Get your own Thanksgiving turkey

Halloween’s in the bag, but Thanksgiving’s just around the corner. That means you’re going to need a bird. And what’s better for Thanksgiving dinner than a wild turkey?

There’s not much that beats a good Thanksgiving turkey. Especially when it’s surrounded by all the other Thanksgiving goodies: stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans, jello salad and cranberry sauce. About the only way you can top all that is to use a wild turkey, instead of a store-bought one, for the centerpiece.

A wild bird won’t always taste better to everyone at the table. Some people prefer a pen-raised turkey. But for anyone involved in any part of the harvest, a wild bird can’t be beat.

There’s just something about getting that turkey yourself that makes it taste a hundred times better. But you don’t have to be the one who pulls the trigger to feel that way. The youngster who tagged along or the spouse who stayed home should take just as much pride in the bird as the hunter does. After all, if it hadn’t been for the junior hunter who stayed quiet or the better half who kept an eye on the home, that bird wouldn’t have made it to the Thanksgiving table.

Most of the turkey areas are open until the end of the year, and those that aren’t are at least open until the end of November. Area 1, which covers the Black Hills, and Area 4, the Bighorn Basin, are the two areas that close at the end of the month. All the areas can be hunted with a general tag.

If you hunt turkeys in the fall, any wild turkey is fair game. You can only take males in the spring, but you don’t have to be as finicky this time of year. However, you might have trouble getting the birds to come to a call. Your best bet is to ambush ‘em along a trail you know they’re using.

Go out and give it a shot. If you don’t fill your license, you can always resort to Plan B, and buy your holiday dinner. But whether you get one or not, if you give it a try, you’re sure to have a good story to tell at the Thanksgiving table.