Game care begins in the field. The minute that special bird hits the water proper field care for taxidermy begins. Retrievers hold a place in our hearts as retrievers as well as conservation tools. However, as a taxidermist, it is often that a client brings a bird that has been retrieved by a “hardmouth” and licked for several hours in the blind. It is within this time span feathers are generally lost. Try to keep all mountable birds away from retrievers.
These instructions will greatly increase the odds for a quality mount:
1. Retrieve the bird yourself if it is potentially a trophy.
2. Do not carry birds by their necks, this could cause feather loss. Always carry trophies by the feet.
3. If the bird is not dead, try “if at all possible” not to wring the neck. One effective way is to lay the bird on its chest, and apply pressure to the back with your Knee or hand , this will suffocate the bird quickly without damage.
4. After retrieval, keep the bird in a dry place, out of harms way.
5. Keep as much blood and dirt from soiling the feathers as possible. Keep in mind, this can be removed by us later, yet, it is best to KEEP IT CLEAN.
6. Broken bones and busted beaks are generally not a problem. However, lost feathers cannot be replaced!
7. Keep birds cool and put them in the freezer ASAP. Fold the head either under the wing or over the back. Place them in a plastic bag, PLEASE DO NOT WRAP IN NEWSPAPER OR PANTYHOSE. Plastic bag only & seal it up.
8. Get the bird to us quickly. The faster we get it, the better shape it will be in, and the quicker you will get it back.