Sep 30, 2013

Countdown to Our Saskatchewan Watefowl Hunting Trip

There are just 12 days left until we head out to Saskatchewan for a week long waterfowl hunt.  This will be a first for most of our crew and to say we are excited wouldn't really put into words just how jazzed up we are for this trip.

Saskatchewan once known as "The World's Bread Basket" because it produces over half the wheat grown in Canada, which is obviously good for all those migrating ducks and geese as they need to fatten up for their long migrations south.  It is also known as the " Land of the Living Skies" due to the incredible sunsets, northern lights and ofcourse WATERFOWL!  Every waterfowler has heard about those hunts where the skies are thick with waterfowl that they almost black out the sun.  I've seen video from previous hunts that one of our guys has been on and it was darn close to a black out, now I hope to see it for myself.

Planning for any hunt is important, even for just a day but for a week long hunt out of the country it requires a little more effort and stress.   In the end as long as our guns show up, some clothes and our licenses don't get lost we should be good to go!

I don't know what our access to the world will be up there but hopefully I can post some live updates from the field as well as nightly report.

Wish us luck!

Sep 20, 2013

Recipe - Simple Venison Backstraps and Roasted Vegetables

Well it's official, the freezer is empty of venison as I used the last of it last night for dinner. No need to panic though because nature's pantry is open for business.  Our Archery season opened last week and even though work and family has kept us out of the woods this week, we will be out tomorrow working at filling the freezer.

Simple Venison Backstrap and Roasted Vegetables

Normally I keep cooking venison simple and delicious.  We butcher our deer ourselves this allows us to clean it up the way we like and control the portion size.  I prefer to leave my backstraps in big portions which gives me many options for cooking them later on.  Easy enough to use as is, slice up for steaks or any other need.


  • Venison Backstrap
  • Spices for venison - I use Salt, pepper, onion and garlic or Weber Steak seasoning 
  • Butter or oil for cooking 
  • Beef Stock - Just enough to deglaze the pan after cooking.
  • Vegetables of your choice - cut into bite size chunks
  • Spices for veggies - Your choice.  I use the standard salt, pepper, onion and garlic
  • Walden Farms Balsamic Vinaigrette

Cooking Instructions:

  • Cut vegetables into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl.  I used broccoli, peppers and mushrooms, but your favorite veggies will do.
  • Add at least two tablespoons of Walden Farms Balsamic Vinaigrette. Substitute your favorite dressing or oil and season with your favorite seasonings.  I use the standard salt, pepper, onion and garlic.
  • Spread vegetables out in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until you achieve your desired tenderness.
  • Trim backstraps by removing all fat and silver skin and pat dry. Cut into large chunks that will fit in your pan.
  • Season both sides of backstraps with your favorite seasoning.  I used the standard salt, pepper, onion and garlic.
  • Heat frying pan with oil or butter.  I used a little bit of butter and olive oil.
  • Cook backstraps for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side depending on thickness and desired temperature - I prefer a medium rare for venison.
  • Remove from pan and let rest on a plate for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add some beef broth to the pan and de-glaze the pan scrapping up all the goodness - set aside for later
  • Slice the backstraps to your desired thickness and pour the pan drippings over them and serve.

There is usually a fight for the last piece of backstrap in our house and last nights fight was a little extreme due to it truly being the last piece in the house!

Share your favorite venison recipes!

Happy hunting and eating!


Sep 17, 2013

Connecticut Hunting & Fishing Appreciation Day - Sept 28, 2013

On September 28, 2013, the CT DEEP and Friends of Sessions Woods will be hosting Connecticut’s Annual Hunting & Fishing Appreciation Day at the Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area in Burlington.
Fun activities for all ages are planned, along with educational programs and workshops about hunting, shooting and fishing. Best of all, the event is free to attend!

Why we're celebrating

Hunters and anglers have been at the forefront of the conservation movement for over 100 years. They showed their support by requesting taxes and special fees on hunting and fishing equipment to help pay for wildlife and fish management, habitat restoration, and other conservation programs through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration (WSFR) Program.
To find out more about activities, vendors, times and directions visit their website at:

Sep 16, 2013

Massachusetts Outdoor Expo - Sunday Sept 22, 2013

It's amazing how many great little outdoor events that are close to home and you don't even hear about them.  I found out about one such event last night and even contacted the organizers to get some additional information and it's not so little.

The "Big Moe" as the Mass Outdoor Expo is nicknamed will be held this Sunday September 22 from 9:00am to 4:00pm on the grounds of the Hamilton Rod & Gun club in Sturbridge, Mass.  The best part about this event is that is free!

US Fish & Wildlife Traveling Wildlife Refuge

A quick look at the list of sponsors and their activities page is proof that there is a lot going on for a one day event.

Just a small taste of what is on tap for the day:

  • Rock climbing wall
  • Fly tying
  • Petting zoo
  • New England Raptor & Reptile Exhibits
  • Fly casting
  • Canowing & Kayaking instruction
  • Shooting events and instruction (archery, firarms, air rifles)
  • Birdfeeder Craft stations
  • Ice fishing instruction
  • Wild game tasting
  • And plenty more fot he entire family to enjoy!

Required to participate in all shoot sports

They even have a video promoting the event and you can see it here:

 Visit their website for directions, to volunteer, donate and more information:

What a great reason to get outdoors and enjoy!

Have Fun!

Sep 13, 2013

Asian Goose Stir Fry - Crockpot Style

With the Resident Goose season open and underway what better way to celebrate this season then with a new goose recipe so here it is - Asian Goose Stir Fry - Crock pot Style!

I had a two packages of goose breast (3 full breasts) left over from last season and decided it was time to use them up, but I wanted something different and something that would fit into my new lifestyle - fancy word for diet.  Originally I was thinking of some type of Goose Chili or Stew in the crockpot, but lately I've been making stir fry vegetables to spice things up on my diet and decided I had to do this with the goose.

  • 2lbs of goose breast (skinless and boneless)  - cut into cubes or strips
  • 3/4 cup of teriyaki sauce (or soy sauce) for Marinade - my favorite is Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki
  • 2 to 3 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger - I use the ginger in a tube as it is easier. Adjust to your taste
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic - I prefer to use fresh
  • 14oz bags of frozen stir fry veggies - I just grab the mix from the frozen section and I need lots of veggies with my new 'lifestyle' so I used two bags.

Cooking Instructions:
  • I let the goose breasts sit in a salt water bath over night, then rinse them good, dry them and then vacuum seal for the freezer.  Make sure to remove all the fat and silver skin prior to slicing.  I like to slice the goose breast into 1/4inch thin slices cut on an angle across the grain.  
  • Combine the sliced goose, sauce, ginger and garlic and seal in a plastic bag and let it sit in the fridge overnight.  I found that the longer I leave it - up to two days - really allows the marinade to soak in.
  • After letting it rest in the fridge, place the marinated goose breast in your slow cooker set to low and let it go for about 4 hours.
  • At the 4 hour mark add in the frozen vegetables and stir and continue cooking for another 2-4 hours or until the meat and veggies are tender.  Adjust times and temps based on your cooker and your needs.  Low and slow is my motto.
  • About 20-20 minutes before I'm ready to serve, I mix up about 2 to 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and 1/4 cup of  water in a bowl and stir it into the slow cooker. Depends on how thick you want it so start with a small amount and add more if you need it. Set your slow cooker to high at this point.  This will thicken up the sauce.

Serve over your favorite rice, or if you are like me and trying to be a little more healthy I will make a Cauliflower Rice instead or add some additional veggies to the plate and pour the goose on top.

You can always replace the goose with beef, chicken and probably even some pheasant or duck.

Give it a try and let me know how you liked it.

Happy Hunting!

Sep 3, 2013

Crossbows for Everyone, and other New Regulations for Connecticut

This past week the CT Legislature finally passed the proposed set of hunting regulation changes after some fine tuning the wording.  This new regulations package brings some good and controversial changes to Connecticut. 

Changes include: legalizing crossbows for all archery hunters, expansion of youth hunter training opportunities, use of muzzleloaders as a lesser weapon, fluorescent orange exemption for coyote/fox hunters, adjustments to the crow season dates and establishing seasons, bag limits and other restrictions regarding the take of snapping turtles.

Crossbows not just for the injured anymore here in Connecticut.  Crossbows have been added as an approved hunting implement for everyone here in the Nutmeg State.  For some bowhunters, they believe this to be their worst nightmare come true as the woods will now be filled with "those once-a-year hacks with the antler stickers all over their trucks will be trampling our early season" or "FUDDS" as one poster on a forum I frequent put it.  A word of note - it's not YOUR or MY season, it's EVERYONE'S season!   I've hunted other states that allowed Crossbows to be used by anyone and I did not notice an over abundance of "FUDDS" personally, but I did notice a few veteran hunters return to the fall woods with their Crossbow, as well as some youngster join our ranks.  Isn't that we what really need - more kids, more women and the return of many of our veteran hunters?!  If crossbows help, then I say bring them on.  Me personally, I'm sticking to the vertical stick and string!

It will be interesting as people now scramble to get in on the fall archery season with their new crossbow, only to realize they need to have completed and passed a certified bowhunter education course!  It will be more interesting as they struggle to find available classes as most of us that are instructors will be spending our free time hunting, instead of teaching!  You can visit the CT DEEP wildlife website for a list of available hunter education courses here:  CT Hunter Education Courses

No matter what you use to hunt with, it is your responsibility to be comfortable, safe, knowledgeable and proficient with your equipment and we should expect no less from our new fellow bowhunters!

Another change which has stirred up controversy amongst fellow hunters is the extension of the youth training days.   The new regulations allow for 7 youth hunt days (Turkey and Deer) which is up from the 2 in previous years.  Now having had the pleasure of bringing many youths into the hunting sports, I personally believe these youth hunting / training days are the best addition we have seen in a long time and the increase in days is the next step to making them better!  Of course many are complainging how unfair it is to give the kids 7 days of hunting before anyone else, but let's be realistic for a minute.  Of those 7 continuous days (used to be 2 Saturdays only), how many hours is your typical youth going to be out hunting?  They are in school, the weather will have a say int heir time afield as will their other commitments to extra curricular activities.  I may be on the wrong end of this one again, but I'm all for this and I don't have any younger kids anymore!  We need more kids in our ranks and if this helps then let's do it!

I am excited about the ability to use my muzzle loader during the shotgun/rifle deer seasons now as well as the shortening of the October closed hunting season.  Overall I am happy with the recent regulation changes and appreciate the hard work the folks at the CT DEEP put into these changes.  Many hours talking to folks, both for and against, surveys, reviewing what other states have done and finding that balance between our days afield and population control.  Now all we need is Sunday hunting!

You can review all the new regulations here:

Now let's quit fighting with each other and get outside in the great outdoors!

Happy Hunting!