Simone "Shitty Robots" Giertz hunts a robot and eats its tofu

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This was way funnier than I was prepared for. She is great!

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Last year I tried to create a robo-turkey for use as a decoy during Ontario’s spring turkey season. You can’t mount decoys on remote control monster trucks and drive them around, but I wanted to see how life-like I could make a decoy and still be within the regulations for the province of Ontario.

First I had to shoot a reasonably mature bird in the spring of 2016, and very carefully skin it removing all the fat and flesh from the inside of the very delicate skin without puncturing it or ruining the feathers. An almost-twenty-two-pounder oughta do:

My wife wasn’t too pleased with me keeping the skin around over the winter, but skinning a turkey is tedious, time consuming work and costs a fortune if you pay a taxidermist to do it professionally.

Then I had to get a taxidermist to make me a foam body from a mold approximately the same size as the turkey I had harvested. I also bought some hyper-realistic plastic legs and a painted head from another taxidermy supply company.

I bought some curved needles meant for repairing upholstery and sewed the skin around the foam body. After getting things more or less put together, I wanted the decoy to rotate about the Z-axis via remote control. Boom: RedHead already had a product on the market called the “Remote Strut Stake”. All I had to do was bore a hole through the foam with a hole-saw bit and chisel out the foam.

The real trick would be getting a servo hooked up to the tail fan. Some decoys have fans that’ll raise and lower, but I wanted mine to expand and contract as well. This is where it all went south quickly. I designed a spring system that would pull the fan into its upright “strutting” position. Some aircraft cable strung through a mounting bracket to a servo would pull the fan down and together. I tried using delrin plastic because it’s relatively slippery but even then the aircraft cable would bind and the servo just didn’t have the power necessary to fully contract the fan.

Anyhow, it’s still a nice, life-like decoy, but I’d love to iterate and improve version 2 if Ms. Giertz or anyone else has any suggestions on how to deal with the contraction of the tail fan.


A vegetarian deer is the best type.

I have a friend who makes vegan taxidermy, using found cloth such as curtains for the skin and sticks for the antlers.

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No photo of the completed decoy?

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I hope to god that my animal knowledge is correct, and that’s the only type of deer out there. Otherwise, I’m never going into the forest ever again.

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Link to shop?

Here it is without the tail fan attached

I don’t want to scare you, but no. not necessarily totally vegetarian…

Run the aircraft cable through tubing? Teflon tubing would be ideal.


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Okay, I no longer will feel even a mite sad about my love of venison. I’ll eat them until I die, then they can eat me.

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