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Bird Hunting

  • November 20, 2013

    Why You Should Drink Beaujolais This Thanksgiving

    4

    By David Draper


    CC image from Flickr

    When it comes to wine, those of the Beaujolais family (not to be confused with F&S Gun Nut Phil Bourjaily’s family) have become synonymous with Thanksgiving, so much so it’s kind of cliché. While I generally don’t tend to run with the in-crowd, this is the one time of year I pile on the Beaujolais bandwagon, and here’s why.

    1. I’m cheap. Beaujolais are generally cheap as well, especially those of the Nouveau appellation. A bottle of George Duboeuf shouldn’t set you back more than $10-14. Same goes for my favorite, a Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages. Expect to spend about $20 or more for anything of the Cru designation. [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 18, 2013

    Cooking Equipment: Roast Your Turkey To Perfection With The Turkey Cannon

    5

    By David Draper


    Illustration by Pete Sucheski

    There are several ways to tackle a turkey on Thanksgiving, but the best bet is a take on classic beer-can chicken, substituting a Turkey Cannon ($25; campchef.com) for the aluminum can. The day before Thanksgiving, place the bird in a brine made by dissolving 1 cup each of kosher salt and brown sugar in 1 gallon of water, and refrigerate overnight.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 18, 2013

    How To Kill A Turkey For Thanksgiving

    4

    By David Draper


    Photo by Lon Lauber

    Before Butterball, a fat wild turkey taken in fall was the centerpiece of many Thanksgiving tables. This year, honor the holiday's heritage by playing Pilgrim and hunting a fall bird of your own. The basics of a fall turkey hunt aren't all that complicated, but I've learned a few moves over the years that'll help give you an edge. Here's how to bring home a turkey dinner for your whole family to enjoy.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 14, 2013

    How To: Make Your Own Canada Goose Silhouette Decoys

    1

    By M.D. Johnson


    Photo by Kyle Thompson

    A few Novembers ago, my wife and I traveled to Ohio to visit family—and hunt rabbits. Come first day, though, the focus shifted to geese, thanks to cold weather, snow, and a steady stream of honkers. The only problem? No decoys. However, with some quick thinking and an hour or so of arts-and-crafts time, we were able to assemble a dozen silhouette decoys that looked good enough to kill a limit of Canadas. Here's how we made them.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 13, 2013

    Five Ways To Cut Down On Lost Birds

    By Phil Bourjaily

    I mentioned earlier ("Are you a good shot") that I have participated in a FWS survey about my dove season. It asked how many doves I shot this year and how many hit the ground unrecovered. The final tally was 119 in the bag and 4 that hit the ground that I didn't find. Add to that five or six that were hit hard that never landed, or that reflushed. Assuming every one of those birds didn't survive, my crippling losses were lower than 10 percent. Most estimates I have seen are much higher which suggests hunters need to work harder on their cripple finding skills.

    Losing birds used to upset me so much it ruined a hunt and a whole day for me. I could never shrug and say "Foxes have to eat" the way some people can when a crippled bird gets away. I still hate losing birds but finally after 30-some years of doing this I have come to the realization that it's going to happen sometimes. All I can do is make my best effort to recover the bird—realizing that my best effort is pretty good but sometimes not enough—and move on.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 11, 2013

    Some In Congress Are Finally Paying Attention To Sportsmen

    By Bob Marshall

    It’s hard to believe after events of the last few months (see: government shutdown, sequester, conservation budget cuts) but this is just in: Congress deserves sportsmen’s praise!
     
    Well, maybe that’s a little over the top.
     
    The truth is, only some members of Congress deserve our praise so far--specifically, Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who have packaged some long-overdue ideas to help fish, wildlife and sportsmen.
     
    Hagan is the lead author of the Sportsmen’s and Public Outdoor Recreation Traditions (SPORT) Act introduced this month, which includes some of the important items that were in Murkowski’s Sportsmen’s Act, which was introduced earlier this year. [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 7, 2013

    The Wild Chef: Grilled Quail, Sausages, and Grapes With Polenta

    4

    By Jonathan Miles


    Photo by Johnny Miller

    This is an easy, satisfying, and unusual dish for welcoming in autumn. Grilling grapes may sound crazy, but the smoky, blistered char they get from a few minutes on the fire gives them a deep, winelike character. Any gamebird you happen to have can replace the quail, with equally delicious results. Accompany this with a bold, rustic, fruit-forward red wine, like a Primitivo from Puglia in Italy or a classic American red Zinfandel.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 6, 2013

    'Charlie Trotter's Meat and Game' Cookbook

    1

    By David Draper

    If you have any interest in the culinary world at all, and I suspect you do since you are reading a blog titled Wild Chef, you probably heard that famed Chicago chef and restaurateur Charlie Trotter passed away yesterday. He was 54.

    Until it closed last year after a successful 25-year run, Trotter’s eponymous restaurant was a sort of mecca for both food-lovers and chefs. Even this country-bumpkin in western Nebraska had heard of the place and dreamed of dining there someday.

    What I didn’t know until doing a little research this morning is that Trotter also penned a wild-game cookbook called, not surprisingly, “Charlie Trotter’s Meat & Game.” A quick list of the recipes included shows that the book is right in the wheelhouse of all Wild Chef readers: [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 5, 2013

    I Am Not an A-Hole!

    By Dave Hurteau

    A guy I knew in college used to say, “Everyone you don’t know is an a-hole.” The idea was pretty novel to me then, but as I wade deeper into the manure pit of life, I’m learning that this is pretty much the guiding principle for some people and, I’m sorry to say, some hunters.

    I bring this up because when I got to my stand tree this morning, there was no stand. Gone, stolen over the weekend. This is the second stand I’ve had swiped this year, along with a trail camera. I know the landowner didn’t take it. And so, as I stood there, staring at the bare tree trunk, mumbling, “Who does that? What kind of rotten person does that?” The only answer left was, and is…my fellow hunters. [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 4, 2013

    Product Review: Carnivore Cutting Board

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    By David Draper

    I’ve cut deer, fileted fish and cleaned birds and other game on a variety of surfaces, from flat rocks at waterside to flimsy plywood perched on rickety saw horses. Of all those, the best place I’ve found to butcher is the back of my truck.

    A truck’s tailgate, at least that of a late-model F-150, is the perfect height for me to skin and slice, either while standing or seated on a tall stool. I can usually cut an entire deer on a tailgate or clean a limit of ducks and geese without too much strain on an aging back, something I can’t say about most other locations. Of course, some folks might be lucky enough to have a dedicated space for butchering, or an understanding spouse who doesn’t mind blood, fur or feathers on the kitchen counter, but until I get either of these, I’ll stick with my Ford. [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 1, 2013

    Dry-Field Decoy Spread For Mallards And Geese

    0

    By Will Brantley

    http://ak.c.ooyala.com/Fpa3BoZzo_1AnGfDFJcD6rZE-1Ft-Aaj/Ut_HKthATH4eww8X4xMDoxOjBzMTt2bJ

    Alberta waterfowl guide Rob Reynolds (Ranchlandoutfitters.com) guides hunters almost every day of the 60-day waterfowl season. I joined Rob and the guys from Mojo Outdoors last week for three days of dry-field mallard hunting, and it was nothing short of incredible, with thousands of ducks (and a number of geese) bombing into the decoys each morning.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • November 1, 2013

    You'd Think A Birder Would Know The Difference...

    5

    By Phil Bourjaily

    From the Rochester, Minnesota Post-Bulletin round-up of Conservation Officer Reports for the week of October 24, 2013:

    "Officer Tom Hemker of Winona reported getting a complaint from a birder who wanted to report a hunter for "putting a duck on a stick in the water. [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 30, 2013

    World War II Veteran Goes On One Last Goose Hunt

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    By Phil Bourjaily

    When World War II veteran Herman Ratelle, 90, of Edina, Minnesota, returned to the Twin Cities from an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. he and the other veterans were greeted by a crowd holding banners thanking them for their service. Ratelle took it all in, then got ready to go hunting. He had asked his son Stephen to take him on one last goose hunt and they left immediately after they got back from Washington.

    [ Read Full Post ]

  • October 30, 2013

    Gadwall Hunting: Specialized Tactics For Bagging More Gray Ducks

    1

    By M.D. Johnson


    Photo by Fred Greenslade/Images on the Wildside

    Don't overlook the gray duck. Instead, bag more by adopting a few specialized tactics.

    The Duck
    The gadwall has no glam. Its nickname, the gray duck, is the definition of dull. But a close look at the subtly hued drake shows that he's every bit as handsome—in an understated way—as any greenhead or bull pintail. Primarily a plant eater, the gray makes prime table fare, and its numbers are increasing in all four major flyways, especially in the Mississippi and eastern Central. Typically, the gadwall comes when called, but it's no pushover. If like most hunters you're bagging a few incidentally with standard mallard calls and decoys, you can do better. [ Read Full Post ]