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Backwoods Bound Bullet Volume 22 - Issue 4

  Welcome to the April 2021 issue of The Bullet. The sounds of spring are in the air. Birds are singing, children are playing, lawn mowers are buzzing and the toms are gobbling. It’s a good time to get out and shake off the winter blues. Last year at this time everything was locked down or in the process of being locked down and we’ve made big strides since then. But whether you’re at the store picking out plants for the garden, going crappie fishing or heading to the woods, when you’re around others continue to stay separated and wear your mask. Let’s not let our guard down now just as the end is in sight. Just like making a shot on a buck, swinging a golf club or casting for bass, we gotta follow through.

We’ve got a jam packed issue this month so let’s get to it. Enjoy this month’s issue of The Bullet and “wear because you care”. Until next month, J. E. Burns, Editor-in-chief.


In this issue:

~ Backwoods Trivia
~ Recipe: Texas Turkey Balls
~ Article: Boost Your Boating Confidence
~ Recipe: Lemon Onion Fillets
~ Article: Turkey Talk
~ What's New
~ Candid CamShots
~ Backwoods Know-How: How To Measure Your Trophy Turkey
~ Recipe: Good Ol' Deer Soup
~ Last Minute Stuff


BACKWOODS TRIVIA: See if you know this month’s question sent in by Jason Humbolt.

There are two states that are bordered by eight other states, which two are they?

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



The invasive zebra mussel has been found in moss balls that are sold commercially for home aquariums.

The “moss balls” are a filamentous algae that grows into green velvety balls – hence the name “moss balls.” In the wild, marimo is found mainly in Europe and Asia (primarily Japan). In recent years, their aesthetic appeal has made these plant-like organisms popular in the aquarium trade.

The recent discovery of the balls containing zebra mussels has alerted states nationwide because of the potential threat that they could spread into new areas. The fingernail size mussels can grow in huge clusters (sometimes as thick as a million mussels per square yard) and clog pipes and other water intake equipment. They can also kill native species of mussels and disrupt aquatic food chains.

Aquarium owners are encouraged to follow proper disposal guidelines of the balls and the water in their aquariums to keep the mussels from spreading. Go to https://www.fws.gov/fisheries/ANS/zebra-mussel-disposal.html for all the information.



~ 1 turkey breast, cut into 1" cubes
~ bacon
~ soy sauce
~ 3/4 cup brown sugar
~ 2 tbsp chili powder
~ tooth picks

* Cut the bacon slices in half or thirds. You need them big enough to wrap around the turkey cubes.

* Wrap cubes with bacon and secure with tooth picks

* Place the cubes in a large bowl and cover with soy sauce. Let set about half hour.

* In a bowl, combine the brown sugar and chili powder together.

* Take each cube and roll it in the sugar mixture.

* Grill over medium/low heat until bacon is cooked.

* Serve and enjoy.

Thanks to Derek Keathley for sharing this recipe with everyone. Visit our site at www.backwoodsbound.com/zturkey.html for more turkey recipes to try this season.

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.



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 $35.95. 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."



  Boating season is just around the corner and now is the time to enroll in a boating safety course.

  Whether you’re a new boat owner or a veteran of many summers on the water taking a course can either introduce you to the “rules of the road” or offer a much needed refresher.

  Most states offer online courses so you can fit them into your schedule. With the ongoing pandemic restrictions, an online class is probably your best bet. They don’t cost much to take and you can study at your leisure.

  Probably the best benefit of taking a course is learning the “rules of the road” and yes there are rules just like driving on the highway. One of the rules I see ignored quite often is who has the right-of-way when two boats cross paths. Just like when two cars stop at a stop sign at the same time, it’s the boat to your right that has the right-of-way not the fastest one. I’ve yielded many a time to boats approaching from my left because either the operator was ignorant to the rules or just didn’t give a crap. Remember, boats don’t have brakes and they take some distance to stop.

  Another great benefit to taking a course that some people forget about is that most insurance companies will give you a discount on your boat policy! The cost of taking a course can pay for itself the first year. Check with your insurer for any possible discounts.

  Since we’re talking safety here, you may not know that a new federal law took effect on April 1st. It requires the operator of a boat with an installed Engine Cut-Off Switch (ECOS) to use the ECOS link while operating on all federally navigable waterways. This includes not only major rivers like the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee but the lakes on those rivers like Kentucky Lake.

 The link is usually a coiled bungee cord lanyard clipped onto the operator's person, personal floatation device or clothing and the other end attached to the cut-off switch, but there are plenty of variations on the market, including electronic wireless devices.

  When an operator is wearing a link while underway, the engine will cut-off if the operator is separated from the operating area, an occurrence that can happen if the operator is ejected from the vessel or falls within the vessel. The shutdown of the engine is essential for safety reasons. If the operator is ejected from the vessel, the shutdown may prevent the operator from impacting the vessel's spinning propeller, and may aid the operator in safely returning to the drifting vessel. Boats with motors less than 3 horsepower are excluded from the law.

  Stay safe while on the water and remember the rules. We’re all out there to have fun so be courteous to each other. Life has been hard enough lately.

 Some of this information came from the great folks at the Iowa DNR. To find out the more about the outdoor adventures in Iowa visit them at www.iowadnr.gov .


FUN FACT:  Ruby-throated hummingbirds average 55-wing strokes per second! These fast little birds can hover, fly upside down and fly backwards.

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


FISHIN' TIP:  "I purchase a lot of ice for home use and save all of the bags. Dried out and folded up they don’t take up too much room and I keep them in my truck. They work well for transporting skinned/ gutted small game and fish home. If you haven't damaged them they won’t leak." – Jeff Holt

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.


INTERESTING QUOTE: "Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.” – Charles Schulz

 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.



We’re keeping it simple this month and offering 30% OFF ALL orders!

That’s 30% Off any order from our huge selection of wine charms, book marks, ear rings, zipper pulls….everything we make!

You can stock up for upcoming birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries.

This sale ends April 30th so don’t wait. Go to our web site at www.karensglabels.com and place your order! And remember we can make items from your special photographs for a small upcharge.

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!"



~ your favorite fish fillets, best are walleye, trout or catfish
~ 1 package Blooming Onion mix
~ 2 cups cornmeal
~ 1 cup lemon juice
~ margarine

* Place rinsed fillets in salt water and refrigerate at least an hour.

* Mix 2 cups of the blooming onion mix with the cornmeal.

* Place the lemon juice in a shallow dish.

* Remove and drain the fillets.

* Melt some margarine in a skillet.

* Dip the fillets in the juice and then in the cornmeal mixture and add to the skillet.

* Cook over medium to low heat until light brown on both sides or until they flake easily with a fork.

* Remove and drain on paper towels. Keep warm until they are all cooked.

* Serve and enjoy.

Thanks go out to David Fuller for sending in this recipe. For more fish recipes to cook up go to 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.



  When the subject of the turkey comes up, one must wonder, "Which came first, the bird's name or the country?" Since no one really has a definitive answer as to how the bird came to be called a turkey, it is just possible it was, indeed, named for the country of Turkey.

  Another possibility is that Chris Columbus named them tuka, which eventually evolved into "turkey". Why would Chris call these birds tukas? For the same reason he labeled inhabitants of the New World "Indians" - Senor Columbo thought he was in India. The wild turkeys resembled peacocks to the intrepid explorer so he used the Tamil word for peacock, "tuka''. Tamil is one of the dialects spoken in India.

 Yet another explanation may come from those very same "Indians" Chris encountered. The Native American name for the bird was "firkee". Sounds enough like turkey to be confused or mispronounced.

  And the last possible origin may be the bird itself. When frightened or alarmed, turkeys make a noise that sounds like "turk, turk, turk."

 The turkey was a staple in the diet of many Indian tribes all across North America and Mexico. Some tribes, especially the Aztecs and other Meso-Mexican tribes, revered the bird. The feathers and bones played a part in many rituals. Some of the northern tribes looked on the turkey as a friend of man and able to battle evil spirits.

 However, other tribes didn't hold the turkey in such high regard. The turkey's natural wariness and propensity for flight at the slightest provocation was cause for several tribes to look down on the bird and treat it as a coward. The Cheyenne wouldn't eat the bird fearing its flesh would make them cowardly also. The Apaches viewed the turkey likewise and would neither eat the bird nor use its feathers on their arrows.

 North American Indians had domesticated the turkey more than 500 years before the Europeans arrived. The Spaniards took turkeys back to Europe in the 1500's and English colonists, like the Pilgrims, brought domesticated turkeys with them to America in the 1600's.

 The next question about these large Native American birds may be. "Why is it a custom to eat turkey on Thanksgiving and Christmas?" The obvious answer would seem to be that the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving by roasting a turkey and we just carry on that tradition. The problem with that is, it is very unlikely the Pilgrims did in fact eat turkey that day. They certainly may have seen wild turkeys running around Plymouth. They may even have brought a domestic turkey over with them on the Mayflower. By all accounts surviving from that first feast, they ate lots of different foods, including a variety of meats; however there is no mention of turkey. The menu consisted of duck, venison, goose, seafoods, eels, white and corn breads, leeks, watercress, various other green vegetables, wild plums, dried berries, wine and beer. No mention is made of turkey. (Menu was provided by the New York Public Library Telephone Reference Desk)

  The custom of having a Thanksgiving turkey is probably a carryover from the English traditional Christmas goose. The turkey was no doubt more readily obtained in Colonial New England, so it was a good substitute. That would explain the Christmas turkey as well.

  Now, you ask, why are some people who aren't even in politics, referred to as turkeys? That use probably originated in the theater. A show was said to be a turkey when attendance and reception was low. This was frequently the fate of those performances given during the Holiday (turkey) seasons. They often played to a sparse, overstuffed and snoozing audience.

  Nowadays, the term is used to describe any disastrous endeavor, a very doltish person or any U.S. Vice President in this century.



Our selection of hand crafted, unique products will bring smiles to all of your friends and family. We offer clothing and accessories, home decor, and drink tumblers in a variety of styles and sizes. See our site for our complete product line.

You can find us at www.facebook.com/LunarCreations636 or on Instagram @LunarCreations636.


HUNTIN' TIP: “For an effective homemade turkey call: Shape and smooth an old roof slate and affix it to an empty tuna can or plastic screw top from instant coffee jar with silicone glue. For a striker, use an old acrylic tooth brush.” - Lloyd Barnhart

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.



  Things have slowed a bit which is normal around this time as folks are focused on turkey hunting and crappie fishing. The shop continues to stay busy finishing up a big order (55) of Indiana plaques with some shield shaped and Virginia plaques on the schedule. Go to www.backwoodsbound.com/ats.html for all the information on our line of After The Shot Trophy Plaques and remember we specialize in special shapes and designs. Give us a try!

  We need new tips, stories, recipes, tips, and photos for the upcoming spring and summer issues. Please share anything and everything you have. It’s the contributions of our readers that make the Bullet enjoyable for all. Share what you have and we’ll all be grateful. Send everything else to mail@backwoodsound.com.



Over 4000 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!



  Editor James Burns dug this one out from a few years ago of a couple of bucks “throwing down” in southern Illinois

Buck Fight

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



  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 1½” + right spur 1½” = 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



  Whether at camp or at home this no better meal on a cold day then a hearty bowl of chili. A delicious pot of chili made with Backwoods Bound Chili Seasoning Mix hits the spot as is sure to satisfy. Its unique blend of herbs and spices makes a great pot of chili everyone loves without the aid of added fillers or MSG!

Try it for all of your cooking needs! Backwoods Bound Chili Seasoning Mix makes all sorts of great meals you’ll love like jambalaya, enchiladas, stuffed manicotti and lasagna. Also try it as a dry rub or marinade on your beef and deer roasts or steaks.

  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!"



~ 1 lb lean deer burger
~ 1 medium onion, chopped
~ 1 tsp salt
~ 1/2 tsp pepper
~ 2 tbsp oil
~ 3 cups water
~ 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
~ 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
~ 1 - 11-1/2 oz. can V8 juice
~ 1 cup chopped celery
~ 1 cup sliced carrots
~ 1 tbsp parsley flakes
~ 2 tps basil
~ 1 bay leaf

* Heat the oil in a skillet and add the deer, onion, salt and pepper. Cook until just browned. Drain if needed.

* Place the meat in a crock pot.

* Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir well.

* Cook on low for about 8 hours or until the vegetables are tender.

* Discard bay leaf if you can find it and serve with a crusty style of warm bread.

* Enjoy.

Our thanks go to Todd Meyer for sending in this recipe. See more deer recipes at www.backwoodsbound.com/zdeer.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: Missouri and Tennessee are both bordered by eight other states. Missouri is bordered by Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky. And Tennessee is bordered by Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky.



   In late February, I received word of the passing of my friend and hunting companion Dan “Dano” Meads. I had the pleasure of hunting with Dano many years at our friend David Falconer’s ranch in Oklahoma. He seemed to always have a smile on his face and was a lot of fun to sit and shoot the breeze with around the fire in the evenings. I hadn’t seen him in a few years because a back injury pretty much ended his hunting days but would email him from time to time. At deer camp, someone would always bring him up in conversation and the last person to see or hear from him would fill us in on how he was doing.

  I dug through the archives and found this little ditty Dano sent us some years back and decided to share it once again in his memory. Rest in peace my friend and send a big buck by me next season. I can use all the help I can get. – James Burns, Editor.

 In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem....how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a 'Monkey' with 16 round indentations. However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make 'Brass Monkeys’.

 Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too low, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, “Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.” (All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn't you.)

Dano and Doe
Dano in 2006.


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