Unlike the turkeys you buy at the grocery store, wild turkeys are slim, colorful and difficult to hunt. To commemorate your wild turkey hunt and the feast that followed, there are many ways to mount a wild turkey. They range from very expensive, life-like mounts to do-it-yourself tokens.
The most expensive and most beautiful type of wild turkey mount is the full-body mount, which captures the turkey in a life-like pose. These mounts must be done by experienced taxidermists because they require art and precision to guide the skin and feathers over rigid plastic or polyurethane frames. A common pose includes male turkeys (toms) with their tails fanned out and one claw in the air in attack position. Another good full-body mount is a hen seated serenely over her nest of yellow, spotted eggs.
A cape mount is something you can do yourself to give you a reminder of your hunt. To make a cape mount, simply skin the turkey and clean the fleshy side with borax or another chemical cleaner. Then, pin the tail feathers in a fan display to a piece of sturdy cardboard or thin wood and let it dry for weeks. A cape mount shows the beauty of a turkey's skin and feathers and is affordable enough for anyone to do. It can be framed in a display box or hung on the wall.
A fan mount is an even easier way to make a turkey mount. A fan mount consists of removing the tail, spreading it out and drying it in that position. It is easier to make than a cape mount with less risk of contamination or decomposition, since there is almost no flesh or fat, except where the tail connects to the turkey's body. Once dried, fan mounts can be hung on a wall, added to collages or set on a table.
A less traditional way of mounting a turkey is making spur jewelry or mementos. The spurs are the sharp appendages that stick out from the back of turkeys' legs and are used for attack purposes. They can be sawed off fairly easily and linked onto necklaces or bracelets. They can even be used for rings and as beads or embellishments on hats and purses.
- turkey image by Terry Reimink from Fotolia.com