Category Archives: Game


Big Game Ammo And All That Remains: How to Make Game Stock

The stock making process starts with a scrap bag—a gallon-size Ziploc kept in the freezer that collects the trimmings from onions, carrots, celery and other vegetables. (Of course, you can also make stock with fresh ingredients, but this method is kind of like saving your pennies for a rainy day.) A simple stock can be made by adding the ingredients of the scrap bag into a pot with the leftover carcass from a pheasant, grouse, duck, or goose, deer leg bones or other game scraps, covering everything with water and letting it simmer for a short period of time, say 30 minutes to an hour. However, with just a couple more steps and a bit more time (mostly unattended), you can achieve a richer, fuller flavor by roasting the scraps before soaking them.

Here’s a recipe for pheasant stock, but you could easily substitute the pheasant carcass for just about any game bird or whole or cut leg bones from deer, elk, moose, and other venison.

Pheasant Stock Recipe

– Pheasant carcass or assorted pheasant bones
– 1 cup each of celery, carrot, and onion scraps
– Assorted herbs, including thyme, parsley, and rosemary
– 1 bay leaf
– 12 cups water (or enough to cover pheasant)

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the pheasant bones and vegetables in Dutch oven or heavy, ovenproof stock pot. Place the uncovered pot in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, or until ingredients are browned.

2. Move the pot to the stovetop set the heat to medium-high and add a few cups of water, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits. Cover the pheasant and vegetables with the remaining water, add the herbs and the bay leaf and raise the heat.

3. When the water just starts to boil, remove any scum that has risen to the top. Lower the heat and cover the pot. Simmer slowly for at least 1 hour; two is even better.

4. After a few hours, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool slightly. Remove the bones and vegetables with a slotted spoon and discard. Pour the stock through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or other fine sieve.

You can let the stock sit overnight in the fridge and skim any hardened fat from it the next day, though, with lean birds like pheasants, this generally isn’t necessary.

Stock can be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator or several months, covered, in the freezer.


March Madness: The Final Four of Whitetail Buck Hunting Shotguns

And so, we are ready for tip-off—and mercifully done with sports analogies until next week. Here’s the updated bracket and Bourjaily’s original seeding. Scroll down to vote.

(See the Sweet 16 here.)

Division A

1. Remington 870: America’s most popular shotgun is a perfect match for America’s most popular game animal. Available in the right configuration to shoot any type of slug or buckshot, the 870 can be made even better with a host of aftermarket accessories.

2. Remington 1100/11-87: It’s everything the 870 is but in a softer-shooting package thanks to its recoil-reducing gas system. Almost any aftermarket part made for the 870 is made for this gun, too.

3. Tar-Hunt: This semicustom bolt-action shotgun is more like a rifle that just so happens to be chambered in 12 gauge. It takes a scope easily and has a rigid action and free-floated barrel. “Slug Accuracy” ceases to be an oxymoron when you shoot a Tar-Hunt.

4. Mossberg 500: The first production shotgun to come with a fully rifled barrel, the popular 500 Slugster has a cantilever scope mount and removable raised comb. The LPA model is fitted with Mossberg’s adjustable Lightning Trigger for optimal accuracy.

5. Winchester Super X3: This very soft-shooting and reliable design represents a family of semiautos that includes the Super X2 and the Browning Silver and Gold. With a rifled barrel and cantilever mount, it’s capable of shooting slugs very well.

6. Benelli Super Black Eagle:
 The dream gun of many waterfowlers makes a good slug gun, too, when you add a rifled barrel. It takes a scope well, and Benelli offers interchangeable soft combs so you can make the stock fit for shooting with a scope, too. [Some slug trivia: The very first recorded 1-inch, 100 yard group shot with slugs was fired through a Benelli with a custom rifled barrel and BRI sabot slugs 20 years ago.]

7. Winchester SXP Black Shadow Deer:
 Formerly known as the 1300, this inexpensive slide-action is one of the smoothest, fastest cycling pumps ever. The Black Shadow comes in all black synthetic with iron sights, a rifled barrel, and a drilled and tapped receiver.

8. Winchester Model 12: Although never made in a slug version, the Model 12 is the classic choice for taking a stand in a swamp and waiting for the hounds to run a deer by your stand. With six in the magazine and one in the chamber, the slick shucking Model 12 could put out a lot of buckshot pellets in a very short time.

Division B

1. Savage 220/212: The company’s reputation for affordable accuracy shines in this shotgun. Fitted with a two-round detachable magazine and Savage’s excellent Accu-Trigger, the 12-gauge 212 and the 20-gauge 220 are great shooters for surprisingly little money.

2. Ithaca Model 37 Deerslayer:
 Besides having the best name, the deer version of the bottom-ejecting Model 37 has a reputation for excellent accuracy. Deerslayers have been made in almost every configuration imaginable, from take-down smoothbores to the mighty nine-plus-pound Deerslayer III, with its fixed, free-floated, fully rifled heavy fluted barrel.

3. Browning A-Bolt: The 3-shot A-Bolt shotgun was ahead of its time when it came out in the 1990s, when slug shooters were more interested in quantity of fire over quality. But tastes change, and the A-Bolt has since been reintroduced. It’s a great shooter with a clean trigger and good fit and finish, too.

4. T/C Encore: This gun’s versatile receiver can be fitted with a 12 or 20 gauge fluted, rifled shotgun barrel, turning the Encore into a very accurate single shot slug gun with an exposed hammer and a nice clean trigger.

5. Benelli Super Nova: The slug version comes with a rifled barrel and the Nova’s innovative synthetic receiver is drilled and tapped for easy scope mounting. The stock is adjustable by means of shims and comb inserts for a semi-custom fit.

6. H&R Ultra Slug Hunter: If “bang for the buck accuracy” was the sole criteria, this H&R would win hands down. Available in 12 and 20 gauge and featuring a heavy, rifled barrel, the Ultra Slug Hunter is cheap, crudely finished, offers only one shot, and weighs a ton. But it’s very accurate and has a surprisingly not-bad trigger for a gun that sells for under $300.

7. RBL Professional: The lone double gun in this bracket, the rifled RBL from Connecticut Shotgun Manufacturing Company has fully rifled 20-gauge barrels and a mechanism that lets you regulate the barrels to the same point of aim. It’s not cheap at four grand, but if you can’t afford a double rifle or a trip to Africa, you can hunt whitetail buck hunting at home with one of these.

8. Browning Auto 5: Although its moving barrel makes it a difficult gun to scope, the popular, classic Auto 5, with both plain and rifled slug barrels, has taken down countless whitetails over the years.

Division A

(1) Remington 870 vs (4) Mossberg 500

Division B

(2) Ithaca Model 37 Deerslayer vs (3) Browning A-Bolt

Video: Required Hunting Gear And Hunting Dog Fetches Bottle of Vodka

unds to videos detailing how Ukrainian gundog owners teach the basic blind retrieve. And how, exactly, does the Ukrainian gundog owner in this video teach blinds? With a bottle of vodka, of course…
This video has apparently been floating around the Web for some time now, but being the stodgy unhipster that I am, I had never seen it before noodling around on YouTube last night, trying to find video on eastern European upland required hunting gear and pointing dogs. Instead, I discovered this decidedly Slavic twist on the classic American “Dog Fetches Beer/Paper/Slippers” trick. Some things, it seems, are universal. I personally have never trained a dog to bring me any sort of frosty beverage or spirit, but perhaps I should rethink that position so I, too, can achieve Internet fame.

Interestingly enough, I never did find out anything about upland hunting in eastern Europe — other than their dogs make good bartenders — but judging by the video it’s apparently a helluva good time.