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Thread: What to do with the turkey after the kill

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    Question What to do with the turkey after the kill

    I've never hunted Turkey before and was wondering of some of the more experienced
    hunters could help me with a potential scenario....

    I'm 4 hours from home and I get a Turkey.

    Should I gut and pluck it in the field (I think so) or throw the bird in a cooler and
    do it when I get home? I know how to do it, just not sure about the process.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Science flies people to the moon...Religion flies people into buildings

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    If you debone/debreast I would do it right there. If you are going to pluck I would gut there and pluck at home. 4 hours seems like a long time to have guts inside possibly leaking but definately retaining heat. If you plan on raosting or smoking the whole bird plucking is a good way to go, but I usually just cut out the breasts and legs. Wild Turkeys don't have much else for meat on them. I've plucked before too but it is a ton of work to get all of the feathers off.
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    i freeze a bunch of old soda bottles prior to hunting. i kill a bird, i gut it fast. then i stuff a frozen bottle up into the cavity, and surround it with a few more and drive home smiling. all this in a ice chest.

    i have done both. plucking right away, and plucking after hanging it for a cold overnight stay. it makes no difference. they come off the same.

    good luck with your rookie bird!

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    tell you the truth, i now just take the breast. pounded and breaded they make great "turkey fingers". the legs, i use in the stock pot to make soup i freeze for use later.

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    Honestly I have killed birds 1.5hrs from my house. Kill it, bag up everything and drive it home in a bag. No cooler and not cleaned until I get it home. I have had zero issues, so there are many ways you can go about getting your bird home. For 4 hours though I would probably put it in a cooler with some ice in the cooler and have it gutted.

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    Dont really gut my birds till home but dont drive that far. I deep fry most of my birds and have to say it's a great way to keep the bird jusy. Plucking a turkey is way way way eaiser than plucking a duck or goose. They may look like they have lots of feathers but when you get down to it the feathers are large and only one layer.

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    Looks like the best option is to gut it and throw it on ice for the trip home.

    Thanks for the advice, guys!
    Science flies people to the moon...Religion flies people into buildings

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    I've killed them in the morning and left them in the back of the truck all day in the shade and taken care of them when I got home from work and never had any issues. It depends how warm of a day it is.

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    Wild Turk is offline Member Allowed To Sit On The 1st Rung Wild Turk
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    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    i freeze a bunch of old soda bottles prior to hunting. i kill a bird, i gut it fast. then i stuff a frozen bottle up into the cavity, and surround it with a few more and drive home smiling. all this in a ice chest.

    i have done both. plucking right away, and plucking after hanging it for a cold overnight stay. it makes no difference. they come off the same.

    good luck with your rookie bird!
    This guy has it nailed. Gut it, and cool it as quick as possible. Will make it 4 hours home no problem. I think you are jinxing yourself though....I'd worry more about how to get the feathery bastard in front of your gun than how to transport it. Good luck, hope you get one.
    "Not only did turkeys originate Murphy’s Law, they have rewritten several of its postulates. After what they make go wrong has gone wrong, and then gotten worse, they really get down to work and create trouble."- Tom Kelly

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Turk View Post
    This guy has it nailed. Gut it, and cool it as quick as possible. Will make it 4 hours home no problem. I think you are jinxing yourself though....I'd worry more about how to get the feathery bastard in front of your gun than how to transport it. Good luck, hope you get one.
    ...all I gotta do is lead 'em a little.

    It would be a real shame if I got one and I couldn't enjoy it because
    I didn't take care of the carcass properly.
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    On plucking the feathers off the turkey, most of you probably know this but, I'll share it anyway. If you have a turkey fryer, fill pot with water and bring to a boil. Turn off pot, then drop whole turkey feathers and all in their for a few seconds. Bring out and check to see if feathers fall out easily. If not, resubmerge turkey and keep doing process until he's been in there long enough. This is how sprocessing plants get the feathers to come off, they should just about fall out. This is the same way we did hogs in our processing plant for dehairing. Anyway, hope this helps some of you.
    "When was the last time you did something for the 1st. Time?"

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    I have never plucked a bird. I skin all my birds, pheasant, waterfowl, quail etc. Never understood why you would pluck a bird.

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    So true! skin it , de-bone it into strips, soak in buttermilk overnight, salt/pepper to taste, double batter with egg wash and flour, then fry to a golden brown. Watch the grin on peoples faces after they taste it. If ya really want to kick it up a notch, make some good gravy for dipping in. NOW THAT's Wild Game at it's finest.
    "When was the last time you did something for the 1st. Time?"

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    Here is a great book by Lovette Williams, "After the Hunt". Tells you all you need to know about after harvesting a turkey. As far as getting it home I agree with the soda bottle trick.

    Lovette will cover everything else, from preserving the bird for mounting, tail feathers for mounting or making a wingbone call. Excellent read.

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    As far as eating, I prefer to grind it all up. I make all sorts of things from Tacos to Lasagna. The best part is that I can get people who are usually not willing to try wild game to eat it either by not telling them until afterwords, or just by showing them how similar it looks to store bought meat.
    Fluently vocalizing from my rectum


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