Wild Turkey Field Care

Turkey, like all poultry meats, is fragile and prone to quick spoilage.

This is particularly true in the warm temperatures of late spring turkey seasons. Once you have bagged your bird, field dress it immediately and begin the cooling process.

Cut around the anal vent, being careful not to sever the intestine. Next, carefully pull the intestines out. Pulling too hard can cause the intestine to break. Enlarge the opening and reach inside to pull out the liver, heart, gizzard and lungs. (The liver and heart are great eating; wild turkey gizzards are very tough.) Finally, cut the trachea and esophagus as high as you can reach. You are working by feel so be careful not to cut your fingers.

With the body cavity cleaned out, insert a sturdy, empty plastic bag inside and stuff ice into the bag until the cavity is filled. This starts the cooling process from the inside out but the sooner you can get the bird refrigerated the better.

For a fine selection of Turkey Hunting gear, click here.

Michael Waddell is producer of the “Realtree Outdoors” television show, which airs nationally on The Nashville Network. As an accomplished outdoorsman and archer, Michael also finds himself in front of the camera occasionally, and has taken a number of trophy animals for the Realtree cameras. Michael is also a successful competition turkey caller, with numerous titles.

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