Sunday, August 31, 2008

Crock Pot Sage Grouse

As promised here is my recipe for Sage Grouse. Even though some folks claim Sage Grouse are not very good eating, I had favorable reviews from my friends with this recipe.


2 Sage Grouse boned out and cut into bite size pieces
1 Lg. can cream of celery soup
2 tbls. worcheshire
1 tbls. honey
2 tbls. stoneground mustard
2 celery stalks cut up
3 carrots cut up
3 yukon gold potatoes
1 med. onion cubed, sauted and added to crock
3-4 garlic cloves chopped finely
1-2 c. brocolli tops cut up


Firstly clean and cut up your Sage Grouse and saute them in a cast iron skillet with a couple teaspoons of good olive oil. Brown lightly on all sides then put into crock pot. Next saute onion until translucent and add to crock. Add garlic as is without sauteing. Cut potatoes, and add the remaining ingredients except for broccoli. Add enough water to cover all ingredients.
Typically I set the crock pot on High to get everything up to heat (30 - 45 min.) then turn to Low and simmer for a few hours (2 - 3) until meat and potatoes are cooked. Remember to add your broccoli about 30 minutes prior to serving.
This recipe is simple and tough to go wrong with. Just don't add any sage seasoning, you will not be happy with the results. The Grouse are naturally sage seasoned in the field. I made this last Fall and took it Deer hunting with us and it was delicious. Servings approximately 4-6 hungry hunters. It is good to have some home made bread to go with and to mop up the bowl. You can add whatever other vegetables you like and just experiment. If you find something even tastier let me know how you modified the recipe.

Oh, by the way I did draw Sage Grouse tags so they will be my first quarry of the Fall 2008 hunting season. Only 2 birds per person and that is it. Looking forward to watching Jet do her thing. Season opens on September 6th.

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Bend Bulletin Interviewed Me

Much to my surprise I was recently contacted by a reporter, Anna Sowa, of The Bend Bulletin, Bend, Oregon. The recently published article will continue to promote and advocate for more women hunters. I am honored that they found my blog and were willing to venture out of mainstream social norms. A sincere thank you to The Bend Bulletin.

Blogger aims at women who hunt

By Anna Sowa, The Bend Bulletin (excerpt - links to original)

At age 11, Terry Scoville was finally old enough to join her father trudging through the Oregon forest, guns slung onto their camouflaged backs. The early fall air was warm and laced with the smell of star thistle, and painted leaves cloaked the ground. The two moved through cornfields taller than Scoville’s head and settled beside a flooded field, waiting for the whistle of wings in the air.
The experience, Scoville would later post on her blog, reassured her that her father would support her interest in a sport that doesn’t engage most daughters.
Scoville is now 49, but she remembers the butterflies in her stomach at being included during those first hunting trips. She also remembers feeling unusual: a short girl wielding a Belgian-made side-by-side 410 shotgun, an early Christmas present from her father that would help her bag her first dove.
“ It was a novelty having a girl in the field,” Scoville said last week in Bend.
She says the recent rise in women hunters has increased their representation in the industry, but she’s still a member of the minority. So she is using the blogosphere to connect with more women hunters and encourage their entrance to this male-dominated sport.
She started her blog,, in April, at a friend’s urging. She’s been pleasantly surprised to find more women like her, searching for fellow hunters online.
“It’s nice that there’s a community of women hunters out there,” Scoville said, adding that she’s already made plans to meet one woman, whom she found through the blog, for a hunting trip this year. She hopes that’s just the beginning.
Bucking the trend . . . READ MORE
From - published daily in Bend, Oregon, by Western Communications, Inc. Copyright 2005.

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Going The Distance . . . Pt.3


Oh my aching body! I think to myself as I begin to wake up from a fitful slumber. The wind howled all night slamming into the west side of the cabin. Then we heard some rain, not good. Oh boy, this will be a doozey of a day. After about 10 minutes of rolling around in bed I began the process of trying to get to my feet. This was not pretty, nor was it a graceful sight. My hip flexors were screaming at me from being bent over, head down pushing the boat and having to high step the foot plus deep snow. O.K. lets take this slow, we are not in any rush. Larry is groaning too and agreed that we not be in a rush. The coffee tasted great and for a minute I forgot how much I was hurting. Jet and Oyster (Larry's Brittany) are eagerly awaiting their breakfasts. So we finally get moving after a hearty meal ourselves.

The weather is overcast with drizzle and a warm SW wind. Going to be a wet one today. We drive to the dike and start walking out to the river in a slow metered pace. I am looking forward to the snow melting as this will make walking less painful. We get the field shells set and because the wind is so strong we decide not to put out the floaters. The Klamath River has whitecaps and waves nearly 3 feet high. It was the right decision cause we only spent about 2 hours hunkered in and called it a day. Nothing was flying, absolutely nothing! No hawks, no Mergansers, Magpies or even Marsh Wrens. They knew long before us what was going on. We picked up the field shells before they blew away and headed back to the cabin. The wind was so strong I had to lean into Larry. We couldn't hear each over the wind. No doubt, we were a bit nuts to be out there. So we hung out in the cabin and took it easy, still hurting from yesterday's efforts. It was out of our hands that the birds were grounded for the day. We'll try it again tomorrow.

So it is day 3 and the pain upon waking is a little less than yesterday. The best news is that the warm wind and rain have melted much of the snow. We were able to drive closer to the river and less walking which is a big relief. The storm had passed and all was calm again in the basin. We began the usual routine; me setting out field shells and Larry putting out the floaters. Most of the river ice was gone. All that remained is the large shelf ice on some of the corners. There will still be work to keep decoys clear of ice chunks, but at least we have open water at the rivers edge on our side now.

There are geese across the river in the fields and even some Goldeneyes and Scaup on the river. We get comfy in the tules and are optimistic we'll get some shooting. We heard geese as we were setting out the decoys, glad they didn't all leave the Klamath Basin. I was doing some light goose calling when, out of nowhere came 4 geese right into our decoys on the river. They were in total stealth mode. We rolled around and eventually got to a position to shoot from, and as luck would have it we got all 4. This time we had a couple in the river to retrieve but they were dead and in open water, phew. We hunker back down and waited patiently for a couple hours before we had a few more geese come our way. We were 1 shy of a two possession limit and the last goose we shot was a cripple that landed in the river. We both got in the boat and began the wild goose chase. It took us rowing hard over a 1/4 mile before we got into range. That goose had us frothing in sweat before we finally got within shooting range and put it out of all our misery.

We headed back and began breaking down our set. The sun was coming out and we were tired and ready to call it a hunt! Fortunately we were able to drive to the river and load up all our gear, especially the boat. Otherwise I was going to leave it in the ditch til Spring. We agreed that we were indeed a bit nuts, as we chuckled about the great goose hunt boat drag of 2004. Wondering just how long that dike really is?

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Going The Distance . . . pt. 2


We have worked our tails off by the time we get our modest spread of goose decoys in the water. Now we keep our fingers crossed that the water will stay open for awhile. This is challenging hunting for sure and patience is important. Even more difficult is continuing to keep the ice chunks out of your open spot. The river is still flowing, so anything that gets a hold of decoy lines can be trouble. Thus making your decoys look more like cord wood than decoys.

Anyhow, we gave each other a big pat on the back and a, "I can't believe we did that" look then began to settle in. We were tired, and rightfully so. We'd just dragged a 10' Jon boat down a 1/4 mi. snow covered dike, with all the trimmings in it for a river goose hunt.

The sky was overcast and the air temp around freezing. Quite balmy for a January day on the Klamath River. We were comfortable laying in the tule's at the edge of the river. All we had to cover ourselves was some camo burlap. Just across the way in the fields the geese were really chatting it up, and I was getting that warm feeling all over anticipating the fruits of our efforts. It was about mid afternoon and we heard wing beats and before we knew it, the convention across the river was breaking up. It wasn't more than 20 minutes after we had our little patch of open water that we had geese trying to land in it.

We both had our faces covered making it tough to see what the geese were doing, and who was going to give the signal to shoot. Well, needless to say it all worked out just fine. The first small flock doing a fly by, made the mistake of swinging over the river dike for their final approach. We could hear their wing feathers cutting through the air and especially those that were a bit out of place or worn. We rolled, jumped up simultaneously and fired 5 shots and had 5 dead geese on the dike immediately behind us. Larry dropped them quicker than I could believe and and not a single cripple. WOW! I knew it would work, I just knew it! I was thrilled beyond belief and we were well on our way to our daily possession limit. It just about seemed to easy. Last thing you want to do is have to retrieve a goose out on the river ice somewhere. So, we timed our shots so as to attempt to drop them over the dike or fields immediately behind us. We kept our dogs at the cabin cause conditions were sketchy at best. I didn't do much calling, just enough to let them know which direction to get to open water. The next group came and we had our limits. It was the most economical hunt that I had had in a long time.

We were grinning from ear to ear and Larry had now experienced a goose hunt of a lifetime. Re invigorated from our success we began the careful process of retrieving the decoys. Getting the boat on the ice pointed in the right direction, with the rope tied between the boat and head gate in the ditch behind us. Larry carefully scooted the boat towards the open water then gets in it and continues to inch his way over the ice to the decoys. Using a combination of the oars and mall to get there while I keep a semi taught line from the bank. The ice is slicker now from the first time that the boat was pulled over it from the open water. Larry carefully slips the boat into the water and picks up the decoys. He gets to the edge of the ice and I give it the old heave ho and get'em on top and pull him on in. That was the easy part. Relieved that it went smoothly, we drag the boat over the dike top into the ditch behind us and stow the gear for the night.

Now the walk back to the truck. . . again. Only this time with 4 Canada Geese each. It was just about pitch black when we finally got to the truck, tired, hungry and even a bit amazed with our efforts. We grabbed a quick meal and some more coffee, then began plucking etc. It was 11 p.m. before we finished processing the 8 geese. I was starting to get more than a bit stoved up and was wishing I hadn't quit drinking the firewater. We were both exhausted, totally spent and I knew we'd be paying for it tomorrow. After all, this was only day one of our 3 day hunt. Larry was feeling it too. I guess Tylenol pm will have to do for now.

Don't go to far, Pt. 3 is on its way!

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Going The Distance . . . pt.1

The story I am going to share with you all is perhaps the most dedicated, die hard, insane and fruitful wild goose chases, I have ever had the pleasure of participating in.

The following events took place at a location known as Lowlands, in the Klamath Basin of southern Oregon. My good friend Larry and I set out on a cold morning to hunt geese in early January of 2004.

There was quite a bit of snow and the flooded fields, as well as most of the ditches were froze up. The local waterfowl population was long gone by now and only migrating Canada Geese were in the vicinity. We decided to take some goose shells with us for the field and we'd give it a try, in hopes the river might not be completely frozen. We broke trail through the foot deep snow for about a quarter mile or so before getting to the river. Well, there were geese across the river in the fields, although the entire Klamath River was frozen solid. Ummm, as we hunkered in after setting up our field shells I kept thinking to myself, "all we need is open water". Eventually I began repeating this out loud to Larry. The geese were pressured to find open water and need to drink on a daily basis. They can go days without food if they have to, but not water.

Because of all the snow we were unable to drive to the river and bring the Jon boat. So with much encouragement and enthusiasm I was able to convince Larry that what we had to do would be worth the effort. We headed back the same dike we came out and stepping in the" post holes" we'd made 2 hours earlier. We got back to the main road, jumped in the truck and headed up the hill to the cabin. We each grabbed a really strong cup of coffee, and began the checklist for our mission.

Life jackets? check
200' rope? check
8lb. splitting mall? check
Oars? check
Plug in boat? check
5 G and H floating goose decoys? check
Goggles/ eye protection? ? ?
Sanity? ? ?

We loaded the 10' Jon boat in the truck with all the gear and set off on our mission. Got back to the dike, parked and unloaded the boat with the gear in it when reality began to set in. "We're really going to do this, aren't we"? I was beginning to think I might have bit off more than I could chew this time. With the boat loaded, on the snow covered dike we commenced to drag it to the river. Larry was on point pulling and I was in the rear pushing with my head down hoping to stay in our tracks. We stopped a few times in order to keep shedding layers as we were really sweating buckets. The temperature was warming rapidly and the snow was sticking to the boat worse each time we stopped. It took us 40 min. to get there, but we made it! With a collective sigh we rested a few minutes, and listened to the geese chatting across the river. I was relieved they were still there.

Safety is always first when you do this sort of hunting. My mall has a whole drilled through the end of the handle just for the purpose of tethering it to the boat. (We've lost a few malls). The rope was our safety line between shore and the boat and always wear a life jacket when breaking ice on a river. It took awhile to get enough ice broke and cleared to set out our floating decoys. Larry did most of the ice busting and clearing, as it was about 4 inches thick and I was barely making a dent. Yes, these are the extremes to which a die hard dedicated huntress and hunter will go through for the opportunity to shoot a wild goose.

With a modest puddle of open water about 40 feet off the bank with 5 G and H floaters in it, I was feeling more optimistic by the minute. We had gone far and above the average hunters efforts, and I had a real strong hunch the pay off was just a field away.

Part 2 later this week.

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

At What Age?

As the 2008/09 hunting season draws nearer, the age old tradition will be passed on to the next generation of young hunters. Parents, grandparents and siblings will all be anticipating their youngest member of the family joining them on this annual ritual. The unfortunate aspect to this rite of passage are the accidents resulting from lack of supervision and /or the individual not having completed a state sponsored Hunters Education Program successfully.

I was 11 when I passed my hunters safety class and began hunting with my dad. Up until then I had a pellet gun which I was taught the basic rules of firearms.

1. Treat every gun as if it is loaded.
2. Know where the muzzle of your gun is at all times.
3. Never point a gun at something other than what you intend on shooting.
4. Don't put your finger on the trigger until you know what your target is.

These rules keep everyone safe provided they are taught in the correct environment and at an appropriate age . Not all kids mature at the same rate. A six year old is certainly not mature enough to cognitively know the consequences of his actions. He may still be a believer in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy and for his sake I sure hope that is the case. My point being that a 6 year old is too young for firearms. Same is true for a 7 and 8 year old. Perhaps around 9 or 10 is a more appropriate age to introduce firearms.

You may be wondering why I have gone on a bit of a rant here? Well, it's because of someone I know who thinks his 6 year old son is ready to walk beside him with a real unloaded gun. Yep, I can see the scenario play out. The kid now wants real bullets and after weeks or months of whining, the parent finally caves in to their sons wishes. Setting the table for another accident just waiting to happen. We do not need to fuel the "anti gun" lobbyist with needless firearm accidents.

The last thing we as hunters need are self indulgent ego driven parents putting firearms in the hands of children who haven't the ability to know what is right from wrong. Our responsibility as hunters is to safely educate and instruct youth with proper gun safety. Even as an adult when I hunt with another adult for the first time, I am watching to see if they have safe gun handling skills. If not then I won't want to hunt with them again.

Each state has their own Hunter Education Programs and has established laws or guidelines as to what age a child may legally hunt. Most states require an adult to be with the youth up to a certain age.

I am interested in hearing back from you, the reader as to when you started hunting and at what age do you feel it is appropriate to give a child their first real gun?

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cabin Work

I am headed to Lowlands tomorrow with my good friend Dan. This is where I waterfowl hunt as well as some Pheasant hunting. It is in Southern Oregon in the Klamath basin, once a mecca for waterfowling. There is a modest cabin at this location that a few of us use. Being the resident woodworker, I typically do a few minor improvements during the off season. This trip Dan and I are replacing the sink counter and adding an extended counter next to it. The best part of this improvement is that the sink will now be at its proper 36"H. Another member did this counter originally and it has stood for some 20 years. Although it was built at 32"H. and needless to say gets to be a back breaker after awhile. So Dan dropped off donated materials yesterday at my shop and I have been busy cutting, ripping and figuring. Doing as much as I can before we get there tomorrow. We will also re-do the shelving in the mud room and dispose of any and all items which are no longer of use. When you have a small space, optimizing is critical. The cabin has 3 beds, a frig, wood stove and hot water tank. The thought of a shower has become part of the conversation of recent years. Maybe just do a small addition, it really wouldn't take to much. Oh and how good that would feel after a wet, cold day of hunting. Heck I may not want to come home . . . ever! Well I guess I'd eventually need to do some laundry and catch up on e-mail etc. Shucks, still sounds pretty darn good to me.

We are going to take our shotguns and shoot some skeet during our "work" breaks. Also taking our .22's and shoot some Sage rats (Belding's Ground Squirrels) and Marmots. Oh and lest we not forget, we will be in Skunk habitat. We will take our bins (binoculars) and go for some bird walks along the Klamath River. Typically there are White Pelicans, Western Grebes, Terns, Gulls, and a plethora of local waterfowl. We even have 1 to 2 pairs of nesting Sandhill Cranes on our property, very special indeed!

The top photo is from 2006 when my friend John and I replaced the old aluminum track windows with energy efficient vinyl windows. Wow what a difference that has made. The bottom photo is looking to the South with the Klamath River. off in the distance. I put in the fixed counters last year and we disposed of an oval table. Sure has made it easier to sweep the floors and come and go out the door without the table being in the way. The Fung Shway is far from perfect, yet isn't that what makes "hunting cabins" what they are? Gotta go get busy, have a great weekend everybody!

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Getting Closer . . .

With each passing day I can smell Fall is on its way. Oh, and we all know what that means! The dog days of Summer are now in their final countdown to the Fall hunting season. I was fortunate in drawing my Buck and Doe tags, although will hunt the general Bull Elk rifle season because of not drawing that tag. Oh well, just more points for next year increasing my odds of being drawn.

The ODFW has not yet decided if there will be a Sage Grouse season or not. That will be determined next week with the hunt beginning Sept. 6 thru 14 and most likely, the limit of 2 birds per person for the entire hunt. It is a controlled hunt with a limited amount of tags issued. I put in last year and drew tags for the Wagontire area.

Jet and I had a blast and hope we get to do it again this year. It was our first time last year and you should've seen my girl once she figured out what it was we were going after. Even though it was a warm morning with no precipitation for weeks prior and cruising the dusty sage brush flats, after she got a whiff and put 2 and 2 together she was all over'em. They are a challenging bird to hunt. Being ground dwellers they have incredible survival instincts. The birds we flushed got up a long ways away and high enough to just clear the tops of the sage brush. All in stealth mode too, not even a peep. Occasionally one might hear their wing beats from the initial jump into the air. Otherwise, keep your eyes peeled and go in silence. Somehow I had no way of conveying this "stealth" mode to Jet regarding her heavy breathing and increased heart rate. So I just had to do my best to keep up and be ready cause she was doin' her thing! In about 3 hours we had our 2 bird season limit. Jet flushed and was grinning from ear to ear with both retrieves. The shots were long, about 45 yards and I was thankful to be shooting lead. Both clean kills and young birds. I crock potted them and they were delicious. Often folks say to pluck the bird etc. and add some veggies, spices and after cooking, then throw away the birds and eat the rest. Actually mine were good crocked with some other stuff. I will post the recipe this month.

So what are you getting ready to hunt first this season? Perhaps bow season is underway and or LOP (land owner preference) for big game. Or your like me and doing some upland, then mix in a little big game eventually ending up waterfowling from late Oct. thru Jan. 2009. For those that has already gotten a little bloody, congratulations and I can hardly wait! Be safe out there and know your target.

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt
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