March 8, 2013
snow geese video 2013
photo courtesy of Anne Havelin
The amount of snow geese gathered in Seneca County right now is incredible. Literally miles, and miles of geese flying in the air and huge flocks of snow geese on Cayuga Lake and farmers’ fields. The number of snow geese has grown over the years to record highs, creating a need for special conservation efforts to protect the arctic habitat where they breed. The daily limit for snow geese is 25 per day with no possession limit until April 15th. However, they are harder to harvest then one might initially think. Snows tend to roost in the middle of the lake, making blind hunting a challenge. They tend to flock in the middle of large fields, making hedge row hunting inaccessible. And, they fly quite high, so the pot shot is out. Yet, a successful snow goose hunt is worth the effort! More information on conservation efforts for snow geese can be found on the NYS DEC website.
Some say that the flavor of snow geese is a bit stronger than Canada goose. I haven’t noticed this per say, but I tend to stick to braising, smoking, or flavorful, spiced recipes for snow goose preparation. Here is a savory recipe to try (courtesy of wildlife biologist, Andy Weik)…
Wild Bird Leg Enchiladas (10 enchiladas)
2 large goose or wild turkey legs (thigh and drumstick) or combination of legs and wings of turkey or other game birds, about 3lbs
1 shallot, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 TBSP coriander seed
2 bay leaves
1 TBSP fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
1 tsp black pepper
2 small (10oz) or 1 larger can Enchilada sauce
10-14 oz. cheese –your choice of cheddar, jack, etc
Fajita seasoning – one (1.25 oz) packet or mix your own
1 can diced tomatoes (10-15 oz)– depending on tastes, can be tomatoes w/ green chilies or fire roasted tomatoes including liquid
1 can beans (optional) – choice of black, pinto, etc., rinsed and drained
1 large onion, chopped
2 or 3 cloves garlic, or more depending on tastes, crushed
10 large burrito size flour tortillas, preferably whole wheat
1 T. Olive oil for sauteing
Put meat in a crock pot (or heavy sauce pan with lid to cook on stove or in oven) and cover with braising liquid: some combination of water and/or stock or broth to cover bird parts in pot. Add shallot, garlic, coriander, bay leaves, thyme, pepper and dash of salt (optional) to pot. Cover and simmer until meat is tender and easily separates from the bone (about 4 hours on a high heat crock pot, 6-8 hours on low heat crock pot or 3 hours on the stove or oven at 325 degrees), adding more liquid as needed. Let cool, and pick meat from bones. Strain liquid and save (freeze) for other recipes or discard. Chop meat into bite size pieces.
Saute 1 chopped onion in olive oil in large skillet until translucent, stir in the crushed cloves of garlic.
Stir in the meat and fajita seasoning, then add the can of diced tomatoes; drain the liquid of f the can of beans and stir in the beans. Heat until bubbling. Adjust seasonings – add hot sauce or diced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to kick up the heat if so desired.
Heat oven to 350. Cover bottoms of baking dishes (probably one 13×9 and one 8×8) with enchilada sauce. One at a time, heat tortilla shells in a large skillet or 10 seconds in the microwave to make flexible, add some meat mixture and about 1 oz. shredded cheese to each tortilla, roll and fold in ends, and place in baking dishes. When all the tortillas have been filled and placed in the baking dishes, top them with the remaining enchilada sauce, cover baking dish with foil, and bake until bubbling, about 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or until enchiladas start to crisp up. Serves 10.