Since I have been married to Jason, I have read list after list of hunting tips for introducing your children to hunting and developing a lifelong love of the outdoors and sportsmanship. After more than eight years of us having children, I absolutely have never had to remind Jason to remember to include Rolley Len on a hunting excursion.
Rolley Len has been going with her Daddy since before she could talk. Whether it is the company or the resulting meal that comes from a successful hunt, she rarely passes up a chance to go with him – no matter how early they leave or how late they return.
Not long ago, Jason took Rolley Len on a hunting trip to Union Springs. It was a goose hunt, and I very was interested to hear what she thought of the experience because she had never gone with him to hunt geese. Of course, when she returned, Rolley Len was spilling over with stories about the hunt and the fun she had with the other children on the trip.
As they both shared details of the hunt, I was really surprised to learn that Jason had never been goose hunting himself. Although Jason has also hunted since his early childhood, when it came to waterfowl, he stuck with ducks. So this trip was a first for both of them.
They went to a friend’s hunting camp with three other families. Rolley Len had a great time with Hadley and her new friend Calvin. She said they stayed up talking way too late for the 5:30 wake-up call the next morning. They left the camp by 5:45 and headed to a nearby field. They stayed there for more than two hours, but it didn’t feel like it because it was fun. By 8:30, it was time to eat breakfast and clean up.
In Alabama, goose season is during all of September, Nov. 25-26 and Dec. 3, 2016, through Jan. 29, 2017. There are also special youth hunting days if you want to introduce your children to goose or duck hunting. The Special Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days are Nov. 19, 2016, and Feb. 4, 2017.
The youth hunting day could mean you and your kids can bring home a goose or duck in time for Thanksgiving. And a hunt on Thanksgiving weekend is perfect for sharing your love of hunting with your children and it’s another chance to bring home a goose or duck to roast for the holidays. Your sons and daughters will definitely be as proud as Rolley Len is to help bring home a big part of the family’s holiday meal.
8-10 pound goose, dressed, washed and dried
2 cups celery stuffing (recipe below)
1½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
6 thin strips fat salt pork
1 cup water
Onion and garlic clove, if desired
Stuff goose with celery stuffing and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Tie and sew securely with wings and legs close to the body. In a roasting pan, place breast up with pork strips on top. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Add water and baste. Reduce heat to 350° and cook for 20 minutes per pound, basting every 15 minutes. Remove pork strips during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Serve with Giblet Gravy and fried apples (recipes included).
Note: Goose may be rubbed with the cut side of an onion or clove of garlic before cooking if desired.
Goose fat (from roasting pan), divided
3 Tablespoons flour
Liver, gizzard and heart, chopped fine (any or all, optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large (at least 3-cup) glass measuring cup, pour liquid from the pan in which the goose has been roasted. In a saucepan, place 4 tablespoons of liquid from measuring cup. Add flour and stir until it browns. Take remaining liquid and add additional water to make 3 cups. Add to browned flour and stir until smooth and thickened. If desired, add liver, gizzard and heart. Season with salt and pepper.
Wash apples. Remove cores and slice ½-inch thick or quarter. In pan, sauté in butter until soft, turning occasionally to brown evenly.
1 cup celery, diced
1 small onion, minced
4 Tablespoons fat, melted
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon sage
2 cups toasted bread crumbs
In saucepan, fry celery and onion in fat for a few minutes. Add seasoning and crumbs. Add a little water and mix thoroughly.
GOOSE – BAKED OR GRILLED
Goose breasts, flattened
Salt and pepper, to taste
Jalapeños, sliced or diced, if desired
Salt and pepper both sides of each breast. Spread a layer of cream cheese on one side. Add jalapeños. Roll the breast and wrap with bacon strips. Secure with cooking twine or toothpicks. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes, turn the breasts and cook for 8 more minutes, or until cooked thoroughly. Let them rest for 10 minutes before removing twine before serving. Serve with currant jelly or giblet gravy.
Christy Kirk is a freelance writer who lives in Little Texas.