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Author Topic: Field dressing your turkey  (Read 1414 times)

Shadow Cat

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Field dressing your turkey
« on: August 01, 2007, 10:17:09 PM »
As we all know after the game is on the ground the real work starts. Fortunately for us Wild Turkey hunters there isn't much "work" in field dressing a turkey. 
It is important to preserve the meat you have just worked so hard for. To do this you must cool the game and keep it cool. The first step in doing this is to remove the internal organs. 

Remove The Internal Organs 

Whether it is a wild turkey or any big game animal this needs to be done as soon as you can. Following are instructions on how to do this with a wild turkey. 

With your fingers feel for the Point of the Breast located between the turkey's legs and insert your knife there. 
Make a cut between the Tail and the Point of the Breast. Make this cut from one leg to the other. Then gently pull the turkey's Back and Breast apart far enough to get your hand inside the body cavity between the intestines and back. 

Slip your hand in along the Back as far as you can. Grip the entrails (the lungs, liver & heart) and pull them out. The guts will follow along. You may not get it all the first time and if so you will have to try again. You must remove the  heart, so if you don't see it in the pile you have removed go back in one more time.

Remove the Crop, Windpipe and Esophagus 
Turkeys have a Crop (the place the food they eat gathers before it goes into their stomach). It is important to take this Crop out. 

At the turkey's neck, grab the skin where it meets the feathers. Make a cut there and split the neck open.  Remove the windpipe, esophagus, and the Crop. If you are interested in seeing what your turkey is eating you can cut the Crop open and look inside. 

Once you have removed everything, wipe all the blood out of the body cavity or let it drip out.  As soon as you can, place ice inside the body cavity and you are ready for the trip home. Once home completely wash your turkey inside and out in cold water and wrap it for freezing. 

Happy Hunting 


Offline Elkstuffer

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Re: Field dressing your turkey
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2007, 02:32:43 PM »
Take a one liter plastic bottle (tonic water is the only thing that I can find in the one liter bottles) fill it with water and freeze. Take this with you on your hunt and it will fit nicely up into the body cavity without the leaking water from melting ice.

If you want your bird mounted make an incission from knee cap to knee cap going across the tip of the breast bone like Shadow cat described and then remove the internal organs. Be careful not to tear the skin when doing this.

Leave the crop in the bird and get it to your taxidermist. Most of us will skin it out while you wait in less than 20 minutes and you can take the meat with you.
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"If you are not working to protect hunting, then you are working to destroy it."     Fred Bear


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