Finally finished setting all of the pieces and over analyzing minutiae. Here are some better quality images of the first totem in what may be a series if I gather enough inspiration:
Although the top half does look like a skull of some sorts, it is a pelvic girdle from a goose. A few vertebrae are fused together to aid in shock absorption during flight, a skeletal adaptation found only in birds. Until I did more research I was convinced it was a skull of some sort, and decided to treat it as such in the piece.
The back handle piece is a deer humerus, and I used deer ribs and cervical vertebrae for the front piece. In addition, there are some smaller raccoon humeri incorporated. The feathers are from a wild turkey. I found no bones or other remnants to confirm, though the markings are fairly common for a turkey.