You’ve harvested the trophy of a lifetime. Now what?
A few simple steps in the field that will help ensure an excellent mounted trophy:
- Keep bird cool and freeze as soon as possible
- Freeze bird in double plastic bags, tuck head under wing or over breast
- Try to keep tail feathers from bending to the point of breaking, especially birds with longer tails (pintails, oldsquaw, etc.)
- DO NOT GUT or CLEAN BIRD, keep bird whole
- Blood usually isn’t a problem, try to remove excess blood if possible
- Some feather damage can be repaired, some can’t
If you have a bird that you feel that might be “questionable” in producing a great trophy mount, please take some photos of the bird. Be sure to include all sides of bird, wings stretched out, or any other areas you feel might be damaged. Then send them to me via e-mail. I will give you my honest opinion about your bird and what we might be able to do with it. There are some things that can be fixed and others that may require you to wait a bit longer for a better bird.
Here is how I wrap them. No newspaper or paper towels. I know that blood in the bag is unsightly in your freezer so putting a paper towel around them is fine. Once frozen remove the towel. DO NOT freeze the in a nylon stocking. The stocking trick works great on upland birds in your game bag. Keeps them from getting damaged. I carry some when Grouse or Pheasant hunting. But cut them out of there when you get home. The stocking will twist the feathers and do long term and maybe unfixable damage. Basically put them in a plastic bag, squeeze the air out. The put the bag in a zip lock bag with air squeezed out. Freeze with the head down on the breast, not straight out. It could get broken off with you are moving stuff around in the freezer.