Mathews Inc.
799 mile TURK
Small Game
Contributors to this thread:
Paul@thefort 02-May-24
t-roy 02-May-24
Keepitreal 02-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
ND String Puller 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Charlie Rehor 03-May-24
sitO 03-May-24
Phil Magistro 03-May-24
Scrappy 03-May-24
Treeline 03-May-24
iceman 03-May-24
TMac 03-May-24
4nolz@work 03-May-24
RonP 03-May-24
Insheart 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Supernaut 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
be still 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
JohnMC 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
Chief 419 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 03-May-24
TMac 03-May-24
fastflight 03-May-24
Lewis 03-May-24
t-roy 03-May-24
Stoneman 03-May-24
VAMtns 03-May-24
Treeline 03-May-24
Bowfreak 03-May-24
buckeye 03-May-24
ND String Puller 03-May-24
Brotsky 03-May-24
4nolz@work 03-May-24
hawkeye in PA 03-May-24
Duke 03-May-24
Paul@thefort 04-May-24
midwest 05-May-24
Paul@thefort 05-May-24
midwest 05-May-24
Paul@thefort 05-May-24
drycreek 05-May-24
goelk 05-May-24
Jaquomo 05-May-24
huntinelk 05-May-24
MA-PAdeerslayer 05-May-24
Beav 07-May-24
Paul@thefort 07-May-24
Paul@thefort 07-May-24
Paul@thefort 07-May-24
Paul@thefort 07-May-24
Paul@thefort 07-May-24
Paul@thefort 07-May-24
Paul@thefort 07-May-24
otcWill 07-May-24
Shug 07-May-24
Paul@thefort 07-May-24
Paul@thefort 07-May-24
Paul@thefort 07-May-24
Paul@thefort 07-May-24
Paul@thefort 07-May-24
Paul@thefort 07-May-24
Paul@thefort 07-May-24
midwest 08-May-24
Paul@thefort 08-May-24
Treeline 08-May-24
Shiloh 08-May-24
hawg 08-May-24
SBH 08-May-24
Paul@thefort 08-May-24
Paul@thefort 08-May-24
tobywon 08-May-24
goelk 08-May-24
LTG 11 09-May-24
Paul@thefort 09-May-24
Paul@thefort 14-May-24
Grey Ghost 15-May-24
Paul@thefort 15-May-24
Bowboy 15-May-24
From: Paul@thefort
02-May-24

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A 799 mile round trip for a turkey? You bet!

From: t-roy
02-May-24
Looks like he’s giving you the stink eye, Paul!

From: Keepitreal
02-May-24

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Great picture paul. I went about that far to the black hills but missed the shot.

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24
I grew up in Ohio where many farms and wood lots dotted the landscape. When I hunt turkeys in eastern Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas, I see much the same; interesting country but not breath taking environment. Traveling west on I-70 from Denver to Grand Junction; tons of geological eye candy that makes the trip enjoyable. So let take a road trip to turkey hunt in far western Colorado.

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

03-May-24
Bring it!

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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Leaving Ft. Collins. Will be truck camping for 5 days if needed. Some of the 2 rut back country road are too rough for hauling a camper.
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Leaving Ft. Collins. Will be truck camping for 5 days if needed. Some of the 2 rut back country road are too rough for hauling a camper.

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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While still in the flat land between Ft. Collins and Denver, just a few mile to the west is the Divide separating the Front Range of Colorado from the West Range. Still some snow up high.
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While still in the flat land between Ft. Collins and Denver, just a few mile to the west is the Divide separating the Front Range of Colorado from the West Range. Still some snow up high.

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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Turning west at Denver the mile high city at 5280 ft above sea level.
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Turning west at Denver the mile high city at 5280 ft above sea level.

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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Still climbing, One hand on the steering wheel and the other on the camera.
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Still climbing, One hand on the steering wheel and the other on the camera.

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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Mountain where I killed my Big Horn Sheep in 1997
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Mountain where I killed my Big Horn Sheep in 1997

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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Eisenhower Tunnel
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Eisenhower Tunnel

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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Light at the end
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Light at the end

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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03-May-24

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From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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Glenwood Canyon
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Glenwood Canyon

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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Now I am paralleling the Colorado River all the way to Grand Junction. Almost there.

As many of us do on a road trip, we see places that might hold deer, elk, big horn sheep, and other critters. I also look at the Colorado River and say,' I bet that spot holds some good trout.' Leaving the snow behind for a while. Entering the gas and oil rifts of Western Colorado but also a great place to hunt elk and mule deer.

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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Grand Junction area
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Grand Junction area

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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heading south to the plateau and turkey country but not the type of turkey habitat one might be use to. Should be at turkey camp just before dark and fly up time
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heading south to the plateau and turkey country but not the type of turkey habitat one might be use to. Should be at turkey camp just before dark and fly up time

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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Good to be off the hard top and on the two rut road. Another 11 miles to camp. The sun is getting lower. Hope to hear a tom gobble when I get here, Have to hurry.
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Good to be off the hard top and on the two rut road. Another 11 miles to camp. The sun is getting lower. Hope to hear a tom gobble when I get here, Have to hurry.

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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Hey, elk across the road. and then mule deer
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Hey, elk across the road. and then mule deer

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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did I say this is elk country?
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did I say this is elk country?
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03-May-24
Rambling, traveling man. Good for you.

From: sitO
03-May-24
Another great adventure, thanks for bringing us along Paul, and do good!

03-May-24
Beautiful country.

From: Scrappy
03-May-24
Thank you Sir for taking us along. Good luck

From: Treeline
03-May-24
Looks familiar…. I might have been down that road a time or two…

From: iceman
03-May-24
Get 'em!

From: TMac
03-May-24
Thanks for taking us along. Good luck Paul.

From: 4nolz@work
03-May-24
I just drove to SW Iowa from Florida 2510 miles round trip for my annual Iowa turkey hunt.For 1 turkey the gas cost is making it harder to do.

From: RonP
03-May-24
thanks for taking us along, i look forward to reading more.

from the back, your truck looks like a second gen tacoma? is it? how many miles?

From: Insheart
03-May-24
The "killing machine" is at it again. :) Just wondering,, do you eat the gizzard and heart from the turkey?

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24
So here I am in 4 wheel drive trying to get to my camping spot before sundown so maybe I can hear a gobble at fly up. My 15 year old Tacoma is doing good but I still have to baby her. On the trip here, along with beautiful geological eye candy, I have spotted Big Horn Sheep near Empire, two mule deer as I passed Glenwood Springs, one coyote near Silt, two turkeys along the highway near Palisade and now this large concentration of elk as I near my destination. Traveling over a rough 2 rut road, slow, sun in setting. Ok, here! Grab up the box call and hurry to a high advantage point 200 yards away and in the direction I know there might be a tom a two. I call with a loud hen cackle. Nothing, I call again. Off in the distance, a gobble. Well at least one tom is around. What is the saying, yea. " Roosted is not roasted". Morning will tell.

5 am comes fast. I load up the DB T2 blind, 4 decoys, folding seat, backpack, bow, snacks, water and head out but only have to go 1/4 mile to my hunting site. I have hunted this spot a few times and kill 3 tom so I know the area, but I also have to intel that two toms have been killed in the area at the start of the season by shotgunners. Wil be light in 30 minutes.

From: Supernaut
03-May-24
Safe travels and happy hunting Paul, good luck sir!

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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Now understand, this is not your typical turkey habitat, no farm fields and wood lots and gently rolling landscapes. Just the opposite.

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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Just to let you know I have kill two toms at this spot. this one three years ago. Nice one acre pasture, small pond, surround by oak brush and tall Ponderosa Pines. I set up the DB in the exact place, put out the decoys at 15 yards, walk over to the tree edge and box call cackle. Gobble, Gobble far down the hill. First light is coming. I answer back with a few tree- hen yelps. One light gobble. Back in the blind for more action.

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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Shooting light came and went. I called and called. Nothing. An hour later, one light gobble heading off to the west and then nothing. Did I say NOTHING for the next 10 hours. Well almost nothing, a hen a sundown came by. OK, maybe tomorrow.

Back at the blind the follow morning, same routine = NOTHING. AT 9:30 am, hiked down the trail towards the roost area. Nothing except a few hunter boot tracks left in the drying out mud. Circles around a mile, calling along the way. Nothing. Time for Plan B.

Plan B was to pack up the truck and head down the 2 rut road and deeper into the forest at least 2- 3 miles. the road will be rougher and there may be some washouts. I have been on this section of road before so I knew what to expect. Low gear and 4 wheel creeper. I should be there in a hour. Down the hill, across the creek, up the other side, slow, not to get into the ruts and washouts and not to scrape the truck with over hanging oak brush limbs. Did I say washout! but was able to creep past.

From: be still
03-May-24
This is a good thread. Thank you for posting and good luck!

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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Another 1/2 mile to the top of the hill and some flat county. Still pine and oak brush with a few good openings where cattle have been grazing over the years. Easier traveling and better road. I creep along and stopped once in a while to call. Nothing but a few turk tracks in the mud along the road. Good sign. I am almost to where I want to hunt, within 100 yards. I turned off the truck and listened. Was that a gobble at 11 am? Sure enough. There he is as was evident with the binoculars on the other side of a large pasture traveling along the field line. He gobble 10 more time as he traveled and then disappeared into the forest. It was time for action so parked the truck, loaded up the "stuff" and headed to a place to set up at the high side of this meadow. Maybe I can call him back. I have 8 hours in the blind to try to do so.

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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This tom answered back a few times but from a distance. At 1 pm I see movement in the brush 50 yards away. Wait, that is no turkey coming to my calling and my decoys. A BEAR! A quick flash back two years ago, in the other spot where I bear ripped and bite 12 holes in the Dark Horse blind and carried away this very Jake decoy which I was able to repair both. The bear was on his way past, but now I had doubts, to leave up the blind over night.

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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Clouding up as predicted with scattered rain and some hail but not a ton of rain, just enough to keep the dust down. It thundered a few time and that tom off in the distance would gobble and did a few hens. Speaking of hens, around 4 pm I hear a lot of hen speak behind me and here they come into the pasture and moving along toward where they would roost in a few hours. Scratching and pecking along the way. A few are interested in the decoys but the hens do not have their brains in their "pants" as the toms might do at this time of breeding season.

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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I look up at see these elk in the field. Now 5 PM

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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6;30 PM these jakes show up coming from the same direction at the hens had and heading across the pasture to the tall trees beyond. Most likely the roost area for both. They showed little interest in the decoy setup but two came close but headed away.

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24
Now just before dark and I needed to make a move across the pasture and where the turkeys had headed into the timber. I have not seen of heard the mature tom or any other gobbles that might indicate there were other mature toms in the area. I made the move quickly and headed back to the truck. Tomorrow is May 1st. Maybe some good luck.

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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I awoke late and had to hurry but was parked only a quick sprint away. Had the bear changed its mind and visited the blind? Would the mature tom show up? Would I be heading home without a shot or a turkey? All of these questions would be answered in the next hour or so. Back in the new blind, looking across the pasture where the blind had been the day before. Come on turks!

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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Within a few minutes these two hens show up and are interested in the decoys. Good to have live decoys. but then from the side window, another hen hen shows and then on comes the jake flock from the night before.

From: JohnMC
03-May-24
Good luck Paul. Next thing we know you will be texting and driving! ;)

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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So as the saying goes," a bird in the hand is worth two in the brush". I had not heard any mature toms and needed to make a decision. Shoot or no shoot! The jakes started move away to 22 yards per the range finder.. Bow up, draw, place the 20 yards pin just a bit higher on the largest Jake. Arrow on its way. Whack! Good hit as the bird stumbles away and crashed 30 yards away, followed by the rest of the flock.

From: Chief 419
03-May-24
Those turkeys don’t stand a chance. Tuned in!

From: Paul@thefort
03-May-24

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I had made a good choice to move the blind and found the correct place next to a few large pines. The turkeys came before sun rise to a short hunt for sure that morning. If I had heard other mature toms I would have stayed with the hope one would show up but the choice was made to shoot or no shoot. Another successful hunt and in this case. ' Roosted is Roasted.' Now I get to travel back and see all of that good eye candy in reverse but with a smile on my face. My best, Paul Ps, If you noticed, the "fan" on the jake decoy. That fan/decoy is from an Heads Up decoy I place behind the fanless jake decoy for a different effect. Seemed to have worked. We know that a picture is worth a 1000 words but I thought I would tell the story with more pictures and add in a few more "words". Now you know the rest of the story.

From: TMac
03-May-24
Excellent! Nice work Paul!

From: fastflight
03-May-24
Loved the story and all the pictures. I like turkey hunting but seeing bear and elk would take it to another level.

From: Lewis
03-May-24
Congrats again for the hundredth time lol ?? great job and thanks again for sharing can’t wait to grow up and be like Paul stay safe Lewis

From: t-roy
03-May-24
You’re as consistent as the sun coming up in the morning, Paul! Congratulations on yet another successful hunt!

From: Stoneman
03-May-24
Congrats on a great trip Paul!

Thanks for sharing.

From: VAMtns
03-May-24
WTG

From: Treeline
03-May-24
Awesome, Paul! Congratulations!

From: Bowfreak
03-May-24
Congrats Paul. Thanks for sharing.

From: buckeye
03-May-24
What a trip ! Safe travels Paul. And thank you for another great story.

03-May-24
Way to go Paul, your adventures are the best! And thanks, for taking the time to post!

From: Brotsky
03-May-24
Congrats Paul! Well done sir!

From: 4nolz@work
03-May-24
Nice hunt writeup enjoyed it

03-May-24
Congratulations Paul, enjoyed the story.

From: Duke
03-May-24
Great adventure, as always, Paul!!! Congrats and thanks for bring us along.

From: Paul@thefort
04-May-24
Thanks for following along on this adventure. The whole turkey is now soaking in brine for 2 days and then will be oven roasted for it final "life" on this earth. My best, Paul

From: midwest
05-May-24
WTG Paul!! That is some beautiful turkey country! Thanks for the recap and pics!

From: Paul@thefort
05-May-24

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Unique turkey country for sure. Brined turkey for 24 hours, now ready of the oven. From field to table. YUM.

From: midwest
05-May-24
Paul, did you pluck the bird while it was still steamin or take it home and scald it or what?

From: Paul@thefort
05-May-24
IN the field, gutted it, cut off the wings, head, lower legs, hung it up to bleed out well, then in the cooler with snow in a bag to keep it cool on the way home. At home, hand plucked it, feathers wet. Mixed up three gal of brine, and poured over bird while in plastic bag, and then placed in cooler, with ice, for two days. Hoping for a good oven roasted turkey. Will post the results. My best, Paul

From: drycreek
05-May-24
I could hear “Ramblin’ Man” by the Allman Brothers playing in the background while looking at those road pics Paul (R. I. P. Dickie Betts). To paraphrase John Belushi in the movie “Animal House”, Paul came, Paul saw, Paul kicked ass ! Animals beware when Paul starts packing his stuff ! Another great thread !

From: goelk
05-May-24
congrats Paul Thanks for sharing. I completed making my arrows with the turkey feathers you gave me. Thank you again

From: Jaquomo
05-May-24
Great job again, Paul!

From: huntinelk
05-May-24
Congratulations Paul, another great adventure

05-May-24
I would not want to be an animal Paul was after! Talk about bad luck if he’s after you. Congrats Paul. Like T-Roy said, as consistent as the sun coming up! Keep at it!

From: Beav
07-May-24
Great job as usual Paul!! You never fail to entertain us!!

From: Paul@thefort
07-May-24

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Ok step 1. Find and kill a turkey

From: Paul@thefort
07-May-24

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Step 2. Gut, clean and Pluck off all feathers

From: Paul@thefort
07-May-24
Step 3, soak in brine for 24 hours. I used, specialized salt, brown sugar, minces garlic, Worcestershire, and ground pepper. I placed turkey in a plastic bag with ingrediencies, in cooler and added ice on top.

From: Paul@thefort
07-May-24

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Step 4. pat down turkey to dry and then coat with butter, and apply ground pepper on top. Might not need to add salt as salt was in the brine. Also, do not wash off the brine.

From: Paul@thefort
07-May-24
Step 5, fill turkey cavity with two chopped up apples and one onion..

From: Paul@thefort
07-May-24

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Step 6. Place completed turkey in oven roasting bag. I added one cup of chicken broth in bag for more moisture. Follow directions for bag use, ie, flour inside of bag and cut 6 one inch slits on top to let out steam

From: Paul@thefort
07-May-24

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Step 7, place in oven, prewarmed to 350. 15 -20 minutes per pound. Est weight 12 pounds.

What is for dinner? You guessed it! A spring Thanksgiving turkey.

From: otcWill
07-May-24
Attaboy Paul!

From: Shug
07-May-24
Very cool congrats

From: Paul@thefort
07-May-24

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Step 8. Out of the oven after 2.5 hours at 350 degrees. 10-12 # bird

From: Paul@thefort
07-May-24
Step 9. Carve after resting bird for 15 minutes

From: Paul@thefort
07-May-24

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From: Paul@thefort
07-May-24

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Step 10. for the plate

From: Paul@thefort
07-May-24

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Step 11, set the table

From: Paul@thefort
07-May-24
Step 12, A grand meal of wild turkey from the field to the plate. What could be better?

PS, The brining and using the oven bag made all of the difference in making this a great tasting meal. Bon Appetit

From: Paul@thefort
07-May-24

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Paul@thefort's embedded Photo

From: midwest
08-May-24
Looks delish!

From: Paul@thefort
08-May-24
Nick, the apples and the chicken broth added a lot of moisture to the meat plus the bag kept in that moisture. Some additional broth was used on the meat just before eating. The dark meat of the legs was best ever. There is meat left over for turkey meat sandwiches and in a salad.. I asked Tricia, "can I go turkey hunting again?. She said, "YOU BET". You know what they say about a happy wife.

From: Treeline
08-May-24
Wow! That preparation is a new one for me for turkeys... Saving this one.

I will have to give it a go on the next one. I have tried wild turkey legs before and they were not good. Too full of tendon and cartilage. If your brine, add butter and apple for moisture, bag, and bake it sounds like that leg meat is worth keeping...

From: Shiloh
08-May-24
Ok Mr. Paul…..I have never found a way to eat and actually enjoy wild turkey legs. Can you attest that the legs were actually good and tender or are you going to need ibuprofen for a sore jaw??? I think more people get hung up on how good it looks, but I trust you…..

From: hawg
08-May-24
I know I'm not the only one who does this but I slow cook the legs and thighs in the oven in bag or foil covered pan with moisture (brine, etc.) until the meat falls off the bone and tendons. I remove ALL the meat and after cooling in the fridge I chop it in a food processor and add mayo, relish, onion...whatever...and make a spread for sandwiches or crackers. Those of you throwing the legs and thighs away are missing out on some really simple good eating.

Paul, you continue to inspire...thanks.

From: SBH
08-May-24
Love it Paul. Thanks for the tale and congrats on another successful adventure

From: Paul@thefort
08-May-24
I have kill over 70 wild turkey and in the past have process the breast meat for burger ( add 10% thick cut bacon) and the legs and thighs, in a crock pot with a large can of cream of mushroom soup. Both methods have turned out well. After 5 hrs in the crock pot, the leg/thigh meat can be pulled off the bone very easy, and one ends up with tender dark meat, to place on rice or noodles. Also add carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, etc in the pot.

Eating the meat off of the oven baked legs can be somewhat difficult so cut if off the best one can if one chooses. If one over cooks the breasts/ legs, I can see there might be difficulty in chewing off the leg/thigh meat. This one turned out great.

Thanks for all of the good comments. My best, Paul

What I has accomplished above, we will do again in the oven, after brining it.

From: Paul@thefort
08-May-24

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and nothing like an after "Thanksgiving" turkey sandwich. One bite at a time.

From: tobywon
08-May-24
Congrats Paul, looks great!!

From: goelk
08-May-24
nice Paul !

From: LTG 11
09-May-24

LTG 11's Link
Congrats Paul! Love following along and thanks for sharing.

Crockpot carnitas tacos is my go to. Saute in oil, honey, and chipotle seasoning. Use the same crockpot part and make white turkey chili #2 for legs and thighs.

From: Paul@thefort
09-May-24
Logan, YUM x 10. Will try that next season. Thank you. Paul

From: Paul@thefort
14-May-24
Deernut, How can you recover a lost turkey might be the question?

From: Grey Ghost
15-May-24
That’s a lot of miles for a dumb jake, Paul. But then, I drive 4000 miles every year to catch a fish that I release, so I can’t judge. :-)

From: Paul@thefort
15-May-24
Yea, but that dumb jake sure did eat well. Tarpon, not so much but fun to catch on the fly. Had three on one trip years ago, but never landed one. Still on the bucket list. My best, Paul

From: Bowboy
15-May-24
Thanks for posting and he looks tasty.

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