Deer Talk Now: Kristen Schmitt on Being a Locavore and Deer Hunter

Deer Talk Now: Kristen Schmitt on Being a Locavore and Deer Hunter

This week’s all-new episode of Deer Talk Now is all about the readers as Kristen Schmitt, author of the new Deer & Deer Hunting blog City Roots to Hunting Boots, talks about embracing the locavore movement, transitioning to a rural lifestyle and her first steps along the bowhunting path.

Kristen SchmittA native of metropolitan Detroit, Schmitt moved her family to the Green Mountains in Vermont in August 2012. Upon relocating, Schmitt resolved to educate herself on sustainable living and training for her first hunt, a pursuit that she documents weekly on the City Roots to Hunting Boots blog.

Schmitt’s blog chronicles her journey to her first hunt and examines the benefits of sustainable food systems and the nutritional value of wild game.

Watch her episode of Deer Talk Now to learn more about Schmitt’s insights on venison as a healthy alternative to traditional meats, her experiences learning to shoot a bow, why she’s so enthusiastic about locavore culture and more.

Plus, be sure to check out the Deer Talk Now archives for more hunting tips from Ted Nugent, Steve Bartylla, Donald Trump Jr., Don Higgins and other deer hunters!



Are You a DIY Deer Hunter? Then You Must Have This Grinder!

The satisfaction of a full-bore do-it-yourself effort goes from scouting the woods to scouring the dishes after a great meal, and your best venison recipes are part of the mix. Make them better with this fantastic Weston Grinder!

Featuring a powerful 500 watt motor and grinding up to 2 pounds per minute, this electric meat grinder is not only a great value, but will efficiently and effectively fulfill your meat grinding needs.

The grinder includes:

  • Two stainless steel grinding plates for fine and coarse grinds
  • Forward and reverse options
  • Compact design for convenient storage
  • a sausage stuffing funnel

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Mossy Oak Buttstock Shell Holder Mossy Oak Break – Up

Mossy Oak Buttstock Shell Holder Mossy Oak Break - Up

Mossy Oak Neoprene Buttstock Shell Holder. Your next shot, always at hand! Shotgun or Rifle. Soft, stretchy neoprene with hook and loop attachment fits securely, protects gun finish, reduces glare. Rifle Holder keeps 6 cartridges, Shotshell Holder features 5 shell loops. Dressed up in your favorite Mossy Oak Break-Up pattern. State Model. Order Today! Mossy Oak Buttstock Shell Holder, Mossy Oak Break-Up

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Recipe: Asparagus and Morel Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce

April (and May) is all about asparagus, especially for people like my sister who cultivates a healthy crop in her garden. The rest of us are left to pick up our bundles from the store each spring, when the crisp, green vegetables are at their freshest and finest. Since spring also means wild turkey at my house, asparagus accompanies most of my turkey dishes.

Typically I grill mine or sometimes they get steamed, but I recently came across this recipe for a Thai-style stir fry that matches asparagus spears with another spring treat: the mushroom. If you’ve been lucky enough to find some morels, feel free to use them, but just about any edible mushroom will do—even the catch-all crimini.

Asparagus and Mushrooms in Oyster Sauce

– 2-3 Tbsp. peanut or canola oil
– 1 pound asparagus, chopped on the diagonal into 1-inch thick pieces
– ½ pound mushrooms, cut into thick slices
– 6 cloves of garlic, sliced

For the glaze:
– 2 Tbsp. oyster sauce
– 2 Tbsp. water
–  1 Tbsp. fish sauce
–  tsp. sesame oil
–  ½ tsp. cornstarch

Add the ingredients for the glaze into a small bowl or cup and whisk until well mixed. Set a wok or heavy pan over high heat. Once the pan is warm, add 1 to 2 Tbsp. of oil. When the oil starts to shimmer and just begins to smoke, add the asparagus and stir-fry for about a minute. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan if necessary, and then the mushrooms and garlic. Stir and fry for about another minute or two.

Whisk the glaze to ensure the cornstarch hasn’t settled, then stir the mixture into the pan. Cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the sauce is reduced to a glaze. Transfer to the glazed vegetables to a serving bowl.


Allen Company Instant Roof Tree Stand Umbrella (Oakbrush, 57-Inch)

Allen Company Instant Roof Tree Stand Umbrella (Oakbrush, 57-Inch)

This multi-functional treestand umbrella can be used for weather protection as well as consealment. Use on the ground as a pop-up ground blind.

List price: $27.99

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Rivers Edge Products Deer Antler Theme Welcome Plaque

Rivers Edge Products Deer Antler Theme Welcome Plaque

This Welcome Plaque is made with a hand painted poly resin design, that has a realistic deer antler theme.

List price: $15.68

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Smith & Wesson CKSUR1 Bullseye Search and Rescue Fixed Blade Knife

Smith & Wesson CKSUR1 Bullseye Search and Rescue Fixed Blade Knife

Heavy-duty nylon sheath has synthetic liner, metal reinforcements and lashing slots” and “The heavy duty nylon sheath is constructed with a hard synthetic liner and metal reinforcements. The sheath also includes a D ring, lashing slots, and a front mounted nylon storage pouch with Velcro closure.” to “Heavy Duty Nylon Sheath”

List price: $39.90

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Turkey Season Bonus: Close Call is Really Close

Turkey Season Bonus: Close Call is Really Close

I’ve shot my share of turkeys over the years, and I’ve even made the rookie mistake once when I uttered “how can anyone miss a turkey?” while in a camp filled with veteran hunters. Yep, you guessed it, I missed a turkey soon thereafter.

Last week’s turkey season opener here in Wisconsin saw me relive some of that shame from years gone by.

It all started when I cut my morning hunt short to go home for breakfast after 3 hours of no turkey action. Not even a distant gobble. I had the day off from work, so I figured why not be productive and cut firewood on a rainy, dreary day rather than chase nonexistent gobblers. That sounded like a good plan … for at least an hour.

Then the sun came out.

Turkey hunting 101: If a rainy morning suddenly turns clear and sunny, you had best get back out there. And that’s what I did.

It was 11 a.m. when I crawled in to my buddy Cory Johnson’s Primos ground blind. I really didn’t think I’d see, much less hear, a turkey, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to sit tight until lunch time and cast out a yelp here and there.

“Yelp-yelp-yelp!”  Pause for 10 minutes. “Yelp-yelp-yelp!”

The time was going by rather quickly. That’s when I got to the “last cast” mentality. “I’ll cutt one time, wait a few minutes, then head home,” I said to myself.

“Peck-pack! Peck-pack-pack! Peck-peck-pack-pack-PACK-PACK-PACK!”


Could it be? Seriously? You bet. It was a gobbler’s response, but he was a half-mile away.

I waited 10 minutes and yelped loudly.


He was not only closer, he was definitely coming to my calls.

Within minutes, there was … just 80 yards away and now in full strut. I froze statue-like, as I was taught to do when a turkey is within eyesight. Only problem: My shotgun was leaning up against the side of the blind to the left. The turkey was approaching from the right.

He stayed in full strut for several minutes, but he never whirled — staring straight at the blind the entire time. Worse yet, he kept stepping ever so closer.

Before I knew it, the gobbler was 40 yards out — easy gun range. When he broke strut momentarily to duck underneath a downed tree, I slowly grabbed the gun and brought it to my knees. I could only point the gun out the window in front of me, however, which left the gobbler 90 degrees to my right. I figured he would eventually work his way toward my lone hen decoy, which was just 10 yards out the window to my left. He worked that way all right, but here’s the catch: the old tom took a path to the decoy that placed him precisely 2 yards in front of the blind.

With one motion, he hopped up onto a downed log that touched the blind, stopped and peered right into my eyes from 9 feet away.


Oh-oh. It was now or never, I thought. Dare I try to outdraw this wild old bird?

I dared. And whiffed.

That full load of Winchester Extended Range #5 shot hammered the dead pine tree about 1 inch from where the gobbler’s head had been. And, yes, my shotgun throws one heck of a tight pattern at 3 yards.

But all’s well that ends well. The follow-up shot put the bird down instantly … just a tad downrange of my hen decoy.

I took some good-hearted ribbing for my earlier miss. But that’s OK.

The evening’s dinner of fried turkey strips, coleslaw and butter biscuits sure were tasty.


From our store: 

Almost every turkey hunt hinges on a critical decision afield. Choose wisely, and you’re a hero. Choose poorly, and you’ll go home empty-handed.

In this popular scenario series, you’ll join Turkey & Turkey Hunting editor Brian Lovett on an actual hunt that culminates with a tough decision. What would you do in each situation? Take your best shot, and see how Lovett’s hunts actually turned out. CLICK HERE to learn more.



6 Techniques You Need to Know to Cook Perfect Fish

After a childhood spent hating fish — and another 20 years of eating it only when fried — I have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to cooking what I catch. Only over the course of the last few years have I started rounding out my game, learning different ways of cooking fish that don’t require a pot of boiling oil. Here are six techniques I’ve mastered that every cook should know for cooking the perfect fish.

1. Poaching
For whatever reason, poaching fish sounded intimidating, but it’s actually one of the easiest techniques there is. It works well with any white-fleshed fish, especially thinner fillets. The secret is in the simmering liquid, which should carry a lot of the flavor, and a bit of vigilance. For the former, a classic court bouillon made of equal parts water and white wine along with a squeeze of lemon and a few fresh herbs is simple. A tomato-based poaching liquid also works well. Either way, bring the liquid just to the boiling point to the flavors come together then lower it to a light simmer before adding the fish. It’s said a round piece of parchment paper floated on the liquid keeps it from evaporating, but cook times are typically so short—about 5 to 7 minutes per fillet—that I find it isn’t necessary for the home cook.

2. Sautéing
A lot of folks get freaked out about flipping fish in a pan, because that’s when thin, delicate fillets fall apart. After learning how to sear the perfect fish from Hank Shaw, I decided to adapt his technique without the flip, particularly when using a thin piece of catfish, panfish, or walleye. Instead, I rely on near constant basting with the hot butter from the pan with a little white wine added to cook the fish through. It’s a bit of work and requires some heat management to ensure the down-side doesn’t burn, but it eliminates any chance of ending up with pan full of fish bits. For thicker cuts of fish, like halibut or salmon, a flip is usually necessary.

3. Whole Roasting
Grilling a whole, gutted fish, like redfish or sea bass, is a good technique and one you should learn, but roasting one is easier and you still benefit from the kick-ass presentation of serving a fish—head and all. It’s not at all difficult either, once you figure out how to check for doneness. Figure it will take about 10 minutes per inch measured at the fish’s thickest point when roasted at 450 degrees. When you think it’s getting close to done, make a small slit with a paring knife down to middle of the fish. When the meat is opaque and the juices are clear, it’s done. (If you’d rather grill a whole fish, Johnathan Miles has a foolproof recipe here.)

4. Planked
I’ll admit I was skeptical of this technique before a friend served me cedar-planked salmon at a summer barbecue. Now I am hooked. It’s amazing the flavor the cedar imparts and they couldn’t be easier to use. Just be sure to soak the planks for at least a couple of hours to prevent over-charring them on the grill. Water works fine for the soaking, but don’t be afraid to experiment with wine or stock, and feel free to lay a base of lemon slices and/or herbs between the plank and the fish of your choosing. (And don’t think you have to stick to salmon.)

5. Blackened
According to my good friend Scott Leysath, better known as the Sporting Chef, there’s fish cooked with blackened seasoning and then there’s true blackened fish the way the Cajuns do it. This requires a screaming hot skillet and a disabled smoke detector. Better yet, do it outside with a sturdy cast-iron pan and a high-BTU burner. You can still use commercial blackened seasoning, or you can make your own using Leysath’s recipe. Either way, be prepared for a lot of smoke. I mean A LOT. You’ll know you’re doing it right if the fire department shows up.

6. Patties
If you’re practicing all these techniques for cooking the perfect fish, you’re going to have some left over. In my mind, there are only two acceptable ways of eating leftover fish—cold while standing in front of the fridge late at night, or as fish cakes. How the latter tastes on the plate depends on how the fish was originally prepared, but there are a few requirements for the perfect fish cake: mashed potatoes, a beaten egg with a little bit of butter, panko, and a sprinkle of Old Bay.


Buck Wear Inc. Potatoes and Gravy Short Sleeve Tee

Buck Wear Inc. Potatoes and Gravy Short Sleeve Tee

Sand 100% Cotton Tee with Humorous Sporting Graphic “There’s a place for all gods creatures, right next to the potatoes and gravy” Buckwear Logo on Left Chest

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Yukon Gear Windproof Fleece Jacket

Yukon Gear Windproof Fleece Jacket

Yukon Gear Windproof Fleece Jacket with adjustable velcro wrist cuff, dual zippered hand pockets, and ultra soft and quiet 3-ply fleece. Available in Mossy Oak Infinity/Black pattern.

List price: $69.99

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