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Wild Turkey 2019


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ANYFISH2

Season is less than a month away, just started seeing some birds this week after "warmer" weather has arrived.

 

What is everyone else seeing as far bird numbers and where are they hanging out?

 

Hoping the winter hasnt been to rough on them and they are happy to play with us this spring.

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Ended up with a 2 year old tonight with a 9" beard and short spurs.   Was skirting me but got just close enough to take a good shot.  Was down to my last hour for the year.  So it all worked out in th

I hunted for 5 mornings and 1 evening during season B.  The last morning I was able to get 3 toms to come within 60 yards and I picked out the biggest one.  Down it went at 54 yards.  It has an 11 inc

Monday after the Rain and snow quit I decided to go sit in the woods for a few hours. I just had a feeling they would be active. I chose a spot that was fairly open, along an oak ridge. It was a spot

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BIGFISH.JZ

A friend was shed hunting this weekend and claimed to see 'dozens' of them in conifer areas. I haven't personally seen many lately but they don't spend much time on the lakes like I do. Lots of wily coyotes in my area too.

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IceHawk

Been seeing a fair amount on my propertys. Food sources have been keys lately espically open corn and manure spreads. Great to see as they needed a break. 

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monstermoose78

Seeing lots of birds turkey 🦃 time

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gimruis

I haven't seen many yet. I did see a good number of pheasants on a drive to and from Pierz the other day though.

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Borch

Been seeing a lot near food lots and corn fields.   With the fields starting to open up turkeys, deer and pheasants have been hitting the freshly exposed ground. 

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Wanderer

None for me yet but I’ve pretty much just been going back and forth from work or been on 371.  Been looking anyway though.

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paceman

I have not seen any, but I am not out in the country much yet. I need the snow to drop quite aways before I can get back to most of my spots.

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ANYFISH2

A group of 3 small Jakes were out and about this morning.  Not very big birds at all.

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Good friend found several dead birds on his farm near Ellsworth, WI, an area that I hunt hard.  He's got me worried.  I'm certain that rain then wet snow we had a couple weeks ago was the culprit.  That being said, I'm still seeing a bunch in the areas around home.

 

With 5 tags in three states, I don't remember the last time I've been this excited about an upcoming season.

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Wanderer

Sounds like a great season is on tap for you Don!  You’ll find the birds.

 

I located a flock of 5 toms over the weekend in a confined area.  Thinking it was a good score, I found out later that the landowner is planning to hunt em for the first time this year.  With his bow...  might have to look elsewhere after all.

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Wanderer

Last year’s spot will likely be my fall back spot, along with maybe checking in at that other place you mentioned before.  The good news is I just heard today the birds appear to be doing well at last year’s spot.

 

The “new” spot is a property that we seem to have “limited” permission on.

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ANYFISH2

Gotcha.

If you need a scout out this way,  just let me know.

 

Spotted 6 more this afternoon right near the house.  They usually dont show hear till mid season.

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Wanderer

I wouldn’t turn it down.  That and another burger stop. 😋  

 

Is hockey done now?

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ANYFISH2
Just now, Wanderer said:

I wouldn’t turn it down.  That and another burger stop. 😋  

 

Is hockey done now?

Sort of!!?

 

Spring hockey practice starts April 8th.  5-6 practices for the month only.  BUT,

...April means the start of Travel and JVL baseball as well.  

 

It is turkey season(scouting anyway),  I can work around athletics!

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gimruis

Now that a bunch of posters are on this thread, I'd like to know what ya'll do with your wild turkey after you harvest one.  I've tagged 8 wild turkeys in 15 seasons and I simply have not found a great way to prepare/cook one.  I took one to our venison processor about 5 years ago because he said he would smoke it for me, but I had to leave the skin on it, so I had to pluck that thing.  It took me over 2 hours to pluck it!  So ya, I aint doing that again even though it tasted decent.  I've tried baking, grilling, and crock pot.  All with different items in it and marinates ahead of time and its just not very good no matter what I do.  Last year I gave it away.  Its never downright inedible (like a goose), its just not very good.  Any suggestions?  I don't have a deep fryer and I don't have a smoker so those are not options.

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IceHawk

I have had it smoked, done appetizers, made turkey pot pies , ground into turkey burgers but my favorite is country style smoked ring sausage. I take it to my local venison processor after butchering it. He grinds it up into ring sausage adding some pork to it and smokes it in rings. This stuff is great easy to cook grill have it for breakfast lunch or supper. Just a FYI you can smoke it without plucking. I have smoked the breast meat in cheese cloth and it worked just fine. 

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ANYFISH2

We have:

Deep fryed- My favorite way, again plucking to leave skin on is best.

 

Slow cook/crockpot- most common method. I dont like plucking either this is easier.

 

Smoked- Tastes great but can get away on you and become dry.  Skin is best.

 

The key I have found is a good injection marinade.  I really like Creole butter cajun injector.  I will inject the entire jar.  Let sit overnight and cook,fry, or smoke.

I really enjoy wild turkey.

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Wanderer
4 hours ago, gimruis said:

 I don't have a deep fryer and I don't have a smoker so those are not options.

 

Those are the only 2 options I consider when thinking about wild turkey.  With injecting marinade.

 

You could cube it, marinade and grill it also.  Ive had Donbo’s done that way in the past and it was good.

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BRULEDRIFTER
6 hours ago, gimruis said:

Now that a bunch of posters are on this thread, I'd like to know what ya'll do with your wild turkey after you harvest one.  I've tagged 8 wild turkeys in 15 seasons and I simply have not found a great way to prepare/cook one.  I took one to our venison processor about 5 years ago because he said he would smoke it for me, but I had to leave the skin on it, so I had to pluck that thing.  It took me over 2 hours to pluck it!  So ya, I aint doing that again even though it tasted decent.  I've tried baking, grilling, and crock pot.  All with different items in it and marinates ahead of time and its just not very good no matter what I do.  Last year I gave it away.  Its never downright inedible (like a goose), its just not very good.  Any suggestions?  I don't have a deep fryer and I don't have a smoker so those are not options.

 

Chunk up the breasts (approx  3" long x 1" wide). Marinate in Italian dressing overnight. Wrap each chunk in bacon and grill till done.  Try not to over cook them though, might be best to start on a hot grill to crisp up the bacon, then throttle it back to finish.  

 

As for the thighs and legs, it's best to slow cook in some chicken broth for 8-12 hrs, then remove, let cool, shred the meat off all the bones and remove all the tendons (kind of a pain, but not too bad and WAY worth it).  This meat can be used for tacos/burritos, or my favorite is to toss back into crock pot with some of the broth, toss in a block of Velvetta cheese and some sour cream and let it get all gooey and yummy.  Serve on a warm hard roll with some a hot pepper mix. Cheesy turkey sammiches! 

Edited by BRULEDRIFTER
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leech~~

I smoked one a few years ago on my old smoker and it turned out pretty nice. Smoke with water under it and keep it basted and wrap it in foil the last hour or so if your worried about it drying out. Only did the breast since it's the only thing worth eating!  😉

10349899_1524589404455716_4794789310565800697_n.jpg

Edited by leech~~
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monstermoose78

I cube it fry in bacon grease and and make it into a wild rice hot dish 

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paceman

For me the best is to smoke it. I can drop the whole bird off at a local processor. I am not required to butcher or anything. Usually done in 3-4 weeks. I have heard good things of baking it with the bag method but I have not tried that yet.

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On 3/27/2019 at 5:01 PM, leech~~ said:

Only did the breast since it's the only thing worth eating!  😉

10349899_1524589404455716_4794789310565800697_n.jpg

 

This is SO not true. Please don't waste those legs and thighs. There's a lot of good meat there. Crock-Pot them till fall apart tender, use for tacos, enchiladas, burritos.  Use for soups or stews or my favorite, pot pies.

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Our favorite way of preparing the breast (outside of smoking) is to cut each half breast into 4-6 large pieces, roll in flower/bread crumbs, brown well in butter. Add a can of cream of mushroom to a baking pan, add the breast pieces along with potato chunks, carrots, green beans, anything you like. Cover and bake at 250-350 depending on how much time you have, till tender. Enjoy.

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monstermoose78

I saw a group of Jakes today must been 30 or more of the run across highway 95

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paceman

The open fields and pastures have made good progress for melting the snow. Some bare spots on the hill tops. Still 2' of snow in the woods but with this warmer forecast I think we will be in good shape by the opener in 2 weeks. I don't have anything scouted yet but will try to get out soon.

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IceHawk

Looking good around hear been hearing them gobbling on there roosts early morning and once on the ground the hens also have been very vocal makes scouting a lot easier. Still a little amount of snow left in woods in spots but fields are nice and muddy making looking for tracks and  activity very easy. Still seeing bigger wintering flocks but a few warm days will have them breaking up. 

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I cook skinned turkey in an oven bag with a couple apples in body cavity. The key is to not overcook. About an hour less than a domestic turkey. Use a meat thermometer.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • TrueNorth
      Global warming. 
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      The harbor in Tower is frozen over.  Pike Bay has a little skim ice along some shores.  Big Bay was 48F yesterday.  I am worried about my boat and unheated trailer in Soudan so I am heading up Wednesday and will report on lake conditions by Thursday.  Only have small electric heaters in the trailer so it will be cold until I get a new LP tank installed on Friday.
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      This season got off to a slow start after my son got his first ever bird on his first youth opener. Parker's first shot at a duck or goose got him a ten pound Canada goose. Early regular season netted a few bluewing teal, wood ducks, and a mallard, but we weren't seeing as many birds in central MN as we usually do early in the season. With the cold fronts and even some snow lately, things have picked up with us decoying mallards, pintails, greenwing teal, shovelers, canvasbacks, ringnecks, redheads, and bluebills. Worried about an early freeze up with the current weather and forecasted weather, but we shall see. Good luck, and I will see you out there somewhere.
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    • JBMasterAngler
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      I live on the north side of Pike Bay was helping our lady friend down the road pull her dock out last night. To my surprise there were ice chunks floating in the dock area. You may be all right for next weekend for open water, but if this current trend keeps up, it won't be long after that. Tourists are gone, seasonal cabin owners are thinning, cabin lights across the bay at night are far and few. I will now begin my annual hibernation, seems like it's been going on forever with the covid virus and all. You all stay safe.  
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