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Displaying Your Turkey Beards

-- by Rob Ramsdale --

Turkey Beards are probably the easiest parts of the turkey to save and preserve. Most people just cut them off, let them dry and store them in a box somewhere. That's usually okay since the beard only has a little bit of flesh on the end attached to the bird so it's probably not going to be destroyed by insects. Personally, I do add a couple of steps just to be sure they are well preserved --

Rack of Turkey Beards
  1. Removing the Beard - Pull the beard away from the turkey's body and then carefully cut through the skin all of the way around the beard to separate it from the body. Some people just firmly grasp the beard at its base and give a jerk. I prefer to error on the side of caution so I cut the beard off.
  2. After you've removed the beard, take a sharp knife and trim as much of the skin and flesh off the base of the beard as possible, leaving just the cartilage that holds the beard together.
  3. Stick the flesh base of the beard into a small container of Borax to allow it to dry and preserve for a week. You can use 20 Mule Team Borax which is a laundry additive you can pick up at your local Walmart.

  4. After it has dried thoroughly you can remove it from the borax, brush it off and choose the method you would like to display it. There a thousand different ways of doing this so just use your imagination. Some people make a display of the beard and spurs and hang this underneath a fan mount of the bird. I just keep my spurs and beards separate so I use a variety of different wooden beard racks to display my beards. I've shown one here that uses beards that are glued into the brass parts of a 12 ga. high-brass, shotgun shell. I simple use the shell I shot the turkey with and cut the plastic off with a knife. You can leave part of the plastic on if you like as well. There are many options available so have fun experimenting.

I hope this will help you create a lasting memory of your favorite turkey hunting adventure.



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