Originally Posted by flyfishnbum
I have been tying for around 5 years and up until this year I had been buying all of my feathers. Since its duck season I have been collecting the feathers off the birds that I have taken. My question is I was told that these feathers carry mites and other parasites, if this is true is there anything I can use to get rid of them to keep them from damaging my store bought hackles or do I even need to worry about it?
For years and years (ahem, decades and decades) I have been using materials I get from animals I have hunted...or found at the Road-Kill-Cafe (waste not want not, I always say). This includes all manner of fur, hair and feather.
Salt em and dry em. That is to say...I take whole capes or skins and stretch and liberaly salt the inside....and leave them to dry. Once dry, shake the excess salt off and bag. Feathers...like tail and wing quills....pull and bag is all that is needed.
Regarding mites and such. YES, they may be present, especially lice on waterfowl (not to worry about bird lice infesting you...you don't taste as good as a mallard, it would seem)...but with no blood food for them, they die quickly. There is NO risk of ruining your store bought hackles from wild got versions.
Last weekend, I bagged some nice drake wood ducks. Skinned and salted the head hoods and am now drying them. Looking foward to seeing what type of spey or intruder patterns I can make with them. That said, if anybody has tied with wood duck hood feathers, let me know the patterns you tried.
King Joe Outa Here!