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    • Rick

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jdime

Cooling off a turkey at camp

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I need help from you folks on this.

I am familiar with hanging deer out in November. We generally try to avoid warmer than 55 degrees and direct sunlight. I don't know much about handling turkey at camp.  the one I got in the past I drove it home one hour drive that evening.

If my son and I shoot and turkey and its 65 degrees out, is it ok to just put a bag of ice in the body cavity? At what overnight temp could we prop open the cavity and hang it from a tree? What guidelines do you use?

Tom

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We just bring a big cooler and throw the whole bird in a big plastic garbage bag gutted and skinned. So make sure you take all the pictures you want before hand if you do it this way.

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We take photos, then clean them on the spot.  Save all the feathers you want and put the meat on ice in the cooler.  You gotta clean then when you get home anyway, why not do it before you get there.

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Oh OK. We were hoping to take the bird home to show the family. Perhaps we'd have to just drive it home then since it will be so warm. This is all assuming we get the darn bird haha,

We were gonna try and pluck it this year with the hot water treatment and all...

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52 minutes ago, jdime said:

Oh OK. We were hoping to take the bird home to show the family. Perhapsdfdfdfs we'd have to just drive it home then since it will be so warm. This is all assuming we get the darn bird haha,

We were gonna try and pluck it this year with the hot water treatment and all...

I personally pluck every game bird I get from grouse, pheasants, ducks, and turkey....have never used the wet method, with that being said I would suggest dry plucking them. have a feeling that would create a mess and with it being windy, find a good spot and let the feathers fly. Turkeys are really easy compared to smaller birds, i'd put the wind at my back with the birds legs facing you. I start at the neck and work down using the center line/bone to do each breast separately.....the wind will push each column of feathers up as you work down and keep it away from the group of feathers below....kind of like eating corn on the cobb. The down type of feathers can be grabbed in clumps you can pinch a group in...pic is of grouse but you can see how the feathers are in columns on the breast....i'll get pics this wknd of the process even though that might be late for you

plucked grouse.jpg

Edited by CaughtABuzz

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The one time I tried plucking a turkey dry and I tore the skin... you just pluck down away from the head?

Tom

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I leave a good portion of the neck to start, that gives me an area to make sure I am on track when I get to the breast and can trim the neck area once I am done...I move my way down working each side separately........I use my opposite hand to hold down the area I am moving towards as I pluck. This helps hold the skin down and not tear. I find it best to pluck the opposite way the feather wants to lay which would mean pulling the up and not just straight out....I always start slowly with 1/2 feathers and speed up and pull more depending on the feel. I personally think plucking them as soon as possible really helps with pheasants, grouse, and turkey.

 

But like I said I have never done the wet method so it could work great....just personally have gotten really good at the dry method and have no need to change

Edited by CaughtABuzz

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Ok yeah I thought up against the grain. Thanks man. Well I would think if we want to show the family the bird we can put ice in the cavity overnight but I don't want to risk tainting the meat. I don't want to bring home a plucked butterball!

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i hang all my turkeys from the feet to clean, whether skinning or plucking

imo, starting at the legs, which have tougher skin, gives you a feel of how many feathers you can pluck at a time and how fast you can go without tearing the skin. when i get to the breast i do like buzz, keep your off hand on the skin and take a couple feathers at a time to help keep it from tearing

just take your time. its worth the extra time and effort to have a well-plucked bird

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1 hour ago, Illini Walli said:

just take your time. its worth the extra time and effort to have a well-plucked bird

x2 100%....as much $ and time we spend on hunting I will go the extra mile to prep and cook my wild game

Good tips....might have to adjust a little to try some new ideas?As you said getting a feel allows to adjust as you go, from my pic above of grouse you can see how different each bird can be, both of those were taken on the same property and the one with the thicker skin/more fat was much easier

Good Luck everyone.....Gobble Gobble

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