Autumn is a wonderful time to take your Beretta A400 out turkey hunting. It can also be a great time to reward your family by bringing home a fresh turkey for dinner. If you want to bring home a wild holiday turkey, you better be prepared.
- Scouting: Scout multiple areas preceding fall hunting season. Look for more than one good location because, contrary to popular belief, those turkeys are pretty smart. There may be numerous birds all over a meadow a week before season, but at noon the day before it begins, they bail out of there. Scout and have a good “plan b” backup hunting location.
- Shotgun: Be certain to pattern your shotgun before the hunt. A turkey choke is a must in helping keep the shot pattern tight. Practice from shooting sticks, sitting and kneeling positions.
- Clothing: In the fall it’s difficult to know exactly what to expect from Mother Nature. Layering is a must. You never know when an afternoon rain or hailstorm will sneak up. Layers can be easily stowed in a backpack or turkey hunting vest as the day warms up.
- Turkey Hunting Vests: Wear a vest that provides secure, yet silent access to your calls. It is also a good idea to practice shooting with the vest on. This is helpful and will allow you to notice details in construction or storage that may hinder a shot. This is especially important if you are archery hunting.
- Calls: Be sure to practice with your calls before you hunt. Use slates, box calls, mouth reeds and other standard type calls. Look for something you can use with ease. Put your calls in your vest and practice pulling them out so you know which pocket they are stowed in.
Fall Turkey Hunting Tip
Fall turkey hunting can be magical because turkeys seem to be everywhere. The difficulty is birds are hard to sneak up on. A tried and true tactic is to locate the birds, bum-rush them, scattering them in every direction. Find a good hiding spot then wait a while. As they start to chatter, mimic their calls. The lead hen tends to boss the others around. Sound like the mature lady and make raspy clucks to call the disoriented birds back.
Stay alert and listen to the sounds of the birds. They may be coming from all directions. Don’t be caught off guard if they backdoor you. Be prepared and when a decent turkey is within range, make your shot.
Cooking a Wild Turkey Dinner
An old ranch hand from Texas taught my family how to fry a wild turkey. It has become a favorite with my family because it is so fast and tastes so great.
What you will need: Propane burner, turkey fryer, injector, gloves.
1 – Cleaned, plucked wild turkey (remove neck and innards) 5 gallons – peanut oil (do not substitute) ¼ C – Cajun seasoning ¼ C – garlic powder ¼ C – onion powder ¼ C – thyme ¼ C – paprika ¼ C – salt 4 Tbsp – ground black pepper 2 C – melted butter
Preparation: Begin preparations the day prior to cooking so the bird has time to marinade. Mix the Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper together with the melted butter. Clean, drain and dry your turkey. Next, use your injector to inject the wild turkey with half of the butter mixture. Use the remaining half of butter mixture to smear on the inside and outside of the turkey. Cover the turkey, or wrap it in plastic, and place it in the refrigerator over-night.
Cooking: Fill the turkey fryer half way with peanut oil. Heat the oil to 350°F. Weigh your turkey and then place it on the fryer rack. Over cooking is a common problem with wild turkey. Submerge the turkey in the fryer and set your timer. Cooking time is five minutes per pound. Over cooking will result in jerky type meat. It is still edible, but not juicy and tender.
Caution: Take caution when using a turkey fryer. Always use turkey fryers outside, in an area that will not catch fire if the oil overflows. Turkey frying can be dangerous and lead to fires, property damage, injury and death. If you are not knowledgeable, do not deep-fry turkey.
Serve your turkey dinner with traditional or non-traditional, fixin’s you and your family love. Happy Holidays!