do you even put the fake head on?!?![/quote]

Well, Josh...Think how much waterfowl equipment has changed in the last 25 years. Yea, you can still kill ducks with decoys that don't even look real, but that extra realism sure helps at times. Same with Taxidermy...Lot's of things have changed over the years to make your job easier and ultimatly make your bird look more realistic. Just saying, give it a shot...Not a whole lot fun suckin' those brains out of the head cavity anyway.
 

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Josh,

Do what you would like! That is how you learn! Do not use a bird that is important to you. Try to get a good quality specimen (mature). And work from there. You will make some mistakes. As you do more your quality and ability will grow.

Try to have some fun!!!
 
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