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good idea to let them fly cause they taste like what they eat, fish, if you ever even gut one you will smell it. you cant even do anything to help the taste. i have heard of a way to cook them tho. put them on a board and put them in the oven for 15 mins at 400 degrees. at the end of that time take it out and take them off the board, next eat the board cause its sure to taste better than they will.
 

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A friend of mine in hischool an i were huntin real early one morning... before sunrise, i said i hear ducks down there...lets go gettem...he said be patient...theyre probably only coots anyway... i said what do coots taste like..(mergansers are in same class) he said wellllllll imagine Burlap fried in liver grease.... LOL....
so Ive never tried em hehehehe.
 

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I have to disagree completely!!! With everything except the 'high mercury' comment. I don't know about that, but where we hunt our ducks are not prone to spending large periods of time in polluted waters. There is no way I would waste a prefectly good merganser on mere training.

I have the guys I hunt with shoot mergansers on a regular basis. Both common and hooded varieties taste very good, if you prepare them properly. The key to a good merganser is in the cleaning and pre-cooking preparation. I cut out the breasts and take care to get all of the fat off. On large Common Mergansers you can often use the legs too. I then rinse them thoroughly. Then I submerse the meat in a bowl of salt water (you can use vinegar instead, or in addition to). If you like you can soften the meat a little by jabbing it with a fork in several places before placing it in the bowl. I put the bowl in the refrigerator for 2 - 3 days. The next step is to cook and eat. Granted, the meat will taste a little wilder then a corn fed mallard, but it is still good.

The main way we cook it is to cut it up into little strips like for a stir-fry. Take a casserole pan, add rice, cream of (mushroom or celery soup), some water, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, maybe some carrots, and of course the merganser meat. Cover the pan. Put the pan in the oven at 350 for 35-45 minutes or until the rice is done. Check occasionally to make sure there is enough water. You want it to be a rice consistency when done; not too dry or too wet. Remove when the rice is done, garnish with shredded cheese, recover and let sit for a minute or two…just so the cheese melts. Then eat it up…cause its good. Only very discerning palates will even know its wild meat, let alone merganser. Heck, if you tenderize the meat well enough before hand, you might even fool that PETA neighbor of yours into thinking it's tofu.

The salt/vinegar water solution helps to remove the gamey/fishy taste, while the cooking method covers up what ever is left. This method may help "disguise" the gaminess of the meat, but it's a good way to use up those 5 mergansers, (only 2 of which may be hooded) we are allowed to bag each day in additon to our duck bag limit in the Michigan and Wisconsin areas. Plus, since its 5 more birds you get to shoot each day, you get to stay out longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
They count as our limit here in Washington, so I don't really plan on shooting any. I just always wondered because I see some people posting about shooting them.

Anyone ever shoot and EAT common snipe or coots?

:eek:
 

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I don't shoot the Mergs, unless I'm bored out of my mind. Snipes are good eatin', they taste like a cross between teals & quails. Atleast that's what my taste buds tell me. I highly recommend Snipe. I will eat my hat before I eat a coot. But everybody has different taste buds...
 

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i met this older man from arkansas and he said that if you shoot a merganser soak it in milk for 24+ hours before you cook them....he said that it gets rid of alot of the fishy/livery taste....I know i havent tried it thats for sure. the only reason i shoot mergansers is to add to my collection of duck mounts or to just get rid of the birds of from small pond/lakes to protect the fish populations.
 
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