Cleaning Your Wild Turkey
Rob Ramsdale --
You have finally achieved
a successful turkey hunt and the most difficult part
is over. But, there is still a lot of work to do cleaning
the bird to get it ready to be put in the freezer.
One of the most common questions and concerns of new
turkey hunters is how to clean a turkey after they
have shot it. This article will hopefully answer most
of the questions about cleaning a turkey with some
of the techniques I and many other hunters utilize.
Step 1: Make a Decision
The cleaning or field dressing process
begins right after you shoot your bird. The first
thing you need to decide after the pictures are taken
is what you are going to do with your turkey.
Make a decision immediately about
whether you will have the turkey mounted. This will
determine how you will proceed with the cleaning process
and how much care you should take transporting your
turkey. If you are planning on having the bird mounted,
do not field dress the bird.
You might also consider how you plan
on cooking the turkey. Roasting, smoking or whole
deep frying are cooking processes that work best with
the skin still on the turkey, although there are techniques
for a skinless turkey as well. Frying or grilling
pieces of turkey will work well with a bird that has
At this point , you have
basically three options for continuing cleaning your
- Prepare bird for the taxidermist.
- Field dress the bird if it's hot
or you're a long way from home..
- Wait until you get home before
proceeding with cleaning the bird. If it's cool
enough and you have a relatively short trip home,
you can wait before taking on the task of cleaning