Answers to Questions from Recent Articles


Redneck Tube Top

Redneck Tube Top


RE:  Redneck Tube Top

The Redneck Tube Top photos don’t seem to come up in Internet Explorer. The photos are fine in Opera, Firefox, etc.  Therefore, try another browser.


RE:  Bird Cleaning 101 for Hunters

Why don’t taxidermists want to mount a duck with lots of pinfeathers?

Taxidermists are in the business of making you happy. They know that when you come to get your duck and you see a mounting with lots of ugly, scraggly feathers, you won’t be happy.

Note the photo in What Do Pin Feathers on a Duck Look Like? (click on underlined words, then scroll {to nearly the bottom} on that page for correct photo and article).  That’s why teal are rarely mounted in September — they are still molting.


RE: Hunting News:  Why You Just Might Not Get a Deer or Turkey this Year

RE:  A Few More Facts About Deer Hunting

If you have new hunting clothes – that have not been washed yet – then use borax from day 1. Do not use fabric softener, do not use dryer sheets.

Borax in a large load – use 2/3 to 3/4 cup in load; medium sized load = use 1/2 cup; and small load = use 1/3 to 1/4 cup borax.

All US detergents have UV brighteners in them which, according to the two articles above, add these brighteners to your clothing. You do not want this. So never wash your hunting clothes in general detergents from the store.

In another article, I list the names of the grocery store detergents that are safe for your hunting clothes — UV Brighteners, We’ve Got the News.

If you have hunting garments you’ve had for awhile, you’ve put UV brighteners into the clothes by using detergents. I’m working on a test to see if the brighteners subdue over time, by washing in borax. I’ll report as soon as I’ve finished the study. Stay tuned.

Have you ever started the clothes washer and bubbles start forming around the clothes? That is soap/detergent left in your clothing from previous washes. That’s why I stated that most people use too much detergent/soap.

If you are washing in cold water (because of the residue of blood stains in the clothing), pour the correct amount of borax in a large cup or bowl and add very warm, or hot water, and stir. This will dissolve the borax; then add to the load after the water line comes up over the clothing. Wash as usual.


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What Do ‘Blood Feathers’ or ‘Pin Feathers’ Look Like?

In 6 October 2008’s post: Turning Wild Birds into Fine Dining (Recipes), I mentioned the following: “You know you have an old goose when you see: pinfeathers, very large wing spurs and overall -rather coarse feathers.”



Photo of Blood Feathers, Pin Feathers Thanks to Sebastian Ritter


Unfortunately, I neglected to explain what these are; thank you to the readers who asked for a clarification. You keep me on my toes!

Pin Feathers

A pin feather is an under-developed feather; it occurs during the time ducklings and young fowl are growing feathers and when they moult. These pin feathers are sometimes referred to as “blood feathers,” because the feather shaft has a blood supply in it. Thus, if the pin feather is damaged, the fowl/duck/goose can really, really bleed. Pin feathers are more sensitive than regular feathers.

Once the feather is fully developed, the blood is only in the shaft’s base (tip). According to Wikipedia:  “The tip of the shaft encases the feather itself, in a waxy coating. As molting birds preen, they remove the waxy coating, and the feather unfurls.

When the blood has receded, the term “blood feather” is no longer synonymous with ‘pin feather'” — now it is just called a pin feather.

One way of explaining this is that duck taxidermists generally refuse to mount a duck caught early in the season (especially September), because they have too many pin feathers. It gives the bird/duck/goose an unkempt, scruffy appearance.  To hear taxidermists talk about this issue, go to:

Essentially, you don’t want fowl with lots of pin feathers because they are so very hard to remove before cooking. If you get one, the easiest way to handle this is by skinning the fowl. As previously stated in another article, skinning reduces moisture in the fowl. Why this is unfortunate is: The skin is what keeps the dry meat from drying out further.

Why are they ‘Wing Spursif Fowl Only Have One?

I also mentioned “wing spurs.”  Several types of ducks and especially geese – have a spur in the bend of the wing (like having a sharp claw or talon on the outside of your elbow), which can deal some real damage. Usually, the fowl with the “wing spurs” only have one. Go figure.

While discussing this issue with MDH, Richard reminded me that teal season (in this area) is only in September. So many hunters just ignore the caution against pin feathers and skin the teal.

Hopes this clarifies things.
This blog is a companion to my website: