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Fist time turkey hunter here, how soon, if at all, should you gut a turkey? Should you do it right in the field or is it OK to wait a while and bring it home?

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  • Fist time turkey hunter here, how soon, if at all, should you gut a turkey? Should you do it right in the field or is it OK to wait a while and bring it home?

    Fist time turkey hunter here, how soon, if at all, should you gut a turkey? Should you do it right in the field or is it OK to wait a while and bring it home?

  • #2
    I always carry it home to do it, but that is a simple walk for me. I don't think I'd go on a long drive after killing a turkey without gutting it. I remember a friend of mine killing a turkey in a state over so he gutted it and bought a bag of ice to fill the cavity during the drive home.

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    • #3
      I've turkey hunted all my life, and I've never gutted a turkey in the field. Of course, I've always hunted within less than an hour's drive of my house, so if you have to travel several hours, it might be a good idea. I would say anything less than about 3 or 4 hours between shooting it and cleaning it and you'll be fine, unless it's a very hot day (80 degrees +).

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      • #4
        I cut and pull the crops out all my turkeys immediately. If the crop is full the fermenting seeds, berries, insects or grass will quickly taint the breast meat. Fall turkeys usually have full crops whereas spring gobblers rarely do.
        If the temp is above 50 and it will be a while before I can get the turkey cleaned I'll gut it in the field.

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        • #5
          I always gut mine in the field. It only takes a few seconds and I guess I can't think of a reason not to do it. It immediately gets rid of a lot of trapped heat and possible contaminants. I also carry a frozen water bottle in a cooler in the truck to stick in the cavity for the way home.

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          • #6
            I've always treated them like a Pheasant or Quail hunt and clean the bird at home.

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            • #7
              I've always gutted mine right away. That way if pellets have penetrated the internal organs then I don't need to worry about contamination. With pheasants, quail, and other upland birds get gutted when I get back to the vehicle.

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