If you’re interested in wild food, whether it’s venison, wild mushrooms, freshwater or saltwater fish, upland game birds, waterfowl, wild edible plants or small game, you’ll hear about it here. I’ve spent a lifetime gathering wild edible plants and fishing the waters of North America, and have become one of the better-known wild game cooks out there.
Why a podcast? Because as much of a writer as I am, there is an immediacy in the spoken word that excites me. A podcast is raw, real and allows me to be a bit more of, well, me. And besides, you can’t really read one of my essays while driving to the office or working out.
I plan on rolling out a new episode every other week, and most episodes will be an hour to 90 minutes. I reckon that’s as long as I want to listen to someone else’s radio show, so I’ll apply the same rule to my own ramblings.
If you have a suggestion for a podcast topic, drop me a line at scrbblr AT hotmail DOT com.
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I talk with Arizona biologist and hunter Johnathan O’Dell. Johnathan and I may well be the only two people to have ever completed the “Squirrel Grand Slam,” hunting and eating every species of tree squirrel it’s legal to hunt in the United States. We’ll go into all the various species, hunting, folklore, gear as well as prep and cooking.
Snowcock and Ptarmigan, with Kansas hunter Jim Millensifer. We will specifically be talking about ptarmigan in the Lower 48 here, because, well, hunting ptarmigan in the far north isn’t terribly challenging. Jim has also hunted — successfully — the hardest upland game animal in North America, the Himalayan snowcock, transplanted to Nevada’s Ruby Mountains.
Snipe, with Scott Lindars of Marshdoodle. Yes, snipe are real birds, and Scott and I are snipe addicts — hunting these small shorebirds is like an upland hunt on the edge of a marsh. We’ll talk about the lore of snipe hunting, how to identify the birds so you don’t get a ticket, as well as how to best cook these tasty birds.
February 6, Rails — One of the most mysterious game birds in America, the various rails are a niche within a niche within a niche. Even I have never hunted them. I talk with rail biologist Auriel Fournier and rail hunter Dave DeBenedetto of Garden & Gun for this episode.
February 20, Sooty Grouse — Another cagey game bird, sooty grouse are the grouse of the wet Pacific Coast. I speak with two Alaskan grouse hunters who also happen to work for Alaska Fish & Game for this one.
Bookmark this page, as there is more to come!
Episode 1 covers how to properly hang game birds, forage for seaweed, make venison stock and care for fish as soon as they come over the rail.
Always wanted to get started hunting for edible mushrooms? I talk you through what you need to know to get started without poisoning yourself.
My friend Joe Keough, an Ohio trapper, hunter, angler and cook and I talk about loving the unloved, from turtles and frogs, to woodchucks, muskrats, beavers, pigeons — you name it.
My friend Christian Spinillo, one of the best home salami-makers I know, talks with me about getting into making salami and other dry cured sausages. We touch on everything from cures to cultures to casings, meat choice, curing chambers, fat choices and everything in between.