by Chris Wilke
My hunting career started late in life and differently from most. Because my father does not hunt, I did not as a child. I did, however, grow up in New Orleans and I learned at an early age how important a good meal can be.
When I was in my late twenties, my wife-to-be and I would go out to our friends’ hunting camp (shack in the marsh) to eat drink and be merry while our friends hunted. On occasion we would watch their daughter so husband and wife could hunt together. What drew us to spend time in such a “rustic” setting was the friendship and good cooking. I’m not sure how many times my friend asked me to go hunt with him before I finally gave in. All it took was once. As I like to say, “Riding boats, drinking beer and shooting guns, where is the downside?”
Fast-forward fifteen years, three boats, multiple leases and clubs, various shotguns, dogs, and an off-the-grid marsh camp of my own. I now spend the entire year either hunting, talking about hunting, or planning hunting trips.
One aspect of hunting that I look forward to the most is the fellowship shared around the camp and over a good meal. It is just not a proper duck hunt unless you have a big breakfast and Bloody Marys when it is over.
Early in my hunting career I had the good fortune to choose Wildrose Kennels for my first hunting dog. I found not only a good kennel and training program, but also a “club” in its own right. The Wildrose crowd trains together and over the last few years has started to hunt together. We call it a training event and I learn something every time, but it is really just an excuse to come together with a good group of people and dogs to enjoy the hunt and each other’s company.
For the last few years some of the Wildrose gang have gone to Scranton, North Dakota, on a pheasant hunt. Very different from any upland hunt you have been on, everyone walking and posting has at least one dog. We look like an invading army headed down the road with five trucks pulling three dog trailers. I have had the pleasure to be part of this group and also the honor to be one of the chefs. This is one of the two recipes that I have served on this adventure.
Christopher M. Wilke
New Orleans, Louisiana
Pheasant Breast under Poblano Pepper
Layer in Greased Casserole Dish (in this order):
Several Pats of Butter
1 Pounded Pheasant Breast
2 Slices of Pastrami or Prosciutto
2 slices Monterey Jack Cheese
1 Poblano Pepper Peeled & Seeded (prepare beforehand-see below)
5-7 chunks Brie
Bake at 350 degrees covered for 20-25 minutes.
Bake peppers at 450 degrees for 15 minutes per side.
Cover and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate
before peeling and seeding.