Monday, September 25, 2017

Jaeger Schnitzel Recipe

Jaeger Schnitzel
½ pound of Venison chops (5 or 6 x 1 inch backstrap chops)
1 cup of sliced Chicken of the woods mushroom
1/3 cup sliced morel mushrooms
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 cup of Italian breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon of salt
¼ teaspoon of black pepper
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of butter
½ a sweet onion or one large shallot
¼ cup of red wine
½ cup of beef stock or broth
2 eggs
¼ cup of heavy cream (or whole milk)

Place your venison cutlets between 2 layers of cling wrap (to keep things from splattering) and pound each side with a meat hammer to tenderize.

Dredge the pounded cutlets in a plate of flour salt and pepper, then coat in a bowl with the well beaten eggs.  Transfer the cutlets then to a plate with the Italian breadcrumbs and thoroughly coat. Reserve some of the flour for thickening later. 

Heat a large heavy cast iron skillet with the olive oil and butter over medium -high heat. In batches, cook venison 3-4 minutes, or until browned, turning once. Remove the venison from pan; set aside and keep warm.  

Using the same pan used for the cutlets, add the thinly sliced onion or shallot, and the mushrooms and sauté 3-4 minutes adding additional butter if necessary and salt and pepper, until tender.  

Add the wine and beef stock and bring to a boil for several minutes.  

Add the heavy cream or milk and about a teaspoon of flour to thicken sauce to the consistency of gravy while constantly stirring.

To serve pour the mushroom sauce over the cutlets and enjoy with an accompaniment of traditional German Spaetzle, butter noodles, or potato of your choice.  

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Tent Flap

The tent flap, wet and clammy with condensation, brushes a damp chill across the hunter’s stubbly face as he fumbles out of his tent in the frosty early morning darkness.  With his thickly woolen feet finally snug inside of the well broken in soft leather Bean boots, he struggles by headlamp in finger-less tattered surplus glove liners to get the lighter to finally catch his already prepared camp stove.  There is no need for an alarm despite weary legs and sore back from 4 days of clamoring over rocky ridges and thickly woven valleys in search of elk sign.  After stuffing a granola bar and some jerky into his pockets and cursing the rudeness of the manufacturer’s noisy packaging, the hunter chugs down the bitter coffee scolding his lips on the hot metal of the titanium cup in a cloud of rising condensation.  Tossing the wayward grounds, he stashes his cup and quietly and briskly weaves past his companion’s tent lines and exits camp.  There shelters tremble as they too are slowly rousing themselves from the stupor of exhaustion induced sleep.  He knows the long steep climb ahead, and the necessary haste he must undertake to get into a position ahead of the well-fed elk heading for their beds. 
                After the struggle of clamoring up the hillside as quickly and quietly as possible, the hunter curses his decision to wear that extra sweater that seemed like a necessity back at camp.  It was shed on the first quarter of the trek uphill.  With beads of sweat now rolling down from his sideburns and the feel of a soaked shirt back under his well beaten back quiver, the man slinks across the crest of the ridge as the first rays of morning sun begin to filter through the surrounding terrain.  

                With no time to reflect on the beauty and glow that surrounds him, he reaches the uphill side of a well-worn trail, clears away the dank and musty smelling pine litter, and takes care to extricate any branches that may interfere with his longbow’s limbs.  Finally, his demeanor can switch from hurried anticipation, to one of peaceful contemplation as he slowly becomes one with the mountain, that feeling that only the hunter knows.  The yellow tinted rods of morning sun beam down between clouds like fat lasers, then filter through the foliage giving the ground a mottled pattern.  The now rising thermals are given away by whatever dust particles are highlighted by the light’s path.   

While listening to the deep throaty “CAAWL” and swishing wing beats of a passing raven, he is violently snapped out of his trance by some muffled – yet approaching sounds.  Without any animation from years of conditioning, and only the shifting pupils of the eye, he catches brown movement 50 yards below his hide.  Instant telemetry calculations are performed unconsciously by the brain telling him that the animals will pass to his right out of range unless he moves.  He is suddenly keenly aware of his heart now thumping in his eardrums like big bass drum.  Attempting to convince his body to move against all his senses, he crouches and swiftly scurries 15 yards behind the eight-foot-tall trunk of a rotted and broken off woodpecker riddled pine trunk.  It is the only substantial cover left between him and the path of the now looming lead cow.  He pulled it off!  Introspectively bearing down now on his mind, he talks to his consciousness…” this is it…. concentrate…..pick a spot…. keep pulling….”.  Fingers tense on the string…. hands beginning to shake slightly…. Abruptly, like a slap across the face, in his peripheral vision he catches a huge grey form moving toward his uphill side and only 8 scant yards away!  Spinning and smoothly swinging his slender bamboo bow up into position instinctively, the huge bull catches the movement and turns to flee, but it is too late.  The wood arrow slices into the bull’s chest burying up to the orange fletch.  The panic stricken herd seems to explode in all directions as the sounds of snapping limbs, thundering hooves, and grinding rock quickly ends leaving the hunter to attempt to regain his breathing as he watches the still moving foliage slowly stop swaying.

By now he is shaking violently, everything happened so quickly.  He feels himself there now…one hand in the cool soft soil keeping his balance…. the other on his bow grip with an arrow he never remembers pulling and nocking on the string. 

It is over…..  or has it just begun?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

5 Things Howard HIll Always Carried While Hunting

Knife, file, binos, pliers (for removing stuck broadheads), talcum powder (for glove)

I would propose one more.... a lighter.  I doubt he went anywhere without flame being a regular smoker.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Part of the joy that led me to hunt with a simple longbow was the simplicity. Knowing I was not relying on a crutch (technology) and was more intimate with the process of my hunting. I still clearly remember the excitement of my first miss with the longbow, and I have not hunted with the wheels since.

Even so, I was slow to release myself from the other gear I thought essential to being successful. I was decked out in head to toe camo, struggled with a face mask or messy paint, covered my fletching, wore gloves in July, had the latest high tech calls, gear, arrows, and carried around a backpack full of support stuff. Not that all that is terribly wrong… but I was missing even more joy.

I began to study some of the bowhunting greats and marveled at their lack of “technology”, yet having success despite the scarcity of game animals compared to today. Simple plaids, brightly colored arrows and bows, sitting by the campfire and smoking! Yet, they still connected.

I began to shed the gear and with it my joy increased…..hunting became easier. I noticed the camo did not matter. If I wore wool and soft colors I was still hidden if I did not move. I did not need four different kinds of knives to field dress a deer. 

My gear began to simplify as well. I started using a one-piece longbow with no bow quiver. I saw that my fletching, although bright, still did not scare game unless I moved it. My aluminum and carbon arrows became wood.

At the same time, I began to curse my climber and safety harness as it did not allow me to hunt my way to stand very well or adjust to a new location very easily. I began to hunt from the ground more…. And I noticed I started to have more encounters with game. Granted my shots from the stand were a little easier because I could move more….but I started to get more shots from the ground. As I did it more I got better at sneaking and my chances improved. The other benefit was …. WOW! A blown stalk from the ground was exhilarating! In the past, I would never consider it possible to try a stalk on two bedded whitetails…but once I started to try it, I realized sometimes it works! And I got better at it. Still learning.

Instead of hanging stands and sweating my arse off in the summer, or lugging a heavy climber up to the top of the mountain every morning in a lather. I just spent time on the ground and began to enjoy it.

Sure I still hunt from a stand from time to time…..but lately the areas I had the stands are just as good from the ground…. And now I can slip in and out as the wind changes or I feel like it. Ah freedom.

I began to spend more quality time in the woods also. Instead of extensive preparations I could just slip on a back quiver and plaid shirt-jack and head into the woods after work.

I was now hunting with a new all-white glassed longbow. Bright white shafts fully painted, bright fletching, and no camo…. and I began to enjoy the hunts even more. 

This past year I started to struggle hard with my old friend target panic but I had so many opportunities from the ground. I was able to slip within 25 yards of one of the biggest bucks in my area after an 85 yard stalk sliding on my butt at times. All the while his girlfriend was watching also, yet I still slipped in on them. I missed the shot but man! I also had a few encounters with a really wide 8-point my friend was able to shoot later in the season with the shotgun. His luck finally ran out.
One particular cool October morning this last season, I rolled out of bed and went downstairs to grab my quiver and bow from the basement. Pulled on my bean boots as the coffee perked. Ate some toaster waffle for breakfast and stuffed a breakfast bar into my pocket. I was in no real hurry.

I pulled into the parking area of my hunting spot and continued to sip on my travel mug as I listed to the talk radio a bit, shaking my head at some of the latest political blah blah idiocy. Stretching as I exited my truck as the sunrise began to brighten up the landscape I snatched my back quiver, strung the longbow with a simple push-pull, and set out. I was casually strolling across a meadow to the field edge, I just decided to hunt based on the wind and my whims that morning. I knew of a spot there that was a bit of a hollowed out vine choked hedge that overlooked a large white oak with a deer runway under it.

I slinked into the wood line quietly through a small path I had snipped with my pruners on another walk earlier in the season, when I found this little hidey hole with such great back cover. The nut hatches and chickadees were noisily about their business all around me when a doe nosed into the clearing slowly browsing. As her head was down, I rose from my seat and positioned myself. She briefly looked up with a quick head jerk….straight at me. I knew if I didn’t move she would not see me….and she didn’t.

It was all a genetically engineered ruse to get me to move and I didn’t bite. Head back down she took a step forward with her near leg and I began my draw. I blacked out as the TP took hold of me and I release short drawing again. Dang! The arrow struck her high and back. Terrible shot. I sat back down and kept still for about an hour and ½ before heading in her direction. Mad at myself again.

Luckily she lay there in the open about 30 yards away….no blood trail at all. The large Ace Super Express severed an artery near her straps and she bled out quickly. 

I was mad at myself for the bad shooting and didn’t even want to post a picture. Felt ashamed.


Well, I am back on track with controlling my little TP friend and now when I look back on that day I realize how enjoyable it all was. How easy. How free and unencumbered my hunting has become. I see the traditional ranks swelling with newbies lately. It is great. Still I must ask myself do they know there is another way to hunt without looking like a gear pimp. The older guys are growing older and sometimes I wonder if they even know it is possible to kill a whitetail without all that gear?

Yes, I know my way is not for everybody. I understand I am at a different place than most. But I still think it is useful to see that there is another way. To see you can be successful without the crutches.

To understand that it can be cool to simplify. The gear manufacturer’s may not like it much….but man, I get some satisfaction from doing things on my terms.

Now I look at pictures of myself 10 years ago and kind of chuckle.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Howard Hill's Grave Restoration Project

Renowned and well respected bowyer and Hill aficionado Steve Turay of Northern Mist bows has started a project to repair and restore Howard Hill's grave site.  It is badly eroding and there are no funds for the upkeep available to the cemetery.

Here is the message from Steve:

"Since moving to Alabama I have had the opportunity to visit Howard Hills  grave in Ashville several times. The grave is in very poor condition. There is a retaining wall on two sides of the grave, a large section of the wall has fallen down. The soil is beginning to erode from the right side of the grave.
A few months ago I decided to do something about it. I contacted the caretaker of the cemetery to see if they had any plans on repairs. The gentleman informed me that they have no money to make repairs, they only get a few dollars to keep the grass cut. The cost of repairs and maintenance are the responsibility of the family. I asked if I could have it repaired and he said that would be fine.
 I talked with a contractor who has agreed to do the work. He's planning on starting around the 1st of April.
I'm looking for donations to help fund this project. I have started an account at Wells Fargo to house the funds until the project is complete.
If you would like to help out you can contact me at 906-458-5035 or and I can give you details on how you may contribute.

Thanks everyone

Lets spread the word and give this legend the proper respect and care.



Steve had great participation from the traditional archery community and was able to begin restoration.  Looks awesome Steve!

The project is now complete! Thanks to everyone for their support.  Extra money was donated to upkeep the cemetery in the name of Howard Hill.  Everyone should feel proud of this project. Thank You Steve!