Forth generation taxidermist David Jacobs gives us a run down on prepping that bird for the taxidermist.
Birds do not require a great deal of work in the field to prep them for a taxidermist. The most important aspect is the “CARE”
Feathers damage very easily so caution is required to get the bird to the taxidermist in the best possible condition, so certainly never ring a bird's neck and expect it to be mounted. If the bird is not dead when you retrieve it then it can be killed humanely by firmly grasping the bird beneath the wings and applying pressure on the rib cage. The bird will suffocate very quickly, and feather damage is minimized.
Carry your bird by the feet not the head, neck or wing. Choose a specimen that appears in undamaged condition, no broken wings or legs if possible and a minimum of shot damaged flight feathers and also check the feet and bill for shot damage.
Often It is a good idea to provide the taxidermist with several birds, so that he/she can make the best selection. Effort should be made to prevent blood from getting on the plumage and excessive bleeding can be prevented by putting a wad of cotton-wool or tissue in the mouth and in any large shot holes. If possible, you should keep the bird from coming into contact with other birds with blood on them.
After you have selected a bird for mounting fold the wings in place, tuck its head under one wing and then place it into a ladies nylon stocking breast first to protect the feathers and label it. Never put freshly shot birds in a plastic bag as the bird won't cool properly and the plastic will not absorb the blood. Allow the bird to cool naturally then freeze sealed in a plastic bag. It can be delivered to the taxidermist either fresh or frozen. And don't forget to give your taxidermist your game bird licence number.