Turkey Feather Repairs–making good look great


If you mount any number of turkeys a year, chances are you run into birds with shot damage. Sometimes it can be hidden, but quite often repairs need to be made.

I prefer to make my feather repairs after the bird is mounted and drying. As you can see from this picture, the otherwise nice mount has some hackle feather damage right behind the head. The feathers took the full shotgun blast and were broken and mangled badly.


The first step is to remove the damaged feather area. I use a scalpel to cut the damaged skin and feathers tracks out in one piece.

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I than have to take good hackle feathers from one of my parts skins. I cut out the feathers I need and wash and dry them.

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I test fit, than lay down a thin layer of silicone caulking. This holds the feathers in place and gives you control of them for grooming.The new feather track is dropped in place and groomed to match the existing feathers.

The finished repair.

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Aaron Stehling is a second-generation full time taxidermist from Jefferson, WI. He is co-owner, with his brother Austin, of Stehling’s Taxidermy, LLC, a studio that specializes in wholesale/sub contract work that has been in operation for over 40 years. Stehling’s Taxidermy also offers a turkey head freeze dry service. You can learn more about his services at www.stehlingstaxidermy.com or check out their online video training web site, www.taxidermyinsider.com. Aaron is also the administrator on www.taxidermytalk.com forums. He is a regular contributing author for Taxidermy Today Magazine.You can contact him at 920.674.3724 or email a.n.stehling@gmail.com.