A full-body mount by a reputable taxidermist is a beautiful way to display your trophy bird, though it can be costly and space can be an issue.
If you're a do-it-yourselfer, one of the easiest and least-expensive ways to display a beautiful turkey is by creating a cape of your turkey's feathers.
Caping is inexpensive, easy to do and extremely satisfying. A simple process of skinning your turkey from head to tail, cleaning and Boraxing the skin and pinning it to a flat piece of cardboard is all that's involved.
Follow the simple instructions below for a good looking and simple way to capture the memory of a special hunt:
- Hang your tom by the head.
- Cut the skin where the feathers on the neck meet the skin of the head.
- Continue down the center of the back toward the tail. Follow the natural seams that run down both sides of the back. Be careful as you cut the skin from the body so as not to cut into the skin. The skin is very thin and delicate along the backbone.
- Remove the skin, including the tail skin.
- Scrape the fat and flesh from the cape using a knife and spoon.
- Cover the wet skin in 20 Mule Team Borax laundry booster.
- Lay the cape treated-skin-down on large piece of flat cardboard.
- Pin the neck end to the cardboard using a straight pin or brad.
- Fan the tail feathers out, spreading them to the desired width and pin each feather in place. Don’t push a pin through the quills, but right along side of the quills.
- Lay each feather in place carefully with a pocketknife and trim off any excess feathers from the sides.
- Let dry three to four weeks in a nice dry part of your house, garage or shop and keep the cape protected from rodents and pets.
- Scrape off the old Borax and reapply a fresh coat, if there is still moisture in the cape. Let this sit for another week.
- Remove pins, shake off the loose Borax and hang your trophy on your wall.
- Mount the cape on a piece of wood, if desired, cut to fit the cape.