Archive for the 'Hunting' Category

Texas Outdoor Story – The Squirrel and the Snake

Friday, September 22nd, 2017
Paddling Ladybird Lake.

Paddling Ladybird Lake. Image: Texas River School

This is Passport to Texas Outdoor Stories

Ginger Turner enjoys paddling on Lady Bird Lake in Austin. Over the years, she says she’s witnessed her share of unusual incidents on the water.

The one that was really funny and sticks out in my head. My friend and I were paddling and we saw something swimming and we couldn’t figure out what it was. We get over there and it’s a squirrel swimming over one of the widest parts of the lake. We’re like, “let’s get closer; get closer.” So we follow him over and he ran up this tree that was leaning over in the water. As he was running up he ran smack dab into a snake that was curled up sunning on the tree. And it startled the squirrel, and it startled the snake and they both jumped about 10 ft. up in the air! And the snake plopped in the water and the squirrel we couldn’t even find. Later we heard a rustling and we saw the squirrel had made it over to the shore. But it was hilarious, it was funny. But I didn’t know that squirrels swam, but I guess they do. [laughs]

Thanks, Ginger. You never know what you might see when you get outside.

Do you have a funny or memorable Texas outdoor story to share? Go to passporttotexas.org, and let us know. We love to hear what you do outside!

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Texas Brigades Inspire Careers

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
Bobwhite Brigade Cadets. Image: Texasbrigades.org

Bobwhite Brigade Cadets. Image: Texasbrigades.org

This is Passport to Texas

To categorize the Texas Brigades as “summer camp” is like calling a mountain lion “a kitty cat”.

This is not a normal summer camp. This is meant to be a lot more than that.

Writer, Aubry Buzek wrote a story about the Brigades for the October  issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

The editor of the magazine said, I want you to go to this summer camp and write about it. And I was thinking: Okay. There’s going to be fun stuff happening; I get there and it’s in the middle of a session on how conservation groups work in Texas….and conservation and hunters ethics. And I was like, Whoa!

The 5-day, cell-phone free, camps for youth build confidence and camaraderie with projects, public speaking and debates on conservation issues.

There are some really amazing instructors who come to this camp. There are instructors there who are wildlife biologists from Texas Parks and Wildlife, other private hunting ranches, water control authorities…just the gambit of [conservation] organizations in Texas. The kids get to meet people not easily accessible. Every instructor that I talked to said that they want these kids to pick up the phone and keep in touch with them. They want to help them grow now and into the future.

Aubry Buzek’s story on the Texas Brigades appears in the October issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Buy Your License, Feed Hungry Texans

Friday, September 8th, 2017
Beautiful, yes. But also an important protein source for hungry Texans.

Beautiful, yes. But also an important protein source for hungry Texans.

This is Passport

Hunters for the Hungry, a program of Feeding Texas, welcomes legally harvested and tagged deer from hunters to help feed hungry Texans.

This is a wonderful program that helps us fight hunger.

Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas says a bill passed during the 2015 Texas Legislative session, allows hunters and anglers to make voluntary cash donations to the program when buying a license.

The option on the license is you can (voluntarily) donate one, five, ten or twenty dollars. In addition to the donations we’ve received through the hunting license option, individuals have supported the program through a donation option on our website.

Last year hunters and anglers, donated 110-thousand dollars to Hunters for the Hungry.

So, for the first time this year, we had funds to help reimburse processors for their costs of participating in the program. And that funding stream is what’s going to allow us to greatly increase the pounds of venison that go through the program next year.

Even with limited promotion, hunters donated more than 55-thousand pounds of venison to the program.

Collectively, we serve 3.5 million Texans every year. About a million of those are kids. We’re looking to grow [Hunters for the hungry] in those areas where there are lots of opportunities.

Find details at feedingtexas.org; click on the “get involved” tab, and then Hunters for the Hungry.

That’s our show…For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Beyond Bacon: Dove Carnitas a la Killer Chefs

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017
Dove Carnitas a la Killer Chefs. Photo: Jesse Morris.

Dove Carnitas a la Killer Chefs. Photo: Jesse Morris.

This is Passport to Texas

With dove season underway in the north and central zones, bacon wrapped dove breasts will soon show up on the tables of hunters everywhere.

People don’t really like eating doves, they like eating bacon, if that’s the only way that they cook it.

Jesse Morris is a hunter and chef with Killer Chefs in Richardson, Texas. He says there are more inventive ways to enjoy dove—including carnitas.

Everybody’s go-to recipe—and there’s nothing wrong with it – is bacon wrapped dove. It’s nice to actually use all the bird. So, you can use the heart in the carnitas, and the legs, and the breast meat, and everything. Cooking that down low and slow; finishing it off, letting all the sugars come out in the product. It’s something good.

If you’re a new hunter and longtime foodie, you may be tempted to “go gourmet” when preparing dove or any game. Jesse recommends to start simply.

People get off on wanting to cover them in sauces or gravy, and things like that – when they’re really not tasting the bird, or whatever game that it is that they’re eating. When you’re first starting out cooking wild game, cook it simply: grill it; salt and pepper. See what the flavors that the actual game is, and then work with that.

We have Jesse Morris’ dove carnitas recipe at Passport to Texas dot com.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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Killer Chef’s Dove Carnitas Recipe
by Jesse Morris
One of my all time favorites and go to recipe is carnitas. They are flavorful and easy to cook. My version of the recipe is not totally traditional. I like to lighten it up and use things that I can find around me in the late August early September months. If you don’t like the idea of using real sugar cokes, then don’t use it. You may substitute piloncillo, an unrefined sugar, and water.

Ingredients
1 pound salt pork, large cubed
Pig skin or pig ears, you may use the skin from the salt pork
1 white onion, rough chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 pound block of lard
10 dove plucked and cleaned doves quartered and hearts (trust me)
1 bunch fresh thyme, whole
1 bunch fresh oregano, whole
2 sticks Mexican cinnamon
1 Meyer lemon (or small orange), peeled, rind and juice
3 Mexican real sugar cokes

Instructions
In a deep, heavy bottom pan or Dutch oven brown the salt pork.
Add onions and garlic to pan and sauté for a few minutes.
Then add lard and allow it to melt and begin to slightly fry ingredients in pan.
Next add dove and remainder of the ingredients and simmer for about an hour on medium/high heat until meat is tender and the cloudy look of the coke and lard turns semi clear.
Pick all the meat and some of the lemon peel out. Pull apart the meat to prep for serving.
Finish off on flat top or cast iron pan till caramelized.
I prefer to garnish with charred jalapeno, chimichuri and a slice of lime or Meyer lemon.

Dove: Good Flavor Begins in the Field

Monday, September 4th, 2017
Ready for dove.

Ready for dove.

This is Passport to Texas

Jesse Morris is a hunter and professional chef; he traded his chef’s jacket for a new career that allows him to spend more time with his family.

I felt that I needed to have a creative outlet to continue food. Two of my greatest passions were food and hunting, so I decided what better way to celebrate what I was doing than to put those together; and that’s how Killer Chefs was born.

He shares these passions through the Killer Chefs website. Dove season is underway in the north and central zones. Jesse says: don’t expect this bird to taste like chicken.

When people think about wild game, the thoughts in their head are: ‘It tastes livery.’ That’s the word that they use. It has a flavor to it. But, what will give it that ‘off taste’ is not handling it properly.

Dove has a good flavor, but needs proper handling to ensure full enjoyment.

The very first thing in terms of food that you really want to think about, especially it being as hot as it is, is getting that animal cooled down. I always put the birds in a cooler right after they’re shot. Getting that body temperature cooled down as quickly as possible – that’s the most important thing.

That one act can mean the difference between delicious and disaster. Tomorrow: beyond bacon.

That’s our show… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.