Duck hunting in California topics include: California duck hunting trips, the past hunting seasons, and share information about California duck hunting guides.
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mendotakiller wrote:how can you say cans taste better from the central valley? there migratory birds. chances are they came from outa state. so you have no idea what they have been eating. its not like if they eat something differnt for a few days/ weeks its going to make them taste different.
I don't have any science to back this up just eating a whole lot of ducks over 40 something years of hunting....I think it takes about a week or two for a freshly migrated canvasback feeding in the bay to start to taste gamey. Now a lot of this duck eating was when the salt ponds were active and full of brine shrimp ANY duck feeding on those will be bad even pintail. On the other hand I have almost never eaten a bad can from the central valley. I guess there isn't too much to eat that makes them taste bad. They like any other bird go for the easy meal which happens to be grain. I suspect this is why some people swear by rice spoonies. I have eaten good and bad of just about every kind of duck you can think of. They are what they eat!
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The cans from the butte sink area are the best ducks out there. I see them sometimes in the Sutter Basin, used to pass them, but no more. There seems to be a resident population that feeds on the grains and beans, yeah beans from the Meridian area, and they stay away from the bay. Hard to believe but true.
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Took me 20 years to figure this one out. This was when there was no internet or many good wild game cookbooks. You were taught by Aunt Martha, Uncle Roy or some other friend. This was when most people thought all duck was greasy... My newbie Niece who had never tasted nor wanted to taste duck finally took a bite of my freshly killed hen mallard from the rice near Richvale that night gave me the best quote ever after reluctantly trying a piece of breast with some crispy skin. "Hhmmm" was the first muttering after the first bite. "Mmmm" was the second. After the 3rd small bite she uttered these words, " This is like...filet mignon of the sky!" So over the years we have determined through highly unscientific observation that it takes 3 weeks of gorging on rice for ducks taste to change their flavor.
Back to topic:
1) hen canvasback
2) hen wood duck
3) hen or drake GW teal
4) hen Mallard
5) hen pintail
6) drakes of above
9) other ducks
PS. If you don't have Hank Shaw's book "duck, duck goose" or have him on FB you are missing the boat. He has upped the ante of fowl cooking to the next level by a factor of 3.
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