Rewilding is the new self-care...

Field Notes from Jess ~ Rewilding in 2021 | Week 50/52 | Fall

duck hunt field to table rewilding Dec 05, 2021
Rewilding | Duck Hunt | Field to Table
Field notes from Jess ~
Rewilding in 2021 | Week 50 of 52
Duck Hunting
Packed up the truck and drove four hours to eastern Washington to meet up with @pathofthehunterschool, instructor Frank Sherwood and 5 other students who have committed to eight months of learning and all-season hunting for the opportunities to harvest food.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with a duck hunt and certainly don’t have much experience shooting a shotgun. I set up my tent in 30 degree temps and set my alarm for 5:00 am as our instructor Frank wanted us in the blind before dawn.
The blind was a trenched out area near the water that was covered with cattail and tule, a giant species of sedge native to our freshwater marshes.
With my waders on, I navigated out about 5 feet and set one of the four decoys. It was muddy and the smell coming up from disturbing the marsh was pungent.
With first light the bird show began. We saw cranes, swans, a bald eagle, marsh hawks, mallard, common merganser, goose and gadwall. My brain was trying to find the distinction between their flight patterns and identifying features.
Although I took a few shots at some incoming ducks, the opportunities were few. A fellow student had the only successful shot of the weekend which gave us the opportunity to field dress, process and cook up Gadwell that evening. The breast, gizzard and organs were pan fried in butter with salt, pepper and garlic. I had never eaten duck and was pleasantly surprised by the rich flavor that was fatty and oily.
I’m once again thankful for the opportunity to experience wild game as my journey to become more conscious of the food I eat and can harvest expands. I am so thankful for the many teachers and mentors that have shown great care and patience as I learn and grow.
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