Hunting: Duck Season Cometh

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As you read this, I’m in and around Port Aransas, TX looking for ducks. Saturday morning, the South Zone duck season opens here in Texas, and I’m a very willing participant. As the picture suggests, Benelli has been nice enough to supply me with a Super Black Eagle II for my journey. I picked up a fresh case of 3-inch #2 steel shot, and my hunting buddy Will has gone over the finer points of what to do to take ducks from the sky to the cast iron skillet . . .

Now it might be a bit premature, but I’ve been reading a ton of recipes on Honest Food about what to do with a duck. Some people tell me they taste like the a wader boot, and others says its about the finest meal you can have. Will tells me that come hell or high water, we’ll have ducks in hand by the end of the day, and he’s never done me wrong in the decade or so that we’ve been hunting together.

But since this is a gun blog, and not a cooking blog (yet), I’m planning on putting this Super Black Eagle through its paces. The fine folks at Benelli told me to use it, abuse it, and if the mood strikes, even use it as a paddle. I’m not much of a bird hunter, but I’ll give it my best and give you guys and gals the coverage you deserve as loyal readers of TTAG.

Wish me luck. Quack Quack.

UPDATE – tonight we eat!:

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comments

  1. avatar jwm says:

    Duck season is in here in CA and has been for a while. Los Banos is my favorite bunny hunting spot but it’s closed to all but waterfowlers for the season. I don’t hunt ducks because I don’t have a dog or boat. And I’ve had duck fixed many ways and don’t like them.

    I’ve found that with my guns,12 and 20 ga., that the steel shot patterns better than lead. Seems to work real well with a modified choke. I’m relearning to hunt with non lead ammo. Last time I hunted ducks and geese lead shot was still legal.

  2. avatar LJM says:

    Good shot Ty! Filet the breasts, thinly sliced, char jalapeño, then make mini roulade of duck breats jalapeños, cream cheese and bacon, skewer and grill.

    Welcome to the club!

  3. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Nice!!
    Good luck on a recipe. I’ve tried it many times. I just stick to the chips and dip.

  4. avatar Farmer Tyler says:

    The beneli inertia system is a wonderful design. Super super clean and cool running and the bolt is easy to dissasemble.

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    Wild duck tastes great — just as long as you coat it with herbs and spices and then smother it with sauces that cover up the taste of the duck.

    1. avatar Taylor TX says:

      Milk and herb marinade for a couple days helps the gaminess. We chicken fry it sometimes since its already pretty greasy, it works nicely.

    2. avatar Accur81 says:

      That’s pretty much sums up my feelings on duck. Venison, bison, turkey, pork, and elk are great, but I’m not a duck lover.

      Still, duck hunting seems totally awesome and I wish you the best.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Yup. Duck = Yuck.

  6. avatar LJM says:

    A ducks taste depends greatly on it’s diet. Diver ducks, yes I’ll take a pass. However, here in Illinois, when you get into late season birds (mallards and geese) that have been feeding exclusively on harvested corn and soy beans… As Alton would say, good eats.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      When wild ducks eat like farmed ducks, they taste good.

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    BTW, Daffy says that duck hunters are dethspicable.

    Yeth he did.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Suffer’in Succotash…”

      Never developed a taste for duck. It may well be what they eat ’round here. Bass, speck, bluegill, catfish shit probably doesn’t taste good.

      Gator tail, on the other hand…Yeah, Baby!

  8. avatar JWTaylor says:

    Im down here near Eagle Lake blasting away. I love duck, and duck hunting. Brine em, smoke the meat, slice 1/2″ thick, warm it up, and serve it on crackers. so. dang. tasty.
    And I’m shooting a dirt cheap, Krylon’d up Mosssberg 500. I can afford better, but it is reliable and its cost is comensurate with my shotgun shooting ability. Plus, hell, it was already, as it always is, in the truck.

  9. avatar ropingdown says:

    Tyler, don’t pluck the duck. Gut and skin it. Boil it for two hours in a large pot or until the meat begins to loosen from the bone. Next, remove the duck from the pot and let it cool. Separate the meat from the bones, drain the meat, and then soak it in a mix of cognac and fresh tarragon for four hours. Place the meat in a rectangular pan, and put a clean brick or two (as needed) on top to squash the meat. Leave it thus pressed in the fridge for two days. When you are ready to serve it, melt some rendered farm-raised duck or chicken fat, warm both it and your duck meat in the oven, pour the fat over the meat, and serve it on a plate with fresh greens. Provide a glass of cognac. Sip some cognac before eating the duck. If the duck taste is displeasing, drink more cognac and try it again.

    1. avatar Tyler Kee says:

      That’s a hell of a recipe.

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “If the duck taste is displeasing, drink more cognac and try it again.”

      That seems to work with a lot of local-harvested meat…

      With varying degrees of success…

      1. avatar Fanfare Ends says:

        Can always plank it…

  10. avatar GS650G says:

    A Benelli SBE is on my wish list. I just got a Beretta 391 Extrema with a rifle tube and scope but I really wanted the Benelli, just couldn’t swing it this time.

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