Turkey most definitely tops the menu at Bryan Perry’s house for Thanksgiving.
What else would you expect from an avid hunter who serves on the national board of directors of the National Wild Turkey Federation?
“We will have both wild and a domestic turkey. I’ll deep fry the wild bird, and we cook the domestic bird in the oven,” Perry, 50, who lives in Franklin County near Zebulon and is up for re-election to a second three-year term on the board.
The Perry freezer is stocked each hunting season with six to 10 birds, the results of Perry’s hunting trips to other states and outings by Perry children who hunt.
“I will usually clean two whole birds for Thanksgiving,” Perry said. “I mix chicken broth and Cajun seasoning then vacuum seal them for the freezer. You can use any seasoning you like. The others we breast out and cut up into nuggets. We use them for meals and hors d’oeuvres when we have friends over.”
After Thanksgiving, Perry said, he will be calling some of the state’s 7,800 NWTF members to remind them to vote. Ballots can be found in the November-December issue of Turkey Country magazine, which is sent to the national organization’s nearly 280,000 members.
Voters must choose three candidates, said Perry, who operates a busy medical transport service out of Raleigh. For anyone seeking help choosing two other names, Perry suggested Harland Starr of Alabama and Mike Evans of Oklahoma, “because they came through the chapter system just like I did, so they really have a lot of experience with all aspects of the turkey federation.”
Ballots must be received by Jan. 4. An audit company will release the results to the board president Marvin Hartley in mid-January.
During his term, Perry has learned the dynamics of a national position.
“When you make a decision, it impacts different parts of the country in different ways,” he said. “What’s good for South may not be the best choice for the West.”
Perry’s accomplishments have included working on the new Hunting Heritage and Education Center in Edgefield, S.C., and bringing about 900 acres belonging to a private donor in the N.C. mountains into the NWTF’s lands program for habitat improvement with a goal of adding the property to the state game lands program.
Each of the state’s 100 counties has a spring turkey season. In the 2015-2016 season, hunters killed 23,744 birds from an estimated population of 265,000, up from just 2,000 in 1970, according to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission statistics at www.ncwildlife.org. The 2017 season runs April 8 to May 6.
Decoy carving: Core Sound Waterfowl Weekend takes place Dec. 3-4 at Harkers Island in Carteret County with decoy carving and boat building, along with demonstrations and sales of wildlife art and local seafood at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center.
Free shuttles run between the museum and the 29th Core Sound Decoy Festival at Harkers Island School. Call 252-728-1500 or go to www.coresound.com.
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