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Old November 22, 2017, 11:38 PM   #1
tony pasley
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Did you shoot your turkey?

I did Happy Thanksgiving
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Old November 23, 2017, 08:45 AM   #2
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Good for you Tony. That is one hunt I've never done. But?
I do have a question? Every time I've seen the birds being butchered on TV. It seems only the breast meat is preferred. Not making use of the entire bird seems kind of ~~wasteful to me.
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Old November 23, 2017, 09:30 AM   #3
dahermit
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Quote:
I do have a question? Every time I've seen the birds being butchered on TV. It seems only the breast meat is preferred. Not making use of the entire bird seems kind of ~~wasteful to me.
I have observed such wasteful practices with Pheasant, Ducks, Geese, and Ruffed Grouse. It is either lazyness or ignorance or a combination of both. They do not want to take the time to correctly process those birds.

Ducks and Geese: Pull as many primary feathers as possible without ripping the skin. Fill a galvanized garbage can with water and build a fire under it and get the water almost to the boiling point. Drop in a couple cakes of paraffin and dunk the ungutted bird in the water until the melted wax infiltrates all the feathers. Set aside to cool. When cool, peel the caked feathers and wax from the bird. The bird will look like something that is available in a grocery store.

All other (non-waterfowl) birds: Fill a galvanized garbage can with water and build a fire under it and get the water almost to the boiling point. Dunk the bird up and down to "scald" a few times and pluck the loosened feathers. The bird will look like something that is available in a grocery store.

The birds cooked with the skin intact will be juicy and flavorful whereas skinless pieces of birds are usually dry and unappetizing. Wild birds can be a culinary delight or disgusting...it is up to you.
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Old November 23, 2017, 10:10 AM   #4
OzeanJaeger
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A wild turkey isn’t like the ones in the store, period. There is 1/10 as much fat, and a wild bird actually uses its legs and wings, making them tough and sinuey. Unless you cook them in a very wet method, or cut those off and cook them separately, those turn out like turkey flavored shoe leather. There’s not much meat to begin with, so most people do it once or twice and start breasting them.

I’d never breast a pheasant, but I certainly will breast a dove or a duck. I’ll pluck a Canada, or a quail but not every time. I’d like to see you pluck 100 snows.

Why do you waste all the feathers like that!?! I use them to tie flies, and that stuff adds up buying it in a ziplock at the fly shop.

Why do people waste the skins? I’ve got a traditional brain tanning method that makes buck skin turn out soft as Egyptian cotton!

There’s always going to be someone who renders fat, grinds the bones to meal, eats or uses the organ meats, pickles the duck feet, etc. Good for them.

IMO, take the game legally and it’s yours to do with as you like. People who hunt a lot and for whom wild game is regularly part of their famly’s table figure out what works for them. I know guys who filet trout. I might roll my eyes privately, but it’s their catch and they can do what they like. I don’t care to tell them they’re doing it wrong, because they may not be.
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Old November 23, 2017, 12:08 PM   #5
Dufus
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I shot a couple early on, but no more. Wild turkey tastes terrible. Same thing with me and ducks.
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Old November 23, 2017, 06:40 PM   #6
dahermit
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I’d like to see you pluck 100 snows.
In what jurisdiction are you allowed to legally take 100 snow geese?
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Old November 23, 2017, 08:10 PM   #7
OzeanJaeger
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Double

Last edited by OzeanJaeger; November 23, 2017 at 09:31 PM.
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Old November 23, 2017, 09:30 PM   #8
OzeanJaeger
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Here it’s 20 per day with no limit in possession. I generally hunt with 6-8 guys out of eliminator coffins, we set out 200-400 flags and deeks, and we regularly shoot 100 if not more. It takes a while to breast them all. If we plucked it would take days.
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Old November 23, 2017, 10:01 PM   #9
TXAZ
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Yes, with Boomer. The feathers flew when the 750 grain .50 cal hit him, and he vaporized into thin air
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Old November 23, 2017, 10:56 PM   #10
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Yep.....and, boy, were the people at Wal-Mart upset with me!

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Old November 24, 2017, 06:24 PM   #11
bamaranger
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wild turkey

O-jaeger is telling it straight. On a mature wild turkey, the legs are near inedible. A wild bird walks all day, and he can walk a human into the ground an any given spring morning you try and keep one in hearing distance. Mature turkey legs are TOUGH. And jake legs are little better, though we've tried them a time or two in the interest of using the whole carcass.

My mom, bless her heart, whole roasted the first couple of birds I killed as a kid for Thanksgiving, but the consensus of all at the table was that the breast was the only decent fare. Here in N. Alabama, there is no fall turkey season, in S. Alabama, there is a limited "gobbler only" season, at least there used to be, I've not even checked in recent years.

Dedicated Fall "gobbler only" hunting is one of those ancient arts, practiced in my youth by quiet, lone wolf, brown faced old men in brimmed felt hats, that shared none of their secrets with anybody!!!

I limited out on spring gobblers this year, but our Thanksgiving Day bird came from ALDI.
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Old November 24, 2017, 07:07 PM   #12
GarandTd
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Nope.
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Old November 25, 2017, 07:43 PM   #13
turkeestalker
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Admittedly breasting out a wild turkey does seem wasteful, but what others have said is the absolute truth in my experience.

Not this year, my mother cooked a couple of store bought breasts as the main course and I added a couple of venison sirloin roasts to compliment them.
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Old November 26, 2017, 12:43 PM   #14
Mavrik
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Twice I have harvested my thanksgiving turkey in the past, unfortunately I haven't had time in recent years to go fall turkey hunting.

In both cases we have prepared the Turkey the same way as we do for a store bought one. Shown below was one of them, somewhere I have a picture of my kid putting stuffing in the Turkey but I can't find it.

It was a large turkey and after plucking, prepping, etc it weighed 18-19 pounds when ready for the oven. We ate pretty much the entire bird, both light and dark meat, just about the only thing that didn't get eaten was the skin (and much complaining ensued from two of the relatives that normally fight over the skin).

There are some caveat's

1. We soaked the turkey in a brine/seasoning solution overnight prior to roasting.

2. When roasted the turkey covered to keep as much moisture in as possible.

3. It almost didn't fit in our oven because of different shape.
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Old November 26, 2017, 01:02 PM   #15
buck460XVR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamaranger View Post
O-jaeger is telling it straight. On a mature wild turkey, the legs are near inedible.
^^^Yep. I too used to pluck my birds whole and try to keep the skin intact and my wife would roast the whole bird. Soon discovered it wasn't worth the effort, not for the little bit of edible/desirable meat that was left after breasting. Much easier to find shot pellets, if any, in the breast when the breast is filleted out. 5 minutes of cleaning my kill compared to an hour or so doesn't seem like a waste to me, especially since, IMHO, the meat is virtually inedible anyway.

As for grouse and woodcock....I breast them too, again the little bit of meat on the rest of them ain't hardly worth the effort. Pheasants it depends. Most of the time I salvage all I can off them, but still skin and debone them, instead of plucking them whole. I gave up on waterfowl years ago because hunting them competed with bow hunting and other upland game. It also had to do with what I preferred to eat. Grew up on home raised ducks and geese and still enjoy them. Wild ones not so much. Same goes for rabbit. Have a coop out back with a dozen destined soon for the frying pan, but gave up on their wild cousins because I don't enjoy eating them. Don't mean I chastise anyone for enjoying them or for doing things different than me....just another case of different strokes for different folks.

BTW, there is a fall turkey in the freezer, but we had a butterball for Thanksgiving.
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Old December 1, 2017, 07:59 PM   #16
North East Redneck
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No, I don't bother with them. Primarily hunt whitetail. Pheasant breast is excellent eating, wild turkey not so much from the few times I've tried it. Not a big fan of duck either.
To all the turkey hunters, you have my respect. Turkeys are wily devil's. Not at all easy to shoot.
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