“Everything tastes better in a duck blind,” Virgil Walker said laughing. “The look on people’s faces when I break out a grill on a duck hunt is priceless.”
My dad Virgil has been an avid waterfowl hunter for nearly 10 years. He's been cooking in the blind while on hunts for just as long when he realized nothing beats a warm meal on a freezing cold day—especially when you have 25-30 mph winds blowing behind you.
“Whenever duck hunting is slow dad just pulls the grill out and cooks venison sausage or whatever else we’ve harvested,” explains my brother Nicholas.
My father really enjoys cooking for others. He especially loves sharing his own recipes that he’s accumulated through trial and error over the years. Typically there’s room to set-up a grill in the blind, but if it’s a bit crowded, the John boat suits as an alternative kitchen for our hunting family. When there’s no action in the sky (i.e. birds overhead), there’s nothing better to do to pass the time.
When dad prepares for a long day of hunting, he’s got breakfast ready to go along with additional ingredients for lunch, if he has a successful hunt. He throws incentives out there as well, saying if you don’t harvest a few ducks by lunchtime, you don't eat lunch. He also packs the essentials: small propane grill, spatula, skillet, knife, aluminum foil, some Ziploc bags and an assortment of seasonings.
Here are two recipes my family and I are most fond of while hunting with dad:
Venison Sausage Breakfast Sandwich
Ingredients: Venison Sausage Garlic Salt Garlic Pepper Montreal Steak Seasoning Potato Rolls Sharp Cheddar Cheese 2 eggs over medium per person Salt Pepper
Directions: The boys will start things off early in the morning by cooking some venison sausage. First, pat out some sausage with plastic gloves and toss them on the grill. Once they are on the grill add a dash of garlic pepper, garlic salt and Montreal Steak Seasoning to taste — because who has time to measure seasonings in a duck blind?
While the sausage is cooking, begin frying some eggs on the skillet and toast some potato rolls. Once everything is ready, place the venison sausage and fried egg on a potato roll to create a sandwich and add sharp cheddar cheese.
Philly Duck and Swiss Sandwich
Ingredients: Freshly harvested duck breast. (Teal or pintail are preferred as they are more tender.) Sub Rolls 1 Green Pepper 1 White Onion Zesty Italian Dressing Yellow Mustard Shredded Swiss Cheese Salt Pepper
Directions: If they have any luck the morning of a hunt, lunch is guaranteed for the day. Begin by breasting the duck right there in the blind and place into a Ziploc bag and marinate with Italian dressing. Let it marinate while continuing on with hunting.
When ready for lunch, start up the grill. Place the marinated duck breasts on the grill for about two to three minutes on each side. While the duck is cooking, cut up a green pepper and an onion in thick slices and place them in an aluminum foil boat. Once the duck breasts, peppers and onion have cooked, place everything on a sub roll and add mustard to taste, sprinkle shredded Swiss cheese, and there you have Virgil’s Philly Duck and Swiss!
Cooking tip: Remember, when cooking with an open flame indoors or outdoors to be cautious of your surroundings of anything that may be flammable and to keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Be especially cautious if you are grilling late season, as the brush in the blind will be more flammable at this time.
I hope you enjoyed these family recipes for your next hunt in the blind. If you cook while on a hunt, we would love to hear about it! Share with us @NRABlog or in the comments below. Happy hunting and happy cooking!