Hopefully as the season progresses you’ve managed to put your tag on a bird and had a successful time hunting. Wild turkey can be some of the best eating game in the woods. Remember preparation and care after the harvest is just as important as the hunt. Depending on where you are hunting and the temperatures you’re in, you can definitely make some mistakes if you’re not careful. If you’re like me and hunting turkeys in the South (Florida), time is of the essence after you’ve harvested your bird.
So maybe you’re hunting with a friend and you’re going after multiple birds after you’ve harvested yours. The optimal place for your turkey is in a cooler with some ice. If no cooler is available or your hunting in a more mildly temperate region of US, keeping your bird in a shaded spot until you’re done hunting is next best.
I always try to clean and prep my bird as soon as I can. Remember that bird will still remain warm on the inside for some time after the harvest. Being thorough with your cleaning job will optimize the amount of meat you yield. I always recommend a sharp knife and don’t forget, take your time. It’s not a race and depending on how you prepare your turkey dinner, a good presentation is always best (especially with company). Happy Hunting!
Some of my favorite wild turkey recipes:
Bacon Wrapped Turkey Strips
An all-time favorite, simply cut your turkey breast into 4-5 inch strips and marinate in Italian dressing for an hour. Next pre-panfry just one side of bacon only until it starts to become brown but not so much that it breaks. Next wrap the partially cooked side of bacon around the turkey strips and secure both ends with tooth picks. Grille the strips on both sides until cooked.
Wild Turkey Chili
Cut your turkey breast into small 1 inch or so pieces or strips. Cook the turkey in a pan with your favorite seasoning. Next, mix a can of whole sweet corn, kidney beans, black beans (all drained) and a can of garlic herb tomato chunks to a medium-high heat and mix in your cooked turkey chunks. Then mix in 1-2 packets of taco seasoning depending on how you like it seasoned. Once it starts to boil bring to a simmer. Use sour cream, shredded cheese and crackers once served.