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Backwoods Bound Bullet Volume 20 - Issue 4

  Welcome to the April 2019 issue of The Bullet. This month the outdoor adventures really get going! Hunters are hitting the woods to bag a turkey. There’s something almost magical when you hear a big ol’ tom respond to your calling and then comes up over the rise to your decoy.

The fishing gets even better this month too. The crappie bite continues to heat up down south and works its way north. Walleyes continue their fun and trout are being caught in streams, rivers and lakes.

And let’s not forget it’s time for my favorite outdoor activity, mowing the lawn. (are you picking up the sarcasm there?)

One last thing. I have to mention, (I pray I don’t have to do this again soon) the passing of my Uncle Don Bridges a couple of weeks ago. He was my last living uncle and thus ends an era in my life.

Uncle Don was a lifelong fisherman, hunter and trapper. He did it all in his 84 years from setting nets in rivers and lakes to running trap lines. He retired as a welder from one of the steel mills here in the mid-west but never retired from fishing. He ran nets up to a few years ago when his health forced him to quit.

There are many pictures of him with his “catches” and he had many stories to go with them. Stories of fishing, trapping, hunting, selling produce and fish on the road side to selling useless treasures at flea markets, he had them all. It was a real joy to relive/retell some of our favorite Uncle Don stories with my relatives one evening when we all gathered together. I wish he would have written a book. I think it would have been a best seller. He will be missed by many but knowing I’ll see him again and get to hear his stories brings me some comfort. Rest in peace Uncle Don. Donald E. Bridges, 1934 – 2019.

Enough said. Let’s get to it. Enjoy issue number two hundred and twenty two of The Bullet. Until next month, J. E. Burns, Editor-in-chief.


In this issue:

~ Backwoods Trivia
~ Recipe: Turkey Droppings Supreme-O
~ Article: Struttin' And Cluckin'
~ Recipe: Cajun Baked Crappie
~ Article: Muddy Water Baits
~ What's New
~ Backwoods Know-How: How To Measure Your Trophy Turkey
~ Candid CamShots
~ Recipe: Backwoods Bound One Skillet Dinner


BACKWOODS TRIVIA: Do you know the answer to this question?

Can you name the five sub-species of wild turkey in North America?

Find the answer at the end of this newsletter. Send your trivia questions to mail@backwoodsbound.com.



This is one o’ them Macho-Guy Recipes from Buck’s Blue Collar Cook Book. It's the perfect way to enjoy all that turkey your more proficient buddies bagged this spring then generously shared.

Six pack of beer preferably Corona or Miller Genuine Draft. Very cold, this ain't England.
A can of stale beer: here, any brand will do.
A fifth or more of Kentucky Bourbon. I prefer Wild Turkey 101 proof and it does seem appropriate!
One cup or so of Southern Comfort whisky.
2 – 3 pounds ground turkey. Okay, you could use store-bought meat, but trust me, Pilgrim, it just don't have the flavor of a wild bird. Also, the thighs are best for this but the breast will do. Just be sure to toss the heart, liver and gizzard into the grinder along with that breast meat.
A big jar of Jalapeno peppers.
Buck Thorn's Deep In Dixie Firewater (That there's hot sauce, Pilgrim. What did ya think it was?)
Chili powder
Course ground black pepper
Sour Cream
Peanut oil - Okay, whatever edible oil you have on hand will do. (DO NOT use Castrol 10W-30! It gives the food a funny aftertaste.)
Generous portion of Honey - No, not her! The kind from a bee.

Carefully measure a shot of Bourbon and set aside.

Open one of the cold beers.

Drink the Bourbon and chase it with the beer.

Mix equal parts of honey and Southern Comfort until you have enough to fill a coffee cup or an empty soup can. Set this aside.

Heat a little oil in a large skillet till the oil is ready to smoke. Turn the heat off and add the turkey and pour in a half can or so of the stale beer.

Warning: If you’re using beer you collected after the fellers left last night, watch for them cigarette butts. I know some of you like the tang they add, but that’s a personal choice you’ll have to make. At any rate, I would at least pick the butts out and discard just for the sake of appearances.

Turn the heat back on "high" and add a bunch of the chili powder some cumin, salt, pepper, a shot of Bourbon and half the juice from the jalapenos.

If you like, you could cut a large green pepper into eight or nine big pieces and throw them in the pot also. (Be sure you do this early in this routine, knives and Bourbon don't mix well) Bring the mess back to boil then lower the heat to a simmer.

Drink another shot and chase it with a beer.

Now mix the flour and shortening. We're going to make pastry dough so you can get that recipe from any female you know. Make enough to just about fill both your hands. Slug another shot and knead the dough until the wave of nausea is gone. Spread the dough on a fairly flat and reasonably clean surface and roll it out till it's about as thick as a bream (catfish, blue gill, perch, etc.) fillet. If you're drinkin' from a fifth of Wild Turkey, Old Crow or I.W. Harper, you can use the round bottle for a rolling pin. If you don't have a round bottle, a soft ball bat, the case your rifle scope came in or even a fluorescent trouble light will do.

Using a dull table knife or spatula, cut the dough into 3" squares and have another shot and chaser. You could substitute Pillsbury biscuits and eliminate a lot of work. You can also use those little crescent roll triangles but they only have the three sides and I’m not sure how to convert that. You know, if you use 12 four-sided pieces, do you need 16 three sided ones and so on. It’s up to you, but let me assure you, the conversion problem gets worse and worse as the drin..., - I mean cooking - progresses.

Is the meat ready? Is all the liquid gone? If not, turn the heat up to high and watch it.

Note: This is a good time to see if that bourbon has 'turned'. Know whut ah mean? And you know that beer ain't gettin' any colder.

When the liquid is gone, remove the pieces of green pepper and spoon out a portion of the meat that would just about fill a 12 gauge Federal shot shell. As a matter of fact, I have found that a used magnum Federal shot shell in #4 to #00 is the perfect measure. I favor the green ones ‘cause they don't show dirt so readily.

Place this meat portion in the middle of the dough square and wrap the dough up around the meat. Wet your hands and the dough won't stick so badly, but use extra care with your beer cause that naturally makes your hand slippery-er.

Heat the oven to about 350 degrees. Drop (this is the important part, hence the name of the dish) the wrapped turkey onto a greased sheet or whatever will fit into the oven and stick it in. After about 5 minutes, brush the droppings with the honey-liquor mix. Do this every 5 minutes or so and bake till the crust is the color of a late summer whitetail buck.

Have another shot and chug a beer.

Wait until that wave of nausea goes away.

Remove and let cool for at least 15 minutes.

Set 'em on a plate, bucket lid or whatever you eat from, pour a little honey-liquor mixture over them, plop a dollop of sour cream on top and there you go - Buck Thorn's O-riginal Turkey Droppings Supreme-o!

For an extra visual effect, top the dollop of cream with a piece cut from a ripe black olive.

If you can't wait the 15 minutes, better pop open another cold beer cause the meat in the middle will sizzle on your tongue. Some people like that. In that case just wash the burn off with a long gulp of cold beer and numb the tongue with another shot.

Serving Suggestion:
These little turkey filled babies go great with whiskey, beer, tequila, koumiss (fermented mare's milk) or any combination of these popular drinks. For variety, I like to impale them, while hot out of the oven, on the tip of my 15 inch Argentine bayonet and dip them in Buck's Firewater then the sour cream. If Buck Thorn's Deep In Dixie Firewater isn't available, any really good, hot sauce such as Texas Pete will do.

These can be made with many varieties of ground meat. Beef, bear, wild boar, possum, venison, wood chuck, komodo lizard or even kangaroo. However, even though I don't want to be labeled a neigh-sayer, I would never use horsemeat. At least not as the mane ingredient.

Number of Servings: Depends - did you use the biscuits or the crescent rolls?

Preparation Time: How much Wild Turkey did you have on hand?

Thanks Buck for sharing this recipe. To see more great recipes for wild turkey his season, visit our site at www.backwoodsbound.com/zturkey.html.

Send in your favorite recipe to mail@backwoodsbound.com and we'll post it on the site or use it in an upcoming issue of The Bullet.



We’re going all out this month and offering 25% OFF ALL orders! That’s right! 25% OFF everything you order!

Get ready for your upcoming spring and summer events as all wine charms, bag tags, earrings, bookmarks, zipper pulls are 25% Off this month. And remember that we’ll personalize them for free!

These savings end April 30, 2019 so order now!

Visit us at www.karensglabels.com or e-mail us at Karen@karensglabels.com or call 618-257-1365. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get news about our monthly specials and new items!

"Because no wine glass should ever be naked!"



  Like I’ve said before (probably many times, ‘cause repeating stories and advice is what we geezers do best), turkey hunting is a lot like trying to pick up women.

  First of all, they are both an exercise in promising romance. Depends on the “game’ I reckon. I mean, after all in both cases you’re out their presenting your very best efforts at either calling, cluckin’ or gobbling on the one hand, or struttin’, braggin’ and shuckin’ on the other.

  An example is that first contact. You’re in a bar, tavern or nightclub. What are your chances of breaking up a group of woman sitting together during their ‘ladies night out’? Just about as much as hitting that big ol’ tom at 75 yards with number 7 shot through the brush. Zero to none!

  But, if you can get one of ‘em off to herself, your odds of success rise drastically. Maybe as much as 75%.

  Same with a gobbler. Get him in the 35- 40 yard range, load # 4 shot and he’s deep fried this weekend.

  So where is this leading?

  Okay, it’s a very similar situation when turkey hunting. You gotta break up those “hen parties’. Most times the old tom in the territory won’t respond to your efforts cause he’s been spending his nights roosting up there with a bunch of hens.

  Now I ask ya, if you were already surrounded by those of the female persuasion and another slight possibility sauntered by, what would you do? Hmm? Leave that sure thing for a slim chance at upping your dubious score? Nope. Same with the smart toms.

  So what to do? Well, if it’s legal where you hunt, go out the night before the hunt and scatter those birds off their roost. They will in all probability find a solitary roost for that night. The tom too. And he’ll be calmed down enough by daybreak to get back to what’s utmost important in his mind - finding at least one of those friendly hens from the night before. Now just do your best to make him think that you are that hen!


FUN FACT:  This month’s fun fact comes from George Watson. "Did you know there are only two species of turkey in the world? The North American wild turkey, genus name Meleagris gallopavo which has five distinct sub-species and the ocellated turkey, genus name Meleagris ocellata, which is found only in Central America."

Send your Fun Facts to mail@backwoodsbound.com. For more Fun Facts visit www.backwoodsbound.com/funfacts.html.



Tell a friend about The Bullet. Just go to: www.ezinefinder.com/rec.html?ez=backwo and follow the instructions. It’s free and easy!

To vote for The Bullet follow this link: www.ezinefinder.com/backwo-vote.html.html.

Thanks for your help.

FISHIN' TIP:  When fishing without the help of electronics one can still find underwater structure by looking at the shoreline for old tree stumps near the shore. Estimate how tall that tree may have been before it fell into the water then vertical fish that many feet from the shore. - Russ Bieniek

Send your tips to: mail@backwoodsbound.com and we’ll post them on the site or use them in a future issue of The Bullet.



Our handcrafted plaques are made from solid oak not plywood or particle board giving your trophy a solid base to anchor to. Each plaque comes stained with a wall hanger installed. Clear-coating is an available option.

We specialize in unique designs! We’ve done everything from arrowheads to walleyes to shields to light bulbs, hanging and stand up designs! Just tell us what you have in mind and we’ll make it happen!

No matter what type of trophy you want to display, we have a plaque or trophy to fill the need. Contact us at sales@backwoodsbound.com with your ideas.

Don’t settle for an ordinary looking plaque! Go one better and order your AFTER THE SHOT Trophy Plaque today. Prices start at $33.95. Don’t wait, order today!

Visit our site at www.backwoodsbound.com/ats.html for photos and information on how to order your plaque. Order with our secure on-line ordering system and pay with confidence using Paypal.

"It only takes a little more to go first class."


INTERESTING QUOTE: "Being politically correct means you are always having to say you’re sorry.” - Charles Osgood

 If you’ve seen or heard an interesting or humorous quote send it in and we'll post it next month. Send them to: mail@backwoodsbound.com.



~ 4 crappie fillets, about 1/2 lb. each
~ 1 cup buttermilk
~ 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
~ 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning, Cajun Shake or Tony Chachere’s if available
~ 1/2 tsp onion powder
~ 1/2 tsp garlic powder
~ 1 tsp thyme
~ 1 tsp basil
~ 1 tsp lemon-pepper seasoning
~ cayenne pepper

* Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

* Place the buttermilk in a shallow dish.

* In another dish, mix the cornmeal, Cajun seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, basil and lemon pepper together.

* Dip the fillets in the buttermilk, shake off excess.

* Dip in the cornmeal mixture and place on sheet.

* Sprinkle with cayenne pepper to taste.

* Bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

* Remove and let cool a few minutes while setting the table.

* Serve with your favorite side dishes and enjoy!

Thanks to James Burns for sharing this recipe. To see more fish recipes to try visit our site at www.backwoodsbound.com/zfish.html.

Remember to send your favorite recipe to mail@backwoodsbound.com. We'll post it on the site or use it in an upcoming issue of The Bullet.



  Nothing ruins the occasional fishing trip more than driving a long distance to your favorite spot, only to find out it's been raining for the last few weeks and the water is the color of chocolate milk! Many years ago, I was like most weekend anglers, and would immediately try to find another lake or river that might be a little clearer, or just turn around and go home. But I found over the last 20 years, that it isn't necessary to give up so quickly on muddy water.

 There are many times when a creek arm or a certain portion of the lake or river isn't as muddy, or there is a transition zone where it goes from muddy to stained, which can be a good area, but, even if there is no clearer water, there are many things you can do. Most game fish react the same way to muddy water, they go shallow and they move closer to structure. This could mean a lot of different types of structure, such as brush-piles, lay-downs, rocks, stump fields, pads on shallow flats, anything! When the bass are holding tight to cover, because of low visibility, the lure presentations sometimes need to be precise, such as when flipping a log or tree roots with a jig. Below are the 6 basic choices you should have rigged for fishing muddy waters.

 Plastic Worms:

  I know this sounds like a strange choice, but a lot of times when bass are holding real tight to cover, a larger, bulkier worm, with some rattle inserted, possibly with a paddle tail, worked real close in the cover, can work well. I use a black or a black/red combination in muddy water. I also use the new Big 7 inch Senko that is out now, and drop it right into heavier cover. I have been using the new Cut-Tail worm for this also.

 Vibrating Rattlers:

 These baits such as the Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap, Cotton Cordell Diamond Shad, or the Rattlin' Rapalas, are excellent choices for probing different depths of muddy water, and where muddy changes to stained. The noise and vibrations of these baits, along with a realistic shad shape, make these great baits for stained to muddy water.


  I use a lot of the real fat bodied crankbaits in muddy water. I choose different baits with a wide wobble, and sometimes rattles in them. I usually stay with darker colors like red and copper in muddy water. These colors with a wide wobble are easier for bass to find.


 The bass will be using their lateral line more in the muddy water, so a spinnerbait with a heavy pulse such as a Terminator night bait, with a black skirt, and Colorado blade, is a perfect choice. You could even add rattles to this bait, which I have had success with in the muddy rivers and lakes in the Northeast. I always use a single Colorado blade on the spinner baits in muddy water, but in stained, or warmer stained water, I do go to an Oklahoma Blade sometimes with good results. ZAP Custom Baits has 2 spinnerbaits that we have been using for these situations that work real well.


  These are my favorite baits to use in muddy water. There are so many baits that shallow, muddy water bass will hit! The buzzbait worked slowly around cover will draw tremendous strikes. We use a ZAP clacker type buzzbait for this. The walking type baits, such as a Zara Spook, and Fenwick walking baits, Jitterbugs, Crazy Crawlers, and a variety of other topwaters, including poppers with rattles, are excellent and exciting choices for muddy water bass. The bass will all be in water that is 1-4 feet deep, eliminating a lot of the water, making them easier to catch!


  Jigs in Brown/Black or Blue/Black with a Zoom or Uncle Josh trailer, with some rattles, are an excellent choice to flip into lay downs, and shallow stump fields, and of course on docks. Terminator makes a new jig for these situations that we really like. Make repeated casts to give them a good look and provoke them.

 If you stick with these baits and methods the next time you run into muddy water, you will never be afraid to see it again. It will become a friend, as it has become to me. – Steve vonBrandt


HUNTIN' TIP: When carrying your turkey decoy through the woods either stash it inside a sealed backpack or carry it in a blaze orange bag. The same applies to the bird you just harvested. Place it in a blaze orange bag or tie something orange around it. Safety is no accident!

Send your tips to: mail@backwoodsbound.com and we’ll post them on the site or use them in a future issue of The Bullet.



  Spring is officially here but there’s still a chill in the air that triggers that urge for a hot bowl of chili to warm you up. Backwoods Bound Chili Seasoning Mix with its unique blend of herbs and spices makes a great pot of chili the family will love with NO added fillers or MSG!

  Backwoods Bound Chili Seasoning Mix also makes great dishes like tostadas, enchiladas, stuffed peppers, manicotti, Mexican lasagna and a killer jambalaya. We’ve had customers also use it as a marinade for beef and deer roasts. See our collection of great recipes at www.backwoodsbound.com/zchili.html.

  Enjoy at home or hunting camp in single pot packets or the triple value pack.

  Order your supply at www.backwoodsbound.com/chili.html.

  "Not too mild.... Not too hot.... Treat yourself and make a pot!"



  It must have been a good deer season in West Virginia last year. We’ve made a lot of WV plaques the past couple of months! The shop continues to stay busy filling orders for our After The Shot Trophy Plaques for not only West Virginia plaques but Wisconsin, Illinois and Pennsylvania designs have shipped out lately. Go to www.backwoodsbound.com/ats.html for all the information on our line of After The Shot Trophy Plaques and remember we do special designs!

  We’re still gathering things for the upcoming spring issues and need your stuff! Everything is needed from recipes to trail camera pictures to hunting stories! Send all of your stuff in now so we can sort through it and get things lines up. Send everything to mail@backwoodsbound.com. Thanks and we look forward to getting them.



Over 4400 potential customers could be reading YOUR ad right now instead of ours!

Place your ad here for $8.00 a month! Discount rates for multiple issues.

For more details, visit our site at: www.backwoodsbound.com/advertise.html. Or e-mail us at: sales@backwoodsbound.com.

Fishing season is fast approaching so place your ad now!



  Most hunters just measure the length of the beard and spurs after taking a tom or jake but there’s a little bit more to it than that. Here’s the procedure to get the “official” score on that big tom you plan on taking this season.

 Step one – Weigh the bird to the nearest ounce on scales certified as accurate for trade by the state Department of Agriculture or on an accurate scale by a licensed guide or outfitter, or on the official scales of a governmental wildlife agency.

 Step two – Measure the length of the beard. It must be measured from the central point of protrusion from the skin to the end of the longest bristle.

 Step three – Measure the spurs along the outside centerline from the point at which the spur protrudes from the scaled leg skin to the tip of the spur.

 Step four - Total up your overall score. Add the left and right spur lengths together. Multiply that total by 10. Multiply the beard length by 2. Now add the spur total, beard total and weight together. The sum is your overall score.

 Example: Left spur 1˝” + right spur 1˝” = 3 multiply by 10 = 30. Beard length is 7” multiply by 2 = 14. Weight is 20 lbs. 30 + 14 + 20 = 64.

  * Beard and spur length measurements are measured to the nearest 1/16 of an inch. In order to standardize measurement, all measurements are to be recorded in sixteenths.

 Thanks to the National Wild Turkey Federation for some of this info. For more information visit them at: www.nwtf.com.



  This wide racked, big bodied Oklahoma buck strikes a nice pose. Taken by editor James Burns’ camera last fall. “I never saw him in the daylight. He should be bigger this fall. Can’t wait” – James

Can you spot the raccoon? It’s in the lower left corner with its head down.

Oklahoma Buck

Send your trail camera or outdoor pictures to mail@backwoodsbound.com.



~ 1 packet Backwoods Bound Chili Seasoning Mix
~ 2 lb's ground deer or beef
~ 1 can diced tomatoes
~ 1 can pinto beans
~ 2 1/2 cups water, divided
~ 2 beef bouillon cubes
~ 2 cups uncooked minute rice
~ 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
~ tortilla chips

* In a large skillet, mix the beef or deer with the chili seasoning mix. Brown and drain off fat.

* While the meat is cooking, bring 2 cups of the water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the bouillon cubes. Stir until dissolved.

* When the meat is browned and drained, add the beef broth, 1/2 cup water, beans and tomatoes.

* Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes.

* Remove from heat and stir in the rice.

* Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

* Stir. Top with the cheese, cover and let stand a couple of minutes to let the cheese melt.

* Serve over tortilla chips or serve them on the side.

* Enjoy!

To see more delicious recipes using our Backwoods Bound Chili Seasoning Mix go to www.backwoodsbound.com/zchili.html.

Send your favorite recipe to mail@backwoodsbound.com and we'll post it on the site or use it in an upcoming issue of The Bullet


ANSWER TO BACKWOODS TRIVIA:The five sub-species of wild turkey that live in North America are the Eastern, Osceola, Rio Grande, Merriam's and Gould's.


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