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The Evolution of a War Bird

The Evolution of a War Bird

by Tad E. Crawford

Author: Administrator Account/Wednesday, April 7, 2021/Categories: Articles - All, Articles - Home Page, Winter 2021 Issue 140

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Years ago I had a customer request something a little different for his turkey trophy, something other than the normal beard/tail or lifesize mount. I had been booking caribou hunts with Jack Hume Adventures and had brought back a few sheds, so I suggested carving an American Indian face from a caribou palm to be combined with a turkey wing. This was such a bad idea! I soon found two main issues: one, it took way too long to carve the face; and second, it was getting nearly impossible to find caribou sheds in Ohio! (Seems they quit migrating through here a few years back.)

Eventually this request led to a “light bulb” moment. Since I am a sculptor, why not design an Indian face myself, precisely shaped for my needs that would accept the wing of a turkey and look similar to the historic war bonnet? This then led to the creation and patent of the War Bird series of compressed profile faces now being used to mount wings, tails, attach to pedestal mounts or shed antlers, and even just free standing Southwest wall decor. So far I have sculpted approximately 35 different faces, mostly of famous North American Indians.

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