WON Landing Page OCT 2022

Bringing Wild Turkey into Your Home Décor

Feature Rita-Schimpff-Wild-Turkey 2_1

(Skip Schimpff photo)

Since the earliest American Thanksgiving, the majestic wild turkey has long been part of our roots and a staple on the pioneer table. His colorful plumage is a prize as well, not only the tail feathers, but also the interesting and contrasting wing feathers, too. I use them in and around the house all year long, especially at Thanksgiving – the strutting, drumming bird’s time to shine! Heritage-Game-Mounts-Thanksgiving-Table   The first Thanksgiving is commonly thought to have occurred in 1621, in present-day Massachusetts, by Pilgrims and Puritans emigrating from England. Many don’t realize that an earlier group from England arrived on Sept. 16, 1619, and that the first call for an annual Thanksgiving was on that date at Berkeley Plantation, Va, when Capt. John Woodlief and 38 settlers aboard the ship Margaret landed.The London Company gave its settlers these instructions upon landing: “We ordaine that the day of our ships arrivall at the place assigned for plantacion in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”   Heritage-Game-Mounts-Turkey-Feathers   Begin some traditions of your own by utilizing your spring harvest as Thanksgiving décor. Start by preserving your tail feathers in a fan shape. Open and pin your turkey fan to a sturdy piece of wood or cardboard box. Sprinkle and cover any meat or skin at the base of the fan with Borax — this helps dry it and prevent bugs. As your fan dries, make sure to keep it in a safe place from curious cats, dogs and other varmints. In a few weeks, it will be dry and hold its open shape by itself. Then, use the fan and any other loose feathers to set your Thanksgiving table.   Heritage-Game-Mounts-Turkey-Place-Card   Here’s my spin on a little inspiration I took from Martha Stewart for placecards using a pine cone, real turkey feathers, red pipe cleaner and thumbtacks. Simple. The very first national day of Thanksgiving was held in 1789, when President George Washington proclaimed Thursday, Nov. 26, to be “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God.”   Heritage-Game-Mounts-Turkey-Table-Setting   Don’t be afraid to use color to accent your turkey feathers, either. Use hot pink, orange and purple for exciting accents. Copper and pewter accessories blend nicely, too. In 1863 President Lincoln declared a Thanksgiving proclamation, based on Washington’s date, to make Thanksgiving an annual, national holiday. But, due to the ongoing Civil War, this date was not recognized until after Reconstruction ended in the late 1870s. Finally, on Dec. 26, 1941, Congress passed a law declaring that Thanksgiving would occur every year on the fourth Thursday of November.   Heritage-Game-Mounts-Turkey-Vintage   In this photo, a pair of vintage turkey candy containers add a little whimsy to the table, along with feathers tucked in a hot pink napkin, secured with brown satin ribbon. The ribbon can be rolled up and saved in a zip-top bag for future use.   Heritage-Game-Mounts-Audubon-Turkey   Maybe there’s a good reason John James Audubon selected the wild turkey as the subject of the very first image in his 1827 series, Birds of America.   Heritage-Game-Mounts-hatchcreek If you need a little more feather inspiration, or Christmas gift ideas, email Rita@HeritageGameMounts.com to learn more about these gorgeous, American hand-crafted lapel pins ($60) for men and ladies. These are not on the website yet, because they are new and each is one-of-a-kind. Each pin comes in a handsome velvet-lined presentation box.   For more decorating inspiration, read Rita’s “Birds & Feathers” blog post.   HGMBannerCapture4

  • About Rita Schimpff

    Rita Schimpff is an artist and designer who grew up hunting, fishing and enjoying outdoor life in Oklahoma and Texas, thus developing an early love and respect for wildlife and their habitat. She has carried this love to her art and her long involvement with many local and national conservation associations. As a member of the first Junior League San Antonio Mitchell Lake Wetlands Project, she created its logo and illustrated Mitchell Lake Wildlife Refuge: an Illustrated History. A graduate of Texas Christian University with a BFA in Commercial Art and Textile Design, Rita retired after more than 30 years in an interior design field. She launched her Texas based company, Heritage Game Mounts. She creates elegant, Old-World-inspired panels to display domestic and exotic game. She pens a blog called “Bring The Wild Inside” at the site, and at The WON, that offers ways to bring beauty and balance to the shared hunter/non-hunter home. Rita and her husband, Skip, have made hunting and fishing a large priority with their children. Along with two Boykin Spaniels and numerous adopted rescues, all aspects of hunting are very much a family affair. All of Heritage Game Mounts’ products are American made.