All your exercise paid off and also you (finally) arrowed a wild turkey! Congratulations!

The “fun” now begins. The time to butcher her turkey because that its 8- come 10-plus pounds of meat. That method salvaging the legs, thighs and also breast meat, which room all exceptionally delicious.

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All deer hunters ar dress your deer’s carcass, which method removing the organs and other entrails. That work helps maintain the meat, cool the carcass, sluggish bacterial growth, and drain blood and residue from the human body cavity.

Wild turkeys — gift a smaller, two-legged, two-winged creature v feathers — different from whitetails, and also offer other options. Numerous hunters favor to pluck the entire bird, eliminate the entrails, and save that giblets: the heart, gizzard and also liver. Other hunters, however, don’t eliminate the entrails. They merely remove the meat native the carcass, i m sorry is an easier and quicker job if you follow these seven steps:

1. Assemble your gear.

The only tools you require are a sharp knife, latex gloves and also gallon-size freezer-storage bags. Most world find a turkey’s innards much less intimidating than a deer’s, therefore it’s a an excellent learning chance for start butchers.

2. Find the broadhead.

If you didn’t recover your arrow and also broadhead, the broadhead can be inside the turkey. If friend can’t eliminate or find the broadhead, carefully watch because that it as you make your cuts and also debone the bird.

3. Place the turkey.

Lay the turkey on its ago and situate its breastbone. The breastbone defines the facility of the body, and also is commonly the highest protruding allude on the bird once it’s top top its back.

4. Make your first cut.


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Make the initial reduced just above the breastbone and also peel the skin. Photo Credit: GrandView Outdoors


Make a shallow, inch-long cut just over the breastbone. Insert your fingers beneath the skin and pull it away to disclose the meat. Peel the skin until you watch the basic of the wings, the basic of the tail feathers, and also the peak of the drumsticks. Use your knife to help peel ago the skin, if necessary. Push the bird’s legs backward and also down to pop them native the i know well socket and also stabilize the carcass.

Note: The loose, flabby area in between the beard and also breastbone lies atop the entrails. Do not reduced into the area while skinning the meat.

5. Extract the chest meat.

Insert her knife follow me the breastbone and also fillet the meat indigenous the bone until reaching the bottom that the breastplate. Traction the meat away together you go. Angle your knife slightly toward the breastplate to acquire as lot meat as possible. At the optimal of the breast, carefully cut the meat far from the internal organs. Follow the muscle line and you’ll it is in fine.

The breast have to fold open like a book as girlfriend cut. You’ll an alert two piece of associated meat. The smaller sized muscle is the within tenderloin, and the larger muscle is the breast. You deserve to remove them with each other or individually. It’s additionally easier come trim away the fat when the meat is attached to the bird. Reduced the connective tissue holding the meat to complimentary the breast.

Repeat this process on opposing side.

6. Eliminate the thighs and legs.

Finish cut the skin and also feathers follow me the leg until getting to the rough, textured surface on the bird’s ankles and also feet. Cut the joint just listed below the meat, and also bend the reduced leg until the joint breaks. Cut the tendons to cost-free the lower leg. Cut along the thigh muscle wherein it connects to the body. If you damaged the ball-and-socket joint in action 4, the leg should disconnect once you cut away every the meat. Repeat this process on the various other leg.

7. Bag your meat.


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Bag your meat, then instantly put that on ice cream or in the refrigerator as soon as girlfriend can. Photograph credit: goHUNT


Some hunters rinse the meat, but that’s not important unless the a mess of dirt, blood, feathers or interior residue. Use clean water. Carry out not rinse the in a pond or stream. Bag the meat and put that on ice or in the refrigerator. Chef the meat within seven days, or squeeze out the wait from the bag to prepare it for freezing. Label the bag and also freeze it. A effectively sealed bag need to keep number of months.

That’s it! you’ve butchered your bird.

Keep the Bird Whole

If you arrangement to cook the bird totality like a Thanksgiving turkey, friend must ar dress it. Location the turkey top top its back, find the breastbone, and also lightly insert her knife directly below it. Be careful not to penetrate the cavity while cut to the anus. Reach up right into the chest cavity to sever the windpipe, heart and lungs; pull the end all the entrails, and bag the heart, liver and gizzard. Cool the cavity through placing ice inside the chest. Part hunters scald the bird in warm water before plucking it. One of two people way, hang the bird by its neck and also get come work. Friend can likewise skin the turkey, which is faster and also easier 보다 plucking, however the meat i will not ~ retain moisture also when cooking.

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Visit Bowhunting 360’s “Wild Meat” webpage to find turkey recipes and also cooking methods.