Part II by Larry Blomquist
If you are thinking, “Turkeys—again? Breakthrough just ran a turkey head reference article last issue by Cary Cochran,” you are right. That does not mean I cannot run another one as it is “that” time of year and turkeys are king in the spring, and there is nothing that surpasses great reference of the animals we replicate. Plus, I have a pile of reference we have never published in Breakthrough and we may as well do it for the season at hand.
I know that the vast majority of taxidermists who mount their own turkeys are also turkey hunters, so this opening photo has got to give you hunting jitters and reference for the great turkey strut. The signs of spring are in the fields but the look of winter is still in the woods—the mating rituals are cranking up. These two toms are pumped and displaying the most requested pose from our customers. It is also one of the most difficult bird poses to properly replicate by a taxidermist.
by Mike Kirkhart
Porgies are in the family of Sparidae and genus of Calamus, which includes 13 different porgies. Our pretty porgy we are going to paint is a whitebone/chocolate (chip) porgy. Calamus Leucosteus is the scientific name of this pretty critter that we caught so many of that day on the Mattanza. Related to sheepsheads and other porgies, they all have similar teeth in their mouths that pick and crush the small crabs and shrimp as well as other small reef-dwelling bottom creatures. Porgies gather in schools at times and when located, they are easily caught in a large quantity, so regulations are needed to manage healthy numbers to keep them around. Whitebone porgies are very prevalent so a limit of 20 per person makes them a great target for some great eating. They are small in comparison to jolthead porgies, with a record of 23 pounds 4 ounces, whitebone porgies average 1-2 pounds and 10 to 20 inches. Sometimes the many porgies look alike as the knobbed, jolthead, and whitebone have similar shapes and markings.
Photo Reference Study—Nilgai (or Blue Bull), by Larry Blomquist: "Nilgais are native to the Indian subcontinent. They are the largest of the Asian antelopes, with mature males weighing over 600 pounds. Nilgais, which are often referred to as blue bulls, were introduced to Texas during the 1920s and 1930s, and as of 2008, the feral population was nearly 37,000.
My experience hunting nilgais is limited, but my son Aaron, who has been a Texas resident for 14 years, belongs to a low-fenced, 60,000-acre hunting club in south Texas, where blue bulls are prime targets. This club was a part of the original King Ranch where nilgais were first introduced in Texas. On my hunts with Aaron I was surprised at how spooky they are, running only seconds once they spot you, even 600 yards away. Without question, they were much more wary than the whitetail deer that abound in this ranch land." To renew or subscribe or to check your status, call us at 800-783-7266.