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gutting a turkey

the man

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So if I hunt in the morning and shoot one but don't have enough time to gut it till about 8 hours later in the day. In the meantime what should I do so the meat doesn't spoil?

Thanks in advance.

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A couple ideas.

1) you can gut it almost immediately after you kill it. Shoot it, tag it, gut it.

2) get the biggest cooler you own. Throw a bag of ice on the bottom. Drop the turkey on top of the ice. Drop another bag on top. Keep out of the sun. Done this it works well.

3) When at home, quarter your bird. Breast out the meat with a sharp knife and section into meal size portions. Cut of the thigh / legs and strip the edible meat from the bones and tendons. Not easy, but worth it - IMO.

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We've done a quick gut job and inserted a frozen water bottle into the cavity. Keep it out of the sun and it should be ok unless it's really hot. Otherwise it only takes a few minutes to breast one out and put in a cooler with ice or fridge.

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The frozen water bottles work great as do big coolers. It only takes 5 minutes to gut a bird so if you have time to shoot it you should be able to make time to gut it.

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If you intend to pluck the bird, your best bet is to do the whole job immediately if possible. The feathers will come right off within the first 30 or so minutes. If you wait 8 hours, good luck getting the feathers out...

If you are going to just cut out the breast meat and legs, then you will probably be fine for the 8 hours as long as it is kept in the shade. Then get the meat on ice right away when you do get it cut up.

Another option is you could buy a bag of ice from a gas station and wrap it with the bird in a tarp if you don't have a cooler with you.

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