Walleye on the Traeger

Last week was opening day on one of our local lakes for Walleye so we jumped at the chance to wet a few lines. Luck had it that we landed a keeper within a few minutes. We have a limit on this lake of one per day per person.

Who doesn’t love a good fish fry?

Opting for a healthier version we decided to fire up the Traeger grill. If you’re not familiar with the Traeger grill they are a wood pellet grill. If you don’t own one you could use any gas grill or simply bake yours in the oven. If you’re using the Traeger crank that baby up to the highest setting.

Fillet your walleye and make sure to save those yummy cheeks. Place the fillets and cheeks in a metal pan. Add in a few slices of butter or your favorite butter substitute. I like to squeeze the juice from one lemon over the fish and season with sea salt & pepper.

Once the Traeger is smoking and has reached the maximum temperature place the metal pan directly on the rack and close the lid. You will leave the lid closed for about 15 minutes. If baking in the oven, pre-heat to 500 F and bake for about 10 minutes. Always do a fork test on your fish to see if it is done. Take your fork and press down with the fork flat on top of the fish. Don’t pierce it. If the fish starts to flake apart you should be all set. Don’t overcook the fish as it will get rubbery in texture and lose it’s flavor. A lot of this is based on personal preference as well but in most cases you should cook fish thoroughly before eating.

Venison French Onion Sliders

2 lbs Ground Venison
2 TBSP Beef Bouillon Base (Better than Bouillon)
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
Kosher Salt & Pepper
1 stick salted butter
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
2 Medium Sweet Onions
24 Slider buns ( I used sesame buns)
12 oz Gruyere cheese or Shredded White Cheddar or both

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease cookie sheet. Line the baking sheet with the bottom halves of the slider buns. They should cover the pan.

In a large skillet add 2 TBSP of the salted butter. Thinly slice both onions and place into skillet on medium heat. Cook until onions are caramelized …about 20 minutes. While the onions are caramelizing prepare your venison in a separate bowl. Add 2 lbs of ground venison, 1/2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce, 1 TBSP beef base and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Once the onions have caramelized add in the venison. Cook until the meat is nice and browned.

Melt the remaining stick of butter in a small bowl. Add in 1 TBSP beef base, 1/2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce and at least 1 TSP each of the onion and garlic powder. Set aside.

Once the meat is fully cooked add in your chopped Gruyere cheese or shredded white cheddar cheese with the onions and mix well. The cheese should melt nicely and hold the venison together. Scoop the meat, onion and cheese mixture over each of the slider buns on the greased cookie sheet. Cover with the top buns. Using a pastry brush, brush the buttery mixture over the top of the buns. Sprinkle the buns with onion and garlic powder.

Bake the sliders for about 20 minutes until the buns are browned and cheese is melted. Enjoy!



Preserving a turkey fan made easy

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Once you have cut the fan from your turkey to preserve it you have several days before the drying process begins while in the folded position.  I would recommend setting the fan as quickly as you can in most cases though.  With these two Rio fans I waited approximately 4 days before I was able to set mine after my travels.

To preserve the fan you will need a flat surface for the drying process.  Cardboard is ideal for this as you need to use push pins to hold the fan in place.  Cardboard will be the easiest method for applying the push pins with little to no effort other than placing them in position.

What you will need:

Find a box or piece of cardboard that is big enough to hold your fan.

Salt (idodized table salt is okay to use as pictured above) to cover the areas of exposed fat tissue.

A cardboard platform to hold your fan.

Push pins to hold your feathers in place during the week long drying process.

How to preserve your fan:

Place cardboard in a safe area for drying.  You will need to leave your fan for at least 1 week.

Have your push pins and salt handy.  Trim away as much fat from where the fan was cut away as possible before pinning the fan down to the drying board.

Start by placing the fan on the board so that all of the feathers are on the board as pictured above.

From either left to right, or right to left depending on how you work start with the first feather making a straight line across the bottom of the board.  Place your first pin into the feather closest to the quill as possible as to hold the feather in place.  Take the next feather slightly overlapping the first feather and place a pin just as you did with the first one.  You will repeat this process with each feather until all feathers are pinned down and your fan should be full with no gaps between the feathers.

Once the fan is in place and you are happy with the way it looks cover the area where you cut the fan away with salt.  Don’t use the salt sparingly.  Make sure to cover the entire area for the curing process to begin.

Leave fan in place in a cool, dry area for one week to dry.  Once dry you can remove each of the pins from the fan and carefully lift and dump the excess salt.  You a small paint brush to remove excess salt as needed.

Your turkey fan is now preserved and you can find your favorite mounting piece to display your trophy.

To preserve your turkey beards simply place them in a zip loc baggie with salt and leave while your fan is drying.

U-Slide Bow Holder – Product Review



So here is my latest purchase.  The U-Slide Bow Holder.  As you can see it serves several purposes.  Most archers and especially new archers will run into the issue of what to do with their bow when retrieving arrows.  Do you lean it against something trying to prop it up awkwardly risking that it falls over?  Stand it up on the cams?  Lay it on its side and risk moving the housing on your site.  There’s lots of scenarios for why I had to find a solution to this problem.

This is the best solution I have found for long and short term use that is easy to travel with and is fairly compact.  Let me explain.  The photo pictured in the article is me using the U-Slide as a bow stand.  This is great when slinging some arrows at home and you are going to be stationary for the most part.  You would use this same set up for ground blind hunting.  This is perfect for being in the seated position ready to slide your bow to the left or right depending on your set up with very little movement or sound.  

The second solution which could be more long term is fixing the U-Slide near your tree stand.  The U-Slide is adjustable to work with you whether you hunt the ground or from a tree.  This is a great solution for the hunter that’s always trying to find the perfect place to set the bow for those long hunts.  You can position the U-Slide to minimize your movement in the tree and maximize your potential of laying down your prey. 

If you find yourself running into these same problems I highly recommend that you check out U-Slide Bow Holder for yourself.  You can find them on Facebook @ http://www.facebook.com/uslide or visit their website at http://www.u-slide.com.  Tweet to U-Slide @USlideBowHolder

Venison Loin Chop Kabobs


Start with a good Marinade. If you’re not confident in your own cooking skills go with your favorite 30 minute steak marinade. Slice Chops into nice sized cubes. Place in a container with Marinade and refrigerate for 30 mins.

While the venison is marinating prepare your veggies. For the pictured Kabobs I used several different veggies. Yellow & Green Zucchini Squash. Red Onion. Yellow & Orange Bell Peppers and Baby Portabella Mushrooms.

Skewer veggies first so that your protein is grilled between the veggies to help infuse the flavor. Add Venison and fold meat in half if cooking to rare meat temperatures to avoid overcooking. Spray veggies with fat free butter spray or olive oil.
Place on grill over med-high heat for at least 8 minutes and turn once. Grill for an additional 8 minutes for medium to med-rare.

Venison Burritos


Easy meals made at home. 1 lb ground Venison. 1 package Old El Paso Chile & Roasted Garlic Mild Mexican Cooking Sauce, 8 oz. Brown Venison in skillet and add in the Old El Paso burrito sauce. This is the best burrito sauce I have ever tried and I’m hooked. For toppings I use fresh Avacado, raw bell peppers (yellow & orange), tomatoes, Spanish rice, black & pinto beans, sour cream and light cheese topped with the amazing Sriracha hot sauce. Enjoy!