Anonymous asked in SportsOutdoor RecreationHunting · 4 weeks ago

Any hunters here ever shoot their own Thanksgiving turkey?

Does that typically come out as a better tasting meal than if you just buy a Butterball turkey at the grocery store?

Also how hard is it to prepare?

I'm kind of a newbie at hunting, just been deer hunting with my Uncle. though this is something I wouldn't mind trying.

6 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago

    I did once a long time ago.  It turned out ok but was an ordeal.  Lower temps cooking, constant basting, a bit stronger flavor and a cracked tooth that had to wait 3 days for repair.  Shot pellet in the thigh.  Oh, the hazards of hunted birds.  I buy commercial now.  No shot pellets hid in the meat.

  • 4 weeks ago

    The wild birds are typically drier than the farm-raised variety. It's not bad, just a matter of preference.

  • 4 weeks ago

    I've had wild turkey before ... and I'm spoiled as I prefer farmed birds.

    Wild isn't bad, just different enough to rate second to store-bought.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Yes, many times. Last fall I shot a jake (young tom) while archery hunting for deer. (the seasons are in together) He wasn't big, but he sure was good ! Don't expect it to taste like a Butterball, because it isn't a Butterball, its a wild turkey. That doesnt mean it tastes bad, it means it wasn't grain fed in a pen on a commercial turkey farm. I've cooked the whole bird before, and they're just so-so that way. The legs are pretty stringy and are best if diced up and used for soup. Just puck the feathers at the breast bone and slip your knife under the skin and cut toward the wing. (I don't keep the skin on it) After you cut the skin off, stick the knife in next to the breast bone. Follow the breast bone bone down and around the ribs. (don't poke the belly) They make really good strips. I like the bread and fry it with some wild mushrooms. You'll figure it all out, its not hard to do and very rewarding.  Good Luck !

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  • Quinn
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    It's been ages since I last bagged a wild turkey. It was in my teens (back in the days when full-size cars roamed the highways and byways). They are not easy and I consider them one of the more challenging wild games to hunt.

    There is very little similarities between wild and farm raised turkey.  In fact, the breeding of domesticated turkeys (starting as far back as the 16th century) has actually produced a differ subspecies of turkey, so they are not even turkeys except in name; it's like the difference between a tiger and a pet house cat.

    Wild turkeys unlike other wild games, don't taste gamey, although some people claim it has a slight gamey taste. Personally, I don't mind gamey flavor in wild meats and to me, wild turkey meat tastes like store bought farm raised turkeys except it has more flavor. It's hard to describe, but think of your store bought bird and double the flavor. That's how wild turkeys taste to me. It has more dark meat and as been mentioned very little breast meat. It is also leaner and this means you have to be careful not to overcook it because it will cook faster and dry out. I think the best way is to use a slow cooker because the dark meat can be a bit tough.

    You should definitely give it a try. I think you are going to find hunting them to be little more challenging than other games, but they are good eats.

  • 4 weeks ago

    I have. And I have had Wild Turkey for dinner way before Thanksgiving also. Turkey season in my state was April 24-25 to May 4th or 5th.

    There is little comparison of a Wild Turkey and a Store bought farm raised genetically modified bird. Yes, there is LOTS of white meat on a Wild Bird however, even the bone structure is MUCH different then a Farm bird. Farm birds are bred to have wide breasts for the purpose of growing more white meat and greater weight. A Wild bird actually has a "bumper" right on the front point of the breast bone for fighting. Like a knob to butt other male birds. The wish bone is also more laid back then a Farm bird. Wild birds since the states, most states allow mainly only a BEARDED Turkey are mostly Toms while store bought hens are likely more often then not.

    A Wild Turkey has what I say is about 3 times stronger "Turkey Flavor" then a farm bird. Really good on a strong rye bread for samiches.

    * a hunter who can "beat" a Wild Turkey is a pretty darn good woodsman. A Wild Turkey makes a Deer look STUPID. It is said a Wild Turkey is the wariest game on this continent.

    ** I have been told I should write a book of recipes. A Wild Turkey is easy to cook my way .... AND drink some beer, also a few shots. If I have a camp fire that is. I wrap the bird in a whole roll of heavy tin foil with a bottle of Bar-B-Que sauce of your flavor choice. Put it right on the coals, give it a twist every 15 minutes for 2 hours. (one of the Girls always seems to have one of those oven timers to help us stay on the correct time to turn the bird over) A pair of leather work gloves is nice to have, OR welding gloves.

    Turkey is a darn good meal no matter if shot or store bought. And those Samiches .... whoooo eeeee.

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