It's Election Day plus six and we do not know now any more than we did a week ago about which turkey will be president come January, but we do know that it is November and that means Thanksgiving. And that means we need a turkey on the table too.

According to the National Turkey Federation (the poultry industry advocacy group) a party planner wants to calculate one pound of uncooked turkey meat per person for the Thanksgiving feast. You can feed 8 to 12 people if your equation calls for a barn-raised bird.

We take off our collective hats in salute to the turkey production industry for their efficiency at producing poultry and selling it to us. Then we put our camouflaged hats back on. We can get our own turkeys, thank you.

When planning a wild bird Thanksgiving, the main ingredient is harder to procure, and it is probably going to be smaller than the average Butterball. Figure on feeding 6 to 10 people.

In our family, we try to ensure at least one wild turkey for the table for either Thanksgiving or Christmas.

The first step is obtaining an Eastern Oregon turkey tag. Get one for every hunter in the family. This is a great family tradition to start. Many of the country's great men hunted turkeys when they were growing up. At least one of them even became president. Paying for the privilege this year costs $25.50 (payable to ODFW). Don't expect to save any money on this deal.

What a wild turkey won't do for your budget, it will do for your culinary experience. Wild turkey, when it is not overcooked, is the best tasting turkey bar none.

An Oregonian would have had to travel a long way to get a wild turkey in old Oregon, but today, thanks to trap and transplant programs and far-sighted sportsmen and women, we have turkeys to hunt in every Oregon county.

Turkey hunting and politics

We know that Abraham Lincoln, the nation's first Republican president, was farsighted, literally and figuratively. Another thing we know about Lincoln was that he was not much of a hunter, but he did pot a turkey when he was 8 years old, with a "rifle-gun" his father left standing inside the front door of the family cabin. Lincoln shot it through the chinks between the logs.

Davy Crockett was another turkey-hunting politician who might have made a good president if his luck hadn't run out at the Alamo. In the 1813 Creek War, Crockett hunted wild turkeys while scouting with a militia unit long before he settled down to two terms in the Legislature, a "coonskin" politician with the Whig Party.

That's all I have to say about politics.

The General Eastern Oregon fall turkey hunt runs through November 30 on public lands with a bag limit of one turkey of either sex. Hunters with private land access can hunt through January 31, 2021.

Yep, the fall turkey hunt is the most democratic of all. Any wild turkey is legal without regard to sex or party affiliation. And the fall turkey hunt lasts well into winter. Like this election.

I'm going to the Blue Mountains for awhile. I'm looking for a candidate.


Gary Lewis is the author of "Fishing Central Oregon," "Oregon Lake Maps and Fishing Guide" and other titles. To contact Gary, visit

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