Preserving pheasant wings is an easy process that requires very few materials. You already have most of what you need for the preservation process at home, and they are also obtainable from your local grocery store. So, let’s take you through the process of preserving pheasant wings.
How to Preserve Pheasant Wings: Methods & Steps
There are basically two methods of preserving pheasant wings.
- Borax method
- Cornmeal method
There may be other methods but these two are the most popular and easiest.
Method 1: Preserving your pheasant wings with borax
Below are the materials you need:
- Clorox wipes
- Sewing pins (for mounting)
- Sharp knife or cutter
- Bulletin board (for mounting)
To begin with, you need to cut off the tail fin from your pheasant bird. You can do this by laying down the pheasant and grabbing it around the tail fin. Use your knife to cut right above the fin.
Next, you must remove all unwanted feathers. That way, when you mount it, it would look nice and presentable. Start by taking off the front feathers. Group the front feathers and slowly use your knife to cut them off in one chop.
Proceed to cut off the back feathers. These feathers are useless; so, you should take them off just as you took off the front feathers. Group the feathers together and slowly cut through them in one chop.
Next, get all the red meat off the tail wings. You can do this using your knife. Cut off as much meat as you can. Once this is done, start pinning them on the bulletin board using your sewing pins. Sprinkle a generous quantity of borax on the bulletin board. Rub as much of the borax as you can on the bottom of the wings – the part that joins with the pheasant’s body.
Spread the wings out as far as you can. You don’t want to have any gaps on the wings. That way, it would look best when it’s up on the wall. Take your pins and stick them on the bottom of the wings, through the edges and work your way up. Once you have your pheasant wings mounted, pour more borax on the bottom of the wings and into every crevice that you can.
Leave the wings mounted for three weeks before you begin to display them on a plaque.
Method 2: Preserving your pheasant wings with cornmeal
Below are the materials you need:
- An old newspaper
- Wire cutters
- Large bag of cornmeal
- Cardboard box
- Pheasant wings
Start by inspecting the wings for any sign of infection. If you come across a dead pheasant and manage to find some insects or maggots after inspection, then your wings are not suitable for preservation any longer. This is because even if you manage to get all the insects off the wings, they may likely have laid eggs that can still hatch and continue to infect other parts, even after they re dried. Also, the organisms acting on the infested wings will likely cause a bad odor and a continued decomposition of the flesh.
What about pheasant wings that do not have any insects or maggot infestation but do have a bad or rotting smell? Well, it is still not advisable to preserve these types of wings. The acids and gases of decomposition, once allowed to form, will never leave. While the smell may lessen over time, it will still be present – before, during, and after preservation. So, if you do not have a pheasant wing in pristine condition to work with, do not proceed.
Steps to follow
- Cut the parts of the pheasants
Put on gloves before you begin. Use a sharp knife to cut through the skin and muscle of the bird. Stop right in your track when you feel the bone of the bird.
Pull out the wings by the tip to spread it fully. Use your wire cutters held against the body to cut through the bone. If the pheasant is still young, be careful with cutting through the bones since they are still delicate. If the wire cutter does not cut through the remaining skin or muscle, use your knife to scrape through the rest.
- Preserve your pheasant wings in cornmeal
Place the pheasant wings in the cardboard box. Pour a generous quantity of cornmeal onto the wings. Make sure that it is evenly spread over the bottom of the box. Place the wings on top. Pour more cornmeal on their top – enough to completely cover the wings. Use your knife to make a few slits on the lid of the box. This is to allow for some air.
Place the box in a cool, dark and dry place for about 30 days. The cornmeal will absorb all the fluids from the wings, essentially preserving them. After this time, every bad or strong odor would have been removed.
After the 30 days are over, remove the wings from the box and inspect them. They should be dry and stiff, without any sign of moisture.
- Clean up your wings
Now is the time to clean up. Use a small paintbrush and remove excess cornmeal from the wings. Make sure to get to the granules of the wings. Brush in the direction that the feathers grow to avoid damaging them.
Your pheasant wings are now perfectly preserved and can last for several weeks in this condition. That is how to preserve pheasant wings, but freezing is also not ruled out if you have stable electricity. With freezing, your pheasant wings can last for 12 months so long the freezer remains functional with no light out.
A Brief on Pheasants and Pheasant Wings
Pheasants are large, long-tailed gamebirds found mostly in Asia. There are about 50 species of pheasants. Although their native range is largely restricted to Asia, several species have been naturalized elsewhere.
Pheasants are prized game birds whose parts are used as ornaments in zoos and private collections. Due to their speed while on a flight, they are raised for sport in shooting preserves. They can suddenly burst upwards at great speed with their characteristic “whirring” wing sound. Their flight speed can get up to 60 km/h (37 mph) when cruising. However, when startled and chased, they can fly up to 90 mph.
The best-known species is the common pheasant, which is quite popular in many parts of the world. In the US, common pheasants are widely known as ring-necked pheasants. The males have a ringneck and an iridescent green neck with a bold, white ring.
Depending on the size and coloring, preserved pheasant wings can make a dramatic statement, showing your hunting abilities when placed on a theme wall. So, it’s quite nice preserving their wings, especially when caught while hunting. That’s why it’s a good idea to know how to preserve pheasant wings.