Southland Both Barrels July 2019
We hope everyone had a great end to their waterfowl season in Southland.
Birds were in good condition over the latter part of the season, perfect for the table.
You may have noticed mallards are pairing up throughout the region and starting to think more seriously about the upcoming breeding season.
If you do not have any traps set permanently, now is a great time to start setting traps as predators are rather hungry and food is sparse over the winter months, (afterbirth will be coming available in abundance shortly!).
Chunky dog roll is a great bait choice as it lasts reasonably well compared to fresh meat.
We have a chimney trap design in the office for anyone wanting to build a more serious feral cat trap that will not catch any by-catch.
Staff received no complaints about the shortening of the season during our game bird harvest survey this year, however, we did receive a couple comments that the season was still too long.
Great to see that our council is indeed in line with our licence holders.
Staff have enjoyed trying different recipes this season, and consequently have been enjoying mallard even more than what we had been previously!
One important aspect to game birds that is often overlooked is aging your meat.
Staff have been making a point of aging any birds for ~five days in the fridge after they have been plucked, gutted etc.
Just make sure they have airflow around the whole carcass either by rotating or putting directly on a rack, so you get some ‘drying out’ as opposed to the bottom side sitting in juices….
Give it a go, you may be pleasantly surprised!
Duck breast recipe
This video by Hank Shaw is well worth a watch in regards to how you properly cook a duck breast.
The basics are skin side down in hot oil until the skin gets crispy, flip it over for ~three minutes, but check how rare it is by using your finger as Hank explains.
Lastly, season and rest your meat for a few minutes before slicing and eating!
“Treat your duck breast like a steak.
If you like your steak rare, cook your duck breast rare.
If you like your steak medium, cook your duck breast medium.
If you like you steak well done, don’t hunt ducks!”
Erin Garrick, Southland Fish & Game Officer