Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bear Hunting and Turkeys

Today was the official start of Spring Bear season, and like most hunters looking for a black bear, we got up at oh-my-god-you're-kidding-me-dark-thirty to find a bruin. If you're not up in a treestand or in a hide, hunting a bear consists of walking around in the places you know they've been and hope you chance on one.  We've stumbled into bear before, so it makes sense we might see one.

I finally had the chance to taste bear meat.  A former coworker of husband traded us some bear meat for some goat sausage.  Bear meat tastes like very rich beef.   So, bear went on our menu for critters to hunt.

This morning was cold.  Really cold at 20F.  It snowed the day before, but it melted and then the ground froze.  So, no tracks.  Some scrapings, but other than that, no real sign.  My husband had seen scat in the area earlier. 

In Montana you can't bait or use artificial scents, so you have to either call them in, or stumble on them.  I suspect they may be down on the river bottoms as that is where the food is.  Everything up here is pretty slim.

We got back cold and bearless.  One of my Malamutes, Lachlan, wanted to go out, so I took him on leash in the front and nearly ran into a wild turkey.

Now, it is turkey season and we have tags, but Spring Turkey excludes hens.  This bird was a hen.  What she was doing on my front lawn, besides taunting me, who knows?  Her suitors were a mile away on private property. 

Ah the joys of hunting!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Queso Blanco

When you're blessed with goats who produce lots of luscious, creamy milk, it's easy to want to do something with the milk besides freezing it.  Hence, I've started making cheese.  One cheese I made tonight was pretty simple.  It's called Queso Blanco, and it means "white cheese."  I've seen other books with the recipe in it, but one place you can get the recipe is Home Cheese Making: Recipes for 75 Homemade Cheeses.  Basically, you heat 1 gallon of milk on the stove to 185F.  Add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and once the curds form, scoop them from the whey and put them in a butter muslin bag to drain.  I added salt to them, which makes them taste oh-so-much better.  This is a great cheese for cooking.