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23 November 2017


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Thank you, George. I'm sure the dinner we'll have this afternoon with some friends in the neighborhood won't look quite like the Rockwell painting, but the gratefulness for what we all have will be there.
Our health, freedoms and prosperity are worth devoting a day to remember.


We have so much to be thankful for with the family gathering for dinner and good conversation. Wishing you and your family the best on this Thanksgiving day.

Todd Juvinall

Life is good. Happy Tday to all. The SPD turkey is into the oven soon.~ Family gathers. Liberals hide from happiness. LOL!


Happy holidays one and all.
Yes, we have a lot to be thankful for. Like Trump being President, and not Hillary.

Safe travels There is arguing to do tomorrow.

jon smith

Our county's "wild" turkey population has been reduced by two. These turkeys are pretty dumb. I arrowed one from about 50 yards then its brother appeared from the brush to start pecking at the body. My wife hosed it with goose load. Named Todd and Don, we brined them over night, skewered them bow to stern with steel spits, and now they are slowly turning in a fog of 220 degree manzanita smoke from wood that was humanely harvested from the lower forty (carefully washed to avoid any cross contamination from the neighborhood victory gardens).

Todd Juvinall

Hey thanks for the honor of being the bird that will croak you after eating that manzanita smoke. I call that karma.

jon smith

Manzanita is one of the finest smoking/cooking woods in the world. It is like hickory without the bite. For some tang I might add a couple of sticks of mountain mahogany from up the hill, but not for these birds today. This afternoon, 4 pounds of wild morels will be lightly smoked then sautéed with butter mixed with a mild cheese sauce and a splash gewürztraminer.

George Rebane

jons 1033am - thanks for sharing that mouthwatering thanksgiving prep Mr smith. And that's a great shot with a bow at 50yds. Happy Thanksgiving to you both.


Posted by: George Rebane | 23 November 2017 at 10:50 AM

I should call BS but in the spirit of the day...hat tip!


That was directed at the bowman not you George!


Good shooting jon. Now just who told you that brush was good for smoking??? ( I live to smoke critter meat.) Your the first to even try that I know of. Good luck. I would find Cherry or Peach (Too bloody late now.....)


Well,,, jon may be on to something. Doing some investigating, others sing the praises of manzanita. ( must be good and dead dry)
But bump the heat up to at least 250, or bacteria can start growing.
Looks like I will give that wood a test. (Brisket or pork shoulder)

Don Bessee

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!!! Time to baste the 20 pounder. Wild rice w/mushrooms, scalloped potatoes, asparagus, breads, pie and all the rest of the usual suspects! I think its time for a mimosa. Have a great one gang! :-)

jon smith

50 yards is a long shot, but certainly within range of a well sighted compound. Not counting operator error, a steady hold on the 50 yard pin will hit a beer can about every time. It also helps to have a clean up hitter with a 10 gauge at the side for backup.
Walt- my cousin from Georgia comes up every year to visit family and always goes home with a small trailer of manzanita for BBQ (they know BBQ in Georgia). This speaks volumes from a guy who lives with hickory, pecan, and red oak in his yard.


Posted by: jon smith | 23 November 2017 at 11:49 AM

I retract......I read that as 150 yards!

Nice shooting Tex!

Todd Juvinall

What kind of music did the Pilgrims listen to?

Plymouth Rock!

jon smith

Reeling from another Thanksgiving feast. In all honesty, the wild birds were not as desirable as the domestic Standard Bronze we bought at 4H auction. Both Todd and Don had incredible flavor but were predictably lean and despite being brined were still tough. Their crops were full of acorns and manzanita berries and you could taste the wonderful natural flavors . . . but the succulent (bland) meat of the locally farmed bird won over the table and I must concur. Sad to say, but there is a reason for genetic selection when it comes to the Western pallet. On the other hand, the wild huckleberry and wild gooseberry pies and the morels could, in no way, be duplicated by anything domestic. Not a lick left in the pan. And even if you are red neck heathens, I hope y'all had a great Thanksgiving :-)

Bill Tozer

jon smith.
Huck pie? Huck pie! Where did you get wild huckleberries around these parts? Man, picking those little berries from the difficult to pick plants and all that work to get just a pound...well, congrats, sir. About 5 years ago, huckleberries were going for 14 bucks a pound in the region where they actually do grow wild . Lots of labor., but worth the effort. I am so jealous. Ever try homemade Huck salsa? Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it.

Good shot on the bird. Smart to use the bow and not the scattershot. It’s quiet and no one hears the gun shot. They really come down on ya hard for shooting turkeys in Lake Wildwood. Bow and arrow is the way to go, otherwise security comes a’knocking. Smooth move. :).

jon smith

The huckleberries and gooseberries are from Montana. A buddy sends us a couple of gallon Zip Locks-full every August as an annual early (or late) Christmas present. We send him morels in the spring. We catch morels in the hills above Quincy. Lots of morels around Nevada City, but also a lot of very apt morel hunters and it can get pretty competitive.

The turkeys were shot up on Round Mountain (BLM and USFS) above Edwards Xing. Dime a dozen some years (like this one). Dry years can be more of an effort unless I were to choose to shoot the "pet" flock off the lawn.

Bill Tozer

@ 10:02am, The day after.
Morels or magic mushrooms? They grow wild (and profusely)under cow pies in the pastures up in Oregon. In the 70’s, the local Oregon papers were full of stories of Old MacDonald sitting in the rocking chair looking out across the back 40 seeing hordes of city folks turning over cow pies, trespassing with feverish abandon. Explains some of your posts. Just kidding. Or was I?

Never once heard one person say wild turkeys tasted better than farm bred and store bought. I can now add you to the list of testimonials. Have a nice day ruminating over the feast of thankfulness yesterday. We are truly blessed. Montana is where I get Huck pie fixings as well. NW Montana.

When St Helens blew, I was in the direct path of the ash cloud in the sticks in Northern Idaho. Dumped more ash there than in places much closer or the cities like Spokane and where the news reports were coming from. Every road was closed, no way to get in or out for days. Isolated in a town the world forgot. No cops, no help, no power, and to repeat, no way in, no way out. No food, no beer...no cigs.....the tiny market’s supplies were cleaned out after a couple of days and even the big jar of pickled eggs in the one bar got bought out...with all the beverages. The ambulance tried to make it to a medical emergency and never made it to the emergency or back. Was visiting for the afternoon to attend the graduating classes from the ole’ one room school house. My host had 24 guests down for the day. We all were stuck in that tiny house for a few days. If one tried to escape and head home, they only made it 6 miles before the engine blew. Same for boats., planes, everything. It got very interesting and shades of the natives running amok were rearing it’s humorous, yet ugly head

Then, when it seemed nobody could handle situation any longer, some teenagers discovered that magic mushrooms were popping g up everywhere under the deep layer of volcanic ash. Then it got really interesting. Something that never made the news and something I will never forget. Made me appreciate authority as the next step was Lord of the Flies. Another page from my Encylopedia of Worthless Information. Have a great day, one and all. Even you, Tiny Tim. Morsels, eh. Rightttttt. :)

jon smith

I think a problem with folks not liking the taste of wild turkeys, is the expectation that they'll taste like Butterballs. Wild turkey meat flavors are complex and unto themselves in the world of fowl. I'd rate wild turkey near the top of any wild game. The texture on the other hand . . . imagine the toughest drumstick you ever chewed on and you'll get the idea of how it is to chew on wild turkeys. There are plenty of techniques to tenderize the birds but they inevitably ruin the flavor. I'd rather gnaw on the real deal.

Did magic mushrooms a few times in college. VERY glad to have had the experience, but don't need to repeat it.

Bill Tozer

jon smith
Wonder how many times in the annuals of history some mischievous grandkids of raging hormone age put some mushrooms in Grandma’s stuffing. My, Grandmother, what big teeth you have.

Actually, I did have wild turkey once, but you explained the dilemma well and exonerated
a very beaten down host. All this time we thought he had dried that bird way too much, (‘totally dried it out’ is putting it in the best light)) and were convinced he did not know what he was doing. A big lead balloon and wet blanket thrown on my friend’s head one Thanksgiving Feast many moons ago. Yep, I gnawed on the drumstick and thought the cook (my buddy and host) really messed up this time, all the while everybody sat silent and chewing on leather pretending everything was A-OK, as I was praying the cook would please please not ask in proud anticipation, “How’s the turkey, everybody?!”

My friend’s lovely bride said it all with the look on her frozen stoic face, and you could tell her wheels were turning. Then somebody said it was drier than a popcorn fart, one of the kids said it was “crap”, and the parents jumped on the kid for embarrassing the entire family and for using that kind of language at the dinner table...in front of (gasp!) Grandma, Grandpa, and the vagabond Biker Bill. Well, it’s was grandpa who made the popcorn remark, so he was cool. It was like chewing leather, but tougher, much tougher. No way was the drumstick ever going to soften up.

So, my friend cooked it right, eh? . He got barred from ever cooking the T-Day turkey again by the lovely bride and it was quite to blow to the ego. He took it as one big failure. I got to send him the good news. He cooked that wild turkey perfectly. We were all wrong and fell victim to false expectations. Thanks, jon smith.

Bill Tozer

Or, he probably did really mess up. Either way, I don’t count that one time as a legitimate stab at wild turkey.

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