- Wild Game
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I’ve fished for tuna, off and on, my whole life. But the more you fish, the more you understand how different the fishing can be from place to place, even for the same species. This latest trip off the Mexican Coast was, well, a learning experience.
Trolling for fish – salmon or otherwise – is unlike almost every other type of angling. Trolling causes a cascading avalanche of emotions all ultimately flowing into caught fish, the promise of dinner, and a zenlike state… if you’re lucky.
For most of the world, porcini mushrooms are a feature of fall. But here in the West, we also get spring and even summer porcini. In fact, the biggest flush I deal with are right now, as spring fades into summer. To do justice to these mushrooms, we cannot look to Europe. We must develop our own porcini cuisine.
Morel hunting the way I do it is a lonely affair. Miles walked in a beaten, burned landscape. A morel here, a morel there. It’s not the bonanza of a big burn, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
The wild waits for no one. You must be out there all the time to catch the moments that Nature releases her bounty. Sometimes you have months to play, sometimes weeks, sometimes only days, or even hours.
It is a perilous thing, this wild diet of mine. Twice this week I’ve eaten known edible plants that have similarly looking cousins that happen to be lethal. Even after all these years, it still gives me a bit of a flutter. But perhaps that’s as it should be.
It’s a frightening thing, meeting your limitations. Knowing that there are many people better than you even at the things you consider yourself good at is nothing if not humbling. The only way I can cope with such knowledge is to fight it. Limitations are not set in stone. They can be moved.
Last month I hunted tundra swans in Utah, and we ate our bird for Christmas dinner. When I tell people I have hunted and eaten swan I get reactions sunning the gamut from excited interest to full-on horror. Few animals carry the cultural baggage that swans do, and even I am not immune to these mixed feelings.