Traveling Trails Less Traveled. By Buckshot Anderson
For October 19th, 2007 Edition.
The 8th annual pilgrimage by the Not So Magnificent Seven to the Land of Endless Potholes was once again a howling success! A three-vehicle convoy departed Northern Wisconsin at 6:01 a.m. on Oct. 6th and returned a short time before noon on Oct. 14th just in time to watch our Packers beat Washington 17 – 14.
The charter members of the group included JR. DeWitt, Dr. Thomas Tilkens and yours truly. Ed Petras took part in his 7th western adventure. Chris Anderson and Jerry DeWitt were 2nd year players and Craig Long was on his maiden voyage. Also on board were three canine companions, Rusty, a Golden Retriever and Black Labs, Belle and Lacy, they being the main “work horses” of the expedition.
Our destination is smack dab in the center of one of the most concentrated pothole regions of the western Great Plains, our home away from home is an aging house trailer that is set among the waving wild prairie grass on the seemingly endless prairie. The dwelling comfortably sleeps seven and is equipped with cable TV, electric heat, hot and cold running water and generous refrigeration. What was once a cattle shed provides the hunters with a place to clean their game out of the weather. What more could anyone ask for?
Our main quarry is quackers, but we won’t hesitate to take a chance on a low flying goose or a sandhill crane. And for those who wish additional hunting opportunities they may purchase an upland game license, which qualifies them to also bag sharptail grouse and Hungarian partridges. Pheasants are also available in the area where we hunt, but as with this outing we generally arrive prior to the opening of pheasant season.
Lest someone should forget, duck hunters are a different breed. Most folks consider duck hunters to be a pint short of a quart. There are few to be counted in the human race that enjoy getting up well before sun up, guzzle down several cups of hot coffee, slip into damp waders, bundle up in multiple layers of camo clothing, and then sit in a thicket of cattails at the edge of a small pond in pouring rain, sleet or snow waiting for a duck to fly by and call it fun. But that’s what a duck hunter will drive 700 miles west to enjoy!
On this particular trip we did not have to endure any rain, sleet or snow as we did during our outing in 2006. In fact most of us groaned and moaned a bit about the sun, lack of wind and temperatures that soared into the upper 50s and low 60s every day. Only once did we have a ting of morning frost! Ducks get lazy when the weather is too nice and often, as happened this year, spent most of their daylight hours sitting in some secluded pothole working on their suntans rather than flying around looking for greener grass on the other side of some barbed wire fence. But, still we did well, although we were forced (poor us) to hunt longer than normal to bag a few birds.
One thing our group is really good at is eating. Everyone in the platoon takes a hand at preparing breakfast, and cleaning up after, which usually takes place about ten or eleven after a morning hunt. Our menu is basically eggs, fried or scrambled, accented with copious amounts of bacon and pork sausage, hash browns and toast, all of which is fat and cholesterol free.
Grilled beefsteaks and baked potatoes make up our first evening meal, but from then on each supper consists of duck or goose as the main entrée. And let me tell you our group contains some high quality wild game chefs that can produce a meal of wild duck that is nothing but, “Ooooooh that’s sooooo good!”
Eddie wowed us with his concoction he calls “Ducks LaCrosse”, which are duck breasts browned in olive oil, then smothered with cream of mushroom soup and simmered in a slow cooker for six hours. Added to this is a bowl of wide noodles and loaves of home made bread baked by Dr. Tilkens. It’s a real tummy filler and at meals end the pot is clean!
My creation, “Buckshot’s Slumgullion” also uses duck breasts marinated in teriyaki, garlic and a dash of Cajun spices, then browned in olive oil. Six venison Italian sausages are chunked and likewise browned. Then layered in a crock-pot are duck breasts, sausages, onion and cream of mushroom soup. This mixture is then simmered for six hours and served along with a side dish of pinto and black beans, and rice cooked with a ¼ cup of jalapeno juice and a cup of water for six hours in a second crock-pot. This meal keeps us regular.
Dr. Tom creates a French masterpiece with a mixture of minced duck breasts, black and red beans, rice, and several “secret” spices all served inside baked giant green and red peppers. Wow! This dinner also requires another round of his homemade baked whole wheat bread.
JR slices a batch of duck breasts into strips, seasons them with what he calls his “mystery salt”, then dips them in a flour/cornmeal mixture and deep fries them to almost crispness. Side dishes include French fries, baked beans plus cut green beans. Betty Crocker, eat your heart out!
Our final dinner is a group project created by simply wrapping pepper bacon around duck breasts and grilling them outside on the gas grille. All the leftovers are cleaned out of the frig and added to the mix as side dishes.
Now I know you are wondering if we take this annual fling to eat or hunt. The group is divided on the answer, but we already have our reservation set for the same week in 2008.
Mr. Leon "Buckshot" Anderson is one of the few old time hunting and fishing guides left in Northern Wisconsin. Buckshot is a personal friend of the family and has known and worked with my grandfather, Howard "Pop" Dean, both of whom are members of the fresh water fishing hall of fame, Legendary Guide. Buckshot has authored 7 books on the great outdoors. All of his books can be purchased directly from him, at a discount, by email: email@example.com or by mail to: 2220 Deadman's Gulch Road, St. Germain, WI 54558.
Books by Leon "Buckshot" Anderson Click Here
Yes; Deadman's Gulch is the correct name, I have been on that road many times. Sincerely David D. Cruger
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