Field Care & Storage Instructions for Waterfowl
The two most important things that you should know and do is properly field and store your trophy for mounting.
If possible, try and retrieve your bird yourself if you know ahead of time that you may be mounting it. Sometimes retrievers can do to much damage. The less damage to your bird the better the mount and your mounting positions will not be limited.
Do not carry your trophy birds by their necks. This causes feather loss. Always carry them by their feet. If the bird is not dead, do not ring its neck but apply ample amount of pressure to the chest with your knee or hand.
Almost anything can be fixed on your trophy bird such as broken bones and beaks. The loss of too many feathers, however, especially on the wings cannot be fixed or replaced.
Please inspect the bird thoroughly before deciding to get it mounted. Like I mentioned above, most things can be hidden or fixed but major flaws can't. If there are feathers broken or lost on the wings it always good to bring in a spare bird (a bird that is really shot up or just cut the wings off it) with it that we can pull feathers from to fix them. Just remember the better condition the bird is the better the mount.
Once you get your trophy home, clean off as much blood and mud as you can by running cool water over it. Lay your bird on its back, fold the wings back in its natural position on its sides then tuck the head under one of the wings. Place your bird in a plastic bag, seal it and place in freezer taking caution not to bend the wing tips.
The sooner you can get the bird to us the better. Freezer burnt birds are very hard to fix and are sometimes too bad off to do anything with. There is some question as to the safest amount of time to keep your trophies in the freezer. I think that all depends on how well the bird is wrapped and stored. But remember it is coming out of your freezer to the taxidermists freezer so the least amount of time it is spent in yours the better.
Coming soon......Field care and storage for mammals.