This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of FoodSaver®; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
September 22nd is National Hunting and Fishing Day, and it is National Public Lands Day, as well. Both are meant to motivate folks to get outside and onto our public lands and waterways. Team HuntingLife is doing its part to embrace this agenda. We have been traveling across the country talking about public lands and how to recruit new hunters and outdoorsman to the traditions of harvesting wild game.
We attended the R3 conference this summer in Lincoln, NE, where we focused on Recruitment, Retention and Retainment of hunters and outdoorsman. We learned how many groups are working to introduce people to hunting. Many of these events focused on eating wild game and fish. We know that hunting and fishing are the original locavore. We also had the opportunity to travel to Bozeman, Montana, where we spoke about public lands and the opportunity for anglers and hunters to experience hunting and fishing on public lands all across America. We celebrated the conservation ethos that has come from hunters, anglers, shooters, outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen.
Our experience in mentoring hunters mirrors much of what we learned this year. We are excited to share our passion for the outdoors and for procuring wild game for our tables with new hunters. With new hunters, our primary introduction most often turkey hunting. Fall and Spring turkey seasons are great times to introduce new hunters. Turkey hunting provides the excitement that we look for when introducing new hunters. In addition, the food experience you get from wild turkey is outstanding.
Fall turkey hunting can range from calling in toms and hens to breaking up large flocks and calling them back to a central location. Because you can hunt both hens and toms, fall is a great time for new hunters to have success and fun in the outdoors.
Once we get a wild turkey down, the first thing I begin showing a new hunter is how to break down a turkey for the table. Often, I take one breast and set it aside for later that evening. I like to use that meat for quick nuggets. I cut the meat into chunks, give them a wash in a mayo-egg mixture, drag them through panko bread crumbs, and fry them. Next, I take the second breast and vacuum seal it for a later meal. I do the same with the legs.
Over the last several years, I have tested a lot of gear, and in these mentor situations I like to pass along a vacuum sealer to the new hunter. I know that hunting and fishing are fun, but I also want the new hunter to take care of the meat after the hunt. Having a vacuum sealer allows the new hunter the ready chance to store the meat properly, thus ensuring a great meal down the line.
Foodsaver Outdoorsman as a Tool for Mentoring
The vacuum sealer I like to introduce new hunters to is the FoodSaver® GameSaver® Outdoorsman. This model is new and replaces the one that I have given away for years. This new FoodSaver Outdoorsman completes 40 seals without having to cool down. Coupled with the fantastic Gallon Size GameSaver Vacuum-Seal Bags or 11” rolls, this GameSaver makes a tremendous gift. Vacuum sealing meat allows you to store meat for up to two years and gives you options in marinating the meat in the bag. With the new trend of Sous Vide cooking, you can even cook your meat right in your GameSaver bag with the right equipment.
Proper care of wild game is essential to putting great meals on your family’s table and the FoodSaver system has been an essential part of my process for at least 20 years of hunting and harvesting wild game. Clean your wild game, pat it dry, drop it into a bag, vacuum and seal the bag and place it into the freezer. We write the date of harvest and the cut and type of meat on each bag for quick identification later. We also like to store different kinds of meat in different sections of the freezer. This way, we simply look in the freezer and pull out the type of meat we wish to use for that night’s meal.
This September 22nd, try to take some time out of your schedule to get outdoors. If you know someone (most of us do) who would like to get outdoors – whether they are kids, women, young, old, family member or neighbor – please take them with you. Show them what it means to be an outdoorsman and share the story of the North American Conservation Model. Show them firsthand how hunters support public land access and fund wildlife programs all across North America.