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2021 Fall Wild Turkey Topic


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Post copied from the Maine eliminates tagging fall turkeys Topic. 
 

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First 2021 Maine Fall Wild Turkey that doesn’t require to be tagged. It’s uncanny. Ive been seeing flocks of 20-30 hens and nicely filled out Poults for weeks. That’s what I plan to key on. But on my errand drive around this morning I only encountered two Toms that I could get on. One of which is in a big cooler in garage. I did see some gray headed hens and poults but none were in a spot that was readily huntable. No drawn out dramatic story like with a spring gobbler hunt, but some turkey to grind for turkey burgers for an upcoming family visit nonetheless. Tail was in molt so no big fan photo.

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This morning on my errand run. Ran into a flock of 20 or so Hens and Poults a mile from the house…

 

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Pinned down. They surrounded my truck and walked past…

 

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Side mirror, rear view…. I sat for almost 20 minutes for them to wander off the road into woods or into some fields. So I could get out of truck, load shotgun and try and sneak off the paved road far enough to be legal. They wouldn’t leave the road even after a Fed Ex truck drove by and busted them up. Eventually they wandered to close to houses to work with. Fall turkey hunting…

 

Today:

Hens and Polts 1.

Me 0.

 

 

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  • Brad Eden changed the title to 2021 Fall Wild Turkey Topic

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Tried to do an Opener grouse/Woodcock hunt with Cash. Small local cover. Sopping wet, rain. Ridiculous. We heard a couple birds and that’s the extent of it. On the way home I spotted a large rafter of hens and poults moving slowly through some fields. I know the area. I dropped Cash off and headed back. They were still there and moving in the direction I was hoping….to a far corner. I parked 1/8 mile or so up and off the road. Threw on a waterproof camo jacket, loaded the 20 gauge and headed into the woods. It was a slippery wet slog through typical Maine swampy woods filled with blow downs. Almost turned around but then could see the light of the field ahead. As suspected I saw flock in the field from a hide 10-15 yards inside wood line. They were a good 75 yards away milling around and chasing each other and flapping wet wings etc. I stood and waited. I had some holes I could shoot through if they can within 30 yards or so. I waited and waited and waited. I had forgotten to grab a face mask or stuff a mouth call in my cheek. If I had I would have done some soft purrs and kee kees or just yelps to direct them towards me. They slowly drifted closer but to myleft to about 45-50 yards. I shifted, they saw my slight movement and their casual demeanor changed to semi alert. Most kept pecking along, but several telescoped and wouldn’t come down. Finally a few went out of sight to my left but still in the field. They were soft putting. Not alarm but definitely nervous. I could make out movement through the trees and branches and had a few small openings I could slip a load through. After what seemed like an eternity one bird entered the hole and never left. The flock scattered but not far and the bird was flopping. One hen couldn’t resist coming closer to check it out. That one became number two. Just what I was looking for. A hen and a poult. Will likely pluck the poult and brine and smoke.

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Still some pin feathers to pull but Poult plucked for future brine, rub and Smoke. Hen was breasted out for schnitzel. Legs and thighs saved for slow cook shredded tacos. 

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Bloodhound

Brad

 

Congrats on the birds!  Good to see someone having some luck.  I saw a small flock this week, but it was on the Castle Pines golf course as I was driving on the road around the back of the course.  I had a gun and shells...but now way to get a bird legally there....so up to the hills, but no birds located where the taking would have been legal.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Brad Eden

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Ground a couple wild turkey breasts and grilled some turkey burgers last Friday evening. No complaints from weekend guests. 

 

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Bloodhound

What did you use to add fat to the burger?  Beef or Pork? or ?

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Brad Eden
1 hour ago, Bloodhound said:

What did you use to add fat to the burger?  Beef or Pork? or ?

I don’t add anything to ground Wild Turkey. It grinds and tastes and cooks pretty much like store bought lean ground Turkey. I do a couple course grinds. I  make sure not to overcook/grill. Of course I add a bunch of stuff once ground for the grilled burgers: Italian bread crumbs, pinch of dry dill and basil, chopped chives or green onion, garlic powder, S&P and a dash of cayenne pepper and splash of milk.

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Bloodhound
26 minutes ago, Brad Eden said:

I don’t add anything to ground Wild Turkey. It grinds and tastes and cooks pretty much like store bought lean ground Turkey. I do a couple course grinds. I  make sure not to overcook/grill. Of course I add a bunch of stuff once ground for the grilled burgers: Italian bread crumbs, pinch of dry dill and basil, chopped chives or green onion, garlic powder, S&P and a dash of cayenne pepper and splash of milk.

Sounds great...I have never had wild turkey and didn't think it would have enough fat to hold it together.  I have to add some fat to elk and deer and I just figured the same with wild turkey. 

 

Sounds like your guests had good eats! 

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Brad Eden

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The morning grouse and woodcock hunt turned into a wild turkey hunt. Took Cash to a home cover and we moved a couple grouse, no shots and zippo Woodcock. Can’t buy any right now. After pulling over between covers and catching up with UJer the old fashioned way…over the phone….we hit one more small piece. Cash busted up a pile of hens and poults and they streamed out into the trail I was on at 15 yards. I took one home. No hero wingshot story, but a runner. Another one for the oven or smoker. I may pluck this one as well. Can’t tell if it’s a smallish hen or a big poult. They are about the same size now.

 

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How many fall birds can you guys harvest.   I wish we had a fall season but we don’t really have enough for a spring season anymore 

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Brad Eden
39 minutes ago, mccuha said:

How many fall birds can you guys harvest.   I wish we had a fall season but we don’t really have enough for a spring season anymore 

Total of 5 of either sex in Fall, which is a bit of over kill. The state is broken up into WMD’s or Wildlife Management Districts. Some allow fewer than 5 but you can end up with the total if you move around. I had planned ion stopping at 3 mostly because I am concentrating on upland birds and bow deer, but this was an opportunity I wasn’t gonna pass up with Cash on the ground. They are virtually everywhere around where I live. 

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Brad Eden

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Note the little photo bomber. Alright already. I’m officially done. Filled the 5 fall bird limit on Thursday. That wasn’t something I was consciously striving for. The opportunities were in my face. I actually feel guilty mentioning it since many UJers are sufffereing low and dismal wild turkey numbers in their states. And I’m warned and that this will eventually happen in Maine. It hasn’t yet and we continue to experiencing a robust population. I haven’t encountered a single other fall turkey hunter while out and about. They just aren’t hunted hard in fall or even spring up here. This is a deer hunting state. I live in the hub as well and it’s not unusual for me to see several large flocks of hens and grown poults and occasionally bachelor groups of Toms and Jakes on my morning 1/2 hour errand run to check my PO Box…every day. Fall wild turkey season ends on Nov 6.

 

Hopefully this winter won’t be so extreme that it compromises the population as a whole. I do relish the spring gobbler season.

 

Another decent sized hen. The usual spot and stalk routine. I breasted this bird and saved those breasts and the legs and thighs to gift to my turkey hunting and deer hunting friend Scott. He hasn’t been able to fall Turkey hunt and is the landowner where I hunt the management bow hunt. He likes to slow cook the legs and thighs. Now it’s all grouse and woodcock and whitetails until the fat lady sings in December. 

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1 hour ago, Brad Eden said:

E4659036-6473-4269-970D-FB2BB8A161BE.jpeg
 

Note the little photo bomber. Alright already. I’m officially done. Filled the 5 fall bird limit on Thursday. That wasn’t something I was consciously striving for. The opportunities were in my face. I actually feel guilty mentioning it since many UJers are sufffereing low and dismal wild turkey numbers in their states. And I’m warned and that this will eventually happen in Maine. It hasn’t yet and we continue to experiencing a robust population. I haven’t encountered a single other fall turkey hunter while out and about. They just aren’t hunted hard in fall or even spring up here. This is a deer hunting state. I live in the hub as well and it’s not unusual for me to see several large flocks of hens and grown poults and occasionally bachelor groups of Toms and Jakes on my morning 1/2 hour errand run to check my PO Box…every day. Fall wild turkey season ends on Nov 6.

 

Hopefully this winter won’t be so extreme that it compromises the population as a whole. I do relish the spring gobbler season.

 

Another decent sized hen. The usual spot and stalk routine. I breasted this bird and saved those breasts and the legs and thighs to gift to my turkey hunting and deer hunting friend Scott. He hasn’t been able to fall Turkey hunt and is the landowner where I hunt the management bow hunt. He likes to slow cook the legs and thighs. Now it’s all grouse and woodcock and whitetails until the fat lady sings in December. 

Love that dog .

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Brad Eden
2 hours ago, gunsrus said:

Love that dog .

She is so sweet. Jo calls her the sister wife…my heart aches just thinking that she wont be here forever. 

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