Here is the process I used to attach the carved turkey foot to a bark-on shaft. I am not sure what type of wood the shaft is, but I selected it for the interesting bark it has. I have used this type before and the bark stays attached and has interesting colors and textures. The trick is to make a nice transition between it and the carving, trying to make it flow, nut just a carving stuck on top of a stick. I used wooden dowels and Titebond glue to join the carving to the stick. After the glue dried overnight, I used gouges and a knife to carve both the stick and the foot to make sure I had nothing sticking out. I also tried to match it better to the crevices on the stick.
I used QuikWood to fill in any gaps and to sculpt. This is an epoxy putty that comes in a tube; you cut off a slice and knead it to mix the center and outer coating together and it sets up pretty quick. I use a knife and a pointy stick to sculpt it and texture it to match the bark and help it adhere to the carved part as it firmed up.
After it dried, I used gesso to prime it and give my acrylic paints something to stick to.
Then it is just a matter of painting it to match and blend with the colors of the bark. It helps to let it dry between coats and it does take a little patience to get it to match and look just right. But you can end up with something that fools the eye quite well. I built the thing and I can’t swear for sure exactly where the joint is! Thanks for looking!
-- Mike P., Arkansas, http://mikepounders.weebly.com