Each Fall, the snow goose makes its way from Siberia down to California’s Sacramento valley, and we were often lucky enough to shoot a few. Unlike other geese, the snow goose is a very lean bird, with very little fat around the breast and legs, hence not a very good candidate for roasting. Furthermore, the feathers are extremely difficult to pluck, an additional hindrance to anyone wanting to roast the goose in conventional style. We typically skinned the goose, and then separated the breast and upper legs from the bone. To cook this very lean and dry meat, we had to add a sauce. For many years, we used a dry red wine for snow goose stew, but then, quite by accident, we discovered that a heavy port wine made an even better sauce. This may be the tastiest of all the wild game dishes that we prepare.
Breasts and thighs of 3 snow geese, boned and cut into 1 1’2″ to 2″ cubes
1/2 cup, olive oil
1/2 cup, all purpose flour
2 cups, whole small boiling onions, peeled
2 cups, small (about 2″ to 3″) carrots, but not peeled
12 small red potatoes, washed, but not peeled, and halved
6 medium garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup, port wine
1/2 cup, dry red wine
1 cup, dried porcini mushrooms, soaked and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon, dried thyme
1 teaspoon, dried tarragon
1 teaspoon, salt
1 teaspoon, black pepper, medium grind
2 tablespoons, all purpose flour, thoroughly dissolved in 1/2 cup cold water
- Cut goose meat into cubes, and dry thoroughly.
- Dredge goose meat in flour, and add to large skillet in sizzling hot olive oil.
- Brown quickly on all sides, then reduce flame and cook for about 5 minutes more.
- Remove goose meat with slotted spoon, and set aside.
- Add onions, carrots, potatoes, and garlic.
- Cook over medium flame until onion skins are translucent.
- Mix port and dry red wine, then begin adding wine, a little bit at a time, de-glazing the skillet as you go.
- Add mushrooms, spices, and salt and pepper. When the wine has cooked down by about about 1/2, add the goose meat back to the pot, reduce to low flame, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes.
- Occasionally, give the skillet a vigorous shake to ensure that the meat is well-coated.
- When meat is done, remove all ingredients to deep sided serving platter.
- Add flour and water mixture to pan, durn up heat, and mix vigourously until a thick, deep brown gravy emerges.
- Pour over goose on serving platter.
Recipe serves 8.
Note: We sometimes chopped the meat and vegetables a little more finely, and served the goose stew over slices of toasted French bread, as an appetizer. Don’t allow guests to eat too much, as they could easily become too full for the main course!
No special equipment required! Here’s a way to use up some of the inventory in the freeze, save money on store-bought jerky and, best of all, it tastes great.
- 1 ½ cups DU Red Plum Toasted Sesame Sauce
- 2 tablespoons DU Manitoba Wild Game Seasoning
- ½ cup soy sauce
- Plastic Wrap
- Baking rack
- Small Foil Ball (aluminum foil formed to 3 inch ball)
- Skinless goose or Duck breasts
Slice goose breasts to desired strips width and length. Mix together DU Red Plum Toasted Sesame Sauce and soy sauce. Add sliced duck to bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 6 – 12 hours. Remove cover, pat dry and arrange on baking rack.
Sprinkle DU Manitoba Wild Game Seasoning over meat (be sure to have paper towel underneath to catch excess, then throw away.) Place in 175 degree preheated oven, crack oven door open by placing small foil ball in door. Meat will take 5 – 7 hours to dry completely. Refrigerate for seven to 10 days, or freeze in airtight, vacuum sealed container for up to one year.
- 4 boneless snow goose breast halves, skin removed
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
Slice goose breasts thinly across the “grain” of the meat. Combine half of the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, and hot pepper sauce in a glass bowl. Add sliced goose, cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, peppers and garlic. Cook until onions are medium brown. Remove goose from marinade. Drain well and discard marinade. Add goose and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes or until just cooked, but not past medium-rare. Stir in tomato and season to taste with salt, pepper and additional hot sauce. Serve over a bed of Cajun rice.
Well you would have thought that the cold front would have motivated the snows at Grand Pass and Squaw Creek to move somewhere warmer but I am here tell you all it did was move them around they are still right where they were in Missouri. Season Opens February 1, 2012
Snow geese are fast learners and quickly become wary when hunted. They are long-lived and travel in large flocks, so thousands of experienced eyes examine every potential feeding and resting place for danger before landing. Furthermore, their nomadic lifestyle makes them difficult to locate.
Hunting snow geese requires hard work and specialized strategies, but those who learn the tricks find it immensely rewarding. Several hunters claim that few outdoor experiences can compare with being at the center of a swirling-vortex of several thousand squawking snow geese settling into a decoy spread.
Follow these quick tips to improve your odds on your next trip.
- Begin by driving back roads to locate fields where snow geese are feeding. Scouting the fields for where the geese want to be is the key to success. Find the landowner and always get permission to hunt before anything else. If the decoys can be set by mid-afternoon, you can hunt the field that evening and again the next morning.
- Snow geese usually return to a field until the food is exhausted. However, they have good memories and will not return to a place where they have been shot at. Finding a hot field and setting out decoys may result in two or three successful hunts; an evening, morning and possibly another evening. After that, the birds are gone and its back to scouting.
- Hide all signs of human activity, including tire tracks, candy wrappers and any other non-natural items.
- Park vehicles at least a half mile away.
- Set out a minimum of 300-500 full body decoys (800 to 1,200 is better). Using Silosocks and shells to fill in.
- Supplement full body decoys(Avery, GHG, Bigfoot) with lighter, less expensive shell and silhouette decoys.
- Wear camouflage or white if snow covers the ground.
- Electronic calls will work on large bunches of snow geese while often time a mouth call can be for calling in single birds or isolated pairs.
- Do not begin shooting until your outfitter or guide calls the shot. For maximum shooting opportunity, wait until bird are in front of the blinds and everyone is ready. The snow geese may circle many times before they are in gun range. Snow geese are also know for leaving a decoy spread for NO reason at all.
- Hunting partners should agree on fields of fire so shooting opportunities are not wasted by shooting at the same bird.
- Take your first shots at birds that are at the fringe of your effective range, then work your way back through closer birds.
- Focus on one bird at a time.
- A morning’s shooting ends when the birds go back to roost in refuge areas during the middle of the day. Sometimes that is as early as 9 a.m., other times they may not roost until noon. Afternoon feeding flights can arrive two hours before dark, but they may not appear until shooting hours are almost over.
- 3-inch shotgun shells with BB or BBB steel shot work well for snow geese but many of the performance loads like Hevi-shot, Hevi-Steel, Bismuth are excellent choices.
Spring Snow Goose hunts available February through March. Fully Body GHG decoys, Silo Socks, flyers and custom eletronic callers. $150 per hunter / per day.