What to do with a harvested turkey?


Jan 28, 2011
Next week A22 opens back up and I've seen a lot of turkeys coming by. What do I need to do with a bird once I kill it? Does anyone have an easy way to pluck the feathers off? Thanks for your help.
thought about the same thing, and found this:

I have also seen guys filet the breast out:
no different than any other bird, gut it through the anal area and pluck away, I usually cut the last half of the wing off (at the joint) as the wing tip feathers are very difficult to pluck. once you have the feathers off you can burn the pin feathers off with a quick pass from a propane torch. A wild turkey looks nothing like a butterball when its plucked (long legs and very small breast) Like any other game meat be careful about over cooking as it will turn into something dry and chewy. You might try brining them before cooking to instill a bit more moisture in them. Personally I dont think thay are that good to eat
I don't have a tag right now, I fortunately filled my AO tag and am waiting for A22 to open back up.
If you want to puck your bird and have a traditional looking presentation try soaking it whole (before you gut it) for 3-8 minutes in boiling hot water (a 120 qt. cooler works good for a basin). The feathers will come out easily.

Another handy tool is a pucker from Cabela's that attaches to any portable drill. The wing feathers will always take a little more work to get out.

Then slow cook it however you prefer. Our family likes it smoked for 8-9 hours on the Traeger BBQ. If you like fried turkey and have a fry pot set up that's pretty good too. We avoid the oven bake thing. The wild birds tend to dry out too much in there.
Snake Charmer said:
Personally I don't think thay are that good to eat

I disagree. When we smoke wild turkeys at low temp, not letting the bird get hotter than 140 degree, they give Butterballs a run for their $. They're juicy and sweet!

Most of my non-hunter in-laws actually reach for the smoked WT and pass on the baked store bought bird on Thanksgiving. If you have a Traeger, you have all you need to make some outstanding Holiday grub.


  • Becca's '07 turkey 027.jpg
    Becca's '07 turkey 027.jpg
    181.8 KB · Views: 64
Invisible man said:
That is one good looking bird right there.


That's my oldest daughter's bird (17 years old at the time). It was a 24 pounder with a 14" beard. She cleaned and cooked it herself too. If you look at the upper right corner of the picture on the kitchen counter you'll see the plucking tool that goes into any 1/2" or 3/8" drill. It really saves time on the plucking job.

About us

  • SCHoutdoors was created in January of 2011 by a few people who love the outdoors. The main goal is still the same – bring people together who enjoy the outdoors and share their knowledge and experience.
    Outdoors in the West, Hunting gear reviews, Big Game, Small Game, Upland Game, Waterfowl, Varmint, Bow Hunting, long Range Rifles, Reloading, Taxidermy, Salt WaterFishing, Freshwater Fishing, Buy-Sell-Trade on Classifieds and Cooking/Recipes
    All things outdoors…come join us, learn, contribute and become part of the SCHoutdoors community.

Quick Navigation

User Menu