They’re Baaack! Turkey Time Just Around The Corner

March 9, 2014

2014_first_turkeysOh yeah!  After hearing them in the distance last week, I heard them much closer Saturday morning.  I ran back in and grabbed the box call and offered up a couple of gentle yelps, and was immediately rewarded with at least two very loud gobbles.  Then there was clucking and yelping…

I stood on the porch for a few more minutes and listened as it sounded like an army of birds was working their way up the canyon toward me.  In a few minutes, I could see them through the junipers on my neighbor’s place.  I watched for a little while, and then went back inside for more coffee.

About an hour later, I caught movement out in the barn pasture.  Two toms and four or five hens were poking through the new grass, moving contentedly… as if they’d been living here all year.

Turkey season opens on Saturday the 15th.  I think I’m ready.  How about ya’ll?


3 Responses to “They’re Baaack! Turkey Time Just Around The Corner”

  1. They’re Baaack! Turkey Time Just Around The Corner | on March 9th, 2014 12:44

    […] They’re Baaack! Turkey Time Just Around The Corner […]

  2. Bruce Cherry on March 10th, 2014 10:59

    Turkey season here in Hawaii opened March 1. I’ll be going out for the first time this Thursday, up to the east side of Mauna Kea. There are so many turkeys in the suburbs and rural parts of Kona that people who know I hunt them think it’s a joke. I’ve got hens and toms in my yard every single day and when you drive down the smaller streets you need to stop/swerve/evade the toms that are standing in the road strutting their stuff. But once you get back into the hunting areas, it’s a different tune. They are very wary and almost impossible to call in. My success has been with spot and stalk. A hunting license for the entire year here is ten bucks and during the autumn bird season, the limit on turkeys is one per day. During the bearded turkey hunt, which is the month of March, you need tags and the limit is 2 per season. The tags, which you also need for certain archery goat/sheep hunts, are free. Now, on to the important question:

    The toms I have taken in the past are really tough when it comes to eating. The only way they are semi-edible is to crock pot them. Does anyone have any recipes for turning leathery toms into something pleasant to eat?

    Now for the hard part. ? times two = 16. Where’s my slide rule?

  3. Phillip on March 10th, 2014 11:54

    Sounds like fun, Bruce, but yeah… turkeys in the ‘burbs. Sounds like California. And they get so acclimated to people, they seem like dumb birds. Folks who’ve never tried to hunt one in the wild just don’t understand. Although, on the other hand, I’ve found that if your timing is right, they can be pretty dumb in the wild too.

    As far as cooking them, you might take a look at Hank Shaw’s page for some ideas. A big, old tom can definitely be kinda chewy… especially if you skin it instead of plucking (and plucking one, especially after it’s had a chance to cool down, is a pain). One thing a lot of guys do is to separate the breast from the other parts. The breast is easier to make palatable, while wings, back, legs, and thighs pretty much have to be slow-cooked. A trick I might have picked up from Hank, or from a cooking show, is poaching the breast instead of roasting or grilling. Brining can also make a difference.

    Personally, I don’t hold out for the big tom (but I’ll shoot him if he gives me the chance). The jakes are great eats and much easier to deal with in the kitchen.

    Oh… and time to retire the slide rule. There’s a calculator right in your computer.