View Full Version : Turkey hunting...breasts only?
I'm new to Turkey hunting. When I was asking a friend about places to go, we started talking about cleaning wild turkeys. He said that he just plucks the chest area and takes the breast meat only. When I mentioned that seemed wasteful, he said 'there isn't hardly any meat on the legs'...'they're not like the birds you get in store.'
Like I say, I'm new to turkey hunting. Is that what most of you do?
Theres not a lot of meat elsewhere. But their is more then just breast meat.
For a wild turkey there's meat on the leg. If any thing the, wings are sparser when it comes to meat. Remember they are not as big as a butterball on aisle #3 ;)
What I typically do;
I gut the bird from the anal vent, flip it on it's back and cut the leg-bone at the start of the thighs
I then cut ( saw ) the wing as close to the body
I pull off most of the tail feathers and some of the breast feathers to get a good cut, and then skin the bird.
Some where within all of this mess, the neck and gizards are removed.
Only thing that I discard are , foot, neck, wings, gut and feathers. When you are done you have a perfect body in tack with legs as stubs ;)
Now a lot of people don't care for the darker leg meats, and other care for the breast. To each his own. But drumsticks are great smoke on in a crock pot or used to make turkey stock.
Whatever I don't eat, I give away or my neighbor cats find my home and get a good meal or two.
I asked around on a local forum and someone had a great suggestion for the other non-breast meat. They toss it in the grinder and make turkey burgers. To me, that alone sounds like a good enough reason to get as much off the bird as possible.
you know those tendons and toothpick-like bones in turkey legs? well, there are double of them in a wild bird.
i rip the skin off, take out the breast, and make stock with the rest of the carcass.
california bird season opens this weekend!! archery only for me..
I've had turkey salad made from nothing but wild turkey legs, better than chicken salad b
i gut and skin the bird, cut the breast, legs and wings off. i prefer the breasts, wife likes the crunchy wings and legs. th carcass gets boiled into soup and stock. i take that and put in in smaller containers and freeze it. last my wife and i quite awhile.
cant wait for season to open this year. had to take the last several years off for deployments and shoulder surgeries. now i run my own company so its easier to get out. :)
Upland birds like pheasants, quail and chukar I'll just breast. Turkey get gutted, skinned and cooked in an oven bag with a water / flour mixture and half a stick of butter in the chest cavity. :eat:
Your friend is wasting a lot of food. Send me the dark meat if you don't like it. :supergrin:
Three week until spring turkey opener in WA state!
The wife's cousin told me he just takes the breast meat off it and leaves the rest for "the circle of life" so to speak....I tried it today for the heck of it and let me tell you it was awesome. Didn't pluck...nothing....cut from the notch of the breastbone towards the neck...pulled the skin off the breast, towards the legs and just cut the breasts out. Took a total of maybe 5 minutes....not plucking, gutting, nothin.....
Those birds spend their lives running around, so those legs are lean and tough. If you are in survival mode, go ahead and slow-stew what you can to soften it up and get every last bit, otherwise just take the breast.
I use the legs and thigh to make turkey broth. I then use that for chili or soup with breast meat.
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