Preserving Upland Memories: How to Pelt a Rooster

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Create an upland hunting relic for mere cents on the dollar

By Jared Wiklund, Public Relations Manager for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever

“Wow, look at that tail feather and spur combo! That bird deserves to be mounted, no doubt.”

If I profited 25 cents for each time I’ve been given “the talk” over the last decade, I would probably donate my pair of stimulus checks to Pheasants Forever since I would have absolutely no use for them… I am a millionaire already. 

But it all seriousness, I can reminisce about seasons past – even as early as the 2020-2021 season, where I harvested a pristine rooster in South Dakota with a 28” tail feather – when the idea of “pelting” would have been a very useful alternative to the taxidermist for preserving a cherished upland memory.

Taxidermy can put a dent in your pocketbook in a real hurry; it’s expensive to mount a mature, fully plumed rooster pheasant, much less something in a whole other category, such as a monster whitetail. Thankfully, another cost-effective solution exists to preserve the King of Gamebirds for mere cents on the dollar by making your own rooster pelt.

At the recent end of Iowa’s pheasant season, I came across a video from Iowa County Pheasants Forever member, volunteer, mentor and friend, Rose Danaher, on the topic of pelting your own rooster. A short 60 seconds into the video, I knew others in my circle of upland hunting would find it just as interesting and useful as I did.

Rose provides a quick and easy demonstration of how to pelt the next beautiful gamebird brought to hand by your bird dog. As Rose suggests, a rooster, a cup of borax, and a pair of shears is all you need for your next upland souvenir.