Great - glad I didn't stamp a rare one - no worried on eating him though. I had coot tacos last night so I'm plenty stoked. It'll be getting breasted though...
This is the first season I've ever hunted. That means everything has that nice shiny new snow patina of awesomeness to it, including eating 'em. I can say that I've had duck from the grocery store...and I've more recently raised them for the table from my very own backyard. But this is an even newer experience for me.
The tacos were pretty dope. Each species I kill I make sure to pluck it and prepare the whole carcass. That way I know the flavor as well as the wing cadence :)
Okay - so Coot. I had prepped it whole but didn't like the mud/sewage/dry algae flavor in the skin and fat. This time the coot breasts got seared along with the innards I've been collecting over the past week. Duck heart and liver is a good taco too! They were very very very good.
Why do I mention coot, well - it sounds like mergansers aren't as rare as I feared, but although I'm not WASTING it...I still have some trepidation about the table quality. I'll be breasting it and searing it and probably placing it in a dish/heavier flavors instead of letting it stand alone as the meal's showpiece. That's because I'd like to gauge the inherent fishiness of the meat first and maybe if I bag another after first vetting it. After all, if just removing the skin/fat can make such a profound difference in the coot [which admittedly wasn't bad...just not what I'd prefer], then maybe here also?? Or, maybe it's so a superabundance of uses in its original state? Heck, that Pho isn't going to make itself...com'on'save'me'on'the'fish sauce...or dashi!
Haven't eaten the bufflehead yet either. I'm off to taste some 'fishy business'...
10 Teal, 6 Mallard, 5 Shoveler, 4 Pintail, 3 Coot, 1 Widgeon, 1 Bufflehead, 1 Canadian Goose, 1 Hooded Merganser