How to Build Turkey Tail & Wing Mounts

By Marjorie Gilbert
Mount the tail and wings to preserve the memory of the hunt.

The turkey and the pheasant are from the same family. According to the Wild Turkey Zone, the turkey was "one of the first animals in the Americas to be domesticated." Wild turkeys used to be plentiful until they were nearly hunted to extinction in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Through the efforts of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the turkey population began to improve. Turkey hunting is something that remains popular even today. You can preserve the memory of the hunt by mounting the tails and wings.

The Wings

Cut the wing off as close to the chest as you can manage. Make sure that you leave a bit of the shoulder as well as some of the plumage attached. Try to keep the front or outer part of the wing attached. Cut along the underside of the wing.

Fill a syringe with preserving fluid and inject the wing. Rub Borax on the raw sections.

Open the wing in the position you like. Help keep the shape you've decided upon by holding down the edges with books.

The Tail

Hang the turkey by the neck.

Cut along the middle of the turkey's back. Grasp the skin and pull it gently but firmly away from the body and in the direction of the tail.

Cut the tail away from the body at the point where it narrows at the end of the body. Make sure you take a portion of the bone without removing the base of the feathers.

Blot the raw, cut portion of the tail on a rag. This will help remove any fat that, if it stays in the tail section, could dissolve the feathers. Prop the tail, raw edges down, into a cup of cornmeal and let it sit overnight. The cornmeal will draw out any remaining fat from the tail. If you find that the cornmeal is wet when you check the tail in the morning, dump out the cornmeal, refill the cup and let the tail soak some more. Repeat this procedure until the cornmeal is dry when you remove the tail.

Lay the tail on a piece of foam and spread it out. Hold down the edges of the tail with books. Mount the tail on a piece of wood when it is dry. A rat trap works well. Trap the bottom of the tail with the good side facing out. Mount the trap on the wall with a nail.

About the Author

Marjorie Gilbert is a freelance writer and published author. An avid researcher, Gilbert has created an Empire gown (circa 1795 to 1805) from scratch, including drafting the gown's patterns by hand.