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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Taken from another site..Useful info

This is the way I clean all turkeys and usually am done in about 10 minutes.

I fillet everything usable out. I save the wings for wingbone calls and save the legs as you can dry them in any ole configuration or cut the spurs off and add to your wingbone lanyard.
So let’s get started. I use the smallest Rapala fillet knife and it must be SHARP!

Turn bird on its back as seen in this picture below.

The first thing I do is remove he beard.

First thing is to grab the beard and pull so you expose the skin as seen.

Pulled out a bit further – don’t worry you won’t rip it off!

Now in the white exposed area feel with your fingers and you will feel where the base root of the beard stops – cut past there and don’t be worried if you take to much skin – You can trim it off later.
This photo I started my cut…..

Here it is totally off….

Set it aside we will deal with it later.

With the bird still on its back feel down the breast until you feel the soft part of the gut cavity. We will make a small cut there just through the skin – NOT into the gut cavity. This done right you will not expose guts.

Next stick your fingers between the muscle an skin to open it up a bit and continue to expose the breast meat. If the skin starts to stick lightly use your fillet knife as if you are taking the skin off a fish. Again a sharp knife is a must!
It will end up like this

Next thing I do is remove the wings….I save those for wingbone calls. Even broke a bit there are bones still usable.

Take off at the joint next to the body – If you want a traditional looking turkey take off at the second joint. Mine are taken off at the body.

Next I take the feet off at the knuckle of the drumstick. Cut all the way around the leg through the back tendon and twist. The leg will pop right off – may take a bit of cutting to cut the remaining tendon. Set aside for now.

You have the breast exposed – Now take and peel back the skin on the legs until you have the bird looking like this. I save leg meat for soups, and sandwiches….and the Drumstick bone makes a very good 2 bone mouth call and a very nice pot striker!

Once you have the skin away the air sac is exposed.

I trim carefully – and pull a bit to removed this like shown.

Though a bit wet – my hands are not real messy!

Now I start taking off one breast at a time.

You can see the white line of the breast or keel bone. I cut going down along that keel bone and follow the wishbone in front and then trim back. I lift this flap of meat and cut forward along the rib cage using the fillet knife. Just like filleting around a fishes rib cage. I do this until I reach the wing joint and then cut the fillet free
It will look like this

After I have removed both sides of the breast I tackle the thighs.
Take the legs and push flat – you hear a pop as the leg bone comes out of the socket.
Next start at the top and cut along the body. I f you are going to get any blood on you it is here as you cut the leg arteries. So be careful. Done right your hands are really clean.

On the thigh and leg cut around the drumstick knuckle between he thigh and drum and you can bend it nicely to fit in a gallon plastic bag. I put all in plastic Zip-Loc bags and cool immediately. Once at home I do wash and trim any thin film of skin off and then freeze in a new bag.

The wings can be boiled and all feathers taken off. I will post how to make wingbone calls later.

The beard I place skin side down in a cup of Borax for about a month. I then add it to the shot shell casing I used to kill this bird.

Hope this is helpfull

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2,763 Posts
JJoe, You beat me to it !! LOL.

If you are going to skin the bird yourself but are still considering mounting it (1)just cut the thigh drumstick union at that joint and leave the drum stick attached to the bird(2) Then proceed to the tail bone and cut that off leaving the butt (oil sac) attached to the bird(3) Then continue skinning up the back to the wing joints and cut them off where the meet the body(4)Now skin the rest of the way up to where the neck and body meet and again cut that off leaving the head attached to the neck.The Taxidermists will detach the head where that needs to be done at a later time.If the head is very bloody rinse with water pat dry put cotton ball or paper towel in the mouth then roll the skin up neatly put into heavy duty plastic bag again roll it up and keep cold if you are traveling or just freeze !! It will hold up like that for a long time.

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4,236 Posts
always good to hear how the other guy does something Thanks[up]my pop rip said if you live long enough you'll know everything
good post
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