I hear so many people say that wild turkeys are an ugly bird. I on the other hand have always found turkey feathers to be absolutely beautiful, and not just because I’m obsessed with hunting them.
There are four different subspecies here in the United States, each in varying shades of iridescent and cream tipped tail feathers.
As a hunter, I hate to waste any part of what I shoot and I tend to save all the feathers from the turkeys I shoot. Wing feathers, tail feathers, body feathers…at one point I had whole garbage bags of feathers because although I wanted to save them, I didn’t know what to do with them.
Over the past few years I have become more creative with my feather ideas and here are a few of my favorites.
- Although this one is rather obvious, you can choose to have a full body mount, have your turkey caped for hanging on the wall, or do a flat wall mount that utilizes most if the feathers. I have several mounts hanging throughout my house and have been doing my own tail/wing mounts for years.
- Use the feathers to Fletch arrows. Although you can really only use the wing feathers for this, it is definitely very cool and easier than you think. You can create a spiral wrap Flu-flu arrow for small game and aerial practice, or you can create a standard 3-4″ fletching. All you need to split your feathers is a sharp razor blade. After you split the feather, trim the quill and lightly sand it with a piece of fine grit sandpaper. You can use a template to make sure all of your feathers are the exact shape, and be aware of right and left wing feathers if you plan on a helical fletch.
- Turkey feather wreaths. This is something I recently started doing as I still have fans and wings in the freezer, and I wanted to use alot of feathers up in a short amount of time. I purchased a styrofoam wreath from a craft store, trimmed a bunch of turkey feathers to about 4″ in length and used hot glue to overlap them and create a waterfall effect. The end result looks like something expensive that would cost you an arm and a leg at some home decor store.
- Turn them into artwork. I used to use large tail feathers as a canvas and paint small hunting or animal scenes on them. Although it can be tedious, the finished product is one of a kind. This has become quite a popular thing throughout the hunting industry.
Whether you decide to stick your turkey feathers in a vase, wear them in your hair, or do something bigger. . . they will be a constant reminder of a successful turkey hunt and good memories.