Turkey for your Taxidermist If you can not get the bird cooled or to your taxidermist in a timely manner or wish to utilize the meat: Tail/Beard/Legs/Wings These can be done before or after field dressing for the above mounts. Ø Cut the tail off close to the body and leave as much skin/feather as reasonable without taking skin off the body. Ø Cut the beard off by leaving a little skin around the base. The attachment skin must remain intact. Ø Cut the leg skin where the feathers meet the scales and separate the leg by cutting the tendons to release the joint. Ø Cut the wings off by working the knife through the muscle and tendons to remove the entire ball joint. The scapulars (feathers on the body/shoulder of the bird) do not need to go with the wing. Lifesize Mount This should be done prior to field dressing. Ø Currently, the cut method is to crotch the turkey. Crotching is running the knife blade down the leg from the inside of the knee joint across the abdomen and up/down the other leg. By alternating the use of the knife and fingers, the skin can be separated from the body. Ø The legs need to be separated from the body at the knee joint leave the drumstick with the skin. Cut through the anus/intestine on the inside of the skin. Ø Remove the tail as noted above. The bottom of the bird should be free from the body. The body can then be tipped on the front of the chest so that the skin can be worked free of the body down to the shoulders. The wings should be separated as above but left attached to the rest of the skin. Ø The head can be removed by cutting the neck off at the body junction. Ø The skin can then be rolled up (skin side in), double plastic bagged (without air), frozen, and delivered to your taxidermist in a timely manner. The body can be dressed/cleaned as desired and cooked to perfection for enjoyment. Of course, all of the above is unnecessary if you can get your bird to the taxidermist in a timely manner without the desire to preserve the meat.