Archive for the 'Hunting' Category

Hunting/Cooking: Low and Slow to Cook Game

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Chef Lou Lambert and his trusty kitchen helper.

Chef Lou Lambert and his trusty kitchen helper.



This is Passport to Texas

Cooking venison for the first time can be intimidating, but Lou Lambert, chef-proprietor of Lamberts Downtown Barbecue in Austin and Lambert’s Steaks and Seafood in Fort Worth, is here to help.

60— I grew up hunting and fishing and still do today. But I think most of the lessons I learned about cooking game were more failures than things that worked out well when my mother was cooking.

Because I had two brothers, father – we all hunted. So, we always had quail, dove, ducks and deer. And I remember my mother struggling to cook deer, because (and the biggest mistake she made) was not realizing because game is, if you will, grass-fed, all-natural – it does not have the fat content. And, because it is more in motion – the muscles tend to be a little bit tighter, which means tougher.

So, lack of fat and more movement tells you that you have to do a slow, moist heat cooking method, unless you have it ground into sausage, or pounded for chicken fried [steaks], most of that deer – 80% — you need to either do a braise or a very slow barbeque smoke method.

Find wild game recipes on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series.

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

Hunting/Food: Making Wild Game Jerky

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Larry Burrier with some homemade wild game jerky.

Larry Burrier with some homemade wild game jerky.



This is Passport to Texas

May is when Parks and Wildlife celebrates al fresco feasting; also known as picnicking. And, if you’re Larry Burrier, you always pack along some homemade wild game jerky.

08— First off, it’s more nutritional and better for you than everyday snacks. Plus – the most important thing—you know what’s in it.

People who say they don’t like jerky because it’s like trying to eat a leather belt, haven’t had good jerky says Burrier.

08— It’s supposed to be pliable. If you can take a piece of that meat and bend it without it cracking or breaking, that’s when it’s jerky. You don’t want it hard.

From-time-to-time Burrier teaches traditional jerky-making classes at Lockhart State Park. He says making this treat from wild game you’ve harvested brings your food full circle when you eat it outdoors – where it originated.

08— It’s self-sustaining. It teaches them how to live off the land. What to do with the meat after you harvest it. Of course, this state has so much game in it, it’s ridiculous.

Ridiculously delicious, that is. Find a jerky recipe to use with any animal protein, and that requires no special equipment to make, at passporttotexas.org.

We record our series at the Block House. Joel Block engineers our program.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.
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Larry Burrier’s Country Style Jerky in the Oven
From Texas Link to Jerky Making
Recipe for use with 8 pounds of venison or lean beef.

Wet Marinade:
2 teaspoons curing salt
2 teaspoons curry powder
3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
4 teaspoons black pepper
8 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 cups soy sauce
2 cups Worcestershire Sauce
3 cups water

Mix all ingredients together to make marinade for your meat.

Directions for preparing meat and making jerky:

1. Trim fat, gristle and membrane from the meat
2. Freeze the trimmed meat for approximately 2-3 hours to make slicing easier.
3. Slice meat into 1/4 to 3/8 inch slices.
4. Place meat in marinade mixture; cover and refrigerate overnight.
5. Once fully marinated, spray your oven with nonstick cooling oil spray, and preheat oven to 140 degrees (or lowest setting for your oven).
6. Place a cookie sheet or aluminum foil on the bottom of your oven to catch the drips.
7. Skewer meat strips with metal or wooden skewers and hang along racks 1/4 inch apart to provide for better heat and smoke circulation (see picture).

drying_jerky_lead

8. close the oven door, but use a utensil like a wooden spoon to hold open the door slightly for the first hour, as that allows more air circulation and moisture to escape.
9. After an hour close the door completely and check every hour until your jerky is dried, but flexible enough to bend. Store in air tight containers in your refrigerator.

Hunting: Turkey Hunting Isn’t Just a Fall Pursuit

Friday, May 2nd, 2014

A gorgeous gobbler.

A gorgeous gobbler.



This is Passport to Texas

Spring hunting season for turkey wraps up this month.

04— In Texas – the majority of the state – the western two-thirds of the state are going to be Rio Grande Turkey.

Robert Perez, upland game bird manager at Parks and Wildlife, says over the long term, Rio Grande turkeys are doing well in their range. Another sub-species is the Eastern Wild Turkey, which occurs in deep East Texas.

13— And it’s population, for many years, Texas Parks and Wildlife and partner –the National Wild Turkey Federation – worked very, very diligently to restore that bird. But there is a spring eastern season in certain east Texas counties only.

You can find those counties in the online version of Outdoor Annual on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website. Meantime, if you plan to take advantage of the waning days of spring turkey season…

13— To hunt any upland game bird, there’s the upland game bird stamp – a seven dollar stamp – required to hunt pheasant, quail, turkey, or chachalaca. So, to hunt those species, you buy that stamp, and then that goes toward the conservation of that bird.

Find license, hunting and management information for all game species on the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series, funded by your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motor boat fuel.

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

Hunting: Spring Turkey Hunting on the Rise

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Spring turkey season in Texas.

Spring turkey season in Texas. Photo by Bill Reaves, TPWD



This is Passport to Texas

Upland game bird hunters needn’t put up their rifles just yet. You still have about a week to get into the field and flush out a turkey…and you won’t be alone.

08— In Texas, what we’ve seen over the last several years – maybe over the last decade – is a continuing interest and growth in the number of spring turkey hunters.

Robert Perez is the upland game bird program leader at Parks and Wildlife. Perez says fall turkey hunting is often incidental to deer hunting.

05— Say, someone’s in their deer hunting blind, and they see some turkeys and decide, “Okay, I’m going to take a turkey.”

But, in springtime it’s all about the bird.

25— It’s more involved as far as calling a strutting male, or a male that’s going into breeding season. He’s going to be more colorful; he’s going to be looking for hens and responding to a hunter’s call. So, he’ll [the hunter] be imitating the calls of the hen, completely decked out in camouflage at the base of a tree or somewhere – trying to get that bird to get close enough to him to shoot. And it can be a very exhilarating, very exciting experience to successfully call in a bird. So, it’s quite addictive.

Log onto the Texas Parks and Wildlife website and find out when and where to hunt turkey this month. Just click on the hunting tab and then season dates by animal.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series, funded by your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motor boat fuel.

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

Hunting/Food: Hunting and Eating Rabbit

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Andy's Mother in Law's Gumbo Recipe.

Andy’s Mother in Law’s Gumbo Recipe. Substitute rabbit for the chicken; if you don’t have venison sausage, any good smoked sausage will do.



This is Passport to Texas

Andy Gluesenkamp calls rabbit the third white meat.

04—Rabbit really is all white meat; it’s like a cross between pork and chicken. It’s very, very lean; there’s very little fat in the meat, itself.

A herpetologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife, Andy has hunted and eaten rabbit since he was a boy.

07—I grew up eating curried rabbit that my mom made. And no one makes better curried rabbit than my mom.

A self-professed “good cook,” Andy Gluesenkamp likes to prepare rabbit he’s harvested. Preparation, he says, begins with properly field dressing the animal, which, he adds, is “easy to clean.” Rabbit is a versatile and healthy protein that lends itself to a variety of cooking styles.

18— I think my buttermilk fried rabbit is pretty good. I also make rabbit gumbo, based on my mother-in-law’s gumbo recipe; and that is exceptional. I’ve also done rabbit pot pie, and Teriyaki rabbit, and grilled rabbit, and poached rabbit. It’s really hard to mess up rabbit.

Find Andy’s recipe for Rabbit Gumbo at passporttotexas.org. It’s no curried rabbit, but it’s still tasty.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series and is funded by your purchase of fishing and hunting equipment and motor boat fuel.

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