- Wild Game
Hunting & Fishing Stories
How I get the game I cook.
Salmon are much more than just a fish. To many Indian cultures, they are a lifegiver, a source of mystical power and force. Like most Americans, I didn’t believe such stories. But after one of the weirdest fishing trips I’ve ever been on, I’m starting to come around to the Indians’ way of thinking.
A great many of you reading this are new to hunting and fishing. My advice is always to work at first with experienced friends – or guides. But there is an etiquette to working with a hunting and fishing guide you need to learn. This should get you started.
Diver ducks have a reputation as smelly, fishy tasting birds. Sometimes that’s true. But as I found out last week, even a clam-eating, saltwater duck can be magnificent at the table. Believe me, I am as shocked to write this as you are to hear it.
I’ve seen a lot of hunters “breast out” a lot of birds this hunting season, leaving the legs and wings for the coyotes – or even just tossing them in the trash. It pains me to see this. It’s my hope, in my own small way, to convince those hunters who do that to change their minds.
I tend to be a home body when it comes to hunting ducks. California’s duck hunting is just so good, I rarely see a reason to leave. But when I got an invite to hunt the Great Salt Lake I had to take it — and it did not disappoint.
Something about squirrel hunting touches me deeply. Moreso than anything else, hunting squirrels in the Eastern forests takes me back to childhood, to the woods that were my home when as a boy. I miss those days of exploration, but they all came flooding back recently in one epic day in Ohio.
Sometimes a hunt is more than a hunt. Sometimes it is a window into the dark reaches of this world, and the next. I came away from my Wyoming antelope hunt with a vision of courage — not by me or by any of my companions, but of the animals we pursued.
At the end of a long bay in a corner of Prince William Sound lies a stream with no name. In that stream swim untold numbers of salmon — enough to turn the water black. If, God forbid, I were dying of cancer, one of my final acts on this earth would be to fish this place. It is magical.