I’ve been on a few snow goose hunts over the last couple of weeks and invariably, when I bring this up in casual conversation, someone asks, “What in the hell do you do with all those things?” First off, as an aspiring snow goose hunter, you have to manage your expectations. Sure, there are occasions when you can kill 100 or even 200 geese, but more often not, a day of hunting yields numbers well south of the century mark. Still, even 30 or 40 snows are a lot to deal with. The meat can be a bit challenging to work with, especially when the average age of a snow is 10 years, with birds upwards of 20 years old not uncommon.
Considering that age variable, a good way to deal with an abundance of snow geese is making sausage. On my hunt with Central Nebraska Outfitters last week, I had some amazing summer sausage made from last season’s snows. I’m working on getting that guy’s secret and will pass it along when I do.
Until then, I’ve found another great way to prepare snow geese, or any waterfowl for that matter. It’s called Wild Sky Seasonings, developed by a waterfowl hunter here in Nebraska. I have a few homemade brine recipes I use, but this stuff is far better than anything I’ve come up. I pick mine up locally, but Wild Sky will ship anywhere in the U.S. and, in my opinion, it’s well worth the $8 plus shipping. (A 16-ounce package will do 10 pounds of meat.)
Wild Sky uses the tagline “Inject, Soak and Smoke” and that’s really how easy it is to turn a pile of snows or Canadas into a mess of delicious smoked goose breasts for snacking, sandwiching or making pate. Just mix the powder with three quarts of water, inject each breast several times, soak the breasts in the remaining brine overnight and then smoke to internal temperature of 170 degrees. That’s it.
Currently, Wild Sky has just the original flavor, but I’ve sampled some test batches, including an amazing chipotle-black pepper brine that create probably the best smoked mallard I’ve ever tasted, so keep an eye on their site for future flavor introductions. And though I haven’t tried it yet, sources tell me it makes a really good smoked turkey as well. Something to think about as gobbler seasons are opening across the country.