Wednesday, November 5, 2014

                                   Nicabor pigeon  BIRD  TAXIDERMY

Birds are skinned from the under side or belly, lay the mount on its back and separate the feathers exposing the breast bone.
If needed use painters tape to keep the feathers separated keeping the skin exposed. With a scalpel make your first cut follow the Breast bone down to the vent.
Once the cut is made start lifting the skin with one hand and cut the tissue thats holding the skin to the meat.  Sprinkle borax on the inside of the skin to absorb the fluids (if the meat is to be consumed cornmeal is used)
Continue skinning until stopped by the leg and wing bone.
Now separate the leg and wing from the main body by cutting through the joint .Finish skinning the of the body to the neck.
Once the body is free of the skin ,lift the body and roll the skin down the neck to the base of the skull.
Pulling the head right side in
Then sever the neck at the base of the skull and remove the body, set it aside for measurements.
 At this point you should remove the  eye tissue and the brain. Before turning the head right side in flesh the neck area( remove all unwanted meat and tissue) and sprinkle with Borax.
The wing and leg should be skinned out in the same manner as the neck, once the meats are exposed remove them from the bone leaving the leg bone intact. When the the area is clean of meat and tissue cover it with Borax . The skin is now free of all meat and fleshing may begin, remember always scrape the fat and tissue on the skin  "with the feather quills" not against them. Bird skin is very thin and easily damaged.
Recreating the body

Carving the body:
Lay the body on a piece of carving foam and trace the outline. Begin carving the foam using the body as a template. Tools used :carving knife and hand held rasp.

After the foam has been shaped I, cover the form with gorilla wood glue and allow to dry. Several coats my be needed to smooth the surface.This allows the skin to be moved or taxied while mounting(Poly foam is purchased from a Taxidermy supply company)

Washing the bird skin:
This can be done in the kitchen sink,
or a five gal. bucket. Add Dawn liquid dish soap to five gallons of warm water. Submerge the skin and agitate  until the water runs clear. Remove and drip dry for a few minutes. Place the skin in a shallow container filled with mineral spirits.
Agitate gently then allow to sit for five minutes. This process will remove remaining water and soap.
Again remove the skin and allow to drip a few minutes, place the wet skin in a container and cover it with 20 Mule Team Borax soap.

Blow Drying:
Place your gloved hand in side the cavity,
and begin blow drying the feathers. Be careful
not to dry the skin only the feathers.
All plumage must be completely dry before mounting begins.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

                CARVING A WOODEN FEATHER in Three easy steps

Tools and Materials:
Dremel Tool/with sanding drum
Scroll saw
Paint or Stain

First step:
Purchase a 3/8 x 4" Bass wood board at a local craft store.


Step Two:
Draw your pattern on the board and cut it out on the scroll saw.
Shape  the cut out using the Dremel drum sander.

Step Three:
Paint or stain your creation according to the species that was chosen.
That's it !!Three easy steps to make an original Adirondack decoration.
Natures way

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Mounting the Asian Purple Swamp Hen

 Mounting the Purple Swamp Hen

First Step:
Separate the feathers along the breast bone to expose the skin.
Using a sharp knife make the first cut from the vent half way up the breast( following the breast bone).
Start removing the skin by pushing your fingers under next to the meat. This will separate easily use the knife on any stubborn areas.
Remove the meat by severing the wing and drumstick (leg) close to the body. Set the skinned body aside for future reference .Apply 20 Mule Team Borax to soak up any body fluid through out this whole process.

Step Two:
Pulling tendons from the legs.
Make an incision at the bottom of the foot in the middle of the pad.
Using a thin flat screwdriver, push in to the pad sliding under the tendons.
Hold the top of the leg with one hand and pull the tendons out using the screwdriver.
 Snip them at the base and toss them away.

Step Three:
Removing the skull.
Make a small cut on the side of the head start at the ear opening. The opening should be large enough to remove the skull. But allowing the skin to stay attached to the beak area.
Once the skull is out snip the base with tin snips to expose the brain.
Remove all brain, eye, and mouth tissue .
Dust the exposed skin with Borax.

Purple Swamp hen head is unique with a very hard skull cap which remains attached.

Step Four:
Washing the skin.
Use 1/8 cup of Dawn dish soap to five gallons of  warm water .Place the skin in the bucket and agitate the skin softly to remove all dirt and stains from skinning.
After washing in Dawn submerge the skin in Mineral spirits.  Let the skin soak for 15 minutes. Remove the skin and cover it completely with Borax This will help remove most of the Mineral Spirits and preserve the skin. Use a blow dryer to dry the feathers completely.

Step Five:
Carving the body.
Use a piece of carving foam to recreate the body which the skin will be mounted on.
Use the skinned body for an accurate measurement.

Once the feathers are dry and the body is anatomically correct . Its time to mount the skin to the form.
Place self hardening clay at the base of the skull and eye sockets. Slide the neck which is attached to the foam body in gently. Set in place wing and leg wire fasten to the foam using hot glue. Now sew or glue skin together following your cut. Place the glass eye in each socket and fit in place.

Step Six:
Forming the mount.
Drill two holes in a piece of plywood, large enough to except the leg wires and hold the mount in it's upright position.
Use string or painters tape to hold feathers in place and allow to dry.
Mounted Purple Asian Swamp Hen Drying.
When the mount is dry apply natural habitat to finish.
Mount it yourself Natures way.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hunting Fox

                                                                   PREDATOR HUNTING

Recently I read an article about protesting the wearing of fur products and it was upsetting to me. Most of the protesters were actors and models posing nude stating they would rather wear nothing than wear fur.
My question is how much did they get paid for this stunt or are they just exhibitionist looking for a cause.
In any case it brings me to this post,
Predator hunting.
Many years ago I, took up the sport of fox hunting not just for the joy of the hunt but a necessity.
It gave me a chance to catch those varmints that plagued our livestock and house pets.
Oh yes, our Labrador was attacked by a pack of coyotes, neighbors sheep torn apart in the field ,cats,ducks,pheasant and peacocks all killed or harassed by fisher,fox,raccoons,weasel and coyotes. So when October came around the tables turned "they" were now the prey.

In order to appreciate today's modern means of fox hunting, one should learn a little of its history and the characters that participated in the sport some 300 years ago.
The Father of fox hunting, Robert Brooke, who was also known as "Lord Baltimore".
Brooke was the first to import the fox hound, a dog used in an older traditional method of fox hunting.
Lord Baltimore recognized the value of the dog, to the point he made it a requirement," that each family that comes to settle in Maryland must bring at least one dog with them.
Fox hunting played a big part in the molding of America.
Following Brooke were such noble gentry as George Washington. Washington, was an avid fox hunter and devoted most of his spare time to the sport.
Others who joined in the ranks include John Marshall,Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson.
The sport quickly spread from the East, Southward as not only noblemen, but farmers picked up the sport.
Then in 1785 the state of Franklin (North Carolina) determined that fox and raccoon pelts were legal currency, with the value at one shilling and three pence for each pelt. Making them a valuable commodity and spawning the fur trade business for America.
Modern day fox hunting has changed drastically from the beginning of this country.
I know of only a few foxhound kennels and riders ready to mount their geldings and set off on a chase today. Most predator hunters use electronic calling machines or mouth calls with great results.
BUT pressure from animal rights groups are on the rise putting more human attributes on animals, than on humans .The sport of Hunting and Trapping is being scrutinized by organizations more today than ever in American history.
The costs to trap and hunt has increased making the popularity of the sport to decrease. Garments made of fur have lost much of their appeal here in the United States due to the pressure from these groups. While our furs that are harvested are sold over seas to Russia, Japan and China who are some of the largest purchasers of the finest fur in the world.
Hunting, Trapping and Fishing is part of Americas past, present and future. One only has to look at the revenue the sports provides to the economy and conservation programs to realize the need.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

NOAH'S ARK TOY How to make

                                         NOAH'S ARK

This is a project made exclusively with scrap wood.
The boat made of left over 2x10 lumber was most challenging using a jig saw and 4" grinder to shape the wood.
The animals were cut out of 1" and 1/2" pine using a table top scroll saw.

Tool and Material list:
Scroll saw
2x10 lumber
1"and1/2" pine scrap wood
Sand paper
Wood stain
Various paint
The most important"
Pictured right the precut 2x10 planks screwed and glued together.

Pictured is the shaped and sanded Ark. The  4" grinder was used to shape the 2x10 pine giving the planks the boat appearance.

The inside of the Ark was also sanded using the 4" grinder. Allowing for more room to store the animals and wears.

The roof constructed from a 1/4"sheet of plywood, needed extra support. So beams were cut from Popsicle sticks. The beams are epoxied in for structural strength.
Then used to house exotic birds which are epoxied to the beams.

The housing is cut from 1/2 x 1" pine and glued to the deck of the Ark. The roof is attached to the housing using two small hinge .

Now that the Ark is built, its time to
create the animals. These were cut from 1/2" and 1" pine scrap wood, using a table scroll saw.  Then hand sanded smooth. Pictured are two skunks, this is where Imagination plays a big part.

Remember when cutting out the animals two of each species are needed. Here the Silver Back Apes are sanded and painted.

Noah, stands on the bow of the Ark
waiting for the arrival of the other animals.

Then arrive the Elephants, Rhino's, Ostriches, Goats, Giraffes, Flamingos, Zebras,

Bears, Tortoises, and Rams and the list goes on Sheep,

Alligators, Warthogs, Anteaters and Kudos, still awaiting the big cats Tigers, Lions and Leopards.

DON'T FORGET TO ACCESSORIZE, a couple of blocks of wood covered with glue and dipped in sawdust look like bails of hay. Remember to be creative let your imagination wander and "Do it Natures way"

Sunday, September 8, 2013


                                                                FISH   TAXIDERMY

This is a quick lesson on skin mounting a Large Mouth Bass.
 STEP ONE: Obtain a fish with good color, marking's and fins.
Measure length and girth so a body insert can be purchased.

STEP TWO: First cut
 Is made on the side of the fish that will face the wall.
Using a very sharp knife or scalpel, cut from the base of the tail to the gill plate.
Now lift the gill cover and cut in the shape of a half moon along the bottom of the gill. This is a very fine tissue not much pressure is needed.

STEP THREE: The skinning knife
Any sharp knife will do the job of removing the skin but better results are achieved using a fish skinning knife. This type of knife makes it hard to cut through the skin making unrepairable mistakes and may be purchased through any Taxidermy supply company. Trust me it is worth the investment.
Using the skinning knife start at the tail incision always work from the tail towards the head ,this direction of skinning keeps the scales sliding one under the other -vs- pulling them out of alignment.
Begin by lifting the skin away from the meat and sliding the blade of the knife between them, start cutting with a forward motion. continue this process until all the skin has been separated from the meat or until your process is stopped by the fin rays.

The fin rays must be cut to continue skinning the opposite side. This is done using tin snips. Once the fin ray bones are exposed slide the tip of your snips under the back side can cut in the forward direction. Always work in a forward direction"
After the rays are cut continue skinning the fish up to the head area.

Once the body or meat is free of the in tire skin it must be removed from the head area.
Again using the snips angel in towards the base of the skull and cut around the inside of the head. Now snip through the bone holding the body to the head and remove the body.

STEP SIX: Scrapping the skin
Using a paint scraper, start at the base of the tail. Scrap forward removing all the meat left on the skin be care full around the fin rays. "ALWAYS WORK FROM THE TAIL TOWARDS THE HEAD"

STEP SEVEN: Removing the eye
With a sharp knife cut through the tissue around the eye. Now slide the knife blade under the cheek skin and separate the inside meat from the skin. Draw the meat towards the eye socket and remove through the eye socket hole.

Removing the cheek meat through the eye socket hole.

STEP EIGHT: Preserving the skin
Place the skin flat on its show side exposing
the inside of the skin shake one cup of Borax on the entire skin.
Pour 1/2 cup of Lysol concentrate over the borax.
Place the skin in a five gallon bucket and cover the skin with cold water.
Keep the skin in the solution for 24 hours .

STEP NINE: Mounting and carding

Using the pre ordered fish form ,dry fit it into the fish skin. If it doesn't fit sand and shape it until it does.
Now once it fits mix a little mache and fill the cheek and head. Place a small amount at the base of the tail and around each of the fin rays. Now install the body snug the up the back side and staple the skin to the form.
Carding the fins:
Cut cardboard to fit on the front and back of each fin. Open the fins and fasten to the cardboard on each side, place a pin in the back side of the cardboard to hold the fin in place until it is dry.

STEP TEN:  Finishing touches:
Determine the size of the glass eye needed.
Most Taxidermy supply companies will have
a suggested eye for the body purchased. Fit the eye to the socket
and epoxy in place.

Best results are achieved using an air brush,

STEP TWELVE: Completing
Use 2"or 3" dry wall screws to fasten the mount to a plaque or driftwood. Attach a hanger and place
it on the wall.

Saturday, June 29, 2013


                                               ANTLER MOUNTING

This past hunting season my son Josh, harvested a nice 8 point Whitetail deer. He doesn't have the room for a deer head mount so the next best thing is to mount just the antlers.
First Step:
Purchase a antler
mounting kit. This consists
of a back board, a preformed cover for the
skull , two decorative tacks and braided rope for the antler base, as pictured above.
Supplies and Tools Needed:
Two 1 1/2" dry wall screws
Super glue

Attach the antlers to the back board. Position the skull in the center of the board and fasten securely using the 11/2" screws.

Place the skull cover that is provided in the kit, covering all of the exposed skull. Attach using the two decorative tacks provided.

Apply the cord to the base of the antler and glue in place.  OR

On this mount we decided to braid leather shoe laces and applied them to the base of the antlers.

Place it on the wall in your trophy room, sit back and reminisce.
The best is you did it yourself,
         Natures way