We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The USA is unusual because wild game meat can not be sold in stores. All "game" meat sold in the US is farm-raised, whether venison, quail, pheasant, duck, or whatever.
That is the correct and righteous legacy of the devastating, 12 month/year market hunting of the past which devastated the seemingly endlessly abundant American wildlife populations.
There is no bird as special for the table as Woodcock, but you have to get out and shoot them yourself. One way to do justice to this diminutive bird (smaller than the European Woodcock) is a ravioli dish I learned from my Cordon Bleu chef friend.
Take a few Woodcock, and cut all of the meat off them - breast, thighs, etc. Chop the meat into roughly 1/2" pieces. Throw in a bowl and mix with a bit of sauteed very finely-chopped shallots and carrots, salt, pepper, a bit of fresh thyme and parsley and a little bit of truffle oil.
Take some wonton squares and brush some whisked egg on the edges as glue. Put a teaspoon or two of the mixture inside, then seal the squares tightly to eliminate any air inside, and place carefully into gently boiling water until done. It only takes a few minutes.
Serve two or three raviolis drizzled with somewhat reduced gibier sauce, with a few shavings of black truffle on top.
When I went grouse hunting in northern Wisconsin, I would bag the occasional woodcock, which would be cooked like the grouse I was lucky enough to get. Usually baked in the oven in a covered dish with some mushroom based stuffing to keep it moist.
They're such delicate little birds! I sometimes felt sorry for blasting them with the 20ga. but the dogs were so happy to find and retrieve them I got over it. Seems like shooting a poor lil' tweety bird, as they're not as fast on the wing as the ruffed grouse I was being frustrated by.
I was supposed to be woodcock shooting down in Taunton (Somerset) on Friday. Sadly & because of all the bad weather we have been having in the UK, there is now a temporary ban in place - so the day got cancelled