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hooded merganser - first for me. now how do I cook it??


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Waterfowling has not been very good for me lately. My goose fields have been empty of birds for about a month now. And now my few duck spots have also dried up. I haven't seen hardly any birds anywhere by me.

But this morning I gave it another try - and I had a couple merganser visit me. First one I took home - my first hooded merganser. Soon after I got that one, I had a common merganser land in my dekes, but I let that one go. I wasn't sure how good this one duck was going to taste, so I held off on taking a second one :) I just watched it swim away - pretty bird with the red head and white/grey body.

This hen was tiny - can't believe how small these ducks are. It's the size of a chukar. I'm really getting a lesson this year on the different sizes of ducks. Before I started waterfowl hunting, when I thought of "duck" all I thought of was mallards. Now that I've seen and taken woodies and and mergansers, I'm impressed with how big mallards are (and how slow they are compared to these others!).

Anyone know how to cook this thing? :lookaround: It had that little bit of "ocean" or "fishy" smell to it when I breasted it out... I'm thinking marinate it in something to help add some flavor and eliminate some of the fishiness.  Not a lot of meat on this bird, but I want to try to cook it anyway for future reference in case I have more mergansers show up while hunting. I hate killing things if I'm not going to eat it - so I want to know if I can cook these birds to my liking. (UPDATE: NEVER MIND!!!! :vomit:)


Edited by mazzgolf
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Found this webpage and it is not encouraging :D 



There weren’t any videos on YouTube for cooking Merganser, just Department of Wildlife videos on their diet - a diet filled with pond sludge, river bottom silt, and sucking the slime off of weeds.




And trying to find a “serious recipe” about cooking Merganser was like trying to talk with a friend who is a constant joker and couldn’t have a “serious” conversation to save their life. Every search on Mergansers brought me to joke recipes like – “Nail the Merganser to a board, cook it, take the Merganser off the board and throw it away, then eat the board.” There were about 50 variations of this story

OK, so, I guess I was smart at least not shooting that second one!

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