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  • DParker's Avatar
    1 Hour Ago
    Herro. If I had a nickel for every time I got that reaction from a pretty young woman......well...I wouldn't have any money or anything. I'm just sayin'.
    4 replies | 36 view(s)
  • Swamp Fox's Avatar
    4 Hours Ago
    Dried wood ear fungus? ... It's definitely judging you. That's the way those fungi are. Keep on keeping on. You'll get it right. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?
    4 replies | 36 view(s)
  • DParker's Avatar
    23 Hours Ago
    Come on by. I've got 11 bags of noodles left, and Amazon on speed dial if we need more.
    4 replies | 36 view(s)
  • Triton Rich's Avatar
    1 Day Ago
    Well now, that all sounds quite acceptable! Too bad I'm too far away to drop in unannounced :wink
    4 replies | 36 view(s)
  • bluecat's Avatar
    1 Day Ago
    + 10 for finding a hog in a kilt.
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • DParker's Avatar
    1 Day Ago
    Once again the skies have opened up non-stop in this part of the state and have made getting into the woods this weekend a no-go. So, having yesterday (I only work Mon-Thur now) off and knowing that the wife would be doing the Christmas shopping thing bright at early today I decided to tackle a little culinary project I've been wanting to try for some time now: Homemade ramen. No, not that 10/package crap we've all survived on at one point in our broke and misspent youths...but the real, legit Japanese ramen that has become so trendy lately. But don't let that trendiness fool you. Good ramen deserves every bit of its sudden popularity here, and a properly made bowl is the soup of the samurai gods...and is priced accordingly. There are several different styles of ramen, with my personal favorite being Tonkotsu (pork bone broth). It is also the most labor-intensive version, with the broth alone taking a full day of simmering pork bones along with other flavorings like onion, garlic and fresh sliced ginger. In addition to the time and effort, it stinks up the house. Given that and the fact that I would have plenty of other work to do making the Chashu (rolled and marinated pork belly) and Ajitsuke Tamago (marinated soft-boiled egg), rather than try to tackle that much as a 1st effort I decided to take at least one short-cut and use a packaged instant noodle+broth kit that gets surprisingly glowing reviews. My original plan was to use my sous vide cooker for both the eggs and the pork. But after a completely unsuccessful attempt to get it to hold a steady 190F for some reason (which became clear later) I bailed and went with old-fashioned boiling water for exactly 6 minutes and then an ice bath to halt the cooking. After that they were soaked a marinade of water, soy sauce, mirin (a sweet Japanese cooking wine), sake and sugar in the fridge overnight. I then made a similar marinade for the Chashu, but with the addition of sliced green onion, fresh ginger, garlic and leeks. I sliced a 2 lb section from the middle of a 10.75 lb pork belly slab I defrosted the day before, and set the rest aside to be cured for bacon when I was done with everything else. The 2 lb strip was tightly rolled, tied up with butcher's twine, placed into a 1-gallon zip-loc bag, covered in the marinade and then dropped into a 165F bath for 24 hours. The eggs actually turned out very well. Just look at that perfectly runny-yolked bastard. The Chashu was another story. It turned out that the problem I had attempting the eggs should have served as a warning that the thermometer circuitry in my Anova sous vide cooker was finally going wonky on me. But I assumed it was OK when I double-checked it using an external probe thermometer right before I went to bed around midnight. After 12 hours the water was holding at exactly the 165F I had it set at, so I assume everything was OK. But when I got up this morning it seemed like it was too hot when I held my hand over it. Although the Anova display still said 165F, my external thermometer revealed that it had actually climbed all the way to 211.4F. Damned near boiling, and >11F hotter than the Anova is supposed to allow itself to go. So it had flaked out at some point in the AM, and had been sitting at that ridiculously high temp for who knows how long. When I took the rolled belly out I found that it had turned nearly to mush in texture. It tasted great and wasn't dried out (which was what I most feared), but it was impossible to get slices to hold together. This mishap threw me off so much that I completely forgot to re-hydrate the dried wood ear fungus that I bought just for this purpose. Oh well...next bowl. However, the pork and egg toppings, along with some sliced scallions were enough to make for a more than acceptable first effort. I think it's judging me though.
    4 replies | 36 view(s)
  • bluecat's Avatar
    2 Days Ago
    She's damn fine. Thanks for the pic.
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • Swamp Fox's Avatar
    2 Days Ago
    LOL ... Not to hijack, LOL, but you're right about the trap-for-pay operations. I should have noted those. This is kind of a trip, though (from Frontier): Not sure what to say after that ...
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • DParker's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    With apologies to bluekitty for intruding on his turf.
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • Swamp Fox's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    There was one facility out in the middle of nowhere that was taking in kilt hogs, but I remember one of the stipulations was that they had to have been kilt no more than x hours ago, and possibly during a specific time of year (winter). If I come across it again, I'll post it. Small possibility I saved it somewhere. BTW, there is now some knucklehead running around here in a kilt and sandals, and that's on top of the kid wandering through the grocery store in his plaid pajamas and flannel robe (have spotted each of them 2X).... That's not to mention a few other weirdos ... Of which I am not one ...Just sayin' ...
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • DParker's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    I'm not familiar with a commercial market for hunted pork, but I know there is for trapped pigs. http://www.frontierreserve.com/wild-boar/ There are several others as well.
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • Swamp Fox's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    A year or two ago I looked into selling wild hog meat in Texas. I found at least one processor who would buy from hunters. Can't find it now. There were some caveats and some hoops to jump through on the hunters' side, at least, so those might have made things unworkable in the long haul. However, there are programs that will take live, trapped hogs, at least for donation. Haven't come across one that will pay for the meat this time around, though. I know of at least one bounty program, but it doesn't seem to require that the meat be utilized. uh .... ... ... Nom nom nom
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • Swamp Fox's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    Thanks for looking into that, Bob. There are some donation programs that seem farther along than others in each state. Nobody flame me, but a couple that I can name seem pitiful for as long as they've been around. Not their fault, as grassroots volunteers working with almost nothing. But still, a drop in the bucket compared to what they could be, I think. Throwing out an example: When you only have 12 processors participating in a state with 100 counties, that's a problem. You either need to merge with a more successful program and put your energy elsewhere, or figure out what's not working.
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • Swamp Fox's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    What they should do is throw a tax on vegan "food" to pay for all the displaced wildlife that used to thrive on what they want to be fields of tofu and mueslix ---kind of like a sin tax, but call it an angel tax for the do-gooders---and apply that money so that hunters can bring their undressed deer ----Va-va-va-BOOOM!----to the donation centers hassle-free. LOL <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/aQGJ2kzew9g" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • Bob Peck's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    25 processors in SC participating in with SC Hunters for the Hungry based in Spartansburg, SC (aka South Carolina Hunters and Landowners for the Hungry (HLFH) http://www.schuntersforthehungry.com/processors/ Distribution is mostly through churches which is pretty typical but I can't tell if it's just Upstate or the whole state Last year, 26,000 pounds of wild game meat was distributed to families. The group has set a goal of 35,000 pounds this year. Hunters for the Hungry covers the processing fee. Much of the groups funding to pay for meat processing comes from the United Way of the Piedmont. Hunters who donate meat can help by donating part of the processing fee, which can average around $65 per deer. There are also two (2) SC Chapters of FHFH (Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry) covering Calhoun, Richland and Charleston counties. FHFH typically fills in gaps where other programs are not represented in an effort to covers as many locales as possible. There aren't any FHFH chapters in VA or NY as the venison donation programs already in place cover all counties in each state and both have general funds available for operations. So, SC has some semblance of a venison donation program with no mention anywhere of whether or not the hide needs to be on or off. I will say that beyond market rate payment to the processors in most states, processors also reap the incremental revenue from hides that come from skinning, salted and shipped to tanners who buy them by the pallet & tractor trailer load.
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • Swamp Fox's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    I see what you did there ...
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • Swamp Fox's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    Years ago when I first looked into this, hunters were paying a fee up front here, either the whole regular price tag or a discounted rate. That seemed to dampen enthusiasm and I don't think it's the case now, at least with the most popular programs. The other thing that seems up for grabs is whether deer can be accepted hide-on. In SC there is at least one processor I know who will take hide-on deer for donation, and this is very popular, particularly with dog-drivers. He's deer only, I think --at least in the fall-- so that might have something to do with it. Then I know when I took a deer to a processor just to be put in a cooler on an extended hunt in NC, they didn't want it hide-on. They were a multi-species processor that advertised deer services, but I guess there was some fine print, LOL. I'm gonna guess you can't have filthy deer hair in the same cooler with nice clean hogs, or something like that, lol.
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • Bob Peck's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    Although there are many variations the only model I've seen work goes like this: 1. The processor has to conform to and be licensed by the state to process meat often periodically being inspected by health authorities and game wardens. In other words, the processor must meet the same USDA standards as the larger slaughter houses and meat distributors. This one point eliminates many seasonal processors working out of their garages. I've interviewed and set up many a processor. While not an inspector it doesn't take much for me to say to myself "Nope. I wouldn't bring my deer here!" Some processors do not want to participate in venison programs if they already have successful businesses processing beef, pork, poultry, etc. They reason, perhaps justly, for the number of deer they might potentially process that breaking down the equipment and sanitizing in between the various species isn't worth the effort. On the other hand if the processor is in an area of great demand for processing venison it is often financially worthwhile to temporarily suspend processing other species whether or not they are interested in participating in a donation program. The excellent processors understand there is more to the program than a steady stream of referrals and actually provide discounted rates. 2. For this processing collaboration to work, the processor must get paid the going market rate. If the hunter and/or the processor has to pay even a dime the success is immediately in doubt and most programs like that fail. In NY and Virginia, it took years but we negotiated a "general fund" legislative allocation to keep the programs up and running as well as voluntary "check box" contributions from hunters purchasing hunting licenses, money coming from corporate donors/sponsors and believe it or not the food banks themselves. The food banks would rather not pay for the venison directly (i.e. per pound at a discounted rate). It works better and looks better for them to participate in "sponsorship" with the silent assumption that their sponsorship somehow comes with preferred access to the distribution chain. After-all, the food banks have customers too. There is never enough free or discounted meat in circulation. In almost all the programs I've worked or consulted with (TX, MI, NY, VA) when the money runs out, the processing stops and everything grinds to a halt.
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • Swamp Fox's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    The donation programs are genius for these reasons, when you think about it. Plus, the longer I'm on the earth the more people I meet who enjoy hunting but don't care for the meat (or know what to do with it). This seems weird to me, especially in the case of venison, but \_(ツ)_/
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • Swamp Fox's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    I think when our donation programs started around here there were some issues getting the processors paid, and I know of a couple of processors I wouldn't just drop off to and expect good results if a paying customer weren't going to hold them accountable. Hopefully the first issue is in the past (?) but I don't know about the second. Doesn't seem like there are enough processors participating, good, bad or indifferent. I'll have to look into it more.
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • Swamp Fox's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    You could ... I know you could. Especially if all you shot were the little ones, LOL. "Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it." And nowadays there's shrimp tacos, shrimp enchiladas, shrimp fahitos, shrimp kay-sa-dillas, shrimp chiminichangas ... Four is easy ... LOL (too lazy to edit for "deer" or "venison") :tu:
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • Jon's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    Jon replied to a thread Feedbag in Whitetail / Mule Deer Forum
    I absolutely LOVE hunting and when you hunt, sometimes you actually kill something. The honor of harvesting one of nature's beasts comes with some responsibility. I cannot eat more than 1 deer a year and since the kids are gone and the wife isn't a fan, I'll only keep one deer for myself. I can't stop hunting just because I've killed what I can eat, the deer numbers are out of control here and, well, I have tons of tags and a LONG season! This state also has a Hunters feeding the hungry program, you can donate the deer through your butcher. He/she grinds the deer into 1lb packages of ground venison and a reefer truck picks it up and delivers it around the state. The butcher gets $40 a pop and the hungry folks eat like kings/queens. Between the 2 states I hunt (Maryland and Delaware), I can kill pretty much as many deer as I want to. Delaware gives 2 buck tags and 4 doe tags with the license and then extra doe tags are $15 a piece. In Maryland, you can kill 2 bucks and a 3rd with the bonus buck tag and unlimited does (actually, I think it's 27 total). I truly enjoy the time in the field and over the past 20 years, I average @50+/- days in the deer woods a season and have harvested an average of 6 a year a year. I've never killed more than 10 and less than 4. Bow, Shotgun, Muzzleloader, Pistol, Rifle and Crossbow are what I use but there seems to be an uptick in Alatl hunting and maybe I'll try that!
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • Bob Peck's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    Me either. Nothing "formal" about dropping a deer off at a processor instead of my garage. Easy peasy. Besides, the same guy who might process my deer for my personal consumption is conveniently the same guy who is going to process the deer into ground venison, shape it into 1/4 pound packs, freeze it and get paid his/her going rate. The difference is the Blue Ridge Food Bank shows up with their refrigerator truck and distributes to Catholic Charities, Salvation Army and several other church sponsored/community sponsored food banks around the state. Last year, 355,000 lbs of venison were distributed in Virginia. I've helped set and/or fund raised for three different states, NY, MI and VA. During the recession word got around in my church that I put in the time and donated venison through Virginia's Hunters for the Hungry. More than one grown man with tears in his eyes confidentially and with some shame written on his face asked politely if I could spare any meat until they got back on their feet and found a job. This direct donation was highly personal and satisfying. It gave new meaning to helping out a brother or sister. I continue to see many of these men in my community and there is an unspoken bond none of us will forget. As do I but I couldn't single-handedly eat 4 deer in a year if I tried. I don't look at it as giving anything away because that would devalue the effort expended by the hunter and commoditize the animal that is the by-product of the hunt. Sanitized, a natural resource becomes part of the supply chain and helps to manage deer populations." Simple and something non-hunters and hunters can wrap their heads around. The turning point for me was serving many a meal to children, single Mom's abandoned by their husbands and unemployed people caught in a financial death spiral. The stereotype homeless person these days is definitely not the psycho drunk, drug addict, mentally challenged person although obviously they exist. Staring into the eyes of a hungry kid so totally dependent on a ladle of venison chili does something to you. I enjoy processing too but after the 2nd or 3rd deer it becomes drudgery and legit work. With a standard VA hunting license the bag limit is 2 bucks, 3 does + over-the-counter additional doe permits. If you add in organized legal management programs I participate in, DMAP tags (deer management assistance program), DCAP tags (damage control assistance program) and DPOP tags (deer population reduction program) the number of deer that could be taken here is crazy. Granted, not every hunter can receive the DMAP, DCAP and DPOP tags but if you're into hunting and want to expand your options it's all available. My worst year in the last twelve years was 4, my best year was 12. I enjoy processing too but after the 2nd or 3rd deer it becomes drudgery for me. Again, we have different perspectives. I'm not giving anything away because I don't have the time to process. I am playing the role of predator so those humans in my local tribe who are hungry can eat. Donate. Pay it forward.
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • Bob Peck's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    You're always welcome in my home Jon! We're wrapped up for deer (muzzleloader or bow) by Jan 5. Turkey opens April 13th - May 18th. Bring it!
    24 replies | 522 view(s)
  • Jon's Avatar
    3 Days Ago
    I donate all but one to hunters helping the hungry. I took the pics with my cell phone propped on my pack on a timer I have a face for radio, you know that Third picture was in the middle of a bean field and I saw that square looking thing in the background and I honestly have no idea what it is! Yes, it was taken with the same Savage 220 slug gun. I really wanted to retrieve the slug since I shot him in the shoulder, I figured it would be buried in the far shoulder. To my surprise, it was an in and out. I'd love to come down again Bob!
    24 replies | 522 view(s)
  • Swamp Fox's Avatar
    4 Days Ago
    LOL ... :applause: Two, as far as I can tell ... But I knew that phrasing would come back at me if anyone was paying attention ... LOL
    24 replies | 522 view(s)
  • Swamp Fox's Avatar
    4 Days Ago
    Something Bob Peck said about personal venison consumption vs. donations made me wonder: In reality (or in your imagination) what do you shoot for (pardon the pun--or not! :bk:) to put in the freezer? I can easily take care of (eat) four deer a year by myself. If I were more consistently more successful, I'm sure I could handle it. Back in the day when I was a lot more social than lately, I used to figure on two more deer for guests/potlucks. So my formula used to be 4+2. I don't think I've ever killed more than seven or eight deer in a year, but that's not for lack of trying. I only remember one wasted deer in my career, but let's just say two for faulty memory. It/those would have been completely my fault, rather than something like a freezer failing or a thousand-year flood, etc. I have forced myself to finish rank deer that might have gotten rank on my watch, but since I couldn't help the circumstances, I sucked it up. Meat grinders, A1, woo-woo, Texas Pete. Lawry's and Cackalacky were invented for a reason .... I've never made a formal venison donation. I've given gifts or done favors or handed some off to people I knew could use it or who were down on their luck and asked me, but other than that I like venison too much to give it away. I also like processing it (assuming I have the time) so dropping it off somewhere so it can be given away just because I don't have time for it isn't my thing. (To each his own, though.) If I had more time: ""I think we're gonna need a bigger freezer." What say you?
    18 replies | 186 view(s)
  • DParker's Avatar
    4 Days Ago
    We're all born with one. Some just use it more than others.
    24 replies | 522 view(s)
  • Swamp Fox's Avatar
    4 Days Ago
    So that would make you ... Bertie? :p
    35 replies | 288 view(s)
  • Swamp Fox's Avatar
    35 replies | 288 view(s)
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