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    Making Thanksgiving all about that Wild Game: Our Top Recipes

    Well everyone it’s almost time for one of our favorite holidays…Thanksgiving! Why do we love Thanksgiving? Well because, as avid bow hunters, this is the holiday where we get to let our friends and family try some of our favorite wild game recipes, as well as try recipes other people bring along! This month’s blog is going to be a spotlight of some of the very best recipes that have come across our Thanksgiving table. Have a favorite of your own? Then share so we can give it a try!

    As far as we are concerned, you can’t have the perfect Thanksgiving without the perfect turkey. Luckily, this year we had some pretty good luck getting a few wild turkeys and we can’t wait to get them on the table. Now, as for wild turkey, there are hundreds of amazing ways you can prep and cook it; all of which are completely delicious. If you’re not a big fan of cooking and prefer to go basic, we personally love doing both a simple roast with some basic seasonings (like salt, pepper, and season salt) and a good consistent basting. It’s easy as pie and always comes out juicy and flavorful with minimal effort. If you’re one that loves the flavors of a deep fried bird, then by all means go for it! For our fried birds, we like to keep it simple with a bit of salt and some brown sugar. It’s a little sweet and packed full of flavor. However, if you’re someone that loves to cook and wants to impress, we absolutely cannot get over how fabulous the Thanksgiving Wild Turkey recipe from The Wild Chef is. Why? Well it’s packed full of flavor, comes our wonderfully juicy, and well…bacon. You can never, ever go wrong with delicious bacon. Want the recipe, but don’t have the cookbook? No worries! You can find it here, courtesy of Serious Eats.

    Now, we all know how impatient some guests can be while everything finishes cooking; not that we can blame them with all those amazing smells floating around. So, an appetizer is always a good idea. Our families absolutely love duck, so if we have some on hand we like to cut it into bite sized pieces, dip it in milk, and coat it with a lightly season breading and give it a good fry. It’s super simple and pretty darned tasty. However, you can also never go wrong with this recipe for bacon-wrapped elk. We gave it a whirl last year and it was a total hit, but then again…bacon! Another few options for your appetizer table that have been big hits here is some delicious venison summer sausage (we’ve tried tons of recipes, and Gramp’s version is still one of our all-time favorites) with cheese and crackers and if you prefer a fancier table, we also loved these Duck Bites with Orange and Candied Ginger from WildHarvestTable.com.

    Now, of course you’ve got the appetizers and the star of the show covered, but what would Thanksgiving be without some of those amazing sides? We always have a salad at our table, and we love to sneak some wild game in. A few of our favorites is this recipe with Wild Boar and this salad which is suited to whatever wild game you happen to have on hand. We also love us some carbs, so stuffing is a must. Luckily, Wide Open Spaces completely has us covered on this front. They put up not one, not two, but three delicious wild game stuffing recipes a few years ago; and they are all fabulous! We also love to sneak some tiny bits of friend duck into our green bean casserole along with a little bit of bacon (what can we say… we really, really love bacon.

    Well those are some of our favorite additions to our holiday table. What are some of yours? Tried these and liked them? Then tell us about it and send in a photo! We are especially thrilled because this year we’ve gotten tons of great photos and emails from Hunters all over the country who have let us know that thanks to our unique and wonderful Pro-Tracker, ultimate tracking and recovery system, they managed to find game they would have otherwise lost due to harsh terrain, nightfall, and even a freak heavy rainstorm that washed away a blood trail. We are so thrilled our system helped you guys to get some meat on your tables in time for Thanksgiving! We also wanted to say thanks to each and every one of you! Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and enjoy!

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TRANSMITTERS & CARRIERS

Transmitter

The Pro-Tracker® Transmitter is a rechargeable, lightweight, water resistant transmitter that disengages from the arrow upon impact; allowing for pass-throughs. The transmitter hooks into the animal’s hide and begins sending Radio Frequency (RF) signals every three seconds for the duration of the battery life (10-12 hours). You will need the Pro-Tracker® Receiver to read and track the signal.

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Carrier

The Carrier is what screws into your arrow and holds the transmitter. It is aerodynamically designed to compensate for the weight and shape of the transmitter. Meaning minimal adjustments to your equipment for the same precision. This item comes in a pack of four.

 
 

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RADIO FREQUENCY RECEIVER

ReceiverYAGI Antenna

The Pro-Tracker® Radio Frequency (RF) Receiver is a compact system with an easy to attach antenna. This state of the art receiver can track up to 6 different transmitter signals at the same time. Displaying signal strength, transmitter number, current time, time spent tracking, and current battery life, all on a easy to read LED screen. Available only in the Pro-Tracker© System

VIEW SYSTEM

DUAL CHARGER & CARRYING CASE

Carrying Case

The Pro-Tracker® custom metal carrying case helps you keep track of your Pro-Tracker system and ensures everything stays together. Its lightweight and durable design ensures your equipment is protected while being as easy as possible to carry during your hunting trip and recovering your trophy.

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Carrier

This dual-charging station allows you to charge up to two transmitters at a time. It includes both a USB and outlet adapter. The outlet adapter allows you to charge your transmitters at home while the USB adapters allow you to charge your transmiters in your truck for extended hunting trips.

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STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY

The patented Pro-Tracker® Recovery System will help you locate your kill with durable, state of the art technology. The compact system can track 6 different transmitters while using the same RF receiver with an easy to read LED screen. Best of all, our transmitters don’t require the purchase of batteries and can be recharged both at home and out in the field.

 

UNRIVALED PERFORMANCE

The Pro-Tracker® System has been field tested by top experts in the archery industry. With the Pro-Tracker® Archery System you’ll see virtually no difference in the trajectory of your arrow because of the aerodynamic carrier. Tests have shown the Pro-Tracker® Recovery System will give you many hours of use and the precision to recovery your trophy.

 

ETHICS

deer hunt
As a bow hunter, we appreciate the skill required to take an animal. We enjoy the smell of fresh air and the morning chill that seeps into your bones as you sit quietly and wait for an animal to wander into view. We understand the importance of a steady hand and careful aim; there is no feeling better than letting that arrow fly and hitting your mark. As bow hunters, we also understand the frustration when your perfectly aimed shot seems to go awry (i.e. hitting a branch or an unexpected object). If you miss, you go find your arrow and try again. If you wound your animal you can spend hours or days tracking the blood trail, hoping the weather holds until you find your kill. The sad fact though, is that while many times you will find your quarry, there are just as many times that an animal is unrecovered.
Looking back, you will find studies related to deer loss rates in bow hunting dating back to 1989. When the studies first began, the amount of animals wounded and lost is astounding, but as bow hunting equipment has improved, the number of animal losses has decreased substantially. Unfortunately, even with these decreases, the ratio of unrecovered animals is still causing concern within the bow hunting community and general public. We wanted to look deeper into deer loss rates, and focused on information obtained in two of the better known studies done by Stephen S. Ditchkoff et al and M. Andy Pedersen at al. One study found that of 104 bow hunters, there was an 18% wounding rate. Within a normal hunting season these hunters hit a total of 908 white tail deer, recovering only 746 (Pedersen et al 2008). In another study, it was determined that there was a 50% wounding rate and of that number 14% weren’t recovered. Of these deer 4% died annually from these wounds, while the rest survived (Ditchkoff et al. 1998).

pro-tracker bow huntIn the reports, we found that while many of the deer either die (Ditchkoff) or are recovered within 24 hours (Pedersen), that some can survive 5-7 days with wounds before they perish. When looking at these numbers and percentages for any individual state, the number of animals that are not recovered seems miniscule. However once you look at the entire population of bow hunters within the United States alone, the amount becomes much more significant (Ditchkoff). This more significant number of unrecovered animals has been causing animal rights and anti-hunting activists to state that bow hunting is both cruel and inhumane. It is because of this that the Pro-Tracker was invented. Our goal is to eliminate the possibility of losing even one animal while maintaining the integrity of the hunt. Pro-Tracker has been in use since 2010 and thus far we have a 100% accuracy rate in animal recovery. The Pro-Tracker system, while not ideal for every hunter, is thus far supporting the goal of striving to ensure bow hunting is appreciated for the skill it requires and given the support it deserves, rather than seen in a negative light. With technology and advancement in the archery industry, we can help in recovering the animals wounded and work to improve the loss rate. We all have a responsibility to the natural resources we are given; no one is perfect every time. Accidents do happen, and we need to be prepared for those occasions.

Literature Cited:
1. Ditchkoff, Stephen S., Edgar R. Welch Jr., Robert L. Lochmiller, Ronald E. Masters, William R. Starry, William C. Dinkines. 1998. Wounding of White-tailed Deer with Traditional Archery Equipment. Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish and Wildl. Agencies 52:244-248. Website: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ronald_Masters/publication/237609363_Wounding_Rates_of_Whitetailed_Deer_

with_Traditional_Archery_Equipment/links/54c63cdf0cf256ed5a9d4dfe.pdf
2. Pedersen, Andy M., Seth Berry, Jeffrey C. Bossart. 2008. Wounding Rates of White –tailed Deer with Modern Archery Equipment. Proc. Annu. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Fish and Wildl. Agencies 62:31–34
Website: http://www.marylandqdma.com/files/Download/Pedersen-31-34.pdf