This is the dog, Bubby, who hangs around the shop. He begs by sitting completely upright on his back legs, and he eats bits of stuff. He got in a fight about a year ago with some big dogs and they hurt him really bad, but he is doing fine.
My pheasant's tail.
Today I feel like I made a lot more progress than yesterday. I'm still afraid to handle my bird too roughly, but everything always seems to work out- even if you rip something you're not supposed to.
This morning I fleshed out my bird on the flesher (a machine with a spinning wheel that scrapes away fat from the skin) (click here - kind of gross) and washed my bird inside and out ten times each with Dawn. Once the bird was washed, I put it in a tumbler (a low powered turning barrel filled with dried cornmeal, dust, and borax) and once he was dried from that, I sewed up the holes from the inside.
The hard part of today was getting the tendons out of the legs via the bottom of the feet, and then feeding a wire up through the leg and attaching it to the bone. We also had to carve out a body shape and make a neck for our birds. The body is made of styrofoam and it was pre-ordered from a supply place. Chip said you almost always have to cut down a body to make it fit. Your bird looks bigger if it has a smaller body, and, when the skin dries out over time it will shrink and your stitching will pop if you don't make the body small enough to give when that happens. (this is the body with the bird)
Chip spent a lot of time today explaining tips on how to run a store today. There has been a lot of talk about that because everyone there is there to own their own store. I have to sit through a lot of tips on how to tag and get liscences and stuff, but it's all generally pretty interesting. I learned today that you punch holes inside of a deer cape that correspond with their customer number so you never it it confused. I also learned how to "cape" a deer.
(chip, caping a deer)
There is a lot of jargon I don't understand. Most of it has to do with hunting, but I am most definitely the only one there who doesn't know how "scoring" a deer works, and what a "telecheck" is... the list is long.
I stayed late today, and Chip gave me a deer jaw that he was going to throw away. I told him about my collection and love of spair parts, and he told me he'd load me up before I left. (yesss.)