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hunting? fishing?

Remember grandfather fishing... but NOT to feed his family, necessarily... just relaxation, I guess. Had an uncle who hunted deer, pheasant, etc. My brother goes deep-sea fishing 1-2 times a year... hoping he comes home with a TUNA some day!?!

Several years back, good buddy of neighbor borrowed his boat and took sister and me out for a day of fishing off NJ coast. He was bangin on the front door at o-dark-thirty, with his truck load with gear. Musta had 6-7 rods/reels... for 3 people?!? Had a bucket of some kinda little live bait fish and a big hunk frozen squid. Sister and I were NOT about to put some little wiggling LIVE thing on hook! He got her set up at the front of the boat and then started getting a pole ready for me. before he got that done, sis had a fish... a very nice sized flounder... and we started screaming like "girls"! He gets fish off and rebaits her line and goes back to getting HIS stuff together... and I have a fish on the line! He did finally get to fish himself eventually. At some point in our adventure, sister hooked a SHARK... maybe 4' long but I was sure it was gonna pull her out of the boat! We came home with maybe 15-20 flounder/fluke. After neighbor took our MANDATORY pictures holding our catch, his friend took fish to show a buddy who lived close by. About an hour later, he came back with a big pan full of FILLETS!! Even apologized for giving his buddy some of the fish for helping him clean them!?! Fine by us! Never had to touch bait, never had to touch a fish, didn't have to clean... just cook and eat!! Now THIS is my idea of a fishing trip.

Neighbor would sometimes bring fish over after one of his trips... sometimes cooked, sometimes raw. Usually NOT told what it was... just eat it or cook it a certain way. Beside "normal" fish (flounder, sea bass, blues), had skate, conger eels and sea robins.

First venison was when I was in college. Good friend's mother said stay for dinner... how do you like your venison?? Since I'd never had it before, she asked how I liked steaks... medium rare. Think I got treated to the tenderloin of a lazy deer that only ate from farmer's corn field... NO "gamey" taste and super tender.

First pheasant was around that same time. College room-mate's dad belonged to a "club" in the Philly suburbs. He came home with his hunting dog and in full Elmer Fudd regalia. His catch had been cleaned by people who worked at the club... looked and tasted like chicken to me!?!

Neighbor had a co-worker who raised rabbits. That's another thing that "tastes like chicken"... maybe cuz it wasn't wild?

Would like to try alligator and/or rattle snakes at some point. Had green turtle once... kinda reminded me of veal... but at a restaurant, so probably not "caught"??

So what do you hunt and eat!?!

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  1. Trout, which we put in our smoker. LOTS of venison, from DH's multiple bucks last fall. Venison stew, venison chilli, venison susage, everything venison.

    1. Never been much of a hunter cause it's so difficult living in urban areas. Been fishing since 1967 or so, saltwater and freshwater. When I retire in a few years it will be nothing but fishing.

      1. The BF got a deer tag for this fall. He hasn't gone hunting in YEARS, but I hope he gets one. I want to practice my butchery and experiment with cooking it. Plus he has spent TONS of money getting all new equipment so he better get something!!!!

        His friends and family go hunting yearly, so we actually have some nice elk meat in the freezer. We used some of it to make elk tacos for Super Bowl.

        1. I used to fish a lot when I was a kid. My grandmother humored me and would clean and cook anything I brought home, no matter how small. My dad went on a deep sea fishing trip every summer, and did catch a tuna once. I was 5 or 6 that summer, and while I liked seafood in general, I wasn't yet a fan of tuna. We ate tuna at least once a week for what felt like ages, and I think my eventual appreciation of tuna was delayed by at least a few years.

          I have a whole week at the beach coming up, the first time in years. I'm planning a half day head boat fishing trip with my mother, and will probably also spend some time crabbing.

          1. While I've never hunted, & haven't fished for years, I grew up on the Long Island waterfront & thus grew up fishing & crabbing. Everything from flounder, fluke, snapper blues, bluefish, weakfish, tommycod, eel, porgies, striped bass - anything & everything. It was great, & I miss it immensely.

            1. I have not been fishing in a long time, but I have caught (and eaten) tuna and trout. I have also been gifted tuna, salmon, halibut and deer that friends and family have been able to take.

              One of these days I want to go hunting. Meat does not come shrink wrapped on a Styrofoam tray, so I would like to be involved in the whole process. Ad a cattle gun in the stockyard is not really what I have in mind.

              3 Replies
              1. re: ocshooter

                I used to go on dove shoots when I was a youngster, you end up with a whole bunch of small dead birds on your hands. I like the kind of dead birds that are already plucked cleaned and wrapped in plastic.

                I can't even imagine how much of a pain in the rear dealing with a large mammal must be. Unless someone else is dealing with the carcass no way am I shooting a deer.

                Dead fish are a lot easier to clean, imo.

                1. re: redfish62

                  I tend not to eat small birds at all, and I am definitely not interested in picking out birdshot. Duck might be another issue, as I love the meat, but don't know any nearby duck hunting.

                  With large game, the cleaning should be a bit of a mess, but you are supposed to take the animal with a minimum of shots, so at least you are not dealing with an animal riddled with shot.

                  1. re: redfish62

                    Like many things, field dressing, skinning, and butchering deer seems much more intimidating than it really is. It's more tedious than anything.

                    I grew up in a hunting and fishing family, more hunting than fishing. I remember my father bringing home a lot of pheasants when I was quite young. I was the youngest so I remember the anticipation of finally getting to go waterfowl hunting with my father. As a youth we did a lot of waterfowl hunting and some deer hunting. As an adult we go deer and grouse hunting each year. Most of the venison is made into sausage by myself and one of my older brothers. I would really like to go snowshoe hare hunting in the winter, but so far, we have not found the time.

                2. My husband and father fish for bluefish, striped bass, and fluke here at the Jersey Shore. I am happy to eat whatever they catch! He caught a Northern Kingfish back in June which is supposed to be delicious eats but we had never seen it before and didn't know what the laws were on keeping it so he released it.

                  1. Some of my favorite memories of my very large family reunions in southern Maryland were of the fried perch for breakfast that we had caught the afternoon before. The best fish I've ever eaten was a bluefish we caught while dragging a line on a casual sail - eaten an hour later. I've had some great venison lately, though it is farmed, but the best venison memory I have is when my late uncle brought his mustard-marinated and grilled venison ribs to said family reunion.

                    1. The waters near NYC don't make for the best fishing. I'm pretty much limited to blueflish, striped bass, maybe some fluke or porgies. I've heard I can go crabbing at the docks off Long Island, but haven't tried yet.

                      Luckily the hunting in the counties surrounding the city are far better. It seems like pretty much anywhere you go, you're bound to come across a turkey or a deer.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: JungMann

                        Definitely give Long Island crabbing a try!! Loads of inexpensive fun & you end up with some damn fine eating!!! Growing up there, a summer never went by when we didn't enjoy bushels of lovely Blue-Claw Crabs in every form imaginable - steamed, boiled, crab cakes, pasta sauces, salads. . . . . I'm drooling just thinking about it.

                      2. Back in the day before Blowfish became gourmet "Chicken of the sea" they were a "garbage" fish that most fishermen threw back.
                        My brother and I would take our rowboat out into Gardiners Bay near our Summer home in Montauk and catch about 40 blowfish in a few hours.
                        They were easy to clean and each one gave us a nice hunk of tasty white meat which fed our family of 7 for dinner and the next day's lunch.
                        Now that they have become a delicacy you can harly catch 3 or 4 in a day.
                        We'd also go crabbing in Brooklyn of all places. There were marinas where Kings Plaza is now. We'd walk the docks and scoop up a dozen or so blue claw crabs from the pilings. Crabs and linguini with red sauce for dinner that night. Great memories!

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Motosport

                          I'm confused... blowfish are not found in North American waters. Searobins? But they're not 'gourmet'.

                          1. re: drongo

                            Whatever the official name we called them blowfish!! When we pulled tham out of the water they would be "inflated" with water. They would do this to scare away predators. Sometimes they would inflate with air when tossed into the ice bucket.
                            Not searobins which were also considered garbage fish. I've heard they are also becoming a delicacy.

                            1. re: Motosport

                              I remember all that with blowfish (aka "Northern Pufferfish") too! In fact, we used to catch more of them in our crab nets than we did via rod & reel. And you're right about scarcity. We could fill several buckets with them many years ago; 10 years later you were lucky to catch one or two, & that was usually by accident.

                              Also remember Sea Robins, which we also frequently caught in our crab nets. In fact, they were so despised by crabbers, that if pulled up in nets, they'd frequently be left to die out on the pier. I could never bring myself to do that, but many other folks did. And you're right about them now being considered a delicacy. Not only are they now actually on some charter boat's lists of "desired" species one might catch, but even the late great chef Julia Child (along with a number of others) considered them a vital component of Bouillabaise, as they're very similar (same family) to the European version that's considered a necessity for that dish. And if you do a websearch on "cooking Sea Robins", you'll find quite a bit of info + recipes for using it.

                              These days, I think a combination of heightened food awareness, interest in cooking, plus overfishing & the resulting scarcity of more desirable species, has put more limelight on former "trash fish" species.

                            2. re: drongo

                              Okay, okay Drongo - semantics again. The "official" name of the "blowfish" we Long Islanders all enjoyed catching & eating as kids is the "Northern Pufferfish". Nearly identical to "blowfish", but smaller & without the spines. But we all called them "blowfish".

                              1. re: Bacardi1

                                OK, I got it. I wasn't arguing semantics... I didn't understand what fish was being discussed. Northern Pufferfish.

                          2. I usually hunt pig, rabbit, or squirrel during the fall and winter seasons.

                            Otherwise I tend to fish for red drums, striped mullets (smoked mullet is good), or catch blue crabs during the spring and summer.

                            1. I've had about sixty years hunting and fishing. Commercial fishing for many years, fishing guide, hunted for meat only. My all time favorite red meat is caribou. All time favorite fish is 'quill back' rock cod. Funniest/scariest hunting memory: I'm hunting for elk. I stop to rest and sit down with my back to a large tree. I see what looks like snot landing on my shoulder. I look up and a bull elk is standing on the other side of the tree with his head right over me. I can see the beast's blood red eyes! After a minute which felt like an hour the elk walks away a few yards. I very slowly stand up and take careful aim but I'm shaking so badly I can't focus enough to pull the trigger. The elk walks into the forest and I never did get an elk that year.