They’re not just for Thanksgiving anymore! In fact, America’s wild turkeys are as much a sign that spring is here as the Easter bunny. With eyesight that puts an eagle to shame and an all-too-often reluctance to come within range despite the lively “conversation” between bird and a hunter’s slate call, spring turkey seasons are a challenge that see camo-clad, shotgunners head to the woods and fields in droves.
There are four subspecies in the Lower 48. The Eastern is the most prolific, having made a stunning comeback over the last decades—with lots of help from people like those at the National Wild Turkey Federation—after near decimation in the early 1900s. You’ll find it almost everywhere in the Eastern U.S. and even into Canada. The Osceola turkey is on the other end, with the most limited distribution and germane only to South Florida. North and west in the ponderosa pines of states from New Mexico to South Dakota you’ll find the Merriam’s subspecies with its distinguishing white bands of rump and tail end feathers, while the windy plains from Texas to Utah are the range of the Rio Grande.
For more information see our friends at the National Wild Turkey Federation.
While turkeys are typically shot when standing still, keep in mind that the bird’s head/neck area represents a small target, especially out at forty yards. The key to patterning your turkey shotgun is to be sure you have an adequate pattern density at typical turkey hunting ranges. Watch this video on patterning your turkey gun and then head out to the range to be sure your choke/load combination is on target.
https://youtu.be/7sVCB508XdYHave you ever considered expanding your hunting party and family with a hunting dog? A four-legged partner is the perfect hunting +ONE to make your trips afield more memorable.
Ingredients1 pound venison backstrap or top round cut across the grain into thin strips ¼-cup cornstarch 2 teaspoons brown sugar 6 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce ¼-cup rice wine vinegar 1 teaspoon sesame oil ½-teaspoon black pepper 2 bell peppers, roughly chopped 1 large red onion, sliced 3 tablespoons grapeseed or peanut oil Hot cooked rice
Start by heating a wok or heavy cast iron pan over high heat. Add the oil.[caption id="attachment_3277" align="aligncenter" width="650"] When the oil is hot, stir-fry the venison until just browned on all surfaces. Remove the meat from the wok and keep warm.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3278" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Add the peppers and onions to the wok or pan. Cook, stirring often, for six to eight minutes until the peppers and onions have softened slightly.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3279" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Return the venison to the pot with the peppers and onions. Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, hoisin, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and black pepper. Stir to combine.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3280" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Whisk the corn starch into ½-cup of water. Pour the mixture into the pot and bring to a boil until the sauce has thickened. Stir once more to evenly coat everything in sauce.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3281" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Serve over a bed of hot cooked rice.[/caption]
Try Out More Recipes with NSSF’s Game Meat Cooking Series
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF4EE32869227CCE5Where hunter and classically trained chef Georgia Pellegrini shares recipes from her book, "Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time."