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Old 10-19-2013, 06:50 PM
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Default Wild Duck Feathers..

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?
Thanks
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Old 10-19-2013, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: Wild Duck Feathers..

Stick all your suspect materials in a storage container with a close fitting lid and put some of this in with it.

Click the image to open in full size.

I got mine at Home Depot.
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Old 10-19-2013, 07:26 PM
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Default Re: Wild Duck Feathers..

I have many friends that bring me their bird carcass so I can pull feathers. I bag them in like kinds and place them in the freezer until I decide to dye a batch, sometimes they stay in there a couple years before use.
Freezing for a month or so from my understanding is long enough.
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Old 10-19-2013, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Wild Duck Feathers..

Awesome thanks for the advice guys. I will give them both a go
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:00 PM
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Default Re: Wild Duck Feathers..

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfishnbum View Post
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?
Thanks
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.

Good luck

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Old 10-20-2013, 10:44 AM
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Default Re: Wild Duck Feathers..

I was able to take some really nice wood duck drakes yesterday and saved all the feathers. I would be curious as well about what kind of patters people have tied using the hood feathers.
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Old 10-20-2013, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: Wild Duck Feathers..

Borax is cheap and very effective. It dehydrates like salt but isn't as corrosive. All I have ever done with plucked wild feathers is put them in an over-sized zipock bag, throw in some borax and shake well with the bag inflated, and wait a few days or weeks.

Most paracites will skip town as soon as the host gets cold or stops proving food.
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Old 10-21-2013, 07:07 PM
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Default Re: Wild Duck Feathers..

What feathers on a duck are useful? Friend gave me a pair of colorful wings today. In the freezer awaiting further advice.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Wild Duck Feathers..

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What feathers on a duck are useful? Friend gave me a pair of colorful wings today. In the freezer awaiting further advice.
I use a lot of the flank feathers for winging materials.
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Old 10-21-2013, 09:29 PM
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Default Re: Wild Duck Feathers..

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Originally Posted by MoscaPescador View Post
I use a lot of the flank feathers for winging materials.
Excuse my ignorance, but what is a flank feather? All I have now is a pair of mallard wings but duck season is young.
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