My father arrived a day early for our first Western hunt, so the outfitter advised that we go fishing. That evening, with 11 trout in hand, we wanted to eat them, but didn’t have access to cooking facilities. After several tries, a restaurant agreed to deep fry the fish. Wee ate the entire catch at one sitting. What a feast it was.

Health-department regulations often prevent commercial kitchens from preparing wild game, but that scene is changing. I’m not sure that you can drag that big buck in the front door just yet, but this is a positive trend for sportsmen. Check out this post and video from Today.

MD Spring Turkey 09 071 - CopyFarm-to-table meals have become so popular that hotels are now getting in the game with an even closer-to-the-source experience by offering chef-prepared meals using food hooked, foraged or shot by their guests.

You might visit Turkey Trot Acres in Candor, New York, for a wedding reception, reunion, barbecue or zombie-fest, but wild turkey hunting in the spring and fall is what this upstate lodge is best known for.

“A lot of our clients are busy business people who maybe grew up hunting and still have an interest in it,” said Peter Clare, who runs the lodge with his wife, Sherry.

Turkey Trot specializes in three-day guided hunting packages that start at $1,200 and include single-bed rooms, meals and guides. And while not everyone bags a turkey, those who do usually pose proudly with their bird before it goes into the cooler.

“Turkey Trot will clean the turkey for you, package it and tell you how to cook it. And if you want it prepared for dinner, they’ll do that too,” said Marlin Watkins, a well-known turkey call maker from southeast Ohio who’s been a regular at the lodge for the past 25 years.

“But when you harvest a wild turkey it’s such an event that most people would rather take it home to show off to their friends and family. I’ve seen a lot of turkeys go home in the back of a Cadillac,” Watkins said.