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andyosborne 01-06-2012 01:01 PM

turkey feathers
I shot a turkey last fall and have a bunch of the feathers kicking around. Do they need to be treated with anything before i can use them for dry flies?


Ard 01-06-2012 01:18 PM

Re: turkey feathers
While I have read posts that describe all sorts of treatments and precautions that include almost everything except religious ceremonies I have never done anything to 'treat' a feather. If I add whole bird pelts or partial skins to my collection I make sure the skin was treated with a mixture of salt & Borax to draw out moisture and fatty oils from the raw side but that's about it. When adding harvested skins to my materials I am also old fashioned enough that I keep a couple moth balls in my feather drawers.

If you mean washing or the like I have never done that either. Hope that is of help but remember it's just the way I do things and others may have a different view on this.


andyosborne 01-06-2012 01:49 PM

Re: turkey feathers
Mostly be using the tips and what not to make wings. Also using some to make feathered trailers for some of my sons inline trout spinners.

kayo 01-06-2012 03:09 PM

Re: turkey feathers
see link

Tying Materials

Ard 01-06-2012 03:46 PM

Re: turkey feathers

I forgot to big was the bird? I grew up in Pennsylvania and was fortunate to be where the wild turkey really took off in population. Of course the larger birds were usually taken in the spring gobbler season but occasionally you would bag a good male in the fall. Funny thing, when I made this long move I didn't move hunting trophies to Alaska. I often regret that but most often when I have to pay 3.50 for a pair of turkey tail feathers :o


littledavid123 01-06-2012 03:55 PM

Re: turkey feathers
I just plucked my turkeys, stuffed the feathers in a ziplock bag and thru them in the freezer without closing the zip lock. Couple of months and they are good to go. Leave the packages open so any meat left on will freeze dry out.


andyosborne 01-06-2012 08:45 PM

Re: turkey feathers
It wasnt a bad sized bird but i didnt weigh it. had 1" spurs and the beard was about 6"s/ I have had the feathers drying for quite some time so i am gonna give it a whirl and see what happens.

wabi 01-08-2012 06:27 AM

Re: turkey feathers
I have a few tails & wings from birds I've killed. My wife puts them (the meaty portion) in a bucket of salt/borax for a few weeks and that seems to preserve them well.

Rip Tide 01-08-2012 08:03 AM

Re: turkey feathers

Originally Posted by andyosborne (Post 375076)
. Do they need to be treated with anything before i can use them for dry flies?
Mostly be using the tips and what not to make wings

For a dry fly like the Kings River caddis you'd want to paint a bit of head cement or similar adhesive on the feather to help hold it together.
You could skip doing this but the barbs will separate after the first fish or two. The fly will still work and the fish don't mind. It just won't look as pretty

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