sherried-squirrel-recipe

from SqDog.com 

A great recipe when your hunt doesn’t take you too far from home.

Makes 4 to 6 servings; approximately 385 calories.

Prep time: 1 ½ hours. Cook time: 1 ½ hours.

Ingredients:

4 dressed squirrels, cut into pieces
2 quarts water
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. salt (divided)
2 tsp. vinegar
⅓ c. all-purpose flour
⅛ tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
8 oz. whole fresh mushrooms
1 c. chicken broth
¼ c. sherry
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp. seasoned salt
2-3 drops red pepper hot sauce

In a large bowl, combine squirrel meat, water, 1 tablespoon salt, and vinegar. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for an hour. Drain, discarding the liquid. Pat meat dry and set aside.

Heat oven to 350℉. In a large plastic bag, combine flour, 1 tsp. salt, and pepper. Shake to mix. Add meat, shaking to coat evenly.

Heat a large skillet to medium-low. Add butter and oil and allow butter to melt. Turn heat to medium-high and add seasoned meat, browning each piece evenly. Transfer browned meat and pan drippings to a 3-quart casserole dish. Add mushrooms. In a small bowl, combine chicken broth, sherry, Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, and red pepper hot sauce. Pour liquid mixture over mushrooms and meat. Cover casserole dish with foil and bake until meat is tender, approximately 1½ hours.

Before you have a successful hunt, you have to get to your hunting spot safely. Do you know what to do when you’re loading your firearm into your truck?


How To Safely Transport Firearms

Always remember the primary rules of firearm safety: Keep your muzzle pointed in a safe direction, and treat every firearm as if it were loaded. Make sure the safety is on and unload your firearm, remembering to check the action. Then put your firearm in its case. Remember to store your rifle or shotgun in the back seat or trunk of the vehicle. It’s a bad idea to display your firearm in a window gun rack—you’re just telling thieves what great gear you have! Be sure to know your state’s regulations for transporting firearms.

On the topic of gear, put some thought into the kind of case you will use. There are advantages and disadvantages to each type: Gun socks are lightweight but offer minimal protection; padded, soft-sided cases are light, but only offer a moderate amount of protection; and hard cases are sturdy but heavy. Buy the right gear to match your needs and your firearm.

hunting dog with hunterHunters have many different strategies, but one is as old as mankind itself: having a dog as a hunting partner.

Now there are 30 officially recognized sporting group breeds, according to the American Kennel Club, and many dogs—of any breed!—can be taught the essentials to be an excellent hunting companion.

But when did hunters begin using dogs?

An Ancient Friendship

Dogs may have been used for hunting as long as 20,000 years ago, when early humans were still hunter-gatherers and agriculture had not yet even been invented! In fact, dogs are thought to be the first animals humans domesticated, before cows and sheep.

Archeological evidence suggests that several species of wolves, coyotes, and jackals may have begun staying near human camps. Some theorize this nearness to humans led to the domestication of dogs: friendly, submissive wolves and wolf-hybrids were allowed to stay near the camp, eating scraps and breeding with other friendly dogs, while bold and aggressive wolves were driven away.

Either way, humans and dogs evolved in tandem. Dogs appear alongside hunters in ancient cave paintings all around the world. Evidence suggests that dogs were used as hunting partners, guard dogs, and even to haul heavy items, from about 12,000 years ago. Selective, intentional breeding likely came about 9,000 years ago, as herding dogs began to appear. Not every dog was ideal for every type of prey or job, and over time dogs diversified into the hundreds of breeds now available.

Types of Hunting Dogs

Today’s hunting dogs fall into three main categories, with several breeds belonging to each category based on appearance and abilities.

Terriers

Terriers are small dogs used to hunt small game, such as birds or rabbits, as well as to track wounded large animals such as deer. These dogs are still commonly hunting companions in other parts of the world, but they have largely become house pets in the U.S. Examples include Airedales, Jack Russell terriers, and rat terriers.

Gun Dogs

A gun dog’s job is to pursue game animals that are hidden. They are able to find a prey animal’s scent in the air at close range, will flush birds and small game, and some retrieve downed animals. Gun dogs are particularly useful when hunting upland and wetland game, birds, and small mammals. Examples include Labrador retrievers, English pointers, and the English springer spaniel.

Hounds

A hound needs to be built for stamina, as its task is chasing running game. They typically have loud barks and excellent noses; some specialize in treeing game such as squirrels, raccoons, and even bears until their hunter arrives. Hounds excel at hunting deer, coyote, wild boar, rabbits, and foxes. Examples include the mountain cur, the black-and-tan coonhound, and the American foxhound.

Learn More

As with any “tool” in the hunter’s kit, it’s important to do your research before you bring home a hunting dog. Learn more at the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association, United Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club, or pick up a copy of Gun Dog Magazine when picking out your new best friend.

drone in flight

There’s been a debate raging in the world of hunting revolving around a small piece of flying tech—drones. The Federal Aviation Administration simply defines drones as unmanned aircraft systems. Of course, in the world of hunting, those unmanned aircraft systems include cameras with video capability to scout and track game. This single attribute seems to be the wedge driving pro-drone and anti-drone hunters further and further apart.

(While reading, keep in mind that the opinions expressed in this article in no way reflect the views of the author, Hunter Ed™, or Kalkomey Enterprises Inc. The intent of this article is to simply spur discussion.)

No-Drone Zone

On one side of the debate are hunting purists, who stress the importance of “fair chase.” Those opposed to drones feel the robots could give some hunters an unfair advantage. If someone could afford it, what’s to stop a hunter from buying a whole fleet of drones to scout an area while hunting? To the hunter that enjoys spot and stalking, this could make the sport way too easy for those who are less passionate about “the chase.”

Hunters aren’t the only ones who could be cheated by drone use. Illinois State Sen. Julie Morrison told the Pantagraph that the use of drones isn’t “fair for hunters and fishers who are seriously into the sport, and it’s not fair for the animals that deserve a chance to escape.”

Morrison is one of many lawmakers gunning for drones in the world of hunting. She recently proposed legislation in Illinois that would make the use of drones while hunting a misdemeanor criminal charge. This is similar to a bill recently approved in Michigan, which prohibits hunters, and those wishing to harass hunters, from using drones in the field. This follows the trend started in Colorado, Montana, Alaska, and Saskatchewan, where legislators have banned the use of unmanned aircrafts to locate game.

Still not sure what to think about drones and hunting? Consider what outdoor enthusiast Mia Anstine had to say:

Mia anstine“When I’m asked about ‘hunting with drones,’ I often have to step back a bit to clarify the meaning. In most instances, the drones aren’t used to hunt animals but rather scout or locate them. In my personal opinion, the use of drones in hunting should be similar to the ‘no-fly’ rules in the state of Colorado. A hunter should not be able to use the aerial camera for ‘X’ amount of days prior to the hunt. I’m not too excited about using cameras to locate animals during the event, but I AM excited about the awesome footage filmmakers and photographers are capturing with the use of drones.”

-Mia Anstine

Drones: What Are They Good For?

Those who support the use of drones for hunting see the tiny unmanned aircrafts opening up a new world of possibilities for hunters. Rather than driving around scouting an area before hunting season, hunters can sit in one stationary location and send their drone out to survey the area for them. Drones also provide new perspective when observing nature: what your binoculars can’t see, a drone can. This simplification could make hunting seem more attractive to those who want to try the activity, but aren’t too keen on “getting their hands dirty.” It could also improve accessibility, allowing those who aren’t as mobile to join in on the fun.

Drone supporters also point out that hunting is no stranger to technology, with hunters using trail cameras, cell phone apps, and GPS devices to assist them. Keeping this in mind, drones can be seen as “just another piece of gear.”

What side of the fence are you on? Do you support the use of drones in hunting?

Whether you are pro-drone or anti-drone, we can all agree that the best kind of hunting is safe hunting. Stay safe and get certified through Hunter Ed™.