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How do you dress/gut a turkey?

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by UTKEngineer, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. UTKEngineer

    UTKEngineer

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    Hey all,

    I'm a good ol boy who spends quite a bit of time in the woods, college classes permitting. I've hunted many things, but mostly of the mammal variety: deer, hogs, and LOTS of squirrel.

    I'm really interested in taking up turkey hunting and and have a few questions.

    1) Do I have enough gun? - When my dad got me into squirrel hunting, he got me a VERY versatile gun. It's a twenty guage that will cycle 2.5" or 3" shells and has a 28" barrel with screw in chokes. So, if I upgrade it with optics, a super tight choke and buy quality 3" 20 ga. shells, will I be bringing enough gun? I realize I might have to forgo some real long shots, but for the average hunt?

    2) How in the hades do you clean a turkey? Does it take any special equipment? I've cleaned a few deer and more squirrel than I care to count, but I've never had to dress a bird. Any advice?

    3) Any good turkey hunting beginners guides? I'm in East Tennesee right now but will be in Austin, TX next season, so any help for those areas would be AWESOME!

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. noway

    noway

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    1) Do I have enough gun? - When my dad got me into squirrel hunting, he got me a VERY versatile gun. It's a twenty guage that will cycle 2.5" or 3" shells and has a 28" barrel with screw in chokes. So, if I upgrade it with optics, a super tight choke and buy quality 3" 20 ga. shells, will I be bringing enough gun? I realize I might have to forgo some real long shots, but for the average hunt?


    20ga should be great for turkerys get them in close before dropping the hammer


    2) How in the hades do you clean a turkey? Does it take any special equipment? I've cleaned a few deer and more squirrel than I care to count, but I've never had to dress a bird. Any advice?


    very easy, look at it as a BIG chicken,

    1> grab the tail and bend it back and find the vent, Cut down the vent and around and pull back the skin. Break the skin and remove whatever you can get in that direction.

    2> chop off the wings ( no meat here or very very little )

    3> cut dem legs off right where the feathers start. This is tuff bone so a fine tooth hacksaw works great. Once you get them home you can re-cut them down and save the spurs.

    4> remove most of the skin and feathers ( alot of debating on does skin add to flavor and mositure )


    5> remove gizzard and other tubes and cut the neck off. Don't forget that beard, pull it away from the body and cut it close as possible.

    A turkey is very easy to clean. Save the feathers and pass them out to kids in the neighbor. If you are going to mount the tail, research and/or buy your tail mounting kit 1st before you even kill the bird and read, read the instructions



    3) Any good turkey hunting beginners guides? I'm in East Tennesee right now but will be in Austin, TX next season, so any help for those areas would be AWESOME!



    Google is your friend. You might want to do a search. If you get a little distance outside of austin heading east I can refer you to a guide around New Braunsfel, but turkey season is probably booked and for this area and county the season is about much over. I think you have till the end of April and like I said most of these services would be booked full by now.

    Next season, I would jump on the booking ASAP. I even heard farther east it's harder to get a hunt if you are looking Easterns.
     

  3. UTKEngineer

    UTKEngineer

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    noway,

    I appreciate the reply! A few more questions, if I may:

    1) When you say remove whatever you can get from the vent, is it just a grab and pull manuver? Or should I try to cut the esophagus and what not and try to pull it all out in one group (like a deer)

    2) As far as removing the skin and feathers, Do I have to pluck it first? OR can i cut the skin down the chest and try to pull it off similar to a squirrel and hope the the feathers come with the skin?

    3)As for the gizzard and tube, do I just lop the head off and go to scooping from that end?

    Again, thanks so much for the reply!
     
  4. noway

    noway

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    1) When you say remove whatever you can get from the vent, is it just a grab and pull manuver? Or should I try to cut the esophagus and what not and try to pull it all out in one group (like a deer)

    When you cut the bird at the vent most if not all of the internals can come out from this end, kidneys heart, guts,etc... Pretty much you can scope out all and anything inside of the bird. Think of a big stewing hen or capone and think of how those bird look when your grandma cooks them for easter ;)

    This is what and how the turkey will look once you dress it out.




    2) As far as removing the skin and feathers, Do I have to pluck it first? OR can i cut the skin down the chest and try to pull it off similar to a squirrel and hope the the feathers come with the skin?


    mixed crowd on this one.

    My dad believe the skins keep in flavor and moisture. I can't tell the difference. He's old and has patience I'm young and don't. Wet/dry pluck or skin, pick one. I skin all of my birds and only remove feathers when I need to get a knife in their to make a cut . If you wet pluck use some hot but not boiling water only to loosen the pores. If you dry pluck just pull away and get ready for a mess of feathers ;)

    As far as skining once you clear some feathers you can pull up and cut away the skin. The way I do it is like with my quail, i start at the vent and underneath and cut and pull to the top of backbone wine area. THe skin will have the connecting tissues that sticks the skin/feather pore to body but you can get about 90% of the feathers and skin off. The little down like feathers you burn off with a hot charcoal of small fire.


    3)As for the gizzard and tube, do I just lop the head off and go to scooping from that end?


    that's pretty much what I do. Some people love them gizzards so save them if you want. Same with the heart but those items get feed to the stray and ferals cats that walk outside ;)


    good luck the bird is not very hard to clean up. Smoke it deep fried it hot peanut oil after seasoning it is the way to go skin on or off ;)
     
  5. UTKEngineer

    UTKEngineer

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    Awesome, thanks so much!
     
  6. NYGunman

    NYGunman o.oO0Oo.oO0Oo.o

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    The gun should be fine. You won't need optics because your shots will most likely be 35 yards and under. Buy a good extra full choke. A full choke is minimum. Buy a few different 3" magnum shells in size 4, 5, or 6. Buy a bunch of "turkey head" paper targets and shoot at them at different lengths. Note the pattern and which shot consistently gives you the most pellets in the kill area. Most people believe 3 pellets in the kill area is minimum.
     
  7. noway

    noway

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    I like 8pellets min at 35-40yards and all of my shotguns and loads can do this. 10 is even better but 8 is what I will take.

    I still perfer to get them in under 30yards and more like 25yards before pulling the trigger. This give you an better kill and more positive ID of the beard and length and more room to error.
     
  8. Neocon

    Neocon

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    This thread is making my hungery:cool:
     
  9. UTKEngineer

    UTKEngineer

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    That's funny, it's making me want to go hunt :)
     
  10. isp2605

    isp2605

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    "How do you dress a turkey?"

    This is an example of how to definitely NOT dress a turkey.
     
  11. Glockerel

    Glockerel Got Mojo?

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    I gut them and skin them. When I roast them, wash em well; season with salt and pepper, lay bacon over the bird entirely and then wrap with cheesecloth before baking. This will 1) keep the bacon on it, and 2) hold in the moisture and bacon grease that is lovingly basting your prize.
     
  12. lethal tupperwa

    lethal tupperwa

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    Some people just remove the breasts.

    They feel they are not really missing much that is worth fighting the tendons for.

    I think the bacon is a good idea.