A few days ago a good friend told me he was headed north for some duck hunting the end of this next week. I like duck hunting. I like all hunting and the challenges it presents. It’s the eating part of duck hunting have a problem with. I asked him if he ate what he shot, and he answered an enthusiastic “Yes”!
Look, I love eating deer, caribou, elk, rabbit, squirrel, moose, wild turkey, dove, bear, and even antelope if it’s fixed right. We prepare it, depending on what it is, fried, roasted, grilled, and even made into burgers or summer sausage and it’s all great eating. But duck for me is problematic.
My wife of over 48 years has tried, oh how she has tried, to figure a way to make wild duck a palatable feast. Maybe it’s just me, or maybe it’s just the ducks, but we have yet to fix wild duck in any way where they taste half way agreeable.
We’ve tried mallards, wood ducks, pins, teals, you name it. They all taste really strong and when you weigh that sort of main dish against a good old cheeseburger it’s just no contest. Cheeseburger wins hands down.
When I was guiding many years ago we would shoot ducks in the morning in our blinds on the lake shore and then, when we had what we considered a fair days bag, would launch the boat for an island out on the lake for a shore lunch of duck with some shore fishing for my clients while I prepared lunch. I would clean a few after starting a camp fire and douse the breasts in some orange juice concentrate, and then grill them over the fire.
This was usually acceptable to my clients, but I have to admit it was a struggle for me to get down more than part of one breast. Just wasn’t my cup of tea. I tried variations on this theme and one time even decided I would give in to my better instincts and fry them up in lard after coating them in some flour using an egg wash. Not a good idea.
Can’t really remember what species the ducks were, but I’m guessing they were mallards as this was the most abundant species on Lake of the Woods. I fried them up, making sure not to overcook them so we had food, not shoe leather. My clients said they were great, but once it took my first bite I knew they were being, to say the least, charitable.
After lunch we would fish and more often than not we would return to the dock with a nice bag of birds as well as a nice mess of fish. But I really had a hard time getting that foul (pun intended) taste out of my mouth.
Over the years we’ve tried innumerable ways to fix duck and my take is that you basically have to use so much other stuff such as bacon, cheese, jalapenos, orange slices, etc. to cover up the taste that it really confirms that most wild duck is simply not very good to eat. Only when it tastes like something else is it going to be very good!
So here’s my challenge to you: Email me your favorite recipe for wild duck. I may not be able to try every one you send me, but I promise I’ll give as many a try as I can assuming I have a chance to go after some duck here in southern Indiana. Who knows, maybe Dixie and I just haven’t hit on the right recipe that will turn a wild duck into a memorable feast!
On another note we are in the beginning of hunting season. Depending on where you live or where you’re headed now is the time for checking out your gear, cleaning and maintaining your guns, bows, etc., and making sure you have all the necessary gear, camo, and safety equipment for this year’s hunting seasons. American Legacy Fishing and Outdoors is ready to assist in any way we can, so please take a look at our web site for your needs. We promise a great selection and the same World Class Service you’ve come to expect for all of your summer fishing needs. And don’t forget our Clint & Sons jerky’s. They’re perfect for those cold mornings when you need a great snack that really takes care of that hunger rumbling down below!
This week we have some great news. Our free G. Loomis hat with a G. Loomis rod offer is back! We also have some really great hunting items you should check out before hunting season gets underway.
Thanks to all of our great friends and customers who have supported us and passed our name on to their friends. We know we are only here by making sure your needs are our first and only priority. Please let me know if we ever fail to meet and exceed your expectations.