Outdoors Xtras: Cold-water lure, driving some pheasants and game bird stew
TIP OF THE WEEK
Putting on drives is often an effective technique for taking deer, right? Well, it can work with ringnecks, too, especially for those without a dog. Post one hunter at the end of a fencerow or hedgerow, facing into the wind if possible. Have another hunter or two drive toward him, walking the edges of the brushy row, talking and moving in a starting and stopping way to make birds nervous. Pheasants that don't flush to the sides will often run the length of the hedgerow and take flight in front of the waiting hunter. Just be sure to obey line of fire for safety's sake.
lure of the week
Sugg. retail price: $4.49 for a 6-pack.
Company: Z-Man Fishing Products (zmanfishing.com)
Lure type: Soft plastic
Sizes and colors: Available in a 3-inch model in 12 colors, including black./blue, dirt, California Craw, Yoga Pants, Mudbug and Motor Oil.
Target species: Largemouth and smallmouth bass.
Technique: Designed by Ned Kehde, developer of the Ned Rig, the TRD HogZ is meant to be a cold-water bass bait. Pair it with the lightest Z-Man ShroomZ and NedlockZ jighead and smallest hook possible, on light line, so that it falls slowly to the bottom. The lure's ElaZTech body is buoyant, so the lure will stand up and move in the water, enticing strikes. It's most effective when fished around "ambush" areas like boulders, eddies and other visible targets along the bank.
Notable: Even its designers aren't sure if the HogZ most imitates a baitfish or a crawfish or a hellgrammite or something else. But its ribs, legs and twin tails quiver in a way that looks like something to eat.
recipe of the week
Game bird stew
• ¼ cup diced onions
• 2-4 game birds
• ½ teaspoon paprika
• 20 ounces cream of chicken soup
• ½ teaspoon black pepper
• 28 ounces chicken broth
• ½ teaspoon dill
• 16 ounces sliced canned potatoes
• ½ teaspoon thyme
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• ¼ cup white wine
This recipe works fine with just pheasants, though – in a pinch – you could mix in some quail or grouse, too.
Either way, boil the birds so that you can remove the meat from the bones. Cut that into chunks.
Put the meat in a slow cooker. Add the soup, broth, potatoes, onion, garlic, pepper, paprika, dill, thyme and wine. Mix in a just a splash of olive oil.
Cook on the low setting for about six hours. The meat will emerge tender and juicy.
Serve with thick-cut Italian or other homemade bread.