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Harvest Your Own Holiday Turkey

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With increasing numbers of people wanting to know the origins of their food, and some going so far as to describe themselves as “locavores,” it’s impossible to ignore the fact that hunters are champions of the field-to-table movement. If you’re interested in the ultimate field-to-table Thanksgiving — that is, killing your own wild turkey for the big feast — read on for David Draper’s four tips for harvesting your own holiday turkey.

turkey Photo by Ron Lauber

By now, flocks will have moved into the forest where they spend the days feasting on nuts. In the Northeast and South, concentrate on stands of oak and beech trees; out West, pines are the place to find fall turkeys. Make your way through the woods at a snail’s pace while keeping an eye out for fresh sign in the form of scratchings and scat. But don’t watch the ground all the time or you’ll surely get busted. Use compact binocs to glass for birds feeding in the distance.

Photos: Arizona Game and Fish Department (top); Ron Lauber (above)

Shannon Rikard is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for conservation and wedding and portrait photography. The Archery Trade Association and National Wild Turkey Federation have published her work. A self-professed word geek, she enjoys Wheel of Fortune, crossword puzzles, and finding a dynamite synonym to illustrate any point. After starting her career in public relations with a national conservation organization, she ventured out on her own with Copper Door Studios.