Category Archives: Outdoors

deer hunt seasons

Do You Forage for Wild Foods?

much of the country. It’s also when a lot of hunters are in the woods hunting turkeys, so there’s a natural convergence of people and wild food happening anyway. According to this article in the Austin Chronicle, there’s also a renewed interest in urban foraging:

“Until approximately 12,000 years ago, when the first agricultural systems were developed, across every border and cultural divide, foraging was the predominant means of sustenance… The lost art is gaining momentum for a variety of modern reasons, including economic hardship, increased interest in sustainability and ecological well-being, and a desire to reconnect with nature and food.

“I think foraging fits in with any city, any town, any rural area, and any wilderness,” says Eric Knight, one of the Earth Native Wilderness School’s main teachers of edible and medicinal plant classes. “It’s part of who we are as humans.”

Admittedly, I’m not much of a forager. I’ve found a few morels in the woods, but I’m typically too busy chasing far-off gobbles to watch where I’m walking. (Not coincidentally, I’ve never found an arrowhead either so I must not spend any time looking at the ground.) I do pick chokecherries, wild plums, and crabapples in the late summer — mostly for my winemaking efforts. Other than that, most of my non-meat food comes from the market or the garden.

I’d like to change that as I’m sure there are plenty of great-tasting opportunities I’m stepping over every day. I do plan to pick some dandelions from my yard this spring — again for homemade wine, but I know everything from the yucca plants on the prairie to cattails offers sustenance. Maybe this will be the year I give it a try.

Are there any Wild Chef readers that forage for food? Any advice you can give?

Slide Show: Fishing the Kayak Classic Outtakes

Kayak Fishing Classic, put on by Jerry Collins, a retired FDNY lieutenant who owns a kayak shop on Long Island and is one of the nicest people you will ever meet. Yesterday Field & Stream published the piece which documents the fun and chaos. Today I thought I’d share the rest of the story with outtakes and a larger photo edit from the event. Enjoy.

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.

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.

Black Bear Hunting Attacks Florida Woman in Her Garage

eating her garbage. One attacked her, biting her head. The bear tried to drag Frana away but she escaped into the house.

She also sustained bite marks to the arm and leg and claw marks on her back. She required 30 staples and 10 stitches to close the wounds to her head. Frana is expected to make a full recovery.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials said the bite and claw marks may help them to identify the aggressive bear, which they will euthanize if they are successful in trapping it.

The attack occurred in the same day the FWC issued a warning that mother bears and cubs would become more active with the coming of spring weather. As human populations expand in central Florida, conflicts between people and bears are on the rise. Lake Mary is in Seminole County, which recorded 44 bear nuisance reports last year.

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.