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#1134336 - 01/18/09 09:29 AM After the Shot ?
venator
Spike


Registered: 04/03/08
Posts: 56
Loc: Hixson

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I've been turkey hunting 4 times over the last two years. I'm not experienced but I do know some of the basics. Although I've never taken a shot at a turkey, in 2 of my 4 hunts I called in a bird. The first time was a call-shy tom who caught me with my gun in my lap and the slat in my hand...spooked him when I tried to get a shot at 15 yards. The second one, and last time that I went, I called in a tom with a hen, sounded like I pulled him in from around 100 or so yards before he got hung up in the holler before he got to me. Both experiences fired me up and got me hooked. But unlike deer hunting, I have no idea what is supposed to happen after the shot? Nobody has ever told me anything about it and the only things that I've read stop with, "...be quick to get to the bird, step on his head, grab him by the legs and give a quick, sharp jerk..."

After the bird is dead...What's next? Will a meat processor take care of it? Is it really easy to remove the feather, tail feathers, beard and spurs?

I'm a little embarrassed to say that I've been hunting with intent to harvest....with no idea of what to do next. I'm normally not that stupid!

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#1134353 - 01/18/09 09:44 AM Re: After the Shot ? [Re: venator]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 19260
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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After you shoot, the bird should go down.
He may or may not flap his wings a little.

If he raises his head, take another shot to finish him off.

Personally, I only take head shots.

After you've taken pictures and checked in your bird . . . .

If you'll grab the beard close to the breast, pull it taut, then cut if off (leaving a little meat at the base). You've now saved your beard.

Take some tree pruners, and cut the legs both immediately below and above the spurs. You've now saved your spurs. Put the spurs and the beard in a quart-sized zip-lock bag along with a little Borax. You can decide later exactly what you want to do with 'em.

Now, you can simply peel & pull the feathered skin back from the breast, and fillet out the breasts. It's actually easier than filleting a fish, as you don't have to worry about cutting little bones ---- simply "carve" the breast away from the breast bone. You should end up with two large pieces, and possibly a couple smaller pieces that may separate from the larger ones.

I only care to eat the breasts myself ---- the legs and wings are just too tough to eat, very little meat on them with a wild turkey, mostly muscle.

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#1134391 - 01/18/09 10:21 AM Re: After the Shot ? [Re: Wes Parrish]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 19260
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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One other thing.

If you're hunting with a partner, like both of you at the same set-up, stay put. Don't rush to that bird.

There will often be another Tom around, and a dead Tom will draw in both hens and other Toms. Your partner will have a good chance of getting a bird within a few minutes, IF the only noise has been a shot. But if you work the action of a pump shotgun, jump to your feet and holler with excitement, or make any other unnatural sounds, the opportunity to see another bird is usually gone.

I'm often alone at a set-up, so I just have to enjoy watching that 2nd Tom, and/or that hot hen that brings in that 2nd Tom, which is often an older bird than the one just killed. Having seen this many times, I now routinely pass up Toms I believe to be less than 3 years old, as there is often an older one nearby.

It's kind of like deer hunting for older bucks. If you want to kill more older bucks, start passing up the younger ones. Just me personally, but in terms of a challenge or a "trophy", I equate a 3-yr-old Tom somewhat like a 3 1/2-yr-old buck.

If you want to kill a longbearded Tom, pass up that jake; want to kill more 3-yr & older Toms, start passing up short and thinned-bearded Toms. (If the beard doesn't dangle and dance a lot when the bird walks, it's probably a young Tom.)

But if you've yet to kill a turkey, consider your first one a challenge accomplished, regardless of his beard or spur length.

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#1134928 - 01/18/09 08:02 PM Re: After the Shot ? [Re: Wes Parrish]
venator
Spike


Registered: 04/03/08
Posts: 56
Loc: Hixson

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WOW, Thanks Wes! That's the kind of information I was looking for. What's the process when it comes to keeping the tail feathers?
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#1135199 - 01/18/09 10:03 PM Re: After the Shot ? [Re: venator]
Wes Parrish
16 Point


Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 19260
Loc: Knoxville-Dover-Union City, TN

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Whoops!
I forgot to mention that.

I actually remove the fan before I finish by filleting out the breast.

To remove the fan (tail feathers):

Fold the fan closed.
Grap the base of it, kind of pull it taut away from the bird, and then simply cut it off, leaving just a little "meat" at the base of the fan.

I then stick the base of the fan in a big zip-lock that has some Borax in it, until I decide what I'm doing with it.

If I want to keep it as a permanent display, within a few days, I open it, and use straight pins to pin each individual feather to a large piece of cardboard, so it will "cure" in the open position.

After a few weeks, you can remove the pins and put it on your wall.

If you decide to use the feathers for some other purpose, remove them (pull with pliers) before the fan cures.

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#1135230 - 01/18/09 10:43 PM Re: After the Shot ? [Re: Wes Parrish]
buckdead
8 Point


Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2275
Loc: southern middle tn

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I wouldnt run up and grab a bird that was flapping to bad. Ive done it once and that was the last. them things will scratch and flog the crap out of ya. plus if they are floppin they aint runnin off no where.
_________________________
if your gonna be stupid you gotta be tough.

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#1135308 - 01/19/09 01:30 AM Re: After the Shot ? [Re: buckdead]
SALECREEKHUNTER
8 Point


Registered: 08/19/08
Posts: 1089
Loc: Sale Creek (backwoods), TN

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Ok thats some good info. I was gonna make the same post. I am new to turkey hunting. Last year was my first year and it really got me pumped when the gobbler's are answering your calls. I had one coming to me about 70 yards away on the property next to mine next thing i know BOOM! Come to find out, the guy that killed it wasn't even supposed to be on that property. He snuck in there early that morning. This bird had an 8 inch beard. Sorry this is so long but i have to get this off my chest lol. Then this year i had been hunting for a 13 pointer that i had on my camera several times, and the same guy snuck back in on that property and killed it the opening day of bow this year.
_________________________
"There's nothing like a nice piece of hickory" Pale Rider

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#1135497 - 01/19/09 08:34 AM Re: After the Shot ? [Re: SALECREEKHUNTER]
venator
Spike


Registered: 04/03/08
Posts: 56
Loc: Hixson

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that's some tough/shotty luck. Hope you can take care of that before it becomes a regular pattern.

Wes I really appreciate this information. Maybe I'll have a chance to put it into practice this spring! Good luck to all of ya'll

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#1135532 - 01/19/09 08:55 AM Re: After the Shot ? [Re: venator]
InfoMan
TWRA Information Officer
10 Point


Registered: 11/25/02
Posts: 3819
Loc: Morristown, TN

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Depends on how you want to cook the bird. You can put it in a oven baking bag and cook like domestic bird. Very tinder. If you don't keep all the bird, at least take the breast and also the thighs. Boil the thighs until tender and then run through a grinder or meat processor. Make some great turkey salad.

As to after the shot, a lot of turkey can magically get their feet under them and run off to hide and never be found. Put gun on safety, get to the bird and either put your foot on his neck or grab the bird by the head and lay down across the bird pulling the neck under your arm with the body behind you. This will prevent him from doing a lot of flopping.

If you grab them by the legs, you make take a pretty good thrashing from the wings and hand spuring. Quick lesson learned.

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#1136146 - 01/19/09 03:49 PM Re: After the Shot ? [Re: InfoMan]
megalomaniac
12 Point


Registered: 10/28/05
Posts: 5055
Loc: Mississippi

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 Originally Posted By: buckdead
I wouldnt run up and grab a bird that was flapping to bad. Ive done it once and that was the last. them things will scratch and flog the crap out of ya.


Learned that the first year hunting \:\)
 Originally Posted By: buckdead

plus if they are floppin they aint runnin off no where.


Learned that's a fallacy the first year also. Tons of flopping birds end up getting away if you're not careful.

Absolute hands down best thing to do after shooting a bird... Immediately run up to it, fold the wings down and sit on top of it. Accomplishes several things at once... #1 Bird can't get away #2 forces air out of the lungs and keeps them collapsed so the bird can't take another breath in, suffocating it. #3 Protects the fan and feathers from getting destroyed by the bird flopping around if you want to mount the tail or fan #4 you don't get flogged.

I've done this for 15 years or so, and everyone I've ever shown the little trick to has said it works better than anything else they've ever tried. Especially, the old 'step on the head' thing... that's a surefire way to end up with 1 1/2" hooks in your calf.

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