Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dads Hunting Trip & Rabbit Stew

Dad started preparing the day before by laying out all our hiking supplies; MRE, water, hat, first-aide, utility tool, knife, etc. Next we rigged up his hiking pack and he tried on his Christmas hunting outfit, everything from new boots, upland hunting pants, camo shirt & hunting vest. Speaking of Xmas, dad was like a kid, nervously awaiting the big dad when he can actually play w/ his new toys. He put his ENTIRE outfit w/ pack rig on and paraded around the house for hours!

Rick drove Christina over at 6AM (so I wouldn't have to get my arse up early) and picked up dad for the 1 hour trip to the Tonto National Forest. They regularly hunt the road heading out to Horseshoe Lake but the dirt road had been washed out during the "biblical flood" of 2010. They ended up hunting the south side of Bartlett Road about 5miles west of the lake. This was the last day of the 2009 quail hunt, the birds have been procude relentlusly for the prior 4 months. Needless to say, the birds were crazy weary! They catched the little buggers up and down some very steap and trechorous hills but never got into range. They did take a few shots but didn't even molest one single feather. Dad was able to get one scronny rabbit! Ya! The closet and best oppertunity dad had for quail was at the absolute best time! He had to get the rabbit field dresed ASAP before placing it in his hunting vest, otherwise the flea-like bugs infesting the fur would have infested him! Dad put his shot gun down and got to business, as he turned to wake back, he jumped a giant covy of quail BUT had no weapon! Nice hu? He chased they covey for the next two hills. Rick couldn't get through a GIANT forest of jumping-cactus to get into that covey. No fret, Rick & Dad will be out the opening down of the 2010 season. Hopefully their wing shooting will improve over the next 9 months. Rick bought me a clauy-pigeon thrower for Xmas (and I just bought dad a new Mossberg 500 pump shotgun), we are planning a few practice trips prior to the hunting season. The clay-pigeon thrower is triggered by a rope, we plan on tieing it to my chair and then `Pulling` the trigger by moving my chair. Dad was proud of that little rabbit, as he should be, it took a lot of work it get'em! Dad talked about the hunt for weeks, he still keep saying, "I like walking around the desert, i'd like to go out now", everytime we head out to the lake. I need to figure out a way to hunt the far side of the lake while we are fishing. There is just NOT enough time to do everything we want!

We had to cook the living crap out of that rabbit! We started by butchering him into 5 parts; 2 hind legs, 2 front legs and loins / back. Dad had to cut out some blood-shot flesh, we lost a bit of the right sholder. We next browned him off in the cast-iron pot w/ onions and pored in a can of golden mushroom soup. He cooked for an hour w/o even a bit of tenderness! After three hours we tried to eat a piece, no luck! It was now 7PM but I wasn't about to give up! We decided, one more hour and whatever happens, we're eating it! After a total of 4 hours, the meat was almost fork tender. He was very tasty! Nothing like chicken, game and sweet. The loin and hips are the best but I kinda like the sholder. I like picking the small bits of meat off the bones but it drive dad crazy! He's so impachent w/ me and always tries to throw it out before i'm done. i'd suck the bones if i could! Oh well, we'll just have to get more rabbits so I can waste the little bits. All-in-all, it was a very good meal, a bit small but good!

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