Wednesday, July 6, 2016

2016 Season Short: The Preparation

Below is a short video of our summer preparation for the upcoming fall deer season.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Recipe: deer organ tacos

One of my son's favorite things I make after killing a deer is heart and liver tacos.  So, I figured that I would share with anybody interested.

I have learned that one whitetail heart basically will only make about 3 soft tacos, so I supplement with deer liver.

I prepare the heart first by cutting off any fat and tough skin on the outside.  I then cut out the stringy connective tissue around the heart cavity.  After doing that I then dice the meat into roughly 1/2" x 1/2" pieces.  I sprinkle a little salt on the meat after cutting.

I melt butter in a skillet and then sauté minced garlic in the butter.  Brown the heart meat in the butter and garlic sauce.

After the meat is brown I deglaze the skillet using the liquid of my choice and simmer the meat until the liquid evaporates.  My current favorite is a margarita mix.  I find it gives a nice flavor profile typical of traditional Mexican cuisine and leaves a nice rich coating on the meat.  We eat this on warm tortillas typically with just cilantro and diced onion (although sometimes we add sour cream).
If you have never tried deer heart I highly recommend it.  It is extremely mild and tender and takes on additional flavored very easily.  It is quickly becoming a favorite cut of meat for my family.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Warm weather slowing the hunt

I always struggle this time of year with whether to deer hunt or trout fish.  Typically, since my family prefers deer to trout that usually makes the decision for me.  This warm snap is really playing havoc with the deer this fall/winter.  After a crazy couple of weeks during the rut, things have totally calmed down.  While it has made for comfortable sits, the weather has prevented much movement after 9AM.  However, it has still been nice taking in the scenery.

Found these mushrooms the day after Christmas and thought they were oyster mushrooms, but not sure.

After passing on lots of does during archery season I was praying for a decent 1.5 yr or older doe to walk past during the either sex rifle season.  Thankfully, my prayers were granted and I was able to put more 100% organic locally sourced healthy protein in the freezer!  As always I said a little prayer of thanksgiving for the sacrifice and the food it will provide.

My family consumed almost 90 lbs of deer meat last year, and that allowed us to not buy any beef all last year.  To date, my two deer this year only come out to around 65 lbs, so I will need to try and pick up another over the next week or so.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

No Time to Fish, it is Deer Season

In addition to extremely high workloads and travel every other week, it is also deer season.  Therefore, I have had no opportunities for fishing.  Unfortunately, that means I didn't even take advantage of some of the fabled trout waters of central PA where I have been for a few weeks this fall.  Regardless, below are a few pictures from the deer season so far.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Rabbit snack-its

I thought that I would share a recipe that my kids really enjoy.  Lacking a better name, I am just calling it rabbit snack-its, and it consists of heart, liver, and random meat clippings that were left over during the cleaning stage.  

I start by prepping the pieces.  The liver is quite large and needs to be cut into thirds (follow the natural shape of the liver). Thoroughly wash all pieces.

Next roll the chunks in a mixture of flour and seasoning of your choice (I use garlic salt and a little chili powder).
I like to fry the pieces in a Teflon coated wok with the oil of your choice.  I prefer corn oil or peanut oil, but for the picture above all we had was canola oil.
Cook all pieces until the oil is mostly clear and the pieces are cooked throughout.  The heart and little meat chunks typically finish before the liver.
Serve and enjoy!  Here my son enjoys his with a side of barbecue sauce and chips.  Another popular side is mashed sweet potatoes.

Give it a try next time you kill some rabbits, it is an extremely tasty treat!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Spring 2015 Turkey Season

There was lots of anticipation building up to the 2015 turkey season, including a trip to the NWTF Convention in Nashville.  So, I took a camera with me on most days, but unfortunately the turkey did not cooperate for the most part.  I did patch together some clips from the season, primarily at my son's request, and figured I would post it here for those who may be interested in watching it.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Short Clinch Trip with a Friend

This past Wednesday I chose to take the afternoon of and meet a buddy on the Clinch.  I left work around noon, and it took a little longer than I expected to get to the river.  However, I was surprised to see only one person wade fishing below the weir dam...  This is usually a bring your own rock kind of place, so this was very strange.  We figured that we had about 3 hours fish, so we geared up and hit the water.  Before long we were wading out to our first spot, and Buzz hooked up before I even had my fly tied on.  He yelled at me that I needed to get my fly in the water and stop tinkering around with my gear.  It was all in good humor, but he was right.  I quickly waded out and made my first cast with the fly rod in about 6 months, and was very pleased to feel the tug of a trout on the other end.  I even took my stringer with me on this trip with the intention of keeping some fish for my kids, but that usually is the death blow on my trips.  When I bring a stringer along, no fish are caught.  The first fish was too small, so it was quickly released.  Unfortunately, about this time I really was starting to regret not having my camera to document what seemed like it would be a fast paced day.  This pace continued on for a while with rising fish all around, and we would pick up a fish every few minutes.  When I arrived at the river I discovered that I was completely out of 6X fluorocarbon tippet, so I had to move on up to 7X (I couldn't buy a strike on 5X).  This turned out to be a double edged sword as the smaller size enticed more strikes, but it also allowed three fish to break me off.  Eventually I got things dialed in and managed to land a 15" rainbow on a very long downstream drift, and it was exciting to feel a good solid tug on the end of the line.  What was most enjoyable about the trip was that Buzz and I were fishing relatively close to each other and were able to carry on a conversation and make jokes about various things throughout the trip.  That is something I have missed over the past few years as either I fishing by myself on tailwaters or when fishing the park streams we are usually too far apart to communicate with each other.   

I am now in the process of restocking my fly box with flies that I discovered I was out of, and replenishing some of those that were broken off while using my 7X tippet.

Of another positive note was the fact that this trip marked the first time I got to wear my new Patagonia Rock Grip wading boots out on the river.  I picked these up over the winter on clearance at about 60% off, and was skeptical about their performance.  I have lots of Patagonia gear and know it is top notch, but these were rubber soled boots and I didn't know how they would stand up to the rock snot in the Clinch.  The night before I chose to only screw in 6 of the supplied studs into each sole, and I spaced them in such a way that I thought would best distribute my weight.  My concern over previous studded soles is that they often left me feeling as if I was ice skating since there were so many studs that the rubber or felt never actually contacted the rock.  These boots were quite possibly the most sure footed boots I have ever worn, or at least they were in the bottom type that we were fishing on below the weir dam.  The next big test would be to try these boots out on either the South Holston or Watauga river with their perfectly smooth and round rocks the size of bowling balls.  That requires a totally different walking technique, and would be a good test for these boots.  Maybe I should take a drive up that way to give it a test, and while there maybe wet my fly line for a few hours.

Thanks for allowing me to ramble on, and until next time...

Tight Lines and God Bless

19" Clinch River Brown