Received Turkey Tail

Discussion in 'Fly Tying' started by Theron, May 1, 2013.

  1. Theron Active Member

    Posts: 232
    Near Coupeville, WA
    Ratings: +127 / 0
    I was talking to one of my co-workers a couple of months ago about the difficulty in finding turkey tail feathers. Yesterday he brought me the whole tail of a turkey he shot last weekend. I pulled all the feathers out and put them in a plastic bag in the freezer to kill any insects that may be riding along. My wife hasn't seen them yet so one of these days I will have to answer the question of "What the f**k are turkey feathers doing in the freezer?"
    Is there some way I should treat them before use or can I just start using them?
  2. Mark Mercer Member

    Posts: 1,148
    port orchard, wa
    Ratings: +517 / 0
    I would let them soak in woolite (or dish soap) overnight, hang them or lay them out on paper towels to dry. You could stick them in a box or bag with a moth ball, but I would think they should be fine after freezing and washing. Steam also does wonders for feathers. Does he have anymore? Good ones are hard to find, especially white tip.
    bbrech likes this.
  3. Theron Active Member

    Posts: 232
    Near Coupeville, WA
    Ratings: +127 / 0
    Thanks for the info Mark
  4. Big E Moderator

    Posts: 1,431
    Coon Bay
    Ratings: +364 / 0
    You'll want to cycle them in the freezer...week or two in the freezer to kill any bugs, thaw it out for a few days, and then put it back in the freezer for another week or so. This will take care of anything that might have hatched from eggs that weren't killed in the first freeze.

    After that you can wash with a little bit of soap and lots of water if you need to. Be careful and don't use anything to harsh as you can start breaking the feather down.

    Bag them and store them away from your other material in a cool dark area.

    You may also want to spray some now with some art fixative so they'll be ready when you want to use them. I am always forgetting to prep some before I actually need them.