You just gave an old Tom a dirt nap, GOOD JOB! Now it’s time to get to work, clean him up, package the meat and then if you’re up for it, take care of the fan for a mount to remember the hunt by. If you’re like me, you probably search for a large piece of cardboard or plywood and get to pinning feathers in the fanned out position. That was how I’ve always done it, until last year when JB (El Presidente of the Nine8Nine) showed me quite possibly the easiest way to mount a turkey fan. After seeing this, I don’t know that you’ll ever go about it another way.
What you’ll need:
Step 1: Cutting Off the Fan
At the base of the tail you’ll find a small triangle that all of the tail feathers are attached to, use your knife to cut around this just above the anus keeping a couple rows of the covered feathers.
Step 2: Preserving the Fan
- If you’re not going to take care of prepping for mounting right away you can put the collapsed fan in a plastic bag and freeze it until you’re ready.
- Be sure to trim as much of the access meat as possible from near the quills and around the triangle.
- Flip the fan over and generously apply salt or Borax the base where you just trimmed flesh from.
- Now’s your chance to make corrections/clean up your tail feathers – wash, blow dry and brush them out to get em looking top notch.
Step 3: The Clothes/Pants Hanger
Spread the fan out and use a pants hanger (with two clips) to clip onto the two outside most feathers on each side.
Step 4: Let it Dry
Hang in a dry safe place and let dry for 2-3 weeks.
Step 5: Assembly
A turkey mounting kit is probably the easiest for those just starting out unless you’d like to build your own. Each kit is slightly different when it comes to display and assembly but you’ll want to attach the fan to your plaque via screw or clamp. Some will have a slot for the beard but my favorite is to take a little bit of hot glue or super glue to your beard and insert it just inside of your expired shotshell and hang it below.
Step 6: Show it Off
Hang that bad boy up and show it off to all of your buddies.
There are other ways to complete this process but this has been the easiest way to mount a turkey fan I have attempted, sure glad JB shared his little secret.