dove feathers

zen leecher aka bill w

born to work, forced to fish
I skinned out a dove skin this morning for fly tying. I was struck with a bunch of new knowledge. I did not know how easily dove feathers pulled off the skin, how thin the dove skin was and easy to tear, and how tenacious that transparent skin was in sticking to the flesh.

Don't think I'll skin out too many more but the sooty grey flank feathers look very fishy.

One word of caution: If you skin out the dove in your back yard plan on a way to pick up all the loose feathers. The little woman does not care for that kind of mess. It's 50/50 whether I sleep in the house tonight.

I've found dove feathers to have a fragile stem, worse than a jackdaw scalp. Wrapping the feather around your silk before wrapping, like Stewart (Baillie) may help a bit with that.

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
That's why many bird dogs refuse to retrieve doves. Hank hasn't had the opportunity yet, but MAggie retrieved a couple, then would find them, but I picked them up. That worked.
When I got my first bird dog 30+ years ago I was told not to let her retrieve a dove before I had trained her on other birds or she would get a mouthful of feathers and never pick up another bird. Once she did pick up the doves, she would retrieve them and then spit and sputter for quite a while spitting all the loose feathers out. It was shocking to me that a bird that flew that fast could have such loosely attached feathers!

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