| Gear up & Grill Out
Featured products (from left to right): Bonfire 2.0 Hoodie - Timber with a Shield Series Insulated Primaloft Vest - Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades | Bonfire 2.0 Hoodie - Moss with a Shield Series Insulated Primaloft Vest - Mossy Oak Bottomland.
The season is approaching like a strong summer storm, you can feel it, sense it, smell it, and it’s starting to overtake everything! Now is the time when every hunter begins to consider where they are going to hunt first, and then it is quickly followed by these next two thoughts. What old gear should I replace, and what new gear do I NEED! Let’s run through some good maintenance tips you can do, some new gear we are excited about, and then a recipe for that initial harvest!
As in all things, details are important so remember to check everything before your season gets underway. The first thing I personally do is always grab my blind bag and check the main contents first. These are things that never leave my bag during the season. I prefer to use the Wren & Ivy Ditty Bag. This bag is small, compact, and extremely practical. I always check - does my headlamp work, do I have some type of gun oil, a good knife, some paracord, and my lanyard? These items are small, but they can make or fix almost any situation!
My lanyard is one thing I almost always bring out this time of year. I break down my calls and give them a good cleaning. I will inspect the reed/cork on all my calls, and replace any that need some TLC. Mostly though, I bring it out to annoy the rest of the office with sweet, beautiful music periodically throughout the day! Next on my list is always my firearm, which should have been cleaned after the last hunt, but probably wasn’t. Break your gun down, clean it, scrub it, get last year’s blood off it, and then oil it up good for the coming season. The last check is my gear, decoys, waders, jackets, and anything that I need to replace or get more of.
EARLY SEASON TEAL
Here are a few things we are excited about for the upcoming season, which for us will be Texas early teal! It’s normally cool in the mornings, but it gets warm just as fast as the blue-wings can fly through your spread. Gator Waders Non-Insulated Shield Series wader is a great choice for early season, they are breathable, cool, and tough! I have hunted these waders two seasons for early teal, and early season ducks as well, plus I love how lightweight they are for those longer walks. I normally pair these waders with my favorite old long-sleeve button-up shirt and our new Shield Series Vest. This vest is simplistic and serves its purpose of keeping my core warm if I need it, without taking up any room.
Featured products: DOA Greenwing Teal Decoys | Gator Waders Sheild Series Breathable Waders - Realtree Max-5
Here we typically use 3-4 dozen teal decoys, and we love the teal produced by DOA Decoys. They feature several head positions, are extremely durable, and are slightly oversized to make sure they grab the attention they need. The shell of choice for us is APEX Ammunitions Steel Super Shot. Teal are considerably smaller than say a mallard, so remember to size down accordingly for pattern density. We love shooting 4’s at these fast flyers! Patterning your choke to your shell is just as vital as proper range, so be sure not to leave out that step! Hopefully, these tips can help you not only have a better hunt but also have you prepared before it ever starts. Now on to the grilling after the hunt!
| Chow Time
Stuffed Teal with Spinach & Cream Cheese
Since teal normally gets overlooked, I find it’s fun to get outside the box when preparing them. Plus, it gives that flare that we should put time into the animals we harvest! The presentation this will provide also adds to the experience and memories of the hunt!
- 12 cleaned and washed teal breast
- 1 block of cream cheese
- 2 cups of shredded gouda
- 10 ounces of spinach
- 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
- Extra Virgin Olive oil
- 1 bundle of asparagus
| STEP ONE:
To make your filling combine the cream cheese, gouda, spinach, and garlic into a bowl and mix until well combined.
| STEP TWO:
Make sure the teal breast has each been cleaned, washed, and checked for pellets. Lay them on your cutting board one at a time, and with your knife create a small pocket in each breast horizontally. Once the pocket is created place one spoonful of the filling inside the pocket. Once all have been filled, lightly salt and pepper on each side. (For those that like some spice, add a dash of paprika, and chili powder).
| STEP THREE:
Heat the grill to a nice 350 range, clean the grill properly, and brush with some olive oil.
| STEP FOUR:
Asparagus should be trimmed if needed, and remove any woody ends. Toss in olive oil lightly, then salt and pepper lightly.
| NOW LET'S COOK!
Place the teal breast on a hot grill, sear each side for 2-3 minutes, and flip every 2 minutes after. After allowing the internal temp to reach 170, remove from the grill and let rest.
Don’t skip this step, always allow wildfowl 4-6 minutes to rest so the meat can absorb some of the juices! While waiting, grill your asparagus. This should allow for perfect timing.
The asparagus should be placed on a HOT grill and rolled occasionally for about 4-6 minutes or until tender. Once the asparagus is ready, plate both together and garnish with fresh cracked pepper!