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Last Friday I was looking at tying materials online, and decided to pay a visit to a couple of our local deer processing businesses near here. With deer season in full swing, I thought perhaps I could purchase a few deer tails or a patch of hide. The first place I stopped at told me he just got rid of what he had on hand, but a place down the road may have some. He said that he would give me all I wanted once he got some more deer in. The place down the road told me they sold their hide and tails, but he would give me a tail if I wanted it. Not being one to turn down free tying material, I gladly took him up on his offer. I skinned it out in less than a minute, and then split the tail length wise and put salt on it to dry and preserve it. I have used Borax to preserve hides with excellent results, but didn't have any here  last Friday. If you are looking for free, or very low cost deer tails or hides, check out your local processor.

I also scored 6 peacock tail feathers from a guy I work with whose mama raises peacocks. I told him I would tie him some crappie jigs and bream flies in exchange for the feathers. A couple of them are shorter and pointed looking, and are bright green in color. The others are what I would call a standard tail feather with the eye in them. I don't know a lot about peacock feathers, but they should make some interesting flies. 

My next venture is going to be to several pet stores that sell exotic birds, and see if they will save me any feathers their birds may lose.

 I also keep a sharp knife in my truck for collecting fresh road kill. I have never tried tying with any, but I would like to find a coon tail and a fox tail. 

 

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Good for you, Vince, I do the same thing. I once was in my car and saw a hawk sitting on the berm of the road with a fox squirrel in its mouth. I was on a secondary road and not going fast so I swerved the car right at it. The hawk panicked, dropped the  fox squirrel and I had myself a nice, fresh hide to tie with. You better check on your state laws in regards to having exotic bird feathers in your possession. Also, at least in Pennsylvania, it's illegal to pick up road kills.

Vince - some great ideas, Im going to head out today and see what I can find. Thanks for the information and let me know about the birds.

Road kills are fair game here in GA. About 10 years ago I was heading home from working second shift one winter evening and came upon a dead doe just off the side of the road. My ex son in law tied jigs,so I thought I would stop and get him a deer tail. Low and behold someone had just hit that deer and she was still very warm and flexible. She went home with me! It looked like she had run into the side of a car and broke her neck, there was no other damage to her. He got his tying material, and I got some meat for the freezer.

I will have to check on the law as far as exotic bird plumage goes. Thanks for the heads up on that one, Bruce.

In California it's strictly illegal to take a roadkill deer.

However, late one night in 2009, I was driving around trying to send our baby to sleep (she's 4 now) and not far from our home I came upon a roadkill buck on the side of the road. Out of curiosity, I stopped my car and got out to look at it in the headlights. It appeared to be dead as a doornail, but I didn't touch it to find out. Don't need my rearend impaled by antlers...

Anyway, after looking at it, I went on my way. Coming back 20 minutes later, sleeping baby in the back, the deer was gone. They don't pick up roadkill late at night, and while there are a few mountain lions in the hills around there (only 10 miles or so from the southern edge of San Francisco!) I'm pretty sure the scavenger that grabbed it had a pickup truck :)

Jonathan

I've been meaning to keep some trash bags in my car, should I come across some freshly-killed critter.  Lots of squirrels and a few possums around here.  I ain't touching a skunk.  I did see a dead doe a couple weeks ago, but I don't know how long she had been there, not to mention she was in the center of a busy highway.  I left that one.

One of my wife's friends has a blue and gold macaw.  This person wants me to have the feathers, but I'd have to buy them.  I don't want to flip out any money.

I've been reading through these posts wondering what must go through the minds of any pets you guys might have around the house: "Lookout you guys! here comes so-and-so again and he's carrying scissors!"

Roadkill scavenging.....I would've saved you guys all those muskrats and coons' I've eliminated if I had known you were so into it....

Tony, We look at PETS in the PET STORE alot Differently Than AVERAGE FOLKS!!!!!

LOL.  One of the girls I work with gave me a gallon ziplock baggie with some fur from a dog she had groomed.  Her boyfriend has an Akita, and when they groom that one, she's going to save the fur for me as well.

What the average person asks the clerk at the pet store: "What does this rabbit like to eat?"

What Greg asks the clerk at the pet store: "How many square yards of fur are on that rabbit, how many individual hairs are in a yard of rabbit fur, and how long does it take to grow back?"

LOLTony, We have a tan colored outside cat that my wife brushes. I actually have looked at the fur caught in the bristles and wondered how I could use this to tie with. My daughter is a dog groomer and I have a couple baggies of black and white dog hair. 

I had a neighbor who was a trapper for the state!!!!! Muskrat, beaver, coons and I never new what might be on my front porch when I came home!!!!!! Nice thing is they were ready to go into a material storage!!!!!!!

Reminds me of a story, supposedly true...

Years ago, a lady was tossing a ball out into the water at Lake Marburg in PA and her poodle would swim out and fetch it. Finally, after many retrieves, the poodle disappeared in a swirling, violent turbulance that could only have been a very large musky that attacked the dog. Distraught, the lady became almost hysterical and related the story quickly to some nearby fishermen who were coming in to dock.

After patiently listening to the ladys misfortune, the musky fishermen just shook their heads in dismay. After a long pause, one of the anglers asked the sobbing woman...

'Mame, exactly what COLOR was that dog, anyway?'

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