Turkey Reference Pictures For The Taxidermist

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Turkey Reference Pictures

If you’re going to mount turkeys as a taxidermist, then you better get yourself some good turkey reference pictures. Turkey taxidermy can be intimidating for most upcoming and aspiring taxidermists. This does not have to be the case at all, as good reference pictures will guide you the way. If you have any concept of bird anatomy and have mounted other upland game birds you’ll have no problem when it comes to mounting turkey as long as you study turkey reference pictures.  Always have turkey reference pictures on hand ready to go when mounting turkeys, no matter how many turkeys you may under your belt.

While viewing and studying reference pictures you should make notes on the tail fan, breast feathers, the head position and color of the head, the pan feathers which are located directly behind the head, the rear hackles and most importantly the scaulps which fill in the space between the wing and back hackle feathers.

Take notice on the angle and tilt of the tail fan when observing turkey reference pictures. Notice in most strutting birds the tail fan is not straight up and flat as you will see in most turkey mounts being produced by amateur taxidermists. Study the wings and the wing tips and the position of the secondary feathers on the wings. Take notice on the legs. Do any of the drumsticks show on a strutting turkey? When a turkey walks how far apart is the left leg to the right leg? When turkey gobbles, is the head up or down or at what angle? All of these questions can and will be answered by studying turkey reference pictures.

A great source for live turkey reference pictures would be Google Image Search.

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CJ Herring
With over 20 years in the industry CJ Herring has dedicated his life to the art of taxidermy. He is a taxidermy journalist and contributing writer for TTN News and is the founder of the Taxidermy Journal. Licensed and certified CJ has experience in all phases of taxidermy. From small animals to full body mounts along with birds and fish. CJ specializes in turkey taxidermy, whitetails, cold and warm water fish taxidermy, along with any and all small mammal taxidermy.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Right on, CJ Herring! Interpreting reference and the application of it can be difficult enough, I can’t imagine mounting a turkey without it.

  2. What I have learned over the years TANGLE is that if I actually mounted turkeys using some of the live reference photos I have come across, I would probably be laughed at and would fail miserably at show.

  3. I hear ya there. I killed a large jake this year that was picture perfect, not a feather out of place. The tom I killed this year, the one I’m mounting, was a disheveled bag of, well, let’s just say he was having a bad feather day. After I killed him, his feathers went back into place and he never lost even one feather.
    Picking reference that brings out the beauty of the bird is very important.
    I enjoy your articles. Thank you for writing them.

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