How to Preserve and Mount Turkey Feet, Spurs and Beards | Indiana DNR

How to Preserve and Mount Turkey Feet, Spurs and Beards | Indiana DNR


Now we’ll do the spur and remove the leg.
The easiest way to remove the leg is to take your sharp knife, bend the leg back, and you’ll
cut a tendon right in this area here. You can kind of work that tendon down and it will
kind of crack. Work your way around the tendon there
and that’s a foot with spur. We’ll show you
how to mount the foot like so and then we’ll also show for those people who just want to
salvage the spur, but we’ll set that aside for right now. Now I’m not a taxidermist, so I’m sure taxidermists
out there have more approved ways to do this, but I know this way works, it’s very simple
and very economic. We trimmed up our beard earlier when we processing it and one of the
things I like to do to help preserve the tail and the beard is use 20 Mule Team borax is
a natural preservative. And the only thing that I will caution you on it, is it is toxic
to children and pets, so once you’ve processed your stuff or you have some of this out is
be sure to put it away so that the children and the pets can’t get into it. I’ve poured
some into a coffee container here. After you’ve trimmed up your beard you can dip it in this
and coat it with that and it’s generally a good idea to let it dry for about a week or
so. If you want to mount it, some people like to have it just like so. The other thing you
can do is take your spent shotgun shell and take a screwdriver or a nail and punch out
the primer in the back. You just put a little piece of thin wire down through there and
you take your beard and you can wrap it around and tie it up like so. Start to insert it
up into the shotgun shell and then you’ve got a way to hold your beard up with your
spent shell from your successful hunting trip. Again, it’s important that you first let this
area here, after you’ve put it in the borax, let it dry out for a few days. The next thing
is we were able to save the feet here. There are some fleshy areas here and you can trim
those a little bit. Again, just dip those in the borax and that will help preserve it
and keep it from rotting. There’s two ways that we can mount the spurs and the foot.
Some people like to mount it in such a way that it will stand up or can be put in a book-end.
There’s two ways to do that – I’ll show you both techniques here in a little bit. For
right now we’ve gone ahead and preserved both of these feet. Some people aren’t interested
in having this, they’re more interested in saving the spur. The easiest way to do that
is just take a hack saw or a small saw and you cut off right there about a quarter of
an inch above and below it. Just cut through real quick. Throw that away. Once you’ve got
the spur off, just take your knife and there’s usually some tissue right in there that will
push out of there with a nail or something. After you get the tissue out, again go to
the borax and get it pretty well soaked in there, and then let that sit for a week or
so in a safe place away from children and pets. So that takes care of how to mount it
this way, the other way that you can mount it, if you want to make a book-end – you can
put a simple little device together like this. Take your foot and you can use a variety of
different materials – probably the handiest is to get some zip-ties for wire and you can
put your foot into position. Once you’ve got it in position snap the zip-tie together and
just let it sit for a couple of weeks and it will harden up and dry up. The other thing
you can use if you don’t have some zip-ties is just use some old bailing twine and wrap
it around and you can hold it in place like that. We’re going to show you another alternative
way to mount the feet so they can be used for book-ends and stand on their own. Needless
to say you’ll have to do this somewhere you don’t have kids and pets running around. What
you do is just simply find a good solid wall, put the feet up against it and add a couple
of bricks. I wouldn’t advise doing this in your living room. Simply leave it like that
for a couple of weeks and it will harden up and you’ll have your foot mount. Pretty quick
and simple.

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