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Backwoods Bound Bullet Volume 25 - Issue 4

  Welcome to the April 2024 issue of The Bullet. Usually at this time of the year I make some statement like “spring is finally here” but spring has been around for a while so I won’t say that. You also don’t need to be reminded that the spring turkey season is upon us. Nor do you need to be reminded of the fact that crappie fishing season is in full swing. So that pretty much leaves only one thing left to say……

Enjoy issue number two hundred and eighty of The Backwoods Bound Bullet. Until next month, J. E. Burns, Editor-in-chief.


In this issue:

~ Backwoods Trivia
~ Recipe: Buck Thorn's Wild Turkey
~ Article: Rural Road Safety
~ Recipe: Crappie Gumbo
~ Article: Red Oak Turkey
~ What's New
~ Candid CamShots
~ Recipe: Classic Midwestern Deer Goulash


BACKWOODS TRIVIA: Do you know the answer to this month’s 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 a recipe for all you successful turkey hunters. However, a store-bought turkey will work. It just won’t have the more intense, more savory lip-smackin’ flavor only wild game has.

~ 1 wild turkey, 10 - 12 lbs.
~ 1 medium onion, halved
~ 1 orange, halved
~ ground black pepper to taste
~ 1/2 lb. thickly sliced Wild Boar bacon or any thick sliced pork bacon

* Preheat the oven to 500°F.

* Place the onion and orange in the cavity of the turkey and dust the outside with black pepper.

* Cover the turkey breast and legs with the bacon, truss the turkey and place on a V-shaped rack in a greased roasting pan.

* Cook for 15 minutes and immediately reduce the heat to 375°F and cover with foil.

* Cook 15 – 20 minutes per pound or until a leg feels very loose when wiggled. Baste occasionally with pan drippings.

* Brush with the glaze (recipe below) during the last 1 hour of cooking.

* Remove the turkey from the oven and let stand for 20 minutes before carving.

* Enjoy with your favorite sides and the homemade gravy.

* Prep & Cook Time: 3 to 4 hours. Serves 8-10


~ 1 cup cranberries
~ 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
~ 1/3 cup apricot jam
~ 3 tbsp Kentucky’s Finest Wild Turkey (80 proof) Bourbon plus 2 fingers for the chef!

* Combine the cranberries, orange juice, jam, and bourbon in a small saucepan.

* Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes.

Giblet & Egg Gravy

~ finely chopped neck and giblets from that turkey or substitute
~ 1/4 cup each chicken livers and gizzards.
~ 3 tbsp butter
~ 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
~ 3/4 tsp salt
~ 1/2 tsp black pepper
~ 3 cups chicken broth
~ 3 tbsp dry sherry
~ 1 large hard boiled (turkey?) egg sliced

* Over medium heat, melt butter in a small sauce pan.

* Add the meat, flour, salt and pepper. Cook while constantly stirring for two minutes.

* Slowly stir in the broth.

* Reduce heat and simmer until meat is cooked and the gravy thickened.

* Stir in the sherry and egg slices before serving.

* Serve with usual sides including the rest of that bottle of Wild Turkey!

“Now sit down, make sure you have ample elbow room so’s to not hurt anybody and gobble it up!” - Buck

Thanks to Buck Thorn for another great recipe. For more turkey recipe to try this turkey season or anytime go to: 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.



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 $40.95. 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."



  Spring is here. The trees and flowers are emerging from their winter slumber as they start to bud and blossom. The grass in your yard has started to go from brown to green. Heck, you may have already had the mower out getting it at an even height or mulching leaves and debris from the winter. While we fuss about the thought of cutting the grass the next six months we need to remember that it’s also planting season for folks who farm.

  That means there will be trucks hauling seed and fertilizer on the roads along with tractors, big and small, pulling mowers, plows, discs and planters on the roads with us. If you live in the big city you probably don’t encounter such things but you may venture out to the country side on occasion so you need to be aware of what the folks who live in rural and suburban areas see quite often. So to help us all stay safe, here’s a list of things to help insure everyone stays safe on the road this time of the year.

  1. Remain alert. Do I really need to say that? You should be alert anytime you’re driving. This means, phone down!

  2. Watch for slow moving vehicles. Tractors may be big and powerful but they can be as slow as stink off poop. Top speed rarely exceeds 20 – 25 mph. This can go for other farm equipment too.

  3. Be patient. It may take you a few extra minutes to get to the store to get your smokes but just relax, you’ll get there.

  4. Slow down. This is related to #1 of this list. You may come around a blind curve or top a hill only to find a tractor or spray rig in your lane or coming straight at you. An extra second or two to respond could be the difference in life or death.

  5. Maintain a safe following distance. If you do find yourself behind a piece of farm equipment it may be wise not to tailgate. You never know when something may fall off the equipment or tractor like mud and such.

  6. Pass with caution. Make sure it is clear to pass and do so as quickly and safely as possible and use your signal to let others know your intentions! Watch for quick turns or lane changes by the tractor. Most bigger, newer tractors have things like mirrors, turn signals, brake lights and other flashing safety lights. But you may not notice the brake lights or a turn indicator if the driver signals for a turn while the other safety lights and signals are flashing. Also, remember, older tractors don’t have all of that stuff so the driver might not know you are behind them and brake quickly or make a quick turn. Just remember rule #1 above!

  7. Share the road safely. Farm equipment has the right to be on the road too. Remember, these are the folks that grow our food whether it is corn, wheat, soybeans, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, cows, chickens, pigs….really everything! They’re trying to do a job and keep us and their families fed so take it easy out there and give them some room. And God bless the farmers.


FUN FACT:  The movie Jaws was the first movie to earn $100 million dollars. Released in 1975, it was also the first to earn $200 million.

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


FISHIN' TIP: "When fishing with top water lures remember to give the fish time to grab it and then set the hook. It’s real easy to get excited when a bass strikes at a lure and you jerk the bait away from them before they actually have the lure in its mouth." – Greg Munson

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: "The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time." – Abraham Lincoln

 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.



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~ 1 lb. crappie fillets, cut into bite size pieces
~ 1/4 cup butter
~ 1/2 cup chopped onion
~ 1 small green pepper, chopped
~ 1 clove garlic, chopped
~ 1/2 cup chopped celery
~ 1 - 28oz. can tomatoes
~ 1 pound okra, fresh or frozen
~ 1 cup water
~ 1/4 tsp thyme
~ 1/4 - 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, amount depends on how spicy you want it
~ salt and pepper to taste
~ 2 cups cooked rice
~ tabasco sauce

* In large soup pot melt the butter. Sauté the onion, green pepper, garlic and celery until tender.

* Add the tomatoes, okra, water, thyme, red pepper and salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

* Add the crappie and cook for 10 - 15 minutes or until the fish starts to flake.

* Serve over cooked rice in individual bowls. Season to taste with tabasco sauce.

* Enjoy!

For more delicious 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.


ARTICLE: RED OAK TURKEY by David L. Falconer

  The gobblers just wouldn’t come to a call, but we were seeing them all through the day, each of them with a harem that followed, admiring the big Toms as they would strut among their entourage. Several young jakes were among the different flocks we had seen. Grandpa had killed one the week before that had come to the call after gobbling one time during the middle of the day. The gobbler had stepped out in the old logging road and gobbled one last time before grandpa sent the load of #5’s through the jake’s head and neck.

  We were spring turkey hunting Oklahoma in the early 1990’s near Red Oak, a small town in the southeast between McAlester and Poteau. We had been hunting this area for several years and had many successful hunts. The birds were plentiful and most would answer a call, even if they had a dozen hens around them already.

  It was the last week of season and the single jake was all we had managed to harvest up to this point. We had two different flocks patterned though. We knew this one group of turkeys was coming up from the south side of the mountain and cross right next to the largest pond on the mountain and they were doing it before 8 AM. Another flock of birds was coming out of this old logging road into an abandoned gas well road less than a half mile away before 9 AM.

  Since we had no luck calling the birds, Grandpa and I decided an ambush was in order. I chose the turkey at the pond. He decided he would try the turkey on the logging road. We spent the evening up on the top of the mountain, moving along the edges and calling with no luck. We decided to go try this huge field with a triangular patch of woods in the center that always had turkeys around it.

  As we drove up to the pond and slightly past it, I hollered for grandpa to stop. Where the road dropped off the mountain was 4 big gobblers feeding along the side of the road, walking around the edge of the crest one at a time. We knew they had seen the truck. We also knew that side of the hill had a natural flat on it and the thick pine and cedar across the top opened up to the south and there was a really good chance those turkeys would follow that flat.

  Shouldering the single shot ten gauge, I headed toward the opening in the pines at a trot. The top of the hill was mostly pasture-like and I could move quickly and quietly at the same time. Hunkering down as I approached the opening, I had the big shotgun in my hands. As my eyes looked over the edge of the hill one of the big gobblers stepped out about 20 feet away and I shot him. He went down in a flop of wings as I struggled to get another shell in the gun, but the other three birds hit the air and sailed down the mountain.

  Walking up to the big Eastern gobbler lying at my feet, I grinned at the 10-inch beard and the mature spurs on its legs. Picking it up, grandpa pulled up in the truck.

  “Was it the biggest?” he asked with a grin.

  “It was the first one I saw,” I answered truthfully.

  Grandpa laughed. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.” He looked over my bird and I could tell he was happy with it. “That’s a good turkey!”

 We had killed a lot of turkeys over the years and we appreciated them all. We decided to take the turkey in and check it and get some rest so we could start plenty early in the morning. The bird weighed 20 lbs., 10 inch beard, 1 inch spurs.

  Grandpa decided on the way home the next morning that he was going to sit down the hill from where those three turkeys were headed. If he did not see anything by 8 AM, he would head over to the logging and gas well road.

  We were sitting on top of the mountain well before dawn. I walked down the old road across the top of the hill in the dark, my boot steps soft in the moist dirt. The dew had the grass as well as if it had rained and I was trying to decide how I was going to set up when I got near the pond.

 The pines around the pond had caught the dew and I found that the inside bank of the pond was dry. A gentle slope and a small dip made a very comfortable hollow for me to fit in and I lay on my stomach, watching over the pond dam. I checked my watch and it was a quarter to 7. I set my call to the side, vowing not to even use it unless I saw turkeys too far to shoot.

  The morning was pretty and I love the sound of a forest waking up. The last calls of the whippoorwill before he quiets for the day. The many caws of the crows waking up all over the mountains almost seemed like human communication. Somewhere in the far distance I could hear a cow bawling, probably over a calf. Then the parade came around the end of a cedar thicket.

  Mesmerized, I watched as 19 hens came around the edge of the thicket before the tall, stately boss gobbler made his appearance. He was in full strut, the power brush of his wings audible at the 50 yards distance he was from me. I took a deep breath, wishing I had the 10 gauge over top of the pond.

  Moving back down the bank, I crawl to my right about 5 yards and come up behind a big pine, easing the 10 gauge over the top and toward the big time. There are more hens than I can count and I can hear some of them just to the other side of the pond dam as the gobbler moved to within 35 yards.

  The gobbler was still strutting, his head close to his body and I did not want to take that shot. Suddenly it was no longer my decision as a hen walked right into my face.

  With a startled putt, she hit the air and I came to my knees, the big gobbled standing up straight, neck stretched as the world became a million flying turkeys. The 10 gauge boomed at the bead settled an inch below his head and he was down. I was up and running, the 10 gauge breaking open and the 3 1.2 inch magnum shell ejecting over my shoulder as I slammed another one home.

  He wasn’t going anywhere. I walked up to him and he was beautiful. He was almost the twin of the one I had killed the day before. Later I would find out this one had a 10½ inch beard and he weighed 20 lbs. too. I could hear the truck coming up the road and I met grandpa at the road with my turkey. I quickly filled out the tag and we headed over to where the other flock of turkeys should come out.

  I didn’t even think about going with grandpa as I sat there, watching him walk through the woods, a tall lanky man with the 12 gauge Browning auto-5 hanging from his hand like it was an extension of the man. I fished a brown sack from the back seat of the truck and found a can of smoked Vienna sausages and some crackers. In another sack I found a semi-cool soda and opened it, holding it out the window as it foamed.

  As I was eating the last sausage with a cracker I heard the 12 gauge boom and I got out of the truck, leaving the 10 gauge in the truck. I met him coming up the road, the turkey over his shoulder.

  Quietly, the way hunting men talk in the woods, he said “They were coming out as soon as I got there. I counted 16 hens before he came out. I just sit there and they walked right past me until I shot this one.”

  I looked it over and it was a good turkey, but it was not the big one we had seen before. I looked at him with a grin and he said, “This one came by first and when he saw me I was gonna shoot him and then get the big boy.”

  “What happened?” I asked. I had seen grandpa kill five quail on a covey rise before and I knew he had let that bird get close enough.

  Grandpa shrugged. “I expected him to fly when I shot this one. He ran and I wouldn’t shoot at him through the woods. He deserves better than that.”

 Grandpa and I walked out of the woods, headed for the truck. He had told me the best hunt is to hunt all season and to make your kill on the last day in the last light of the day. This was the last full weekend of that turkey season and I can tell you right now that it been one heck of a hunt.


HUNTIN' TIP: "It’s a good idea to gently shake your mushrooms after you pick them. This helps shake off spores that will grow into more mushrooms. Also carry your “catch” in a mess bag. As you walk around hunting for more mushrooms even more spores will fall off there by “seeding” your area." – George Wilkenson

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.



  We could use some new recipes for wild hog, fish/seafood, moose, elk and exotics so we can expand their sections. We also want to start recipe sections for antelope and buffalo so send those in too. Send them to mail@backwoodsbound.com and check out the recipe section at www.backwoodsbound.com/recipe.html.

  Keep your Trail Camera photos coming in too! We need to stockpile a few more to get us through the summer months so don’t be shy, send yours in! We don’t care what they’re of just send them our way.

  We still need your hunting and fishing stories for upcoming issues of The Bullet. They don’t have to be long or professionally written. Just tell it in your own words and send it in. Send them to mail@backwoodsbound.com.

  And remember to order your After The Shot Trophy Plaque now! There’s no better time to get that trophy on the wall than now. Keep in mind that we do special designs like arrowheads and shields! Visit our site for more information and to place your order.



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!



  Our friend Tim Bradley just got this one from his camera so he sent it in for us to enjoy. If you look close there’s another Ohio gobbler back by the tree.

Ohio Gobbler

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



  Winter has passed but not that craving for a hot and hearty meal of homemade chili made with Backwoods Bound Chili Seasoning Mix! Our unique blend of herbs and spices makes a meal everyone will love!

  We add NO fillers or MSG so what you’re getting is chili tasting the way it was meant to taste!

 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.

 See our collection of great recipes at www.backwoodsbound.com/zchili.html and be sure to send in yours!

  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 1/2 lbs ground deer
~ 3 tbsp olive oil
~ 1 large yellow onion, chopped
~ 1 green bell pepper, chopped
~ 2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
~ 1 bay leaf
~ 1/4 tsp basil
~ 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
~ 1 – 15 oz. can tomato sauce
~ 1 – 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
~ 1 – 4 oz. can sliced mushrooms
~ 1 heaping tbsp. brown sugar
~ 1 1/2 cups V8 juice
~ 1 tsp seasoning salt
~ 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
~ 1 - 1 1/2 cups uncooked macaroni

* In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the deer meat and brown.

* Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook until onion becomes transparent, about 10 minutes.

* Add the rest of the ingredients except the macaroni.

* Bring to a boil, stir, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

* Stir in the macaroni. Cover and cook 20 minutes or until the macaroni is tender stirring occasionally.

* Serve with fresh baked garlic bread.

* Enjoy.

Thanks to Billy Mike for sharing this recipe. To see more deer recipes visit our site at www.backwoodsbound.com/zdeer.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.


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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