Posts Tagged ‘pheasant meat’

Wild Game, It’s what’s For Dinner

Thursday, October 17th, 2013


“Hunters are increasingly motivated by meat,” that’s the headline of a report released on Wednesday by Responsive Management, an international survey research firm. According to their findings, the percentage of hunters identifying “for the meat” as the most important reason for hunting participation rose from 22 percent in 2006 up to 35 percent during this year’s study.

The report attributes the 13 percent climb to three factors; 1) the recession, 2) the locavore movement and 3) the increased participation of females in hunting. Summarizing the findings, Responsive Management concludes our country’s economic downturn has reinvigorated people’s food acquisition through hunting because of its relative affordability (they obviously haven’t accompanied me to Gander Mountain). Their research also indicates women have a slightly greater propensity to choose “for the meat” as a motivation over their male counterparts.

While I agree the economy and gender have played a role in the rise of wild game meat motivation, it’s the “locavore movement” I believe has had the most influence in this quest for game meats. As I look across “pop culture;” from television to magazines to books to restaurants.  I see prime time shows featuring Andrew Zimmern on a squirrel hunt, I see Hank Shaw’s books climbing Amazon’s best sellers list, I read about Lily Raff McCaulou leading Elle magazine on a rabbit hunt and I see restaurant menus featuring quail eggs.  Further, almost every episode of the hugely popular Duck Dynasty series ends with a family dinner around a plate of frog legs or mallard breasts. In fact, I believe this new embrace of wild meats is fostering a greater understanding of hunting across society.

While I’m certain Aldo Leopold never would have imagined Zimmern’s propensity for bug-eating, I do think Zimmern and today’s other locavore leaders can attribute their local food roots direct to Leopold’s 1949 philosophy from A Sand County Almanac:

“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm.  One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.” – Aldo Leopold

The obvious hope of organizations like Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever is today’s locavore trend will take one additional step toward Leopold’s writings – wildlife habitat conservation. Whether you favor beef or venison, chicken or pheasant, the common connector is our land. It is my belief society’s need for food and water will someday soon change our seemingly insatiable appetite to tile our uplands and drain our wetlands.  Or to put it more plainly, local food will lead to local conservation.


The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre and listen to Bob and Billy Hildebrand every Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN FM100.3.

Pheasant Tortellini with Brussels Sprouts

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Pheasant Tortellini with Brussels sprouts at the mid-point

“Eat your vegetables Bobby,” was the nightly ultimatum from Mom while growing up.  Green beans, peas, spinach and even broccoli presented no problems in meeting her demands, but my delicate childhood palate did have one little green nemesis – Brussels sprouts.


Like most kids, I “guaranteed” vomiting if I were made to eat something as detestable as a Brussels sprout.  And also like most kids, I’ve grown to love foods I scorned as a youngster.  In the case of Brussels sprouts, I have a pheasant dish to thank for my new found love affair with these green little nuggets of goodness.  The pheasant dish of which I speak is pheasant tortellini with Brussels sprouts and I developed it on a whim while grabbing some pre-packaged pasta fixings in the cold case of my local grocer.  I also prepared this easy recipe for Anthony & Andrew while on this year’s Rooster Road Trip.


Ingredients (serves 2)


Preparation Instructions

1. Add butter to a large frying pan and melt.  When the butter is melted add pheasant meat to the frying pan and sauté till the pheasant begins to brown.

2. Sauté the mushrooms in butter in a separate frying pan.

3. Likewise sauté the Brussels sprouts in butter in a third frying pan until they begin to caramelize.

4. Combine the pheasant, mushrooms and Brussels sprouts into one large frying pan and reduce heat to low.

5. Boil the tortellini as instructed on packaging

6. Combine cooked tortellini with pheasant, mushrooms, and Brussels sprouts.

7. Pour Alfredo cream sauce over all ingredients.

8. Stir everything, so Alfredo sauce is evenly distributed and simmer uncovered for three minutes.

9. Serve & Enjoy



I realize this isn’t fine dining and some culinary purists will rip me for covering up the delightful taste of pheasant in cream sauce.  I get it.  Nonetheless, this is a very easy dish to make, and a really palatable dish for those folks that may be new and tentative to eating wild game.  It’s a great way to walk them through the wild game door with little risk of being turned off.  Or in my case, it’s a great way to learn to enjoy Brussels sprouts.


The finished product after the long Rooster Road brings you back home

Now that I’ve tackled Brussels sprouts, I think I’m finally ready to confront lima beans.  Anyone got a pheasant recipe that includes lima beans?


The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre.