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Field Dressing A Wild Turkey
by Mtgrumpy
 
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 
Mtgrumpy 

*  If you plan on getting your turkey mounted do not make these cuts! See Larry Reese's article on preparing a Wild Turkey for mounting. Taxidermy Tips For Your Wild Turkey
** For lots of excellent Wild Turkey Recipes check Cooking Turkey With SusieQ

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