Thanksgiving Dinner: It doesn’t get more free range than wild turkey.

Thanksgiving Dinner:
It doesn’t get more free range than wild turkey.
Bag your holiday groceries in the outdoors by going turkey hunting.
Locavores know game meat is lean, healthy, sustainable and always comes
with a bonus–a fun outdoors experience!
When to hunt
Once you’ve located a flock
of turkeys, scatter them–by
running toward them and
yelling, for example.
l Set up against a tree or
stump (one with a high
back to offer protection and
cover) or in a blind. Then
use a turkey call to bring
birds back and wait to take a
safe and legal shot.
l
Fall turkey season runs
Oct. 15-Dec. 31 in most of
western Oregon and you can
take up to two turkeys of either
sex (hens or toms). And don’t
forget the statewide spring
turkey hunting season April
15-May 31. See the current
Oregon Game Bird Regulations
for more information.
Where to hunt
See ODFW’s turkey hunting
page for a map of where
turkeys are most abundant.
Use ODFW’s map (www.oregonhuntingmap.com)
to locate wildlife areas and private properties open
to hunting. Talk to friends with turkey on their
property or contact your local ODFW field office
to see if they know private landowners who allow
hunting. Turkeys are sometimes found on national
forest and other public land, but they tend to favor
lower-elevation oak woodlands, which are mostly
found on private land in western Oregon. Guided
turkey hunts are also an option.
Fall turkey hunting techniques
Find the food and you will find the bird. Turkeys
will eat any seed, fruit, nut or insect. Look for
hawthorne, dogwood, crab apple, oak and other
trees that drop seeds and mast.
l Explore the woods. Turkeys will range over a large
area looking for food so prepare to cover some
ground to find them.
l
Safety
Never wear red, white, blue
or black when turkey hunting.
You could be mistaken for a turkey.
l
l
If you see or hear another hunter, talk loudly in a
clear voice to alert them to your presence. Never
use a turkey call if other hunters don’t know your
whereabouts.
Equipment
Wear camouflage clothing while hunting as turkeys
have excellent eyesight. But wear blaze orange to
and from your hunting position so other hunters
can see you.
l Use a shotgun no larger than 10 gauge or smaller
than 20 gauge and shot sizes no larger than No. 2
nor smaller than No. 6. Best shot sizes are 4, 5
or 6.
l A variety of turkey calls are available at your local
sporting goods store.
l
Dressing
your
turkey
Dressing
your
turkey
youtowant
pluck
your
First, First,
decidedecide
if you ifwant
skinto
or skin
pluckoryour
bird.
bird.is Plucking
considered
thestyle
traditional
styleaof
Plucking
consideredis the
traditional
of preparing
preparing
a wild
turkey.
it does
more
wild turkey.
Though
it does
takeThough
more time
and take
produces
and produces
moreitofwill
a mess
thanyour
skinning,
more time
of a mess
than skinning,
help keep
turkeyit
keepit your
andorprepare
moistwill
andhelp
prepare
to be turkey
roasted,moist
smoked
whole it to be
deep roasted,
fried. smoked or whole deep fried.
To pluck,
first
theinbird
in hot water—some
To pluck,
first dip
thedip
bird
hot water—some
people
peoplebut
useothers
boiling
others say
140-degree
use boiling
saybut
140-degree
water
is optimalwater
for
is optimal
for plucking
Then pluck
off the
plucking
a bird. Then
pluck offa bird.
the feathers.
If possible,
candress
be done
before
after dressing
pluckfeathers.
the turkeyPlucking
before you
it (remove
theorentrails)
to
(removing
of the
but ifcavity.
possible, pluck
keep water
from entrails)
going inside
the turkey
bird’s body
the turkey
youdress
dress
(to keep
water
Typically,
you willbefore
want to
theitturkey
soon
afterfrom
going
inside
the
bird’s
body
cavity).
harvest, especially in warmer weather when meat will spoil
more Typically,
quickly. If you
you will
are just
a couple
hours
from home
want
to dress
the turkey
soon after
and the
weather
is
cool,
waiting
until
you
get
home should
harvest, especially in warmer weather when
meat will
be fine.
spoil more quickly. If you are just a couple hours from
home
andthe
theturkey
weather
is back;
cool, then
waiting
you get
To dress,
place
on its
finduntil
the bottom
home
should
be
fine.
of the breast plate and insert your knife, making a cut to
the anal
theturkey
entrailsonfrom
this opening
To vent.
dress,Remove
place the
its back;
find theand
bottom
then reach
theplate
cavityand
to sever
theyour
windpipe,
heart a
of theinto
breast
insert
knife, making
and lungs.
thevent.
wingsRemove
and feet.the
Cool
the cavity
cut toCut
theoff
anal
entrails
fromby
this
placing
ice inside
chest.
opening
andthe
then
reach into the cavity to sever the
windpipe,
heart
andalungs.
offone
the side
wings
To skin
your turkey,
make
cut justCut
along
of and
the feet.
Cool
the
cavity
by
placing
ice
inside
the
chest.
breastbone and work the skin off the breast halves, down
the back
and over
of the
legs.a cut just along one side
To skin
youreach
turkey,
make
of theregulations
breastbonerequire
and work
breast
Remember
that the
youskin
leaveoff
thethe
turkey’s
the back
and overtoeach
of the
head halves,
on withdown
completed
tag attached
carcass
untillegs.
you
get home.
See
National
Wild
Turkey
Federation
Web
Remember regulations require that you leave the
site (nwtf.org)
for more
tips and
images oftaga turkey
being
turkey’s head
on with
completed
attached
to
dressed.
carcass until you get home. See National Wild Turkey
Web
siteturkey’s
(nwtf.org)
more
Note:Federation
Please return
your
cropfor
(the
thin,tips and
imagessack
of a at
turkey
being
dressed.
transparent
the base
of the
turkey’s neck) to
ODFW for a research project looking at the food habits
of turkeys.
See your
ODFW
web site for details.
Cooking
turkey
No matter how you cook your turkey, a long brine
soak first
make it better.
Cooking
yourwillturkey
1 cuphow
lightyou
brown
(dark brown
sugar soak
is fine too)
No matter
cooksugar
your turkey,
a long brine
1 cup
regular
salt
first will
make
it better.
gallon
water
1 cup1light
brown
sugar
1 cupAregular
salt
large stock pot or even a 5 gallon clean plastic
1 gallon
waterwould make excellent containers. Whatever
bucket
container
choose,
the turkey
have
A large
stock potyou
or even
a 5 gallon
cleanneeds
plastictobucket
enough
room
to
be
turned.
make excellent containers. Whatever container you choose,
the turkey
needs
to have
room
be sugar
turned.and salt.
Put the
water
in a enough
large pan
andtoadd
Put the
a large
andand
add salt
sugarareand
salt. Stir Cool
Stirwater
andin
heat
untilpan
sugar
dissolved.
and heat
until temperature.
sugar and salt Put
are dissolved.
Coolintobrine,
room cover
to room
turkey breast
temperature.
Putovernight,
turkey breast
in brine, cover
and12soak
and soak
approximately
10 to
hours.
overnight, approximately 10 to 12 hours.
Golden
Roasted
Golden
RoastedTurkey
Turkey
Recipe
from
Whole
Foods
Market
Recipe
from
Whole
Foods
Market
1 (14topound)
15- pound)
plucked
1 (14to 15plucked
turkeyturkey
SaltSalt
1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon
drieddried
thymethyme
2 carrots,
roughly
chopped
2 carrots,
roughly
chopped
2 stalks
celery,
roughly
chopped
2 stalks
celery,
roughly
chopped
2 yellow
onions,
roughly
chopped
2 yellow
onions,
roughly
chopped
2 cups
chicken
(gluten-free
available)
2 cups
chicken
brothbroth
(gluten-free
broth broth
available)
1/21/2
cup cup
whitewhite
winewine
4 tablespoons
4 tablespoons
(1/2 (1/2
stick)stick)
butter,butter,
meltedmelted
Pepper
to taste
Pepper
to taste
Rinse the turkey well and pat it dry. Preheat oven to
Rinse
the turkey well and pat it dry. Preheat oven
350°F.
to 350°F.
thyme,
carrots,
and onions
together
in
MixMix
thyme,
carrots,
celerycelery
and onions
together
in a small
a
small
bowl.
Stuff
turkey
cavity
with
the
vegetable
bowl. Stuff turkey cavity with the vegetable mixture and
mixture
and scatter
any remaining
vegetables
scatter
any remaining
vegetables
around the
bottom around
of
the
bottom
of
a
roasting
pan.
Pour
broth
and in
wine
a roasting pan. Pour broth and wine over vegetables
over
vegetables
in
roasting
pan
with
cover.
roasting pan with cover.
Arrange
a rack
the vegetables
theand
pan
and
Arrange
a rack
over over
the vegetables
in thein
pan
arrange
arrange
the
turkey
on
top
of
it,
breast
side
down.
the turkey on top of it, breast side down. (You may use (You
may
use rack
either
rackBrush
or a V-rack).
Brush
half of
either
a flat
or aa flat
V-rack).
half of the
melted
the
melted
butter
all
over
the
turkey,
then
season
butter all over the turkey, then season with pepper. Reserve
with pepper.
Reserve
remaining butter for later use.
remaining
butter for
later use.
turkey
in roasting
pancover—an
and cover—an
important
Put Put
turkey
in roasting
pan and
important
step
step
with
wild
turkey
as
they
are
leaner
and
dry
with wild turkey as they are leaner and can dry outcan
more
out
more
easily.
(Wrapping
wild
turkey
in
bacon
easily. (Wrapping wild turkey in bacon during cooking
duringrecommended
cooking is another
is another
way torecommended
keep it moist, orway
puttoinkeep
it
moist,
or
put
in
oven
bag
if
you
are
using
recipe
oven bag if you are using a recipe where this wouldawork.)
where
this
would
work.)
Roast
turkey
for
two
hours,
Roast turkey for two hours, breast side down, basting
breast
sidefrom
down,
basting
once.
Remove
once.
Remove
oven
and turn
turkey
breastfrom
side oven
up,
and
turn
turkey
breast
side
up,
being
careful
notthe
to
being careful not to pierce the skin. Brush turkey with
pierce
the
skin.
Brush
turkey
with
the
remaining
remaining butter and season again with pepper.
butter and season again with pepper.
Return turkey to oven and continue roasting until a
Return turkey
to oven
continue
roasting
until
thermometer
inserted
in theand
thickest
part of
the thigh
a thermometer
in more.
the thickest
partaside
of the
reaches
165°F, aboutinserted
two hours
Set turkey
to let
aboutand
2 hours
turkey
rest thigh
for 30reaches
minutes,165°F,
then carve
serve, more.
drizzledSetwith
the
to let rest for 30 minutes, then carve and serve,
panaside
drippings.
drizzled with the pan drippings.
Thanks
to National
the National
Federation
Thanks
to the
Wild Wild
TurkeyTurkey
Federation
(NWTF)
(NWTF)
and
Whole
Foods
Market
for
and Whole Foods Market for contributing to contributing
this brochure.
thisrecipes
brochure.
For more
recipes and
For to
more
and tips,
visit ODFW’s
Webtips,
site visit
ODFW’s
Web
site
(www.dfw.state.or.us)
or
(www.dfw.state.or.us) ornwft.org.
nwft.org.
See
the
current
Oregon
Game
Bird
Regulations
See the current Oregon Game Bird Regulations
for
season
dates,
bag
limits,
and
other
information.
for season dates, bag limits, and
other information.
OREGON
OREGONDEPARTMENT
DEPARTMENTOF
OFFISH
FISHAND
ANDWILDLIFE
WILDLIFE
`