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Dahitman44

Big Bird?

11 posts in this topic

How do you judge when you have a big enough bird to mount? I would like to mount a pheasant, but how do you gage that?

Thanks

Hitman

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no gauge...personal preference. Look for full coloring first and a decent sized tail after that.

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the size of the spurs also indicates an older bird but that doesnt always mean that its good looking

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How long of a tail? how long of a claw?

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There really isn't any "Standard."

If it's cool looking and you want it mounted then go to taxidermy.

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Doesn't matter how big. If you want to do it then do it. I do mounts more for the memory of the outings. Most of my taxidermy mounts have a memorable story behind them (3 ducks in 2 shots or 3 pheasants in 10 seconds etc...) so they aren't necessarily the largest specimens I've taken.

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You might want to think about what type of mount you want too. I wanted at least two birds on a platform, one flying and one running through some cattails, but because of cost I was going to do only one per year for two seasons. I shot one in the beginning of December that had 24" inch tail feathers and decent spurs, so I took it in. The end of December came around and I shot a rooster in Iowa that had the same length of feathers, but had spurs that were over an inch long, so I decided to do that one too. Roosters are so pretty that you could mount almost any one, just choose your criteria. I agree with the other poster who said something about the memorable hunt thing too, it is always good to be able to tell your story to your buddies.

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Most definitely the memorable hunt is the biggest factor. My neighbor has a nice rooster mounted in a glass case that he shot with a 3" shell and his gun is only chambered for 2-3/4". He has the spent cartrige as well. He tried again to get a 3" in there an no dice.

He was road hunting when he saw the bird and rushed to get out after the bird and his buddy just threw him a shell. Kinda funny story. It happened like 20 years ago.

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I agree with the rest. A memorable story behind a mount is as good of criterea as anything. While I have seen larger roosters taken, my personal best is one with 23" tailfeathers and long, sharp spurs.... I had him mounted and am very happy with it.(There is a story behind him too... we weren't even pheasant hunting, but actually scouting ducks when I happened across him.) Generally, length and sharpness of spurs are an indication of an older bird. As stated, almost every mature rooster is nice enough to mount, but look for characteristics that are important to you. I personally like to look for a rooster that has a nice bunch of blue feathers right before the tail feathers. These look really nice on a flying or standing mount. Also, if you are going to mount a bird of any sort, try not to damage the feathers at all. This will make the taxidermist very happy. Try to clean up as much blood as you can immediately before it dries. Stop at Wal-Mart or any other store and pick up a pack of nylons before you go hunting so they are with you right away. (You may get a couple funny looks from the cashier, but it is worth it in the end.) After all blood is cleaned up, tuck the head under the wing making sure all feathers lay nice and flat. Then stick the bird in the nylon head first and put in the freezer so it will be well preserved. After the bird is in the nylon, DO NOT attempt to remove it as this will damage feathers. The taxidermist will cut the nylon off and the bird will be in good shape for him to mount.

Hope this helps,

Dave Frank

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I didn't get this one mounted, but I sure wish I would have. 100_0622.jpg

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DFrank,

Yep, Heck of a story behind your mounted pheastant. Good Stuff. If I recall, we even found tons of ducks to hunt then next morning.

Some birds have different colors which make them more attractive. If the spurs are long enough to actually curve, that's another good indication.

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