Make This Now: Duck Banh Mi Sliders

By Julie Cyr

Make This Now: Duck Banh Mi Sliders

By Julie Cyr

Banh Mi is, of course, a Vietnamese hybrid sandwich.  These field to table sliders are great for lunch or a casual dinner.

1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 (4 inch) piece daikon radish, cut into matchsticks
1 tablespoon cane sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

Hot Chili Aioli:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons sriracha

8 ounces duck leg or breast
2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon sriracha
1 teaspoon ground coriander

6 brioche slider buns, halved
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
Lime wedges

Make the slaw:
Place the carrot and daikon in a bowl.
Whisk sugar, salt, vinegar and juice in a small bowl.  Add to the vegetables and chill for 30 minutes.

Make the Aioli:
Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl. Chill.

Make the duck:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place the duck in a small baking dish or Dutch oven.  Set aside.  Whisk tamari, sugar, oil, sriracha, and coriander in a small bowl.  Pour over the duck and mix to coat.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest, 7 minutes.  Using two forks, shred the duck and return to pan juices.

Assemble the sliders:
Spread 2 teaspoons Aioli on the bottom bun half.  Top with shredded duck, cucumbers, pickled carrots and daikon slaw, jalapeños, cilantro, drizzle with Sriracha.  Repeat with remaining buns.  Serve with lime wedges.

Julie Cyr
Master Hunter – Sitka Girl – Food Blogger
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

Northwest Outdoor Report

Hit Lake Washington for Winter Cutthroat
Tom Pollock from the fishing counter at Sportco (253-922-2222) says he’s been hearing really good reports about the cutthroat fishing on Lake Washington. Customers have been catching cutthroat to 17 inches and one customer landed a 4 and a half pound cutty on the lake last week. Pollocks go-to trolling rig is a pink mini-hoochie 10 to 12 inches behind a mini Sling Blade. He tips the hooks with as many as four Berkley Gulp Maggots and also adds Smelly Jelly Crawfish scent to the dodger. Pollock says to troll 15 to 20 feet down on the downrigger and get the gear at least 100 feet behind the boat before clipping it in. The best fishing on Lake Washington this time of year for cutthroat is the south side of Mercer Island in 100 to 120 feet of water.

Travis Brewer Banded Hunts
Travis Brewer from Banded Hunts Washington (360-333-2488) said the field hunting in Skagit County has been lights out this past week. They’ve been taking limits of greenheads and widgeon in the fields close to Samish Bay. Brewer says  there’s thousands of ducks wintering on Samish Bay and they are pouring into nearby fields to feed in the mornings. He expects this next week to provide some exceptional hunting as North winds push birds down from BC. Brewer says to hunt the fields closest the the bay fronts for the most consistent action.

Forks Area Rivers Fishable This Weekend
Bill Myer from Angler’s Guide Service (206-697-2055) in Forks, Washington thinks the Olympic Peninsula rivers will be in shape and fishable just in time for the weekend. Myer says theres already been a couple of 20 plus pound steelhead caught on the Sol Duc and Bogachiel and either one of those would be his choice this weekend. Bill says the tribal nets weren’t in all week because of high water and this weekend could be a telltale of how the run is shaping up.

Whitetail Buck Crashes into Ohio Classroom
From the Associated Press. Early Monday morning a 10 point whitetail buck jumped through a window at Kings Junior High School in Warren County, Ohio. When officials arrived at the school at around 7:00 a.m. they found the deer trapped in the classroom. Administrators had to have students wait in the auditorium while firefighters and the local game warden tranquilized the deer and removed it from the building. The buck was removed at approximately 8:45 and classes started on schedule at 9:00 a.m..

Spurned Woman Sells Ex-Boyfriends Secret Fishing Spots
This drama actually went down in January of 2012, but it’s just now getting play in the media.  New Zealand’s Stuff magazine reports that an un-named boyfriend had hightailed it to Australia without giving his girlfriend notice. The only problem is that he forgot to grab his GPS containing all of his secret fishing spots out of the garage. When she found it in the garage she immediately placed it up for auction  on the web and was surprised to get more than 90,000 hits on the secret fishing spots. The GPS coordinates went for $3,000, which she spent on herself.  Stuff magazine reports that she’s now dating a new fisherman, but she says she won’t share her ex’s fishing spots with him. She is more honorable than that.

Bluefin Tuna Sells for $1.7 million in Japan
A single bluefin tuna just set a record at Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji fish market, fetching over 1.7 million dollars. The 489 pound bluefin was caught in the North Atlantic and sold in Tokyo for a whopping  $3,476 a pound. The “New Year Tuna” was purchased by representatives from Tokyo Zanmai, which is a popular Japanese sushi restaurant chain. The tuna more than doubled last year’s record purchase of a 593 that fetched $736,000 dollars. Bluefin tuna have become increasingly rare as stocks worldwide have been overharvested to keep up with demand, which is one of the reasons why they fetch such a high price on the sushi market.

Pro 2nd Amendment March on January 19th
The group “Guns Across America” is holding a peaceful pro 2nd Amendment rally at the state capitol building in Olympia on January 19th at high noon. The group is asking anyone and everyone that’s interested wants to retain their right to bear arms to show up at the rally. Hunters, pistol shooters, gun collectors, and patriots are asked to show up at the rally and show their support of the 2nd Amendment. Rallies are taking place on the steps of every state capitol building across the country on January 19th.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle 

Northwest Outdoor Report

First Razor Dig of 2013 Scheduled

WDFW just approved the first razor clam dig of 2013, starting Tuesday (Jan. 8) at Twin Harbors and expanding to include Long Beach, Mocrocks, and Copalis beaches later in the week. Twin Harbors will be open from January 8th thru January 14th and Long Beach, Mocrocks, and Copalis Beaches will be open Thursday January 10th thru Saturday January 12th.
Commission to Consider Removing Gillnets from Columbia Mainstem
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet January 11th and 12th in Olympia to consider shifting gillnets off the mainstem of the lower Columbia River and into designated off-channel fishing areas. The plan would also shift allocation on many of the Columbia’s salmon runs over to the recreational sector. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted 4-2 back on December 7th to adopt the plan and now it’s up to their counterparts in Washington to move the plan forward. The meeting will be held in the Columbia Room of the state Legislative Building starting at 8:30 a.m..

Brant Hunt Approved for Skagit County

A flight by wildlife biologists last week determined that brant numbers would support an 8 day hunt in Skagit County. At least 6,000 birds are needed to support a hunt and wildlife biologist Don Kraege counted 8,960 brant in Fidalgo, Padilla, and Samish Bays. The hunt is scheduled for January 12, 13, 16, 19, 20, 23, 26, and 27. Be sure to check out the WDFW website for more details on this special brant hunt, as there are special license requirements in place.

Wild Steelhead Showing Early in the Skagit

John Koenig of Johns Guide Service (360-708-3166) in Rockport reports catchable numbers of wild steelhead in the Skagit River right now. He’s been surprised by the number of wild fish this early in the season and thinks that the Skagit could be in store for some excellent fishing in late January and February when the wild steelhead show up in earnest. In stark contrast the hatchery steelhead return on the Skagit has been so poor that the Cascade River was recently closed down so that the Marblemount Hatchery could meet its egg take goals.

Sol Duc Fishing Well

Mike Zavadlov from Mike Z’s Guide Service (360-640-8109) in Forks has been seeing really good numbers of wild steelhead in the Sol Duc already. Mike’s caught steelhead into the low teens, as well as a few Snider Creek steelhead. One of Mike’s go-to jigs lately in the low and clear water has been a pink and purple Beau Mac 1/8th ounce jig. While the Snider Creek broodstock program was discontinued last year, anglers can still expect to catch those fish for at two more years on the Sol Duc River.

Potholes Spotty for Ducks, Good for Geese

Levi Meseberg from Mar Don Resort on Potholes Reservoir reports great goose hunting over the Christmas break with limits or near limits of geese for the last couple of weeks. He says the cold weather that’s made the goose hunting so good has pushed a lot of the ducks south though. While there’s been a few pockets of birds around he says the duck hunting hasn’t been all that great lately. With temperatures forecast into the mid-40’s for the Potholes region next week he thinks the duck hunting could be some of the best of the season. Waterfowl season will close on January 27th this year, so duck hunters have just a few more weeks to get their hunting in.

Kent Man Attacked by Coyotes

When Faron Scarberry moved to Kent two weeks ago he had no idea how dangerous going for a walk with his dogs might be. Last Friday night while he was walking his dogs three coyotes attacked him in back yard. They initially went for Scarberry’s face and he was able to block them, but one of the coyotes grabbed him by the leg. He was able to ward off the coyotes, but he still spent the night in the emergency room and got 24 rabies shots on his leg and hip. Coyotes rarely attack humans, but wildlife officials recommend keeping garbage contained and pets inside at night this time of year to reduce the chance of an encounter.

Gun Map Backfires on New York Publisher

When the Journal News in New York recently published a story called “The gun owner next door: What you don’t know about the weapons in your neighborhood” burglars and crooks immediately took notice. Along with the story was a map of every gun owner in Westchester, Rockland, and Putnam Counties. While the intent of the insanely stupid article was to “out” local gun owners the article did nothing but help crooks and enrage gun owners. Burglars who needed guns now knew which homes to hit and the information also let burglars know which homes were gun-free and easy to rob. One blogger reacted by posting a map showing where key editorial staffer live. Outraged groups have called for a boycott of Gannett Publishing’s advertisers and the newspaper now has armed guards stationed outside at least one of its offices.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

Northwest Outdoor Report

Kester and McCulloch Scoring Blackmouth in Area 10

Matt McCulloch from Tyee Charters (206-799-2530) on Bainbridge Island has been hitting blackmouth all the way up to 16 pounds at Jefferson Head, Kingston, and Skiff Point. He says the south side of Jeff Head has been really good on the outgoing tide, but the seals have been a real issue there lately. McCulloch’s also been finding quite a few fish feeding on spawning herring and anchovies in as shallow as 40 to 50 feet of water around Kingston. His go-to trolling setup lately has been a glow in the dark Hot Spot with a 4 inch Irish flag Kingfisher Lite spoon. He thinks the stellar blackmouth fishing should hold up all the way thru the month of January.

Nick Kester from All Star Charters (425-327-2421) says he’s been kicking back a lot of shakers in the 21 inch range in the south end of Area 10 this past week to find his keepers. Kester has been scoring his legal blackmouth at Tyee Shoal near Eagle Harbor and he says there’s plenty of blackmouth at Jefferson Head too, but the seals have been horrible there lately. He’s been scoring most of his fish trolling either Cookie’s and Cream or Irish Cream spoons 45 inches behind a Gibb’s glow in the dark flasher.

Humptulips Cranking out Hatchery Steelhead

Joe Superfisky from Superfly’s Guide Service (360-888-7772) says the bank anglers have been outfishing the driftboaters by a longshot on the Humptulips River this past week. Superfisky says the area around Stevens Creek Hatchery has been hot for hatchery steelhead as they bomb upstream in the recent high flows. He was on the river on Friday and says he saw at least a dozen steelhead laying on the beach when he floated by with his customers. He’s been picking off a few nice fish in the boat, but his advice is to hit the bank at Steven’s Creek for your best shot at a nice Humpulips hatchery steelhead.

New Years Razor Dig Underway

Razor clammers will have this weekend and Monday to dig clams on the Washington coast. Twin Harbors, Long Beach, and Mocrocks will be open tonight. Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks, and Copalis Beaches will all be open tomorrow and Monday for digging. The razor clam limit is 15 per person and the best digging usually occurs one to two hours before low tide.

Steelhead Cruising the Green

Daniel Bravo from Auburn Sports and Marine (253-833-1440) says the Green River has been kicking out a few hatchery steelhead above Flaming Geyser Park. Bravo says the word on the street is that sand shrimp, sand shrimp, or sand shrimp hs been the go-to bait on the Green lately. He says he’s heard of a few reports of wild fish in the Green already, as well. The Green received a plant of 116,000 steelhead smolts in 2011 and should provide decent steelhead fishing into January.

Chad Belding at Holiday Sports

Chad Belding of the popular and entertaining hunting show The Fowl Life on the Sportsman’s Channel will be at Holiday Sports in Burlington on December 29th from 2 to 4 p.m. to sign autographs and talk waterfowl hunting with fans of the show.

Pennsylvania Deer Hunter $50 Million Richer

From the Levittown Patch. Roger Custer of Levittown, Pennsylvania bought a Powerball lottery ticket while picking up supplies for a week long hunting trip with some friends in early December. When he returned home from his hunting trip five days later he pulled the ticket from his pocket and handed it to his wife and said, “Check this and tell me how many millions we’ve won.” After checking the numbers his wife began crying with joy. While he was away hunting Custer had hit the Powerball jackpot, winning $50 million before taxes. The Custer’s after-tax winnings amounts to just over $33 million. Custer says he plans on doing a lot more hunting and fishing in the near future.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

The Worlds Best Smoked Duck

The reality is, there is more than one way to cook a duck. The first time I brought my limit of seven ducks home I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to cook’em or what I wanted to try.

The one thing I knew for certain, is that after I breasted-out my ducks I needed to get the blood out of the meat. Robbo gave me a great tip. An over night soak in a mixture of kosher salt and water did the trick. By the next morning pretty much all the blood was out.

While my duck breasts were soaking I had time to get on the internet and research some recipes. I found a few that looked interesting and I settled on one that gave me an idea.

I was going to smoke my duck breast and I was also going to change a recipe that I found for a brine…just a bit.

Here’s the ingredients that I settled on:

2 quarts apple cider
½ cup kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
2 crushed bay leafs
1 tea sp. cracked peppercorn
1 tea sp. minced garlic
1 tea sp. garlic pepper

Mix your ingredients thoroughly with a wisp until the salts and sugars are dissolved.

This time I am actually going to smoke duck breasts and goose thighs. For the breast prior to brining I cut them in half length wise. For larger breasts such as big mallards I will even cut those into three pieces.

I will let this meat soak for a good twenty four hours. It’s all about adding flavor and ensuring that your meat will be nice and tender when the smoking is complete.

When you remove your breast and thighs form the brine you’ll notice a slight color change. No worries, this is the result of the salts and sugars absorbing into the meat.

Now here is the game changer. Knowing that duck and goose are extremely lean and free of fat also means that it is very easy to over-cook and have it end up chewy and tough. That is exactly what we don’t want.

I knew I needed to add some fat to the meat prior to smoking. In my mind I thought, “why not wrap each piece in bacon”. Everyone knows that anything cooked in bacon is a sure hit. Make sure you get the “Thick Cut Bacon”. It will cost a little more, but the amount of fat in each piece protecting your prized duck or goose is well worth it.

Wrapping each piece of duck and goose is pretty simple. For the duck strips I just take a single piece of bacon and go around it length wise and pin it in place with a tooth-pick. I make sure the tooth-pick is pushed all the way in on the bottom so it’s not in the way when setting your wrapped meat on your smoking rack. It’s OK if it sticks out of the top a bit. For the goose thighs I basically spiral wrap the bacon around the thigh from top to bottom.

Because duck and goose meat is so dense, it’s not like smoking fish. I find that you really do need to smoke at higher temperatures. I use a Little Chief and put it in an insulated box that I built. This works great in getting my smoker up to the temps that I need. Something else I do to get my smoker up in temperature is a combination of chips and pucks.

I like to use the Peterson Smoke Pucks, as they really aid in getting the smoker to the higher temps that I need. I also use smoking chips for flavor. When smoking fish or fowl fruit chips are always a great choice. For this recipe I use apple chips as it complements the apple cider brine very nicely.

The overall smoking time will vary. I usually keep the smoker between 140 and 160 for six to seven hours. As the meat in the smoker warms up I eventually get it up to about 180 for at least the last hour to hour and a half.

Overall smoking time tends to be about eight hours depending on your temps. I want the bacon on the outside of the duck done but not burned.
Because of the bones in the goose thigh meat it actually takes a bit longer to smoke. Once I removed the duck from the smoker the goose thighs were left in the smoker for another hour and a half. Total smoke time for the goose was about nine and a half to ten hours. Again, total time will depend on your smoker temperature control.

Goose thighs on the top rack and the duck strips on the other three racks.

A good look at what the bacon wrapped pieces look like right out of the smoker. Again, the bacon is done but not burned.

Finally I simply unwrap the bacon and prepare the meat for serving. With the duck, I like to cut it into strips. You can see how the meat ends up medium rare and moist. You will not believe the amount of smoke flavor on this fowl, it’s amazing. For the goose thighs, I strip as much meat off the bone as I can. You will find that the goose tends to be just a bit tougher then the duck, however it’s still very flavorful.

Give this smoke duck or goose recipe a try, I think you’ll find a new favorite to serve to your friends and family around the holidays.

Duane Inglin
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle


Northwest Outdoor Report

Duck Dynasty Sets Ratings Record
A&E’s breakout hit Duck Dynasty just set a record for the network of 6.5 million viewers in the season finale last Wednesday. The reality show about a quirky Christian family that makes duck calls and decoys is A&E’s most-watched telecast ever and has topped ratings for even the major networks. Duck Dynasty is now A&E’s top rated series ever.

Commission Meeting Focused on Gillnet Removal
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will be briefed on the plan to remove gillnets from the Lower Columbia today at the Comfort Inn Conference Center in Tumwater. There will be a public comment period after the briefing and hundreds of both sport and commercial fisherman are expected to turn out. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission already voted 4-2 last week to remove non-tribal gillnets from the mainstem of the Columbia River. The Commission will make its final decision on the harvest reform package at the January 11th and 12th Commission meeting.

Shinman and Norling take Resurrection Derby
75 angling teams descended on Friday Harbor last weekend for the 3rd annual Resurrection Blackmouth Derby. Fishing was quite good in the San Juan Island for those that attended, with over 200 fish weighed in compared to 120 last year. Bob Norling and Mark Shinman from Anacortes took first place and $10,000 in the derby with a 15.67 blackmouth. The duo took second place in the derby last year. Next up in the Northwest Salmon Derby Series is the Roche Harbor Derby held February 7th thru the 9th, followed by the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby held in Port Townsend the weekend of February 16th thru the 18th.

Colville’s Open Hunting for Wolves
The Colville recently announced that it would open the hunting season for gray wolves on its 1.4 million acre reservation in Northeastern Washington. The tribe says that wolves have caused a crop in both the deer and elk populations on the reservation that remain a valuable food source for tribal members. They are allowing up to 3 wolves to be taken in along the southern portion of the reservation north of Spokane. No wolves have been killed yet and the season is set to close on February 28th.

Scant Hatchery Steelhead on the Skagit
John Koenig from John’s Guide Service (360-708-3166) in Rockport reports very slow fishing for hatchery steelhead on the upper Skagit River. Koenig says there’s more wild steelhead in the river than hatchery fish right now. Aside from the slow steelhead fishing he said the dolly varden fishing has been excellent. He’s been catching plenty of dollies on the upper Skagit sidedrifting eggs, with a few over 25 inches in length. Dolly Varden congregate in the upper Skagit this time of year to feed on eggs left behind by spawning chum and silver salmon.

Gale Force Winds Should Move Skagit Ducks
Travis Brewer from Banded Hunts Washington (360-333-2488) in Mount Vernon thinks the gale force winds forecast for this weekend will make for some great duck hunting in the Skagit Valley. Brewer says there’s been thousands of ducks rafted up on both the Samish and Skagit Bay’s and high winds should have those birds flying over the weekend. The high winds and rain could make for some of the best duck hunting of the entire season.

Big Trout Hitting Streamers on the Yakima
Erin Smith at Red’s Fly Shop (509-933-2300) on the Yakima River reports that some bigger trout are being caught swinging streamers on the river right now. The hot patterns have been either a Dolly Llama or Sculpzilla in a size 6 and she recommends fishing the deeper holes to find wintering trout this time of year. She says the most productive stretch of river has been between Umptanum and Red’s Fly Shop.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

It’s in Your Hands, Don’t Put it in Theirs

By Jeff Lund

Wednesday I picked up my new Remington shotgun. I paid for it eleven days prior, and since the computer searched the vast nothingness that is my criminal record and found nothing, I was able to begin the latest chapter in my life as a responsible gun owner.

My parents wouldn’t even allow me to go hunting or get a gun unless I took a hunter safety course, which instilled in me the importance of understanding purpose. It is now my unwritten, assumed duty, to never treat any weapon as a toy and use it only in a lawful manner on bright orange discs, ducks, or upland game.

But it’s not so simple. I started thinking over the past week and a half about this waiting period. People believe that as long as guns, particularly handguns, are a part of a free society, there will always be violence as if before bullets, everyone got along. Following tragedies stemming from negligence or extreme malice there is usually a cry for someone to do something. That usually falls to the government and politicians with crisp suits and public relation talking points. We live in a free country, but thanks to our violence problem, our idiot problem, our gang problem and our law enforcement funding problem, we suffer.

The Centers for Disease Control reported 11,493 homicide deaths in 2009 and that number hardly covers the true impact. Then comes the debate.

The NRA likes to promote that the national murder rate is the lowest in almost half a century. News organizations and blogs like to cite a study by the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery that found among the world’s 23 wealthiest countries, 80 percent of all gun deaths are American deaths.

The gun stats are tragic, there is absolutely no doubt, but is a more tightly gripped federal hand on a Constitutional right the answer? According to Forbes the United States sits behind Qatar, Luxembourg, Singapore, Norway, Brunei, and the United Arab Emirates in per capita wealth. (Talk about oil and natural gas dependancy). If we compare ourselves to those countries in one statistical category, we should also look at the context and consider if the comparative alternative is better. Luxembourg is wealthy and has less violent crime, it also has a population of 517,000.

Should we be more like No. 3 Singapore where in 1994 a 19-year old American was caned as punishment. His crime? Vandalism. Can you imagine the protests if United States judges levied beatings for convicts? Recently a Qatari poet was sentenced to life in prison for criticizing his government. Probably not a lot of gun control issues in that wealthy country where freedom is sacrificed in favor of control. Those are two extreme examples, but aren’t the extreme examples what get advocates for change riled up in the first place?

Japan has almost eliminated gun-related homicides by outlawing everything except shotguns and air rifles. Maybe we should do that, forbid people to get their hands on guns, especially handguns and close down most of the 50,812 retail gun dealers (209,750 jobs) held by Americans in the firearm industry.

But this issue isn’t simple stats. It’s about the principle of freedom, and the risk-reward of making weapons available to citizens. It sounds cold and heartless to say something to the effect of needing to take the good with the bad but if we look to the government rather than to ourselves, we will continually have federal blankets that suffocate our freedoms. When we collectively favor government control over self-responsibility and self-management we lose.

A by-product of freedom, is freedom, and the results are some of the most awful, excruciatingly painful aspects of being an American. It takes a toll on all of us, especially those whom are directly impacted.

And yes, someone (individuals) must do something (be responsible) in order for liberty to survive.

You have my promise.

Jeff Lund
Teacher/Freelance Writer
Columnist – Manteca Bulletin
Manteca, California
website –

Duck in Bourbon Cream Sauce

I’m always surprised at how many people grumble about the edibility of ducks and geese. Sure they’re not a ribeye steak, but given the right recipe they can be delicious.

We’ve got a family bacon braised goose recipe that even your yoga class instructor would horse down without blinking an eye. We use that one often and man is it good. There’s a new recipe on the block, however, that is threatening to knock this one off it’s thrown.

After hunting with Don Fenton from Truck Vault last week he emailed me the worlds best duck recipe. Nicole and I cooked up some Canada goose breasts last night with it and WOWZA!!!

Here’s Don’s incredible Duck in Bourbon Cream Sauce recipe:

The alcohol primarily burns off during the cooking process but some will still remain. This recipe is also delicious with venison, goose, pork, beef and pheasant or quail.

You can marinate duck breasts in saltwater brine or Dr. Pepper overnight before cooking but it is not necessary.

CAUTION: When you add bourbon to the pan it may ignite! Slowly pour the bourbon into the pan without sticking your head or face over the pan. Wait a few minutes for the alcohol to burn off.

4 servings – you can adjust the recipe for the number of ducks you are cooking. 2 breasts equals one duck.

6-8 duck breast halves (or diced) skin can be in tact or removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 cloves of garlic minced
¼ cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ cup beef or chicken broth
¼ cup bourbon
1/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream

Season duck breasts liberally with salt and pepper. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add breasts whole or diced and cook until seared medium brown, approximately three minutes. Flip breast over and cook for two minutes more. Remove meat and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels. Add garlic, onion, and brown sugar to the pan. Stir to blend and cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in beef or chicken broth and reduce liquid by one half. Add bourbon very carefully (see CAUTION above) and cook for two minutes more. Add cream and cook until sauce thickens. Return duck to the pan to warm, try not to cook past medium rare or to your liking.


(Note from the editor – The sauce is so good you’ll want to double the recipe for more, more, more.)

Don Fenton
Truck Vault
Sedro Wooley, Washington

Easy Shotgun Cleaning with Hoppe’s Boresnake

I was kicking around the cabin with Outdoor Life blogger Brian Lynn on a recent hunting trip to Mar Don Resort and Brian was chatting and cleaning his shotgun at the same time. He had just met up with us after hunting honkers in Tri-Cities, Washington and his gun was a mess from the light, powdery soil they have in that neck of the woods.

After wiping down the outside of the gun he unraveled a long contraption called a Boresnake to clean the bore. I fully expected the usual brush/swab treatment on the bore but this new dealio immediately caught my attention.

Brian pulled what looked like a rope with a brush on it thru the bore and whammy-bammo it was instantly clean as a whistle. It was the quickest I had ever seen anyone ever clean a shotgun bore and actually get it clean.  What a slick gizmo!

All you have to do is douse it with a little lubricating oil and pull it thru the bore with the attached tether. It should clean the bore entirely on the first pass, but if you need to hit it again it takes just a second to run it back thru again.

Hoppe’s Boresnake is available for just about any rifle caliber, most pistol calibers, and most shotguns. With Christmas coming this is another great Christmas gift idea for the hunter in your life. Hint, hint!

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle


Wings and Legs Jerk-a-Spread Decoy System

I had the opportunity to hunt ducks with Travis Brewer from Banded Hunts in Mount Vernon, Washington yesterday and he used a jerk string called the Wings and Legs Jerk a Spreader decoy system to make our spread look a little more lifelike.

We had bluebird conditions yesterday and the birds would circle a few times before heading back into the ozone layer again to carry on their way. They had been shot up pretty good the last few weeks and I’ll be darned if they were gonna dive into a spread of motionless duck decoys.

That’s when Travis broke out the Wings and Legs jerk string to apply some major motion to his spread of 120 plus dekes.

This system is comprised of a 60 foot jerk string with three snap swivels attached, a 4 foot stake with a bungee cord, and three separate spreaders that will hold 4 decoys apiece. The whole system is pre-assembled and outside of hooking it all together all that’s needed is to snap the decoys into the large snaps attached to the spreader bars and you’re ready to jerk your dekes to life.

When it was my turn to pull on the jerk string I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to impart motion to all twelve of the dekes at the same time. All I had to do was pull it back a foot and let go and all the decoys would swim.

Here’s some video that we shot yesterday of the Wings and Legs jerk string system in action. Pretty slick ‘eh!

I think this system will be a huge advantage for late season waterfowler’s who deploy small spreads to lure in decoy-wary waterfowl. Birds that are used to seeing huge spreads in the early season might just fall for a small but very lifelike flock of decoys.

The spreaders fold up nicely and the whole system can be easily carried into a field or small pond with a dozen decoys making it a super lethal setup for the field or small pond hunter.

The only drawback we had with the system was snapping the dekes into the large snaps. They didn’t close easily and Travis had to enlarge the holes in the keels to get the snaps thru. Placing some wire zip-ties in the keel holes would make this connection a lot quicker in the field.

The really nice thing about this setup is that it retails for less than $40. I might just treat myself to one for Christmas and heck, I’ll probably get one for the wife too. Isn’t she lucky to be married to such a caring husband?

You can find them online at Mack’s Prairie Wings and various other online retailers. Buy yourself a Wings and Legs Jerk-a-Spread system and treat yourself to a few more late season limits!

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle