Saturday, December 15, 2012

End of Hunting Season, Upland Bird, and Quail

Hunting season ended the Sunday after Thanksgiving, which brought no elk.  I suppose we should be thankful having deer in the freezer, but an elk would've been better.  But elk numbers are declining in the area largely because of the wolves, so not seeing elk was rather discouraging.

Although it is technically the end of general hunting season (elk and deer), we can still hunt for turkey, grouse, and wolf.  Other small game, such as rabbit and coyote, you don't need a license for if you're a resident, so we're looking to take those too.  So, the weekend won't be quite as frantic. 

The other day I got tired of keeping and feeding the male quail in a cage and butchered them.  Slaughtering them is quick and requires nothing more than a pair of sharp shears.  You whack their heads to stun them and then cut their heads off.  Much easier than chickens and turkeys.

Butchering quail is easy, compared to bigger birds.  Their skins are too thin to pluck and keep them on, so you just tear the skin off, chop the wings and the feet off, and gut them.  I can process four birds in less than a half hour.  (Turkeys take an hour and chickens can be just as long).  Small birds mean less mess too, but then, you don't get as much meat. 

I'm tired from hunting season too.  Six weeks is a fair amount of time.  But we'll be working toward getting grouse and other food, which is way cool.

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