Today's episode is with our good friend Randy Huntley. This guy is a hoot. He’s a hunter, a registered Maine guide who leads bear and moose hunts, an Animal Damage Control trapper, a maple sap tapper, an avid fiddleheader, and all-around outdoorsman. He’s got one of the best beards in his field, and he’s also Daniel's beaver tapping mentor.
One of the things we like the most about him, he’s as into eating wild game as we are, and for him, eating beaver is no exception.
As you probably know, for most of modern beaver trapping history, it was the pelts that motivated trappers to wade into the beaver's watery world. But today, with the price of pelts so low, it's scarcely worth your time to trap for furs alone. Even when selling the Castor glands into the market, it’s hard to imagine breaking even as a money-motivated beaver trapper. But when you start considering the incredible food value, and the fact that they can weigh 20-60 pounds apiece, trapping as a wild food strategy starts looking really enticing. Furs and glands become a secondary consideration.
So, with eating beaver on our mind — insert laugh track here — we've been setting off to the stream banks with Randy to “lay some steel” as they say. The result, some of the best eating game meat the wild world provides. Beautiful red meat for steaks and braises, and lots of succulent fat. Not what you normally associate with rodents, but then again, these are the continent's largest, and they’re in a culinary category all their own.
We think beaver is one of North America's most underutilized game meats, so if you're looking to fill the freezer without needing to fire a single shot, consider a beaver trapline. After all, it hunts while you sleep. But you’ll need to go find yourself a mentor like Randy Huntley first because there’s no substitute for a great teacher.
And if he comes with a highly polished Maine accent, just consider that a bonus!
View full show notes, including links to resources from this episode here: https://www.wild-fed.com/podcast/113
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