Going Organic - Deer Season Is Open in S.C.
Game is All Natural, No Preservatives
AND OFTEN QUITE INEXPENSIVE
I have probably already broken all the rules of engagement for a Hub - but please grow up and read on.
Men have been taking game animals for food since the beginning. It is even Biblical to do so. I love my wild game meat. I hope you will to. So let's talk food. Something I know quite a bit about.
Although I don't like the prospect of going to Central South Carolina in a week, sitting in a blind at daylight hoping to be lucky enough to find a healthy deer close enough to dispatch quickly and humanely - and get to the business of cleaning it up for the freezer. I know I'll be a sweat-ball - but I also know I'll have 40-50 pounds of great, lean, healthy all organic high protein, once I'm all done. The season in parts of South Carolina runs from mid-August through the end of January - and the deer are so plentiful you are limited to - well - a deer a day or so. I am able to share some of the bounty with local food banks - and they love it. My favorite is tenderloin wrapped in a pepper with cream cheese, then everything wrapped up in some wild boar bacon. Of course venison chili is a super meal with corn bread and a cool adult beverage.
August 15th is the start of squirrel season in Georgia. I don't take any squirrels that early due to a parasite known to infect Southern squirrels - we call them "wolves" although they are just a worm-like critter. After the first chill of the fall the worms are generally gone and aren't in the meat - just staying under the hide. Still, kind of gross if you find them.
Dove have been moving South for a while - and Labor Day weekend is the traditional start of dove season. Being able to take 15 per day - 30 in possession is enough for a great meal - or if your family goes and you bring home, say, 60 or more - now its time for a party. Soups, fried, broiled with bacon, stuffed in a pepper with some sauce - there are a ton of great dove recipes.
Early teal are next on my list. Late in September I am looking for the smallest of the ducks in great numbers. Fast, beautiful and delicious. Lean, larger than dove and yet a better flavor to me. Of course you don't get to take the numbers of teal that you do with dove, the birds are great fare. I also use the feathers for fishing lures - their iridescence is quite beautiful.
Canada Geese have gone from non-existent to millions in numbers across the Southeastern US. Someone thought it might be good for their numbers to start resident flocks...so much for that. Now we get to pick up five nice big geese per day, 10 in possession, but they don't stay around long. Goose makes pretty good jerky, good stew, and can be a part of a great casserole kind of combination.
Back from being threatened in the '60's, there is no shortage of these large lizards anywhere across the Southeast. Once we figured out managing them would keep them around longer - and I was helpful with some trapping and handling of the seed stock from coastal Georgia to other areas. Now if you win the lottery in Georgia for a special alligator tag, you may also get 50 pounds of firm white meat and enough special leather for a few special applications.
Bears in Georgia and across the Southeast don't hibernate like those big bruins of the frozen north - but they do eat pretty well the rest of the year - which means they end up being pretty tasty in comparison. No one wants a spring bear for supper - laying there for 5 months in their own juices. But those fat boys of the North Georgia mountains or South Georgia swamps - yum yum.
Thanksgiving brings some bigger, delicious, fat ducks South. From mallards to canvasback, to black ducks, and others - this is some kind of great bounty. And all natural, high quality, delicious protein. Sure, you get to spend time in the field gathering them, but what is more beautiful than a frozen morning with wood ducks circling overhead?
Nothing spells out Southern Outdoors like a trip to a good old ride in a horse drawn wagon while the dogs work the tall wire grass looking for a covey of thunder. Socially acceptable, fun, and the payoff of a dozen or so little pots of white meat made for the table is fantastic.
From the time I was a small boy being able to listen to a beagle hollering while in full chase of a cottontail has made me smile. A rabbit will always circle back to where he was first seen - so setting up the ambush is an easy to do concept. What do you get at the end of a very successful day? 10 times a couple of pounds of very tasty white meat. All natural, all organic.
Trumpeter Swans are like Canada Geese on steroids - with the exception of the steroids that is. Huge, and I mean really huge, big birds - but you are only allowed one each. Although they are in great numbers, still they are very tasty. North Carolina has a substantial population in the Eastern part of the state. Making it a trip is part of the fun.
When a sow has the capability of producing 2.3 litters of up to 16 pigs a year - it doesn't take long to have way too many of them. Now all across the south there are wild hogs everywhere. Taking a few here and there fills out that freezer for the season. Talk about great sausage - nothing like it.
Eat healthy. Kill it, grill it and eat those all organic proteins!