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Welcome to the April 2010 issue of The Bullet. We begin a special time of the year this month. There's a lot going on! The spring turkey season begins this month, crappie fishing hits its peak, conservation goose seasons conclude, and it's time for spring planting. If that's not enough to keep you busy then you're not doing it right. The main thing to keep in mind is to stay safe and have fun. So after you finishing reading this issue, get out and do something!

Just a brief update on our Name the Feature Contest. It is going great! We've received a lot of great names from you guys and it's going to be hard to pick a winner. If you haven't submitted your suggestion there's still time to get it in. See the details in this issue or on our site.

It seems like I say this every month but we've got another jammed packed issue this month so enough said. Let's get to it and enjoy issue one hundred and fifteen of The Backwoods Bound Bullet. Until next month, J. E. Burns - editor-in-chief.

In this issue:

~ Backwoods Trivia
~ Recipe: Wild Turkey Gumbo
~ Article: Increased Interest Driving Proposed Expansion of Muskie Waters
~ Article: Rainstorms and Love Sickness
~ Recipe: Tasty Deer Chops
~ What's New
~ Article: Throw an Ancient Lure for Early Spring Bass
~ Recipe: Pineapple Upside Down Cake


BACKWOODS TRIVIA: We've ran this question before but since it's turkey season we'll run it again. See if you know it.

'What four colors should you avoid wearing while turkey hunting?'

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



~ 5 - 6 lb wild turkey, cut into pieces
~ 2 qt's water
~ 2 lb fresh okra, trimmed and sliced
~ 1 green pepper, chopped
~ ½ cup chopped celery
~ 2 tbsp butter
~ 1 tbsp flour
~ 2 cloves garlic, minced
~ 1/3 cup tomato paste
~ 3 bay leaves
~ 1 tbsp salt, divided
~ dash of cayenne pepper or Tabasco sauce
~ cooked white rice

* In a large soup pot, sauté the okra in the butter. Add the flour and cook a few minutes until it begins to turn brown.

* Stir in the celery, garlic, and green pepper. Stir for another minute or so.

* Add the water, bay leaves, 1 tsp salt, cayenne pepper and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.

* Add the turkey and simmer for 1 ½ - 2 hours or until tender. Remove the turkey and remove the meat from the bones. Cut meat into small pieces and return to the gumbo.

* Let gumbo simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and add rest of the salt if necessary. Add more salt if needed.

* Serve over cooked white rice.

* Enjoy.

For more delicious turkey recipes, 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.



If you haven't sent in your entry for our contest naming our new feature where you guys send in your trail camera pictures you still have time. But not much time because the contest ends April 18, 2010!

Here's a quick recap of the details. We are giving away a FREE DVD copy of "Whitetail Revolution" from Versus Country television to the person who comes up with the best name for our newest feature on our web site. The new feature highlights pictures from your trail cameras showing funny, unusual or monster bucks.

Visit our site at www.backwoodsbound.com/funphotos2.html for all the details about the contest, more info about this great prize or to fill out the easy to use entry form. Or send your entry to: contest@backwoodsbound.com before April 18, 2010. Thanks and good luck!

We also need your trail cam pictures! We only have a couple of our own to start with so we need more! Send any and all of them to mail@backwoodsbound.com and don't forget to give the where, when, who, what, etc for the caption.



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thru April 30 and earrings $3.98 per pair!

From maracas to margaritas, peppers to piñatas - we can be as "kreative" as you need! All of our charms can also be personalized!

Any of our designs can be wine charms, water bottle charms, earrings (in 3 sizes), zipper pulls, bookmarks, or charms without rings (great for scrap-bookers).

All other themes are 20% off this month! Regular price $2.99, now $2.39 each!

Sale ends April 30, 2010! Visit our site at: www.karensglabels.com or e-mail us at karen@karensglabels.com with questions or comments.

'If you can think it, we can shrink it!'



Minnesota is the nation's premier trophy muskie fishing destination today based on the abundance of catchable 50-plus inch fish and larger, and anglers are taking the bait.

The growing popularity of the sport has even led the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to consider increasing the number of muskie waters around the state.

The five waters that currently do not contain muskie but could in the future include Roosevelt Lake in Crow Wing County; Upper South Long and Lower South Long in Crow Wing County; Tetonka in Le Sueur County; and the Sauk River Chain in Stearns County. These lakes were chosen based on their geographic location, their suitability based on various natural resource criteria, and their ability to produce trophy-sized muskie (at least 48 inches long).

Lakes were selected from the south, central and northern portions of the state in an effort to provide a geographical balance of nearby muskie fishing opportunities. Currently, Minnesota is home to 116 muskie waters, 64 of which are the result of DNR stocking efforts.

The tremendous growth of this fishery is hooked directly to research that occurred 30 years ago this spring.

In 1980, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) research biologists and citizen volunteers discovered at long last the locations of Leech Lake's muskellunge spawning sites. In doing so, fish managers identified an annual source of eggs from the largest-growing strain of muskellunge in Minnesota.

'The 1980 discovery played a pivotal role in Minnesota's muskie management,' said Tim Goeman, a DNR regional fisheries manager. 'It was the seed that grew into to an enhanced muskie management program. The program incorporates science-based criteria on where and how to stock muskie and research evaluations to ensure our stocking efforts are not harming other fish communities.'

As the program evolved, the fish grew and so did the number of waters stocked with muskie.

The DNR created the opportunity and interest followed. Currently, 14 percent of the Minnesota angling license buyers identify themselves as muskie anglers and another 18 percent say they have an interest in catching a muskie. Ten years ago only 4 percent of anglers identified themselves as muskie anglers.

The DNR is well aware that not everyone is enamored with the muskie. To that end, the agency will be gathering public comments and is planning input forums in the months ahead. Currently the department is sharing muskie management information and making it available to citizens. If the DNR does move forward with any of the five proposals, the first stocking would begin in 2011 and it would be 12 to 15 years before the fish would reach the legal minimum size of 48 inches.

Meanwhile, Goeman said, the agency is being as transparent as possible as to why these waters were selected and why adding muskie to them will have no effect on other fish populations.

'Though muskies, northern pike, walleye and panfish have successfully co-existed for thousands of years in many lakes, it's not illogical to believe that introducing a top predator into a body of water will have some impact,' said Goeman. 'Even our own fisheries managers had questions about this. That's why we did an extensive investigation that compared fish communities before and after muskie stocking in 41 different lakes. In the end, we found stocking muskies had no consistent negative effect.'

A key explanation for this finding is rooted in the density of muskies Minnesota stocks per lake the types of lakes it selects for stocking. Another reason relates to the muskie's preference to prey upon non-game soft-rayed fish species, primarily redhorse, suckers and northern cisco. Muskie prefer these species because of their torpedo-shaped body and soft dorsal fins, which make them easy to ingest. Walleye, bluegill, bass and crappie all have spiny dorsal fins and the later are more elliptical in shape.
Studies in certain other states, including Wisconsin, have indicated negative fish community impacts as a result of muskie stocking, it is also true that those studies involved smaller lakes where stocking rates were dramatically higher. Goeman said circumstances are different in Minnesota.

Goeman encourages those who have an interest the muskie stocking proposals to contact their local fisheries manager.

To find out more, including information on the agency's long-range northern pike and muskie plan, proposed stocking plans for each of the five lakes, and the DNR's study on the muskie's impact on other fish communities is available online at: www.dnr.state.mn.us/fish/muskellunge/muskiefaq.html.

'We've come a long ways in 30 years,' said Goeman. 'In fact, we are making significant strides toward the goals of our long-range muskie and northern pike plan. We want people to understand where we've been, where we're going and how they can make informed decisions.'

Find information about the great fishing opportunities that Minnesota has to offer on their web site at: www.dnr.state.mn.us/index.html.


FUN FACTS: Since the spring turkey season starts this month, this month's fun facts are about the wiry bird. 'A wild turkey has excellent vision and hearing. Their field of vision is about 270 degrees. Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird to be a turkey. Wild turkeys can run at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.' - Sagarika Vishnoi

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



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The cold trickle of water down my back brought a shiver as I pulled my collar tighter. The light rain had turned to a mist, but the pines and hardwood leaves above us had enough rain accumulated to make it seem like it was still raining.

Grandpa and I were turkey hunting off Pigeon Creek road east of Big Cedar in Southeastern Oklahoma. The Ouachita Mountains had recently opened for turkey season and we had taken several nice birds from this area. The large clear cuts had given the hens a great nesting area and we had called several birds, but had not connected with one of them yet.

The rolling thunder storm this morning had delayed our start as we sit in the roll-up camper drinking coffee and eating Little Debbie Pecan Rolls for breakfast.

Yesterday, we had chased a big gobbler up the mountain to the south of us, crossing a clear cut that was in its 3rd year of growth which means it was nearing the last of its life as far as hunting it went. It would soon be so thick, you could not see a turkey if he was 15 feet from you. I had seen the bird through some brush, but I had been taught gun safety by a man who allowed no exceptions to his rules. Not only did he forbid such a shot from a safety reason, but the animal deserved better and I stood and watched that bird walk off, grandpa grinning as he saw me trembling from the desire to shoot.

When the bird was gone, he patted me on the shoulder and said, 'We'll get another chance son.'

We had rushed to get ahead of this bird and we would have made it too except we ran up on a big cottonmouth that lay right in the path we were taking. The big snake was coiled to strike and Grandpa picked up a big rock and crushed the snake. Grandpa doesn't kill snakes for fun, but I knew he did not want either of us to run into that big mean snake in the dark later.

The gobbler gobbled at the sound of the rock smashing the snake, but he wasn't letting any grass grow under his feet as he headed back to where he had roosted the past two mornings in a row.

It was good daylight as grandpa opened the door of the camper and it was a mist. He said, 'I think this storm will clear early this morning. I want to be above that clear cut when it stops raining.

So we had put on our camo, including the East German camo overcoats he had bought us at the Army Surplus Store in Fort Smith, Arkansas. They had a bit too much yellow in them except they matched those clear cuts good! And, they repelled water great.

That is how I ended up above that clear cut as the rain stopped and the sun suddenly broke out of the clouds. Grandpa smiled and said, 'Right on time.'

We found the remnants of a road and followed it through the clear cut until we were actually above the area where we had lost the gobbler yesterday. As we studied it, the gobbler gobbled straight above, less that 200 yards away. With a nod, Grandpa pointed across this big ravine and told me to set up to where I could shoot uphill because that gobbler would come down one side or the other.

I was 14 years old and as quick as a cat I was across that ravine and found a small group of cedars with a few scrub hickories that I could stand in the middle of comfortably. The soft yellowish leaves of the hickory let my overcoat blend in well.

The soft purr of that Lynch box call in grandpa's hand coaxed a double gobble from up the hill and I grinned. Grandpa was gonna sweet talk that old bird right into our laps. A few yelps drew two more gobbles and I knew that old bird wasn't expecting anyone to be damn fool enough to be out in that storm and no one had called to him this close to where he roosted. He obviously did not know the fools he was dealing with because we were about to collect him.

The turkey gobbled again and I guessed him a hundred yards and closing when I looked to my left and there stood a big gobbler, sneaking in to steal the lady-love from the fellow up above us. Now, I wanted that big bird up the hill, but this fellow's beard was dragging the ground and he wasn't short-legged. The ten gauge settled solidly against my shoulder and roared almost in the same instant. Grandpa said he could have hurdled the truck with just his butt muscles 'cause he wasn't expecting me to shoot! I heard him call to me.

'Davey, what did you get?'

I said, 'A big Tom turkey grandpa.'

I heard him crossing the ravine and he saw the big Eastern turkey and let out a whistle.

'Where did he come from?'

Pointing on past us, I said, 'From that direction.'

Kneeling beside him, Grandpa said, 'Son, this turkey is tall, but he's poor.' He spread out his wingtips and they were worn down from strutting.

'Is he sick?' I asked.

Grandpa smoothed the wing feathers as he said, 'Love sick. Boys and turkeys often forget to eat when girls are involved.' He pulled a small tape measure from his pocket and measured the beard. It was 11 ½ inches long. 'That's the longest beard we've gotten yet.'

I was pretty darn proud of that turkey. Picking the turkey up, I put him over my shoulder. The big 10 gauge with the 36 inch barrel was on one side and the turkey over the other. Grandpa offered to carry one or the other, but I told him I could manage.

That gobbler weighed close to 50 lbs when we finally got back to the road to camp, but the scales were broke because they said he only weighed 18 pounds.

We took him and checked him in at Big Cedar and their scales matched ours. I told that guy to let it hang there a while, it would get heavier.

Driving back to camp, Grandpa said, 'That old boy up there has more luck than any turkey I ever seen.'

When we got out of the truck, we heard that big gobbler gobble in the valley below camp and grandpa shook his head. We cleaned the turkey I killed and put him on ice. I could see grandpa was already planning our next hunt for that old boy. We never did get him that season, but neither did anyone else.

When I was 12 years old I read The Old Man and the Boy, by Robert Ruark and I felt those stories as though I lived them. Grandpa taught me not only to love the hunt, but to love and remember the details. The kill in a hunt is a very necessary part of it, but it is only a part. Non-hunters have a hard time understanding that. Those of us who hunt understand it without anything else being spoken.


FISHIN' TIP: 'The old saying that says that if you're not getting your hook snagged then you aren't fishing where the fish are at is certainly true when fishing for crappie. Crappie like to hang out on or near brush piles, sunken logs, homemade 'cribs' and other submerged objects that the odds of getting snagged are very high. To help get free when snagged try using Aberdeen hooks as they are made from thin wire and usually straighten out when you pull it free. You can then bend it back into shape and keep fishing.' - Otis Turner

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: 'We're prepared to place our trust in the people to reshape the government. Liberals place their trust in the government to reshape the people.' - Newt Gingrich

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.



~ deer chops, cut ½' - ¾' thick
~ 1 large onion, thinly sliced
~ ketchup
~ Worcestershire sauce

* Place the chops in a deep skillet.

* Cover with the onion slices.

* In a bowl, mix equal amounts of ketchup and Worcestershire together. Mix enough to cover the chops.

* Pour mixture over the chops and cook over medium - low heat. Simmer until tender.

* You can add a jar of mild salsa with the ketchup mixture for a different taste.

* Serve and enjoy.

Our thanks to Brad Dreese for sending in this easy to make recipe. Visit our site at www.backwoodsbound.com/zdeer.html for more delicious deer recipes.

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.


HUNTIN' TIP: Now is the time of year to plant your food plots for deer and turkeys. Planting the right mixture in the spring gives bucks a good protein source they need during the critical months of antler growth. Does also benefit from the food source while nursing their fawns. Planting in the spring also allows your plot to develop with plenty of moisture so it can grow a strong root system before the heat and drought of summer arrives.

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.



OVER 3,400 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: editor@backwoodsbound.com.

The spring turkey and trout seasons are fast approaching so place your ad now!



The entries continue to come in on for our Name the Feature Contest. We've received a lot of great names and it's going to be hard to pick a winner. There is still time to get your entry in. Send your name suggestion to contest@backwoodsbound.com. You can find all the details on our site at www.backwoodsbound.com/funphotos2.html and remember the deadline for entries is April 18, 2010.

While we're on the subject of our new feature, we want to remind everyone that WE NEED your trail camera pictures! Make sure and tell us the where, when, who and any other info that helps explain the photo. Send them in jpg format to mail@backwoodsbound.com. We hope this turns into something everyone will take part in so send in your pictures.

Plaque sales continue to be strong as more people discover that we make some of the best if not the best State Shaped Trophy Plaques out there. With our many styles to chose from we have a style to fit everyone's need. We continue to receive orders from individuals, companies, and organizations that use our plaques for awards for various occasions. Check out our entire line of State Shaped Trophy Plaques on our site at www.backwoodsbound.com/antlrplaq01.html.

The recipes continue to roll in and we've gotten behind in posting new ones on the site. But don't sending them in! We always need new recipes for the newsletter and the site. We added a new section for moose recipes last month and could use some more of them to expand that section. We also need recipes for buffalo, antelope, sheep, and fish and seafood. If you or someone you know have any and feel like sharing we'd love to have them. Our e-mail is mail@backwoodsbound.com.

As always send your photos, tips, stories, fun facts and recipes to mail@backwoodsbound.com. We truly appreciate everything sent in.



We have a complete line of plaques for all of your trophies! We offer sizes for mounting your antlers, trophy fish, full shoulder mounts, skull mounts, plaques for awards, and plaques for your favorite photo! Plus with the introduction of the Touch 'n Trophy plaque you now have a way of displaying a part of your trophies fur or hide that you can touch and feel.

All of 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 with a wall hanger(s) installed and the Picture Plaques come with glass and picture backing for your 4' x 6' photo.

No matter what type of trophy you want to display, Backwoods Bound has a plaque to fill your needs. So don't settle for an ordinary looking plaque hanging on your wall! Go one better and order your Backwoods Bound State Shaped Trophy Plaque today. Prices start at $24.95. Don't wait, order today!

Visit our site at www.backwoodsbound.com/antlrplaq01.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.

Remember our motto, 'It only takes a little more to go first class.'



Ancient Native Americans learned to adorn bone hooks with animal hair to make them more appealing to fish. This oldest and simplest of lures, a hair jig still is the best choice to catch bass in the cold water of early spring.

A modern hair jig isn't much different from those used by the ancestors of the Shawnee. It consists of deer, rabbit, or synthetic craft hair tied onto the hook shank of a lead-head jig.

'Hair looks more natural in cold water,' said Benjy Kinman, deputy commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. 'It flows and looks more like a baitfish or a crayfish.'

That flowing quality is what makes bass chomp hair jigs in water colder than 60 degrees. Hair jigs also possess a smaller profile than silicone-skirted jigs and generally weigh less. These qualities make hair jigs excellent for fooling lethargic, early spring bass.

Hair jigs work in water as cold as 38 degrees. With water temperatures in Kentucky reservoirs and streams currently ranging from the mid to high 40s, a hair jig will catch more smallmouth, spotted and largemouth bass now than anything you can throw.

Fish a 1/8- to 5/16-ounce hair jig on channel drops, flats, and points in clearer water reservoirs such as Green River, Cave Run, Nolin River, Barren River, Lake Cumberland, Laurel River, Paintsville Lake, and Dale Hollow. Shades of brown, olive, green, and black make the best hair jig colors for these lakes, but purple and white work well on bright days.

A hair jig slowly crawled down main lake points imitates emerging crayfish, a prime food for early season fish. Use the lightest hair jig possible, but one heavy enough to maintain regular contact with the bottom.

If the hair jig falls down a drop-off, let it sink to the bottom and leave it motionless for several minutes while you keep your fishing line tight.

Jigs tied with synthetic craft hair or rabbit fur really shine for this dead-sticking presentation. The material appears to breath with the slightest water movement - creating motion that a smallmouth or a spotted bass can't resist.

The pull-and-drop presentation works great on points as well. Stay well off the point and cast onto it. Let the hair jig sink to the bottom. Reel up the slack and gently lift the rod tip to the 11 o'clock position. Intently watch the line as the jig falls back to the bottom. If the line jumps, goes slack, or does anything unnatural, set the hook. Smallmouth bass often inhale the jig on the drop.

A hair jig worked along channel drops in creek arms is a highly productive way to intercept bass moving from their deep water winter lairs to spawning flats in the creeks. Submerged channels serve as their migration routes. Work the hair jig along the channel's edge or use the pull-and-drop technique to work the lure down the drop-off.

When the water warms a little more, swim the hair jig just above bottom on the flats or gently sloping banks adjacent to the submerged channel. Cast the hair jig onto the flat or gently sloping bank and let it hit bottom. Reel quickly to get the lure moving above the bottom and turn the handle in a steady rhythm to keep it there. The hair jig should touch the bottom occasionally. This presentation resembles a fleeing crayfish or an unaware baitfish.

A 6- to 7-foot medium to medium-heavy spinning rod spooled with 6- to 8-pound line works best for fishing a hair jig in deeper, rocky lakes relatively free of snags.

These jigs are not just lures for clear, rocky lakes, however. A hair jig cast into shallow wood cover in lakes such as Kentucky Lake, Lake Barkley, and Cedar Creek Lake in early spring will often out-fish a soft plastic lure or traditional jig. Your jig must have a brush guard for fishing around woody cover, or the lure will snag and you could lose it.

When fishing around heavy cover such as submerged trees and brush, it's best to switch to a stiff medium-heavy spinning or medium action baitcasting with the reel spooled with 8- to -10-pound line. A heavier hair jig - up to 3/8 ounce 'works well for coaxing wood-bound largemouth bass in early spring. Jigs are most effective when the water clears while remaining slightly high.

A 1/8-ounce hair jig fished in the smallmouth bass-rich streams of Kentucky will get crushed right now. Fish it slowly on the bottom in deep pockets near flowing water, but not in the flow itself. The largest smallmouth bass in the stream, most of them big females, are putting on the feedbag in these first few warm days of the year.

Try a purple hair jig made of craft hair, or a rabbit fur jig colored black or black and brown for early spring stream smallies. Bring several jigs, as they tend to hang up in water deeper than you can wade into and retrieve. Jig trailers - usually plastic grubs or pork rinds stuck onto the hook - create an unnecessary drag in current that looks unnatural to a smallmouth. Leave them at home if you're fishing a stream or river. This is one of the most reliable patterns for trophy stream smallmouth.

However, for lakes, small and subtle jig trailers do work well. A small strip of black pork rind, a small black or brown grub or the last inch or two of a black finesse worm make great trailers for hair jigs. Avoid the gaudy, newer style of crawfish trailers with large flapping claws. A subdued presentation is the reason you fish a hair jig.

Several manufacturers in Kentucky and Tennessee produce some of the best hair jigs in the world. Be on the prowl for them at local tackle shops. You might discover some locally produced jigs in proven colors for the nearby lake.

Try fishing a hair jig in the next six weeks or so. You just might catch the same kind of large bass as your ancestors.

Visit www.kdfwr.state.ky.us/ for information on all the fantastic fishing, hunting, and camping adventures in Kentucky.



~ 1 yellow cake mix
~ 2 cans crushed pineapple, drained
~ brown sugar
~ 1 stick butter

* Mix the cake mix per box instructions. Set aside.

* Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

* Place the butter in a 9' x 13' cake pan. Place in oven until melted.

* Spread melted butter evenly in pan and cover with brown sugar.

* Spread one can of pineapple over sugar.

* Cover pineapple with a layer of brown sugar.

* Spread on the other can of pineapple.

* Pour on the cake mix and spread evenly.

* Bake on middle rack until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

* Cool before slicing.

* Enjoy.

We wish to thank Mary Hughes for sending us this recipe. To see more great dessert ideas, visit our site at www.backwoodsbound.com/zdess.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: Four colors you should eliminate while turkey hunting are: red, black, blue, and white. Most wild turkeys have these colors on their heads and necks and wearing them could confuse another hunter into thinking you are a turkey and accidentally shoot you. It's also a good idea to wear an orange cap while coming and going in the woods. Also tie an orange strip to your turkey while carrying it out or use an orange bag.

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