Feathers, Scales, & Fur?

We had beautiful weather up north and best of all i managed to cath both birds and fish!
I have had plenty of success in neighbouring lakes but never have i managed to pull a trout out of our lake. every trip i take a turn or two trolling, and like a good fisherwoman, diligently cast off the dock a while–rarely is there evidence of hungry fish.

But this trip 3 casts (and a borrowed lure) and i had a nice strike. Too small to make a good meal, so the little fish was unhooked and released–but I’ll take the win.

And BIRDS! our neighbours generously included me in their hunting group and off i went. Five shots, a nice walk through the woods, and a couple hours later i had birds in each hand.  We cleaned the birds roadside and the catch to that point was cooked in our smoker that afternoon. using the same technique as last year (see post wild edibles ii & iii) a salty spice rub over the flesh, coveredn in bacon and slow cooked.
BUT i keep re-reading the joy of cooking’s advice about small game birds and the perils of cooking them without drying them out. And as much as i love the smoky flavour – the cleaning technique and the necessary cooking we use at camp has been niggling at me.
And here is why–1/The  joy of cooking (and a few other old cookbooks) tell me that rather then gutting and removing the feathers skin and all immediately following the hunt, i ought to be hanging the birds whole, so that 3-5 days later i can pluck the feathers, which should preserve the skin-it remaining intact and thus open up a whole other avenue of cooking techniques because barding will no longer be necessary.
2/the birds feathers are rather pretty and i think next trip i will keep them rather then tossing them into the bush (after all feathers seem to be all the rage as fashion flare right now). i must be able to find some use for them.
3/i have ideas about taking myself on a solo hunting trip which involves doing all my hunting while walking through the woods (and maybe camping), rather then driving logging roads, only pulling over near promising stretches of bush.
I also have ideas about getting a rabbit, (which is allowed on the same hunting licence) and using the pelt after eating the fellow.

Any way our long weekend was super fun. the weather was amazing 24+ (much nicer then either our september or august trips)  we had lots of good food, great company, successful harvesting of our ‘local’ environment, and tom had a blast.


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