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    Auction Finds

    A turkey stuffed, but not for Thanksgiving

    I’m used to seeing stuffed and mounted animals at auction, even an elephant foot made into a cigarette stand. But to my surprise, I recently stumbled upon a stuffed and mounted wild turkey.

    The full-sized creature seemed almost lifelike with its wing and tail feathers, and fleshy face as it sat on a stand of moss and driftwood alongside a stuffed fox. It seemed to have been done by a taxidermist.

    Curious, I wondered if wild turkeys sold for as much as some other mounted animals, such as the 10-foot-5-inch African bull giraffe head and neck that sold at auction a few years ago for $3,750. Googling, I found wild turkeys selling for up to $900. On eBay, only a handful were offered – and sold – for considerably less. You can buy the tail feathers, head and other parts for even less.

    The stuffed and mounted tom turkey and fox.

    The stuffed and mounted wild turkey and fox.

    If you’d like to stuff parts of a wild turkey yourself, there are videos and instructions on how to do it. It doesn’t sound pretty, though. And if you want to hunt for your own turkey for mounting, you can find tips for doing that, too, offered by the National Wild Turkey Federation. Be warned, they’re hard to hunt.

    Unlike their domesticated cousins, wild turkeys are leaner, dry out quickly and are tougher to cook. Someone on eBay was selling a mounted turkey and suggested it as a conversation starter at Thanksgiving dinner. That may be the best way to appreciate it this time of year.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    A side view of the stuffed tom turkey shows more of its wings.

    A side view of the stuffed wild turkey shows more of its wing feathers.

     

    An up-close view of the tom turkey.

    An up-close view of the stuffed wild turkey and its detailed head.

     

    The tail feathers of the stuffed turkey.

    The tail feathers of the stuffed wild turkey.

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