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Dakota Slim

Duck Hunting & Cooking

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I grew up in MN and used to hunt ducks and geese every year in the fall. My favorite time was late season after the lakes had frozen over and the mallards and Canadian geese would congregate on the open water of certain rivers -- some of which were refuges. Twice a day, morning and evening, they would fly off the rivers to feed in the corn fields. After years of scouting, I found several places where the huge v shaped flocks of ducks and geese would fly up and over high bluffs overlooking the rivers. They usually came over at treetop level. At that point, they were well within range and you could sit there and pick out green heads. Most of the time I used a 12 gauge with a 26" barrel and an improved cylinder. Lead shot was still legal back then and regular old  2 3/4'" shells with 4 shot was a great load -- even for the geese. 
I haven't hunted in quite a few years and I miss the hinting as well as the eating. There is nothing better than a fat corn fed mallard in my opinion -- IF it is cooked the way I was taught to cook them. It was an old hunters recipe. Simply salt and pepper the birds and then stuff them with apples, carrots and celery. Bake them slowly in a 325 degree oven while basting them with beer, wine and whiskey. After 2 1/2 to 3 hours, pull the apples, carrots and celery out and throw it away, then continue basting them for another 1/2 hour or so.  

Edited by Dakota Slim
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You are making me hungry. I used to hunt ducks for years and whenever I see duck on the menu I ALWAYS order it. When I get retired I may have to chase the mallards again. Been to long.

 

Mike

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daugther has a small farm in effie mn. spent last winter there, down to 36 below zero. got back down here in march, spent the summer in the desert. can take the 120's, go backup there this fall, harvesting crops, and back here in october. me likes hell better, wether political or desert heat.

enjoyed the ducks and geese meals, along with venison.

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54 minutes ago, Dakota Slim said:

I grew up in MN and used to hunt ducks and geese every year in the fall. My favorite time was late season after the lakes had frozen over and the mallards and Canadian geese would congregate on the open water of certain rivers -- some of which were refuges. Twice a day, morning and evening, they would fly off the rivers to feed in the corn fields. After years of scouting, I found several places where the huge v shaped flocks of ducks and geese would fly up and over high bluffs overlooking the rivers. They usually came over at treetop level. At that point, they were well within range and you could sit there and pick out green heads. Most of the time I used a 12 gauge with a 26" barrel and an improved cylinder. Lead shot was still legal back then and regular old  2 3/4'" shells with 4 shot was a great load -- even for the geese. 
I haven't hunted in quite a few years and I miss the hinting as well as the eating. There is nothing better than a fat corn fed mallard in my opinion -- IF it is cooked the way I was taught to cook them. It was an old hunters recipe. Simply salt and pepper the birds and then stuff them with apples, carrots and celery. Bake them slowly in a 325 degree oven while basting them with beer, wine and whiskey. After 2 1/2 to 3 hours, pull the apples, carrots and celery out and throw it away, then continue basting them for another 1/2 hour or so.  

Slim,

There is nothing better than a flock of fat December greenheads or a big flock of honkers locked and dropping into the decoys. We do that for 107 days a year. When duck season rolls around, not much else exists haha. We breast the ducks out and marinate them then bbq them with charcoal and apple wood. Then we will pick a few of them whole and cook them the same way. The geese we jerky out. Sometimes we bread them in Italian bread crumbs then fry them. Just cant cook it over medium rare. In fact were eating duck tonight.

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13 minutes ago, wet/dry washer said:

daugther has a small farm in effie mn. spent last winter there, down to 36 below zero. got back down here in march, spent the summer in the desert. can take the 120's, go backup there this fall, harvesting crops, and back here in october. me likes hell better, wether political or desert heat.

enjoyed the ducks and geese meals, along with venison.

That's a great area. I've hunted ducks and fished for walleyes and muskies on Leech Lake. I shot a nice buck up there once too. It's also a great place to get real wild rice. 
I won't do 30 below :yikes: anymore. 

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12 minutes ago, nugget108 said:

Slim,

There is nothing better than a flock of fat December greenheads or a big flock of honkers locked and dropping into the decoys. We do that for 107 days a year. When duck season rolls around, not much else exists haha. We breast the ducks out and marinate them then bbq them with charcoal and apple wood. Then we will pick a few of them whole and cook them the same way. The geese we jerky out. Sometimes we bread them in Italian bread crumbs then fry them. Just cant cook it over medium rare. In fact were eating duck tonight.

Saute'ed duck breasts are great with plain old white rice and sweet & sour sauce too. 
 

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Duck is awesome eating. I don't hunt them very often so it is rare treat for me. I like them cooked over coals. 

I used to hunt geese a lot over by Deming, New Mexico. There are millions of them on those grain fields near Palomas. We managed to shoot a few but they were very difficult to get close to.

I wasn't crazy about eating them. I could not imagine jerking a goose or eating jerked goose but if I ever shoot another one I am going to jerk it. :yesss:

One of my clearest memories of my father was goose hunting down on the border. We set decoys, built blinds, and called for days. There were milliions of geese but we never could get close enough to one for a shot. We tried everything.

One afternoon in frustration my father produced a 30-06 rifle from behind the truck seat and took a rest on a fence post. He shot the head off a goose standing in the stubble at about 250 yards. He was walking back with the goose when the game warden pulled up. It was a helluva shot and we were all grinning pretty big as that warden wrote the citation and confiscated the goose. My father was livid.

It took him a week to calm down about it. He figured that warden was out of line even bringing up the fact he shot that bird with a rifle. Who in the heck was he to tell him how he could shoot a #$$$%%^^! bird! He had just calmed down a bit when he had to see the judge and pay a fine. I don't think his blood pressure returned to normal for a month.

 

 

 

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Goose jerky is awesome. Any other way and they just get tough no matter how rare you keep it. At least for me anyway. 

Funny story about your dad and the game warden Bob.

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I remember , When I lived id SC . There was a guy I worked with , would hunt with him and his wife fixed fried duck and wild rice, kind of like Duck Fried Rice....was good.

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1 hour ago, azdigger said:

I remember , When I lived id SC . There was a guy I worked with , would hunt with him and his wife fixed fried duck and wild rice, kind of like Duck Fried Rice....was good.

Yeah, some of them have an "oyster" taste to them from mucking up the little shellfish. They are pretty good in fried rice. My ex used to bake them with some seasoned rice and then tear it all up together. It was a lot like fried duck rice with oyster sauce.

I never did learn all the types of duck and the "points system". Here in the desert they sit on the dirt tanks all winter and there are so many types it is confusing. There are males and females that look different and groups of different types. Sometimes it seems they are all different birds.

I had an ID guide and I took it out duck hunting. I did more bird watching than shooting. I rarely ever hunt them anymore but I go up near Sevilleta Wildlife Refuge a lot rock hounding and watch the birds every year. I guess I get a bigger kick out of trying to figure out what kind of duck that is than trying to get a shot.

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On 12/23/2018 at 7:24 PM, mcgator said:

You are making me hungry. I used to hunt ducks for years and whenever I see duck on the menu I ALWAYS order it. When I get retired I may have to chase the mallards again. Been to long.

 

Mike

Seasoned and slowly turning on the Rotisserie until the skin is rendered crispy and the meat juicy and tender . . .  

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