I was afraid you would ask that. To be perfectly honest, we followed the directions to a tee, including your tips and tricks. And marinated overnight.
When it was in the dehydrator its smelled like a rancid muskrat carcass and when I got up enough courage to actually put some in my mouth, It upgraded to wet dog leather.
We put the dehydrator in the garage (thank God) but I was still pretty tempted to pull the plug on the whole thing half way through but we put in too much work.
There were not coots, sky carp, etc. These were corn fed mallards, teal and widgeon.
It may be that we are just not jerky folks and that we should stick to our breakfast sausage but dangit I have had good duck jerky so I'm determined.
Well I can't speak to the ground up/shoot it out kind, because I don't have a grinder. Dad gave me a shooter though. We just do the whole muscle strips thing, with the above mentioned mix, and then into the smoker. It really is good, and definitely sounds better than what you have described. We can be out of jerky in one day, with all the kids friends and teachers begging for them to bring more of it. Never had that happen with my "cooked duck" recipes........