Saturday, October 13, 2012

Upland Hunting Last Weekend in North Dakota

After I wrote the blog post last Saturday I went out for some upland hunting.  I know the area I live in in North Dakota can only be described as embarrassing compared to hunting in Wisconsin, but dammit I need to do outdoors stuff.  I've gone upland hunting in this area of North Dakota many times before, and it is basically a miracle if you flush a grouse or partridge any more than 3 times in the season.  Yes it is that bad I kind of wish I had a dog to help me.  Anyway, I got ready and prepared for a day out in the fields seeing nothing.  I packed snacks water and so on.  I walk into the first field and within about 10 minutes of walking a jackrabbit pops up right next to me.  Within that split second I decided I was hungry enough to try jackrabbit, so I shot it and put it down.  This was the first time I have ever seen, or shot a jackrabbit and when I walked up to it I noticed it was quite large.  I picked up the rabbit and headed back into town to clean it.  I've never cleaned a rabbit or jackrabbit before, but from what I was taught it was pretty simple.  

When I got back to the apartment I weighed the jackrabbit and it weighed 7 pounds!  This seemed big to me, but from what I understand is normal size for North Dakota jackrabbits.  I did some looking up online on how to skin one and found there are about 8 different ways people are showing, so I decided to try it how my grandfather told me to, but modify it so the meat was boneless.  I don't think I did to bad for my first time skinning jackrabbit, but I didn't get as much meat as I could.  I got most of what Uncle Ted would call bountiful back straps  and some hind leg meat.  I made a pretty decent mess in the kitchen and decided that the sink was not the best place as the jackrabbit kept sliding around.  I have no learned and will be able to do a better job and get more meat next time.  After I was done cleaning up I put the meat in a bowl of saltwater in the fridge and went back out hunting for a while.

I didn't see anything else out hunting the second time that day, but I almost got my car stuck on minimum maintenance road.  When I finally got off the road my car was so loaded up with a dirt/clay mix that I had to get most of it out from the parts of my car by hand.  That wasn't fun.  Anyway, after that mess I went back to my apartment to get my jackrabbit ready.

I follow the way my grandfather, you know him as Old Man Rounce, told me.  I seasoned the meat with garlic salt, salt and pepper.  Then I shook the jackrabbit meat in a bag filled with flower.  Fried it on the stove in butter and olive oil at medium low for about 12 minutes, with a cover on it most of the time.  Then I took a pot put some butter in it added half a cup of water and a few shots of Brandy (the Brandy was my choice).  I set the oven to 350, put the meat in the pot (I don't own a dutch oven or I would use that) put a cover on it and let it cook for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remember that rabbit is an extremely lean meat with nothing but really protein in it, so you must keep it as moist as possible and use lots of butter to give it more flavor, and keep the meat from getting to tough.  When the food came out of the oven it look pretty good.  It tasted not bad either, but Patty said it didn't have much flavor, which it didn't so for next time I have to add more spices and probably use real butter (Patty doesn't like real butter so it's almost never in the apartment).  So everyone make note of that use real butter not fake butter.

Patty went out hunting with my the next day, but we didn't see anything.  Below are some pictures of the weekend.

The jackrabbit

Getting ready to skin it

When it says Town Car for the name I guess it means Town Car

Sunset ending the first night of hunting

The jackrabbit after it was cooked.  Some of it was already eaten by me I was hungry.

The second day of hunting.

Also last weekend I guess Eric went salmon fishing in Wisconsin.  He sent me a picture with no details on if he caught this fish or not, but I'm sure if he actually contributed to this blog he would have some good stories for everyone to read.  It looks like he or someone did well salmon fishing though.  Here is the picture below.

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