With turkey prices so high this year, here are 5 "Pure Michigan" alternatives for your Thanksgiving.

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High Turkey Prices

Thanksgiving Turkey
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It seems every business has a reason to raise the prices of its products these days and every industry has its list of excuses. I don't know about you, but it doesn't look to me like there is much of a shortage of anything. There is one reason only that prices are high and that is fuel prices. If you are wanting to point a finger, it should be at oil companies and people who own them, and politicians who take money from them.

That being said, who the hell says we have to eat turkey for thanksgiving? I thought thanksgiving was a time for families and friends to get together to be thankful for what they have. Why does the meal have to be turkey when the state of Michigan provides so many options that are free aside from purchasing a hunting or fishing license?

5 Turkey Alternatives For Thanksgiving

South China Morning Post via Getty Images
South China Morning Post via Getty Images
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1. Venison for Thanksgiving

Michigan is full of deer and for many families going out deer hunting has been a tradition for many years. There is a lot more meat in a deer than in a turkey so you don't have to worry about running out. Whether it's an old family recipe or a chef's recipe, there are a ton of venison ideas online with several options for your Thanksgiving spread.

Star Tribune via Getty Images
Star Tribune via Getty Images
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Here is a link to 9 venison recipes.

Female Ruffed Grouse standing on the forest floor on a frosty fall morning
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2. Grouse or Pheasant For Thanksgiving

If you are set on having some sort of bird for your Thanksgiving. There are grouse all over the state of Michigan and they are one tasty bird. You have from September 15 to November 14 to bag enough to feed a pretty large family for the cost of a few hunting shells and a hunting license. Sure you can go to the store and buy an expensive turkey but there is no story to tell, You got out in the woods a few times with a buddy or family member hunting some delicious Michigan grouse and you will have several stories to tell and a much healthier bird to eat for the holiday. Here is a link to some fine grouse recipes.

Common pheasant, Phasianus colchicus
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Pheasant is another game bird Michigan has to offer. Although there are not as many as there used to be, there are still pockets in the state that offers up a pretty good batch of birds. You can also go to a pheasant ranch like my friend and I do and we get enough birds that everyone at Thanksgiving could have their own custom-cooked pheasant. Here is one of the best lists of pheasant recipes I've ever seen.

3. Rabbit for Thanksgiving

KenCanning/ThinkStock/GettyStock
KenCanning/ThinkStock/GettyStock
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Rabbit is considered a delicacy in Europe and yes, they may be cute, but I prefer them in a frying pan because they are delicious and provide some of the healthiest protein the state of Michigan has to offer. A hunting license, a few walks in the woods, and a few shotgun shells and you are good to go with hasenpfeffer for everyone for the holidays.

Ricardo DeAratanha/Contour RA by Getty Images
Ricardo DeAratanha/Contour RA by Getty Images
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If you like the finer things in life, there are some very high-end rabbit recipes, and here is a link to get you started.

4. Elk for Thanksgiving

Bull elk bugling during fall mating season in the Colorado Rocky Mountains
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Elk is a much bigger animal than deer and to be honest they taste better too. I will say it is much harder to get an elk hunting license but there are places you can purchase elk meat if you wanted to go that route.

Helen H. Richardson/Denver Post via Getty Images
Helen H. Richardson/Denver Post via Getty Images
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There are lots of great ways to cook a Michigan elk and hopefully, these recipes will give you a good start.

Barbecued salmon, fried potatoes and vegetables on wooden background
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5. Michigan Fish Options for Thanksgiving

Who says you have to eat turkey or any other meat for Thanksgiving? Remember, the holiday is about being thankful and spending time with those who are the most important in your life.

The state of Michigan offers some of the best fishing in the world with all the salmon, rainbow trout, steelhead, brown trout, broke trout, walleye, pike, large or smallmouth bass, panfish, catfish, you name it. You get a family together with a bunch of fishing poles and you could muster up a massive fish fry.

A young caucasian fisherman proudly holds up his first walleye of the day
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There are a ton of ways to cook the variety of fish Michigan has to offer. Here is a link with fish recipes that will help you get started on your Thanksgiving fish frenzy.

Strutting male wild turkey displaying in the spring mating season.
Lightwriter1949/ThinkStock/GettyStock
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There is a turkey option after all but you may have to wait until next year to eat this one and that is getting a spring turkey license and shooting your own. That is what I did and I will be having deep-fried turkey for my Thanksgiving.

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Thanksgiving In Michigan

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