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National Wild Turkey Federation’s National Convention in Nashville, TN, 2011

To go directly to the Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures show page  click on the following URL : The show will be available Feb. 29  at:

  As the Producer and Host of Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures, I sometimes take a look at major trade shows to get a feel for the industry as well as see what I can discover of interest to fellow hunters. This year’s National Convention of the National Wild Turkey Federation had a lot to offer, not only to visitors but also as a statement about the economy. Vendors reported that their sales were much better than last year and one said, “I sold more by 10:00 AM the first morning than I did during the entire show next year.” Before I left the show, I had gathered 20 interviews for my radio program to provide listeners a sampling of the event.

  The impression that I got from the floor was also favorable with most traffic being generated by booths that had new products, a variety of products and long-established reputations. Woods Wise’s Jerry Peterson’s booth was typical of this category. The long-time diversified call maker (since 1985) and I had an outstanding interview about the history of Woods Wise products and game calling in general. He also had some significant information on the numbers of deer fawns taken by coyotes and some new, at least to me, ways of hunting them.

  Although I commonly write about knives, one long-established American company that had escaped my attention was Cutco, who makes kitchen knives and cutlery in upstate New York.  In the 1950s they embraced the then novel serrated edge for kitchen uses, made and still make, superior blades using this edge. I have little use for badly done serrated edges and half-serrated blades. Cutco’s are well done, combined with good steel and make for well-designed instruments. Should your knife become dull, they offer a home sharpening service if they have a nearby representative, or you may send them back to the company at any time for resharpening.  

  Getting your decoys to not only look, but act, like real birds was a task taken on by Natural Motion Decoys who have a light-weight base that causes any pole-supported turkey, goose or other decoy to move in the decoy spread. This is a battery-operated system and permits the hunter to remain motionless and not have to operate strings to provide motion to his decoys on windless days. The movement is purposefully jerky, with pauses, to more nearly simulate a live bird.

  Even though I most often shoot muzzleloading shotguns, Remington’s new VersaMax shotgun is a semi-auto that can digest, without any alteration, any length hull from 2 3/4-inches to 3 1/2-inches long by using a unique gas system that considerably reduces recoil and makes even the honking-big 12-gauge hulls shootable even in  7 1/2-pound guns. Two versions of the gun are available now, with two 26-inch barrel lengths  to come later in the year.  Depending on options, the guns are available from about $1,200 to $1,500. These are expensive guns shooting pricey ammo, but they accomplish some things not previously done in semi-auto shotguns. For a look at the guns go to

<a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”” border=”0″ alt=”Mothwing Bill Ghilly (Rear)”></a>

  Another product that struck me as being particularly useful was QuickCamo’s Ghilly cap-face mask with a green cut-leaf pattern. This combination insures that you never leave your face mask behind as well as providing an excellent green cover for spring turkey hunting. The hat-mask combos are available in common camo patterns for winter, spring and fall hunting. To see QuickCamo’s hat-mask combos activate this link: Catalogue and Order Form QuickCamo.

  To listen to the hour-long radio show activate the following live link after Feb. 29. Feb. 29 : The current show is a lively and sound-rich auditory history of the hunting gun, Gun Talk 101.  For a brief on all past shows go to my blog, Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures Radio Show Blog.

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Cooking North Carolina and Manitoba Snow Geese

A dinner featuring nearly all snow goose dishes from North Carolina and Manitoba.


The author often waterfowls with black-powder shotguns.

  Snow geese hunting opportunities now exist along all the U.S. flyways with most hunters having access to these birds during both Fall and Spring hunts in the Eastern and Central flyways.  However, many waterfowlers are not taking advantage of the increased bag limits because they do not know what to do with the geese they bag.  Here are some simple recipes where these good-eating geese are cooked in a varieties of ways.

On a recent hunt in North Carolina none of the other hunters wanted their birds even after the guide offered to breast them out. With an ample supply of raw material, I proceeded to cook them up using recipes that I had obtained from guides Aaron Mathews in Currituck, North Carolina, and Derin “Gator” Walker in Plumas, Manitoba, along with a couple of my own.

  Grinding snow goose breasts for Italian sausage. Snow goose sausage. Making sausage from any wild-game meat is always an option and one I used here for snow geese. The breasts are washed, any shot and feathers removed, cut into chunks and fed into the grinder. Any sausage seasoning mix will do. I prefer my own variant of  Italian sausage which uses caraway seeds, crushed pepper, oregano, a touch of mace and salt. When any sausage mix is used a good rule of thumb is to use one teaspoon of mix per pound of meat. The details of my sausage mix recipes are in my book, Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound.

  Even without adding any additional fat, this sausage cooked very well, although I did add water to the frying pan at the end to keep it from getting too dry and make sure that it was completely done. With the seasonings I used, I cannot taste a significant difference between this and similar sausage made from ground deer meat. The grinder shown is an inexpensive one costing about $60. This cost will be recovered with the money saved from the first deer your process, rather than paying a commercial processor to do it.  

  Snow goose breasts with mixed beans. After cutting about two pounds of breasts (3-large) into smaller cubes I added these to a pot of mixed beans. To a cup of dried beans I added one cut-up onion, about half-a-teaspoon of salt and about a quarter teaspoon of crushed red pepper. These were allowed to cook until the goose was soft. and I also added some additional water and a tablespoon of margarine to keep the beans from scorching. These beans had a small amount of heat from the pepper, but the flavor of the snow goose came through.  I like to add the onions fairly late so that they remain a little crunchy, and do not go completely limp.

Beer battered and fried snow goose tenders (L) and Irish whisky marinated breasts (R).

 Irish Whisky marinated snow goose.  This recipe is from Darin “Gator” Walker. The snow goose breasts are marinated overnight in a mix made of Irish whisky and Italian dressing. Then they are bacon wrapped and charcoal grilled to give them a little smoke flavor and finished off in an oven. The oven-finishing may be omitted if you want a less than well-done  product. The best result is if the meat is still a little pink in the middle. Coat the breasts again with the marinate before putting into the oven and cover to retain moisture.

Shake-N-Bake snow goose strips. This recipe calls for the geese breasts to be cut into strips and soaked overnight in Ranch Dressing. Then they are coated in the Shake-N-Bake seasoned coating and placed in an oven at 350 degrees to cook. Best results is obtained if the cooking time is closely monitored and is not over about 20 min. in a pre-heated oven. These shown were somewhat over cooked. This recipe was recommended by Aaron Mathews as among his favorites.  This process is shown in the following video.

Whole Roast Snow Goose. Snow geese do have a distinctive taste. I found that I liked the other preparations better that the sliced goose breast meat, but David Martin, who filmed the video, came to the opposite conclusion. I cooked this just as I would cook a regular goose or wild turkey using the recipe in my books, Backyard Deer Hunting, Crossbow Hunting and X-treme Muzzleloading.  This consisted of plucking the bird, rubbing in some margarine, salt, pepper and celery seed into the breast, adding a cut-up onion and a coup of water, sealing it up in aluminum foil and cooking in the oven at 350 degrees for about 2 hours.

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Take Advantage of Snow Goose Hunting in East and West

North Carolina guide with a bag of 44 snow geese taken by his hunters during a morning's hunt.

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  Snow geese are eating themselves out of habitat in the high Arctic and extended seasons and bags have been introduced with the objective of reducing their populations. Although hunting snow geese offers North American hunters the chance to see and shoot waterfowl in numbers that have not been available since the 1930s, many are not taking advantage of this opportunity.

Guide returns with snow goose shot over a spread using "flyers" and "Texas Rags" used in North Carolina.

  Snows, often with associated blue geese, migrate in flocks that may be in the hundreds or thousands. There may be more than 10,000 birds using one pond or resting area that will disperse in the morning at daylight and fly out into fields to feed. Usually the hunting method is to set out very large spreads of decoys (1,000 or more) where the flock was feeding the afternoon before in hopes that they will return to the same area the next morning.

  This special season allows the use of unplugged guns and mechanical calling which are not permitted during regular waterfowl hunting. Although bag limits may change from season to season and area to area, these are usually about 25 per day per hunter (in the West) or season (the month of February in the East). Either way, this represents an excellent opportunity for waterfowl hunting in the late Winter and Spring.

Snows, like this young and adult bird, allow some nice specimens to be taken including the greater and lesser snow geese.

  In the Western U.S., Texas likely takes more snows than any other state, but they may be shot through all of the prairie states and provinces as they make their return trip home. They are somewhat early flyers and there may still be some scattered snow flurries during snow-goose season. When farmers start putting in their grain, the geese take this opportunity to utilize this easy food source to fuel their northern migration. The exact migration dates can vary depending on the weather, but once in an area about two weeks of good shooting might be expected.

  These grain-fed snows are excellent eating birds. In a few days I will post a video showing several ways to cook these birds. I describe a recent North Carolina hunt on my radio show, “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures.” This show may be heard by clicking on the following link:

To go directly to the show page  click on the following URL : This show will be  available February 15, 2011, and later stored  in the Archived section for 24/7 availability:

A video, “Backyard Goose Hunting: North Carolina and Manitoba” appears below. If you have trouble viewing it here it is also available on YouTube by clicking the following link:

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A Healthy Tuna Hot Dish

Although not particularly attractive, this is a healthier alternative to the typical salt and carbo-rich Tuna Hot Dish recipe.

  Tuna hot dish is a food product that has a nearly legendary reputation as being a Midwestern comfort food served at home, church functions and at public institutions. The typical list of ingredients  includes canned tuna, potato chips, cream of mushroom soup to which may be added various amounts of  cheese, salt and nuts.

  The problem is that while tuna and nuts  are healthy ingredient almost everything else is not, with the result that the dish is carbohydrate, fat and salt rich. After listening once more to Garrison Keeler’s expositions on hot dish, I decided to see if I could come up with something at least a bit better from the point of view of  enhancing the better ingredients and reducing or eliminating the harmful ones.

  With bold resolve and casting about the kitchen to see what I had in my cabinets this is what I came up with. It turned out good without adding any salt and using crushed red pepper to pop up the taste a bit.

1 12-ounce can tuna packed in water

2 medium Irish Potatoes very thinly sliced

1/2 medium Spanish onion finely diced

1/4 cut cabbage

1X2 inch block low-fat white cheese

1/4 cup of skim milk

1/4 cup slivered almonds unsalted

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

  Put olive oil in black-iron frying pan and allow to heat. Add thinly sliced potatoes and stir until potatoes start to brown. Add onions, and cut-up cabbage. Allow onions to partly cook and cabbage to start to wilt. As mix dries pour in and mix tuna allowing some of the water to evaporate. In the meantime heat and whisk together about a 1X2-inch block of white low-fat cheese (any type) in a quarter-cup of skim milk to form a smooth mixture.

 Wipe Pyrex dish with olive oil and pour in contents of frying pan. Add all other ingredients and place in oven at 350 degrees. Allow to cook until excess moisture evaporates (about 15 min.). Serve hot.

  If I had fresh mushrooms, I would have added those to the frying pan mix. As for nuts almost any will serve including almonds, pecans, walnuts or hickory nuts so long as they are unsalted.

  My four-member tasting panel, Demeter, Diana, Zeus and Casey enthusiastically approved of this dish.

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Are You Enjoying Your Global Warming?

Despite supposed Global Warming, the past two winters have brought uncommon amounts of snow and cold to the U.S.


   Those who have touted CO2 as a cause of Global Warming are having increasingly hard times making their cases in light of recent winters that have brought record cold temperatures to the Northern Hemisphere and nearly unprecedented snow falls in many areas. At the same time Australia has finally broke a years-long drouth with floods and as I write this another typhoon is threatening the northern half of the nation.

  All of these events are catastrophic only in the light of recent climate history. They are in the range of normal weather events that have occurred for centuries. Climate variation does occur from year to year and those who claim CO2-related global warming are really having to hem and haw in attempts to make their cases sound plausible.

  A few years ago they claimed that they could see long-term trends with the rise of world temperatures being directly related to increasing CO2. Further reasearch revealed that it was rather the other way around. Global warming from other factors promoted the growth of vegetation, release of this gas from the sea and decaying plants and that higher CO2 levels followed, rather than preceded, the warming event.

  Then they changed their tactics and said that CO2 was causing short-term impacts as witnessed by the then current series of world-wide droughts, melting glaciers, etc. Recent winters have given the lie to that trend too as has more careful long work on determining temperatures from isotope data derived from sedimentary sequences. This data tracks very well with historic weather data and shows only normal climate variations unless one throws out conflicting information as being an anomalous weather spike.

  Climates do, and have, radically changed in the historic past.  People in Chicago now have reason to wonder if the Pleistocene Ice Sheets from 10,000 years ago are on their way back for another glacial period that might drop sea levels hundreds of feet and have 1,000 feet of ice on Lake Shore Drive.

  The next spade of headlines from the climate people may claim that the New  Ice Age is upon us, as they did in the 1970. The take away here is do not get too excited about short-term climate variations, and CO2 has nothing to do with it.

  For more information see an earlier post, “CO2 Does Not Cause Climate Change.” I also did a radio show on this topic on “Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures” which aired on WebTalkRadio.Net in early January. The easiest way to access the show is to go to my website,, and just below the banner you will see a live link to the radio show. When on the show page, click on the “archives” show tab at the top of the page to bring up this and other shows.