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Guy de la Valdene article


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49 minutes ago, kgb said:

 

Disdain for their flavor?  If so, I wouldn't hold it against him either.

Touché...he maligned them as a moving target...but I disagree on the flavor. I like to eat them lil mudsuckers.

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In the realm of modern outdoor (upland) writing, there is Guy deLaValdene and Mike McIntosh and everyone else,  as they are erudite and educative. Many of the other praised and lionized writers will n

Which brings me to my absolute favorite book on grouse and woodcock:  Hill and Smith's "The Whispering Wings of Autumn", written for the Ruffed Grouse Society back in 1981.

Not all! Some of them spend the winters in Arizona with me!!   I received the woodcock book as a gift. Found it quite engaging. There's probably some truth to his take on our love affair wit

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3 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

My memory has dumped, but I think it was writer Steven Mulak who expressed a disdain for Woodcock in at least one of his ruffed grouse books. Don't hold me to that. I admit it bothered me but didn't stop me from biuyng and reading his books. My favorite Is Brown Feathers, which may be his first book.

 

 

I don't recall if he said that or not but I do like his books too.

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3 hours ago, Brad Eden said:

Touché...he maligned them as a moving target...but I disagree on the flavor. I like to eat them lil mudsuckers.

 

Just saying I understand many do not like the taste.  It took me a couple tries to find a preparation I really like.

 

As a moving target, I've missed many of them.

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Don Steese

I hear people maligning woodcock quite a bit. They say they're such an easy target they're not a challenge. All I have to say is they must be gunning a subspecies I'm not familiar with?? That goes double when hunting Alder tangles like the ones my Asian pal favors!! I also think they're great table fare. Most folks who don't like them have probably overcooked them, which is very easy to do. I also think the guys who say they don't hunt them actually do, when no one is looking!!

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Larry Brown

Disdain for woodcock . . . several years back, I was showing a couple internet friends some hunting spots in the UP.  One of them, a very good shot, said that he'd never hunted woodcock but thought from what he'd read that they wouldn't be much of a challenge.  Result:  Wheels start turning in my brain.  I took them to one of my "seldom fail" woodcock coverts.  Always seemed to be at least a few birds there--sometimes a lot.  Nice stretch of young aspen right above an alder bog.  On that particular day, they were there in good number.  My "not much of a challenge" friend made several comments like "How in the hell do you guys shoot in this stuff?"  He did collect a couple doodles, but I think more than half a box of shells were expended in the process.

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Treerooster

I like to hunt woodcock. I think they are a really cool bird in several aspects, had one doing the "dance" about 20 feet off my cabin one spring...loved it.

 

That said woodcock can ruin a grouse hunt. I've run into numbers of wc so thick I had to pull out of there. Dog just goes a few yards and points another one. After the 15th or 20th time having going in to the thick to flush yet another wc it gets old. I just give up on that particular cover to hunt grouse. When a grouse finally is pointed I am not ready or I just can't make any progress through the cover. Maybe it's different for a guy with a flusher...I truly don't know.

 

I am not saying I don't enjoy woodcock, I do, but I can see where a guy that just wants to hunt grouse could be annoyed by "the little russet fellow".

 

And they simply are harder to eat than a grouse for most people IME. Just look at the ingredients in Brad's recipe. Fresh ginger?...I don't think I have any laying around. Asian sesame seed oil?...is that different from regular sesame seed oil. And I wonder if I even have any regular sesame seed oil around. Grouse, just need some butter and onion and I can make a pretty good meal.

 

 

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That recipe is for the real woodcock eating haters. Those who kill them, then let them get freezer burn and throw them out. I typically breast them, wrap 1/2 breast in plain unsmoked bacon, (also the little white meat legs), and grill or broil lightly. I also do the same but as poppers with Jalepeno and cream cheese. Simple and delicious.

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5 hours ago, Larry Brown said:

Disdain for woodcock . . . several years back, I was showing a couple internet friends some hunting spots in the UP.  One of them, a very good shot, said that he'd never hunted woodcock but thought from what he'd read that they wouldn't be much of a challenge.  Result:  Wheels start turning in my brain.  I took them to one of my "seldom fail" woodcock coverts.  Always seemed to be at least a few birds there--sometimes a lot.  Nice stretch of young aspen right above an alder bog.  On that particular day, they were there in good number.  My "not much of a challenge" friend made several comments like "How in the hell do you guys shoot in this stuff?"  He did collect a couple doodles, but I think more than half a box of shells were expended in the process.

 

I know you know this; informing someone who looks down on woodcock as an easy target that a very good shot you know had difficulty will only make the declared good shooter feel better about himself---and maybe start to wonder about your abilities!  The human condition.

 

 

 

 

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Ive been an absolute hero on Woodcock one day and an embarrassment to all of shotgun shooting personhood the next. As Ive droned on about before....They don't ALL rise up like a helium ballon and pause at canopy for the gimme shot, despite what is written all the time in Upland spotting literature. 

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1 minute ago, Brad Eden said:

Ive been an absolute hero on Woodcock one day and an embarrassment to all of shotgun shooting personhood the next. As Ive droned on about before....They don't ALL rise up like a helium ballon and pause at canopy for the gimme shot, despite what is written all the time in Upland spotting literature. 

That floating up like a helium balloon accurately describes the ONE Woodcock I've killed. Light years slower than a quail and not even close to a Snipe.  IF that is common for them I could see someone thinking they weren't very challenging to shoot.  

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1 hour ago, Zkight89 said:

That floating up like a helium balloon accurately describes the ONE Woodcock I've killed. Light years slower than a quail and not even close to a Snipe.  IF that is common for them I could see someone thinking they weren't very challenging to shoot.  

14cashwc.jpg

 

This was a good day. The cover in background was open and they were flushing and screaming away low and fast. I've had plenty of days when I wanted to throw my shotgun up into the trees. 

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Guy's discussion in "Making Game" on how to cook woodcock medium rare (and likewise all red breasted game)  was a game changer for me on ducks.  I had learned to cook them like chicken, which of course made them taste like bad liver.

 

Thanks to  reading that I now enjoy duck, woodcock and prairie grouse all cooked medium rare.

 

 

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A regret of mine (one of 100's) is having never meet Guy while he and Jim Harrison were hunting up around here.  My first wife's boss was a former editor for a line of fishing magazines and palled around with those two but Jim wasn't famous yet and I had no clue who those old guys were.  I was in my early 20's and they in their 40's lol.  Guy is my favorite writers because he tells a story like a poet without trying be the expert. And being a frenchman, I like his references to home.  

 

As for woodcock, yeah I do think they are an easy target and one of the few birds I limit my killing on these days.  Love to eat them but I do feel sorry for them.  They have a tough road and any bird that lives though a year for that chance to breed must have missed death many times in that year.  They deserve better than a load of 8's.  But spearing a breast half on a stick, dripping it in butter/hot sauce and poked into the heat of a fire for 10 seconds............Hard to beat that for food.  

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Larry Brown

I agree with Brad that woodcock can be easy (usually depending on the cover more than anything else)--or not.  IMO, the easiest game bird I've ever hunted is the sora rail.  You do have to slog around in a marsh for them, which is not a lot of fun.  I'm a pointing dog guy, used to con friends with Labs or other water dogs to go rail hunting with me.  Rail fly low, slow, and drag their landing gear.  About the only ones you should miss are those that sit down in range--and they do that fairly frequently when you're trying to let them get out there a little bit.  When I last hunted them, the limit was 15.  Told my partner I was only carrying 15 shells.  He got a good laugh when I missed my first shot . . . but I ended up with 14.

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