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HomelessjOe, Imperdix, MattH, mc, Parabola, Stanton Hillis, Ted Schefelbein
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Original Post (Thread Starter)
by Lloyd3
I've begun to plan for my pilgrimage to the North Woods here. This year will be quite different from past years for many reasons, the biggest being the absence of my father-in-law. I'm (thankfully) mostly past the hardest parts of operating up there without him and figure that I've been in training for this position for almost 20-years now (longer depending on how one gauges training for such a thing). I've made a list of the guns that will be going with me, doped out how much ammo to take for each (not figuring on finding much up there or even in the near term here). I've also listed each and every little article of clothing (and other useful artifacts) that I'll be packing along for this sojourn. I'm driving again to avoid the flaming hassle that flying has become (w/guns and, of course, everything else), so I'm even plotting out the course I'll be taking across the vastness that is still our wonderful Mid-West in this country. Not sure what I'll encounter up in the rural parts of Nowhere Minnesota this year, but I'm figuring on even-more limited resources there (because of all the Covid-related interruptions in the various supply-chains that we all so-desperately rely upon). I'll also be using a very fuel-efficient automobile to help deal with the now very expensive fuels I'll likely be encountering (thankfully, two resident 4x4s still stand at the ready there). This trip will easily double the time I normally spend up there (4-weeks plus), so medications and even remote bill-paying will also be a considerations this year. By the end of it all I'll likely have gone-native, with a full beard and hopefully a replenished larder. A true Jack-Pine Savage at last!
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by Lloyd3
Epilogue. After an all-day haul, I drove into Denver at the height of rush hour (no fun). Unloaded my car and put all the goodies into the freezer, reacquainted myself with my family and the the dog (who was pretty standoffish, I'll likely take her next year). Slept like the dead that night. Got up the next morning and completed putting away the guns, ammo, clothing, and all the other souvenirs of the trip. The next few days were spent catching up on the deferred maintenance left from my extended absence, and dealt with some unpaid bills and a few unanswered questions (house related stuff). As expected, it's still just late Fall here, fairly mild, even warm still. Still hard for me to balance the two worlds I've just experienced. The hustle bustle of this 21st century place and the more-plodding and yet clearly more-comfortable pace of the northern frontier. The good news is, however, that my perspective seems different somehow now too, less harried. Most things seem surmountable and less-demanding now (things that would have clearly irritated me before the trip). I do find myself missing the more-natural world and the uncrowded spaces in the quiet moments here but... part of them seems to have come home with me. Hope this lasts for a while.
4 members like this
by Lloyd3
The lesson I've learned (from my wife and her father) about making game meats palatable can be distilled-down to simply brining and ageing things properly. Ageing seems to be critical for some game birds (goose and pheasant come immediately to mind). Goose can be simply awful if you treat it like a chicken and cook it accordingly. My father-in-law was effectively living on social security, so every form of protein he had at hand became quite important. Canada goose went from being just a pleasant distraction to an important resource and he responded by learning how to use it as effectively as possible. From the Orvis Game Cookbook...

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A sugar/salt brine is critical for replacing the fluids lost in the ageing and then freezing process. Moreover, any meat frozen (for even a short period) immensely benefits from a brine bath immediately before cooking. A 1/4 cup of sugar, a 1/4 cup of kosher salt, enough hot water to fully dissolve them in a gallon ziplock, some ice then to cool the mixture down before adding the meat. More water can be added to ensure complete coverage and then 4 to 8 hours in a fridge will change the the texture of any meat dramatically.

As far as corning goose goes, after it has been aged and then brined the meat is corned the same way beef is, aged in a pickling solution for a set amount of time and then cooked and consumed. As an example...

Ruffed grouse is a unique gamebird for a number of reasons (see below)...

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Because ruffies are so darn good and easy to prepare, most are treated like chicken and the results are usually acceptable. There seems to be room for improvement, however, and this year I'm going to see what I can lean about that as well.

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2 members like this
by canvasback
Originally Posted by ed good
how far will you be from international falls?

The ancestral home of Rocky & Bullwinkle.
1 member likes this
by Hal
Sure like to get that corned goose recipe. Yesterday, slow baked a breast from a huge old Canada my buddy shot after searing on both sides. Came out so tough that even my 100 lb GWP had to take it to his mat and chew on it.

Back to MN ruffed grouse, I shot my first one in '49 just SW of Tenstrike. With a double of course, a spanking new Stevens 311 with Tenite stock. My dad and his buddies built a nice deer hunting shack NE of Kelliher right after WWII. Lots of young forest in those days and lots of deer and grouse. They made special trips to the Lancaster area to hunt sharptails in the flax fields. Then the MN DNR liked the cabin area so much they made us move it to private land made a public campground on the site. Had a nice flowing well. I remember one trip when we were in high school in the early '50's. Four of us picked up 16 ruffed driving between Ponsford and Two Inlets. Mostly ground sluicing of course as we had no ethics and no dogs. Have only seen ruffed that abundant about three times since the late '60's, all in Manitoba where we have a cabin. Sometimes these peaks coincide with high sharptail populations. Then its a limit of ruffed (and a few spruce) in the morning and an afternoon with the sharptails to really give our dogs a workout. Back in those days we could bring back 36 grouse per trip; 12 each of the three species.
1 member likes this
by Lloyd3
This COVID horse manure is sure getting old....
1 member likes this
by graybeardtmm3
"My first solid grey bird. Most have been mixed phase. Still warm up here. At about the halfway point in my trip and am finally settling into things. Time is a wonderful luxury that I've never had like this before. The days just roll by and each is another adventure. No bad news and endless trails and boat time (had to buy more sunscreen today). A fellow could get used to this, I suspect."

i have always viewed time and money in an equation....if you have enough time you never seem to have enough money....if you have enough money you never seem to have enough time....i think that the functional definition of wealth is that point at which you have both enough time and enough money....

enjoy your wealth....
1 member likes this
by Lloyd3
After action report...

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September 12th.

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October 24th

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Stepping out the door to go home.

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5 weeks of hard hunting (w/several hunters).
1 member likes this
by Lloyd3
Karl: I'm happy to hear that one. It was pretty sweet here yesterday as well, a true cast and blast day (walleye and grouse) in between the storms that have been flowing through here from the southwest. All of the colors here are mostly gone (only yellows and browns now), which means that the leaves are now mostly gone. Way easier to see back into things.

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The latest record for frost up here is today (October 11th). No chance of one here until maybe later this week. Seeing more birds all the time now.
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