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Pulled Goose Barbecue


By Tyler Frantz


Like most readers, Iím not a master chef ó just a guy who loves to hunt, fish, and eat what he harvests. If success afield and family schedule allows, this series will highlight a new wild game or fish dish each month. Iíll cover all the details from take to table, and everyone will benefit with a collection of easy, everyday meals harvested from natureís pantry and celebrated in the home kitchen.

The take

The text came through just after 6 p.m. ó ďT-pain u want to goose hunt with us tomorrow?Ē

Roughly 12 hours later, seven camo-clad waterfowlers and I hustled to brush in two A-frame hunting blinds with fresh field grass, while our host Mike put the finishing touches on the decoy spread sprawling across a cut cornfield.

With little time to spare before shooting light, we piled in like a can of sardines, headlamps were extinguished, and deer season stories were swapped with a cool drizzle spraying our backsides. Soon daylight came, and then 9:30, and finally the birds flew.

Despite most of the flocks having their GPS coordinates locked on an adjacent propertyís large pond just over the hill, our convincing spread and Mikeís talented calling managed to coax enough gullible travelers into shooting range for a handful of skyward volleys.

By 11:30, I was hoofing it across the field to my truck with a large migrator bloodying up the side of my pants leg Ė another meal secured, compliments of Mother Nature, good friends, and fair shooting.

The prep

Waterfowl tends to get a bad rap for being strong flavored, so itís important to give these birds a little extra TLC. For this goose, I carved out the chunky breasts, and after rinsing away bloodshot and feathers, submerged the meat in a bowl of saltwater. This went into the fridge to help draw out the blood. A fresh change of water on two subsequent days helped finish the job until ready to cook or freeze.

After three days of soaking, I rinsed the breasts and patted them dry with paper towels before shaving away all remaining fat. In a frying pan, a quarter stick of melted butter and minced garlic began to liven up the kitchen. The goose breasts were browned in the simmering goodness for a few minutes on each side, thrown into a crock pot and covered with chicken broth, in which they slow cooked on high for six hours.

When cooked to full tenderness, the meat was shredded, and all juices were discarded. A favorite barbecue sauce and splash of hot sauce were mixed in, and the pulled goose barbecue was served on toasted sourdough rolls with sweet potato fries, butter beans and finished with an ice-cold pilsner.

The table takeaway

Iíve made this dish for years, and though it requires some additional prep, most of the effort is out of sight out of mind as the brine, broth and time go to work on reducing the gaminess of the meat.

This is the first time I coached my wife through the cooking process, instead of doing it all myself, and she was surprised by how easy it was to throw together. She now feels confident she could prepare this meal by herself with duck or goose breasts pulled from the freezer for an easy work-week dinner that pretty much cooks itself throughout the day.

My 6-year-old son, who is a picky eater, gobbled down the sandwich, but our two-year-old daughter wasnít as impressed with the tang of the chosen sauce. Hey, you win some, you lose some. I wonít complain if thereís leftovers for later this week. Honk if you love goose!


On the south end...  Ice fishing is in full swing, fish are being caught and most anglers are happy.  As previous reports state, lots of small fish to work through to find keepers along with slot fish (walleyes 19.5 - 28.0 inches that must be released) and that occasional trophy over 28 inches.  Most ice fishing is taking place in 25 - 32 feet of water. 

A combination of a jigging line and a deadstick.  Jigging spoons tipped with a minnow head the most common for the jigging line and a plain colored hook, glow, orange or pink with a live minnow 3 - 6" off the bottom has been effective.  Jumbo perch, eelpout, pike, tullibees, and once in a while a crappie or sturgeon in the mix.

With stained water, most walleye / sauger activity during daylight hours.  Anglers in sleeper houses report occasional walleyes and certainly eelpout when the sun is down.

Using electronics to spot suspended fish and to work each individual fish is very helpful.

On the Rainy River...  Walleye fishing is best in the mornings and evenings.  Gold, glow or gold combined with glow colors working well.  A jig and minnow close to the bottom has been effective.

Sturgeon anglers are still pulling in dinosaurs (sturgeon).  Patience is key.

The snowmobile trail is groomed and staked from Baudette to Wheeler's Point up to the Angle.

Up at the NW Angle...  Some great walleye fishing up at the Angle this week.  Resorts have fish houses in a variety of areas, everything from shallow structure taking advantage of the morning / evening bite to more daytime spots in deeper water both over structure and mud.

Gold, pink and bright glow green have been producing nice fish. Jigging close to the bottom with a second line using a live minnow working well.

Travel to the Angle.  The NW Angle Guest Ice Road is open.  Drive on the 37 mile ice road to the Angle without crossing the border.  The snowmobile trails, LOW Passenger Service and Lake Country Air are also great ways to travel to the Angle and stay in MN.

Driving via land to and from the Angle through Canada is open.  Must be vaccinated and have a negative PCR COVID Test less than 72 hours from when the test was taken. Rapid tests are available in Baudette and in Warroad.  Once at the Angle, no additional COVID testing is necessary for traveling back south from the Angle through Canada.

A complete list of lodging and ice fishing packages around LOW, the NW Angle, Baudette and the Rainy River at www.LakeoftheWoodsMN.com/Lodging


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