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Old 01-23-2009, 10:14 AM
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Default Wood duck...

Dropped the kids off at school this morning and on the way home noticed a dead wood duck on the side of the road. I saw a pair yesterday in a ten foot patch of clear water where a small brook flows out of a local frozen pond over a little waterfall. Not sure if this is common for this time of year in Massachusetts, at 20 miles northwest of Boston. Guess one of them must have been hit by a car. In any case, I grabbed it in a plastic bag and brought it home, much to the Wife's excitement...

Not wanting to let this beautiful duck go to waste, any directions or pointers to a link that can tell me how to harvest and preserve the feathers on this guy?

Thanks.

TJammer
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:50 AM
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Default Re: Wood duck...

Back in mu duck hunting days I harvested many wood ducks and saved feathers from them, the light cahill calls for the barred flank feathers of the woodduck for the wings and other feathers on teh bird make great soft hackle flies. Anway, all the feathers I saved from wood ducks, widgeon, mallerds and other I just plucked the ones I wanted let them dry good and put them in zip-lock bags. I still have duck feathers that are in great shape from 3-4 years ago.
Bear
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: Wood duck...

I agree with art, they have a thin skin & are hard to skin. at least for me. Pluck & bag what you want..........
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:42 AM
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Default Re: Wood duck...

Good score!

Being a city boy, can't speak from personal experience, but have heard of a couple of ways. Hopefully some folks with a more wholesome upbringing can chime in. So take this with a grain of salt.... and borax... :

1. For a pelt: skin, scrape as much fat off as you can, wash in warm water with dish detergent, rinse, blow dry, tack the pelt so it doesn't shrink and borax it. As far as skinning it, no clue. Maybe just whack off the wings at the armpit (wing pit?), legs at the knees, and slit down the belly and wrestle it off like a toddlers snow suit? Not sure how to preserve the wings, just lots of borax at the wing joint?

2. For plucked feathers: If you're just looking for flank feathers etc, pluck, swirl them around in warm water with some dish soap, pat dry with paper towel, and put in a pillowcase or paper bag, wrap the top of the bag/pillow case around a hair dryer, and force air into the bag-- check often and don't let the air get too hot.

Anyone know what else besides flank and breast feathers might be worth saving? CDC, wing or back feathers? Suggestions for patterns using these?

I'm thinking that there's probably a lot of other stuff you can use besides the flank- matched wing feathers for quill slip wings etc.

After you're done, I would put the stuff in a plastic ziplok freezer bag/s, and put it in the freezer for a week or so, just as a precaution to kill any bugs.

Again, I've never done this, so by all means defer to those that actually know what they're talking about.

peregrines.
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:28 PM
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Default Re: Wood duck...

More road kill tips, lol
If you see a good squirel kill, stop and cut the tail off and salt the heck out of the end, then hang it outside or in a shed to dry a few days. They make great streamer wings , tails on bluegill flies, all kinds of stuff.
Bear
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:52 PM
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Default Re: Wood duck...

^^^

But if you find yourself veering off on the sidewalk chasing after sources of materials before the present owners have finished using them, you may want to consider switching to synthetics for awhile...
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Wood duck...

I'll make all of you guys cry.

I've been away from tying for a few years.......but I've been duck hunting.

Tossed every feather from two drake woodies this year

Tossed the CDC feathers from another couple dozen black ducks and mallards.

Oops
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: Wood duck...

Quote:
Originally Posted by peregrines View Post
^^^

But if you find yourself veering off on the sidewalk chasing after sources of materials before the present owners have finished using them, you may want to consider switching to synthetics for awhile...
LMAO to funny
I have considerd shooting my neighbers damn cat that keeps chaseing the birds off my feeders, wonder what kinda flies I could ty with that fur hahaha
Just jokeing ofcourse,,,,,,,
Bear
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:10 PM
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Default Re: Wood duck...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimG View Post
I'll make all of you guys cry.

I've been away from tying for a few years.......but I've been duck hunting.

Tossed every feather from two drake woodies this year

Tossed the CDC feathers from another couple dozen black ducks and mallards.

Oops
I save all the curly tail feathers off my mallard drakes(a trophy thing) I was kinda toying with the thought of tying a frog fly and useing those for teh back legs, wonder if they would "kick out" like I'm thinking they might, I've only got about 1,000 in bags laying around my den.
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Old 01-23-2009, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Wood duck...

You know, I didnt think about it before, but in some states its against the law to pick up or harvest anypart of an animale, out of season and with out the right tags, unless you call the conservation department and get the ok. I think some states done this to keep folks from hittinng deer and turkey on purpose. I know a deer can do alot of damage to your car or truck, but belive it or not there are folks that would do it. LOL
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