11 Ways to Utilize Your Spring Turkey’s Inedible Parts

Probably more than any other wild game, turkeys lend themselves to countless artistic ideas for jewelry, home decor and more. Check out some of Melissa Bachman's favorites here!

by posted on April 2, 2024
Bachman Turkey Idea Turkey Feather Necklace

1. Turkey Earrings. These are the most beautiful feather earrings I’ve ever come across, and I came across them at NRA’s Great American Outdoor Show. A woman named Courtney hand makes every pair and her company is The Life of a Hunters Wife. She has countless wildlife-based accessories, but the turkey earrings are among my favorites.

2. Abstract Feather Art. I have many turkey mounts in my home, but there is a limit to where you can put them or how many you want to mount. I’ve come to prefer the abstract feather art that Jeff Frederick creates in southwestern Wisconsin. The attention to detail and various ways he puts together the feathers from your bird are absolutely stunning. Plus, this is something that can be used for decor anywhere and looks super classy.

3. Real Decoy Fan. I’m a big believer in having as realistic looking decoys as possible, and the first thing we do each season is put a new fan on our decoy. There are a variety of decoys out there now that can utilize your real fan, and there are even decoys that can use the wings and beard, too, so every part of your bird can make your setup look even more realistic.

4. Feather Bowtie. This was something new to me! Last year my son, Jax, wanted to dress up for the arrival of his baby sister—and he also had a dance he was planning to attend! He wanted something really cool, so I started scouring Etsy for options. I found a shop that makes custom turkey feather bow ties, and it was a home run. What a great way to utilize something else from the turkey and remind people in every situation that you’re a turkey hunter.

5. Turkey Paintings. I am always amazed by artists abilities, but the level of difficulty to paint on a turkey feather has to take a very special level of skill and patience. I’ve had Nicole from Larson’s Wildlife Art in Minnesota create several stunning feather artwork for our friends and home. She’s amazing at painting deer, elk, dogs and turkeys, basically anything you can think of on a feather or fan.

6. Flower Arrangements. A great way to show your hunter pride throughout your home is to take flower arrangements, centerpieces or even door wreaths and add a splash of wildlife by sticking turkey feathers throughout. It’s a simple way to make anything look a little more outdoorsy and also helps you utilize every part of the bird.

7. Native Art Décor. Another great find this year at the NRA’s Great American Outdoor Show was a booth called Outlaw Skulls. They offer DYI kits for mounting your turkey wings and I purchased a stunning piece of art for our wall that was truly one of a kind.

8. Wingbone Call. Years ago I had a wing bone call made from one of my turkeys, and I absolutely loved using it and loved the sound. This is an effective way to bring in turkeys and have a remembrance of a past hunt.

9. Turkey Fly Down Wing Turkey Call. A very simple tool in the field but extremely helpful is a fly down wing turkey call. This works great for hunting birds early in the morning and can also be fun if you have kids a long to let them give it a try. Just flap it to emulate the sound of a bird flying down off the roost. This is very easy to use and simply uses a portion of your turkey wing.

10. Turkey Feather Necklace. I’ve lost count on the number of necklaces I’ve bought over the years from Antlers and Grace. Mollie and David are great people and have mastered the art of creating really unique designs utilizing antlers, feathers, arrowheads and so much more, You can send them your own feathers to create custom pieces, My absolute favorite is how they dip the turkey feather ends in gold to add a little extra sparkle!

11. Photo Shoot. Keeping some extra turkey fans around can be super helpful when it comes to photo shoots as well! With Bella being born right in the middle of turkey season we wanted to somehow incorporate turkey hunting into her newborn pics. It turned out amazing. So glad we thought of this and had a spare fan to use. One tip is to spray your fans down with Fanlok to preserve your fans, feet and beards without the mess of Borax.

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