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Why Can't Deer Hunters Cook?

Why Can't Deer Hunters Cook?

I was catching up with a friend of mine, who for whatever reason prefers hunting deer to waterfowl, when he mentioned his freezer full of ducks and geese.

"They're just awful, livery creatures," he said. "My wife hates them and I can barely swallow them."

As often as I encounter yet another deer hunter who can't cook, I'm continually taken aback by their lack of culinary care. I told my friend that I'd choose a duck breast over a venison backstrap every day of the week; that I'm saving a goose for my wife's birthday; and that if I'm ever on death row, I want a mallard breast with wild rice, asparagus and a cold beer for my last meal.

He couldn't believe it, and the next day I received an email from him soliciting recipes.

Now, I could've given him my favorite, can't-screw-it-up dishes. Like this recipe for geese. Or one for ducks in which you marinate the breasts overnight in Lawry's mesquite marinade, then cook them in a hot cast-iron pan until they're black and crispy on the outside and red in the middle. The marinade carmelizes, washing the breasts in sweet, steak-like flavor. What a meal.

However, my friend slipped up, divulging that the waterfowl in his freezer are specklebellies and black ducks—my all-time favorites. I knew I couldn't trust a deer hunter with a duck man's job.

So I sent him an email:

Dear Joe,

Regrettably, you shot the only two species I refuse to eat. Fortunately I'm headed to the food bank this afternoon to drop off some venison. I'll stop by to pick up your ducks and geese for donation.


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