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Drying out a turkey fan

muddy

Administrator
The pics ain't the best but I've noticed a few people asking about drying a fan out. First off you gotta get the fan thawed out and ready to split down into three sections. First photo is of how you should cut the fan off, be generous, like woodworking you can always take a little more off but you cannot add anything to it.





Second I like to separate the three main sections of the fan and remove all the yellow fat and meat so they dry out easier. Here's the three sections I'm referring too.



One big thing you gotta remember is to take the tail bone out of the large feather fan, I have it circled in this next photo. You gotta be careful though, don't get aggressive or you will cut the large feather fan into two pieces. If you make a couple cuts on either side of the bone you can remove it with pliers.



I'd post more pictures but this particular fan was so freezer dried that it was petrified in this position and I could not nail it out into fan formation. That is pretty self explanatory but if someone has a picture of that I'll gladly post it. I like to tack them out on cardboard and put fresh borax on the meat every day until they are dried out. Usually takes 7-9 days if you get all the meat and yellow fat scraped off. Once dry I simply hot glue the three pieces together. I made a jake fan this way by cutting the big feather fan into three pieces, the middle 4 feathers I purposefully glued up higher than the others to make it look like a jake. I'll post a picture of it later.
 

mzldr4life

Active Member
nice work muddy. i may have to give your way a try this spring if i get one
. thanks and i will keep this in mind
 

dblmainbeam

Member
Do you save anything behind the large feathers? I haven't started cutting yet and I have a bunch of feathers on the backside of it. Thanks
 

muddy

Administrator
I cut as much meat off as possible, front and back. You'll notice the bone chunk from the backside the most, cutting it out will almost cut that large feathers in half so be careful. Just be sure to tack the feathers out on a board nice and uniform and be sure to be very generous with the Borax to ensure they're dried out.
 

muddy

Administrator
Here's a close up of having the fan tacked out and where you'll need to apply the borax.

 

NebraskaWhitetail

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
looks a little foggy out your way to Mud.

[/ QUOTE ]

That was the steam coming out of the Muddy's wife's ears after she caught him photographing a turkey fan on her washing machine.
 

NebraskaWhitetail

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
Do you save anything behind the large feathers? I haven't started cutting yet and I have a bunch of feathers on the backside of it. Thanks

[/ QUOTE ]

There's really no need to save the coverts (those are the smaller feathers behind the large feathers). They aren't visible on a fan mount anyway.
 

JNRBRONC

Moderator
Well, since I have never tried to dry out a turkey fan, I procrastinated quite a long time. This is the fan off my turkey from last year. I got it out of the freezer to thaw last night, figuring today (with the snow and all) would be a good day to attempt this. I worked on the hood of my car in the garage, out of respect for my spouse. Plus, I didn't feel like a battle this early in the day. /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/eek.gif

I was surprised at how slick this went. I have all three parts spread and coated in borax. I don't think it took me 30 minutes. So here a few shots I took of the process.

Thanks for posting this Muddy, as it gave me the courage to attempt this. For anybody else who is hesitant, give it a try. It's real simple!

The tail from the freezer before starting:


Seperated into three parts:


The fan spread and coated in borax:
 

muddy

Administrator
Just be sure to put fresh borax on it at least once a day until it's dried out. Gimmie a call if you have any questions, I need an excuse to go somewhere, play pool, and drink beer. /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

Glad SOMEONE got something out of this post!! LoL /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif
 

gundog870

Premium Platinum Member
haha i looked at that pic and though you cut all of it out.. its just the borax on it. looks good.
 

JNRBRONC

Moderator
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: tlambert</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Where's a guy pick up borax? </div></div>

You should be able to pick up some borax (Twenty Mule Team?)in the laundry detergent section.
 

wapsiguy

PMA Member
I recently read on another site that you should spray a polyurethane spray on your turkey beards. Anybody do this? or has anybody ever heard of this?
 

muddy

Administrator
Never heard of that. I just hot glue them into the brass of a spent 10 gauge shell and hang them up.
 

Blaster

PMA Member
Muddy, why do you seperate into 3 sections? I do mine in 1 whole piece. It takes about 5 weeks to dry. How do you get them all reattached?
 

muddy

Administrator
3 sections allowed me to remove the maximum amount of meat off the feathers. It dried out within 4 or 5 days and I hot glued it together within a week. The one time I tried to dry it out in one piece it got weird little worms in it after a year and fell apart. Just going with what has worked the best for me.
 

Shoot2Kill

Active Member
Separating them is the way to go Muddy, I'd never seen that before until you posted it. I've done 3 this year that way and it works slick. You can get all the meat out and borax every section as well as that last stubborn piece of bone on the main tail. I think it all lays nicer when it's taken apart, it's all dried flat, and put back together. I put mine back together with a thin layer of apoxy which will never come apart.
 
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