Category Archives: Game

scoutingbuck deer

Wild Game Recipe: Try a Pickle Juice Brine

t these birds develop. As I’ve written about recently, marinades don’t add moisture to meat like most people think they do. However, there is a technique that all but guarantees a moister end product, whether you roast, grill or fry your turkey – brining.

As you probably know, brining is the act of soaking meat, in this case turkey breast, in a saltwater solution for a period of time, typically overnight, though as little four hours works wonders. The salt in the brine breaks down proteins in the meat known as myosin, offering more space to absorb water and reducing the amount of shrinkage during the cooking process. The result is a tender, moister end product. Typically, I make my brine with a cup each of kosher salt and sugar dissolved in a gallon of water. Sometimes I add peppercorns, garlic cloves or other flavorings.

Recently, a friend clued me in to a new way to brine wild turkey, or new to me anyway. It seems this little secret to moist, delicious wild turkey breast has been around for a while, but hunters have held it close to their vest. Well, I’m going to blow the lid off the jar and let Wild Chef readers in on it. (Most likely, you’re already in on it and I’m just slow to the punch.) In fact, you probably already have this brine in your refrigerator – pickle juice. That’s right, the liquid used to make commercial pickles makes a great brine for poultry. It’s so good, it’s reportedly used by Chick-Fil-A to brine the chicken breasts used in their famous sandwiches.

If you think about it, pickle juice makes a lot of sense as a brine. It’s typically made with water and salt, with vinegar, garlic and other flavorings added. The salt concentrate is high enough to break down the myosin in wild turkeys and create a flavorful, moist meat, whether you bread it and fry it or put it on the grill. I would suggest injecting some of the brine into the turkey to speed up the brining process, but otherwise, give pickle juice a try. That’s what I’m going to do with at least one of the breasts from this Osceola I killed with my Mossberg FLEX 20-gauge in Florida last week.

favoritedeer rifle

Classic Deer Guns and Crapshoot Accuracy

Classic deer guns and crapshoot accuracy with those. On the other hand, I have a Winchester Model 70 Classic Compact in 7mm-08 that won’t put three shots inside a cantaloupe no matter what I feed it. Them’s the breaks.
When a new rifle shoots well, you’ve gotten what you expected. Big deal. But with a classic gun, you have no idea what to expect, or what you’ll get. It’s a crapshoot. A gamble. And it’s all part of the charm. The reason why people gamble is because there’s the off chance of a genuine thrill. And I got one from the old Winchester Model 100 .308 Carbine pictured above.

I (roughly) sighted it in for the first time last week, during a big rifle-accuracy test about which you’ll hear more soon. I got the gun for a steal last summer on Gunbroker.com, but because I needed to replace the long-ago-recalled firing pin and because the gun shop was backed up and because I got crazy busy, I just hadn’t had a chance to really shoot it.

Finally, this would be that day. When I uncased the rifle, the other shooters and I took bets on how it would group at 100 yards. Competitive shooter and gunsmith John Blauvelt, who’d seen some good 100s, guessed it would do pretty well. Our own David E. Petzal, who’d seen many bad 100s, figured it would stink up the place. And I, trying to manage expectations, bet on 3-inch groups, telling myself I’d be happy with anything under that.

Then I put the rifle on the sandbags, shot the two groups in the photo—and the angels sang.

Otter Fishing Tradition May Be Coming to an End in Bangladesh

“We use them because they catch more fish that we can alone,” Shashudhar Biswas, a fisherman in his 50s whose family has trained otters for generations, told Time.

Biswas said the otters do not catch the fish themselves, but they chase them toward fishing nets. His son Vipul said this technique makes it easier to make ends meet.

“The otters manage to spot fish among the plants, then the fish swim away and we stay close with our nets. If we did it without them, we wouldn’t be able to catch as many fish,” said Vipul.

But this specialized type of fishing is seeing a rapid decline thanks to water pollution and decreasing fish stocks. And the conservation efforts of the short-haired otter might be affected by it.

“The captive population here is very healthy because of the fishing,” Mohammed Mostafa Feeroz, a zoology professor at Dhaka’s Jahangirnagar University, told the Daily Mail.

Sometimes fishermen release otters into the wild which strengthens that population, research shows.

“But as the practice gradually decreases, the wild population will face increased pressure,” Feeroz said.

semi-automatic rifle

Deer Hunt Seasons Announcing the Deer Shotgun Champ By March(ish) Madness

Instead, you have voted for the 870 fair and square (and shoved our online editor a bit farther down the knife’s edge of life).

Personally, if I were just out to kill another deer, I’d take the Savage 220. If I were out to rekindle my snuffed spark of romanticism, I’d probably take the Ithaca, too. But I have nothing against the 870, especially the older ones that I own. It was a predictable winner. Chalk, as usual. But it is, after all, an American icon. So, all hail.

Prepare hunting camp: Making Bannock Bread at Camp

bread was a welcome meal, and an easy one to prepare hunting camp as long as some type of leavener was available. (Traditional bannock was often made without a leavening agent, but adding baking powder, buttermilk, or a sourdough starter made for a lighter, better tasting product).

Much like it was for Carson and his compatriots, bannock is still a delicious addition to a camp cook’s recipe box, especially if you make the mix ahead of time and add the water just before cooking. Bannock can be fried in a skillet, baked in a Dutch oven, cooked directly in the hot coals, or, as the video shows, slowly turned over a hot fire using a simple stick technique.

Bannock Bread Recipe

Ingredients
– 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
– 2 tsp. baking powder
– ½ tsp. salt
– ½ tsp. sugar
– 3 Tbsp. lard, bacon grease or canola oil
– 1 cup cold water

Directions:
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. (This mix can be made in advance and kept in a zip-top bag or other airtight container until ready to use.)

2. Stir in the fat and slowly pour in the water, while stirring, until a firm dough forms. You may not need to use the whole cup of water.

3. Knead the dough for a minute or two, then set aside to let rise for at least 30 minutes.

4. Divide and flatten the dough into small round discs. Fry in a greased skillet set over a medium fire, turning once, until cooked through about 20 minutes.

GFF_plinker

Gunfight Friday: Mini-14 vs M1 Carbine

Mini 14, while moonshiner David “Carbine” Williams came up with the basis for the M1 while serving time in prison.

GFF_plinker1\

The Mini-14 is one of my favorites. It has that Garand style gas-operated bolt/operating rod that reminds me of my dad’s M-1. And I like the fact that it is wood and steel. There are folks who say the AR-15s are more accurate, and it’s probably so, but this one will shoot 2 to 3 inches at 50 yards with my bulk-bullet reloads while shooting fairly quickly. It is plenty accurate for me and also has the reputation of being super-reliable and working in conditions that will cause an AR to choke.

This one supposedly started life as a California Highway Patrol rifle and spent its time in the trunk of a patrol car. It’s a bit beat up, but the barrel and action show very little wear. I put a 2.5x compact scope on it and also I added a Williams peep sight that slides into the dovetail at the rear of the receiver that works well, too.

GFF_plinker2

The M1 Carbine was bought from a friend who carried one from 1957 to 1961 in Southeast Asia. He lived next door, and I paid about $100 for it and have never looked back. It was made by Iver Johnson after World War II, but the parts are interchangeable with the military grade carbines. It’s a big boy’s .22, a lot of fun and the kids’ favorite rifle to shoot.

There are your choices.  Vote and add your comments below. Keep those gun pictures coming toFSgunnuts@gmail.com. Last week’s Pledge Drive netted a number of new pictures, including Eugene’s Mini-14, but more pictures makes for more and better gun fights.