If you are new to turkey hunting, one of the most important skills to learn is how to field dress a turkey. If you are not prepared to properly field dress your freshly harvested wild turkey, you will ruin a wonderful feast. Wild turkey, when properly prepared from the field to the table, is a real treat. Follow these steps to field dress your turkey.
To field dress your turkey you will need:
- sharp hunting knife
- paper towels
- Locate your starting point. After you have killed your turkey, lay the turkey on its back to expose the under-side. Locate the breastbone of the turkey in the center of its chest. Follow the breastbone down to the tip near the anus of the turkey.
- Make the incision. When you locate the tip of the breastbone of the turkey, pluck out as many feathers as you can between the breastbone and the anus. This will make cutting easier and cleaner, thus making field dressing your turkey easier. Pull the skin up and make a horizontal cut between the tip of the breastbone and anus. Make the cut large enough to get your hand inside the turkey.
- Remove the inside of the turkey. After the cut is made, insert your hand and remove the entrails and other organs of the turkey. Be sure that you get the heart and lungs. Locate the end of the intestines that is attached to the turkeys anus and make a circular incision around the anus to detach the intestines. Be careful not to cut the intestines, so the contents will not spill into your turkey.
- Remove the crop. The turkey will have a food sack called a crop that stores what the turkey has been eating. To remove this, make another incision near the top of the turkey's neck and simply reach in and cut it off at the top of the sack.
- Clean and prepare your turkey for transport. Once you have removed the contents and crop, drain as much of the blood out of your turkey as possible. Use some paper towels to wipe the inside of your turkey clean of any remaining blood. As soon as possible, you will want to pack the inside of your turkey with ice, especially if you are transporting it long distance.