Category Archives: Hunting Season

Chicken & Potato Packets Over Coals

At our elk hunting camp everyone joins together in the evenings for supper.  I plan the menu and assign each person what they need to make/bring.  If the husbands come without their wives I always assign them foods that require no last-minute preparation. 

This year I decided to try grilling one night.  Now I’m the type to try new recipes on my guests but since I’m making an effort to change that habit, I did practice this at home – once. 🙂  It turned out so well that I felt confident we could do it at camp. 

I was a little concerned about wrapping the chicken in aluminum foil because of all the negative things I’ve heard aluminum does for you, but then my niece recommended I use parchment paper first, followed by the foil.  An excellent suggestion!

I was forgetting one little detail in all my planning and that was we had over 60 people at camp.  When I realized that I would be making 91 packets, I swallowed  hard and had to really think about the logistics of the whole operation.  My first plan involved using some extra oven grates we had around here to set on the fire but I realized that with 91 packets I didn’t have near enough oven grates.  So that idea was thrown out when my husband came up with the clever idea of using hog panel fencing.  So that’s what we did.  We took 2 panels and overlapped them, making for the most part, small openings that the packets could not fall through. 

Here is how we cooked the packets.

Russell had some boys, who were full of energy, to dig/pick a trench for me 12′ long and 2′ wide.  The depth was about 1′.  Then a fire was built using pine wood which worked okay but if you have hardwood around, I think it would be preferable.  The problem I had with the pine wood was the coals were already starting to die out in some areas.  Not what I wanted when I had so many packets to grill!

Here is the trench.

After the fire died down, I spread the coals into a thin layer.  Those coals are very hot so only a thin layer is needed for the duration of the cooking time.  I placed the hog panel on the fire trying to overlap them properly.  Then came the chicken packets.

As you can see from the picture we still had areas of flame that we tried to avoid.  All it does is burn the chicken and you don’t want that!  As it was, we had a few pieces that did not escape the blackened effect.  🙂

We flipped the packets every 10 minutes to try and avoid any burning.   If we were cold when we started cooking, we weren’t when we finished.  Those coals are hot! 

I was very pleased with the results.  I’ve always wondered how to cook over coals and now I found it’s nothing to be intimidated by.  For me the main thing is to be sure you have coals and not fire.  Secondly, to spread them in a thin layer.  They don’t need to be deep.

Here is how we prepared the chicken packets.

I made a rub from How to Grill by Steven Raichlen.  It is a tasty rub that I definately recommend.  I did not follow his measurements exactly since I thought it sounded like a lot of salt but I’ll type it up just as he has it in the book.

Basic Barbecue Rub

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup sweet paprika

3 T black pepper

3  T coarse salt

1 T hickory-smoked salt of more coarse salt

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. onion powder

2 tsp. celery seeds

1 tsp. cayenne pepper.

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir.  Store the rub in an airtight jar away from heat or light; it will keep for at least 6 months.

1.  Lay a piece of heavy duty foil down, followed by parchment paper

2.  Place a pat of butter on paper (I thought this might help it to brown the chicken but it may not be necessary.)

3.  Place piece of chicken on butter pat and rub some of the Basic Barbecue Rub on.  (Since I had so many pieces of chicken to do, I placed several pieces of chicken into a bowl, sprinkled the rub on and just kind of mixed it up so that all the pieces would get coated.)

3.  Place a small to medium potato in each packet.

4.  Fold the sides of the parchment first, followed by the bottom and then the top. 

5.  Repeat the same step with the foil.

6.  Cook for 1hr. 15 minutes. 

You will have a delicious chicken piece and a perfectly done potato.  Add to your meal some salad and a hot roll and you’ll have a complete meal.

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Filed under Hunting Season, Recipes

Elk Hunting Camp 2009

I survived our annual elk hunt.  Dirt, dust and campfire smoke was the worst of it.  The best of it was making good food for hungry hunters, spending time with friends and getting to know new ones.  Our family, as well as my sister’s family, were there to the bitter end (an entire week!).  It was so good to spend time with them. 

I didn’t get this dirty but I felt it. 🙂

 

The kids have the best time and really look forward to the hunting camp.

 

Slamwich & Dutch Blitz were the favorite games this year.

 

We had over 60 people this year.  What happened to going to the woods for a little peace and quiet? 😉

 

Russell was only getting about 3-4 hours of rest each night  due to the fact that some elk were shot in the quiet area (where no vehicle can go) in the evening time and had to be packed out.  He also did locating at night (driving the roads and playing an electronic elk call to see if he could get a response) so that he could direct people where to go the next morning.  He is such a people person.  This is such a joy and delight to him to be able to serve people this way.  Myself?  Well I prefer a bit more rest than that. 🙂 

Here is my hunter girl.  She got her elk again this year with 1 shot. 

 

Developing muscles and accuracy

 

I experimented with my Dutch Oven.  No briquettes just live coals from the wood.  I was really hoping it would work because this was the main part of their breakfast one morning!

 

It worked; it wasn’t even burnt.  I, of course, was thrilled.

 

Wesley, having a good laugh with his cousin.

 

There’s that bearded man who showed up at my house a week ago.

 

Half man, half beast.  Another one of my interesting, slightly strange, dare I admit(?), sons. 

 

Finally, when it was time for some to depart we just couldn’t handle it and had to try and stop them.  It didn’t work. 😦

One by one everyone left until it was just us and my sister’s family.  Hunting season was over and we had to pack up, too.  The food supply was almost gone and showers were desperately needed.  Good reasons to head home.

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Time for our Annual Elk Hunt

The elk hunting season is upon us and so the conversation at our house has centered around camping and hunting for the last few weeks.  Wesley is trying to get his hunting gear in order.  He was referred to a site called CamoFire and he faithfully checks it when he wakes up.  They offer new deals on hunting gear at least once a day.  If you have an avid hunter in the family, you might want to check it out.

Seth is coming home from Ohio for the occasion. He’ll be here a week and then he returns to Ohio for about 3 weeks and then he’s coming home!!  He had his 19th birthday last week and so we had to mail him his birthday gift.  We gave him anything we could think of that would help him on his drive back to Arizona:  a gas gift card, sunflower seeds, trail mix, beef jerky, & homemade granola for the 3 day drive.  We also included a picture of a big Kaibab buck and wrote, “Awaiting YOU in Arizona”,(he’s hunting Ohio deer right now, so we wanted to remind him of the big bucks Arizona has to offer), and included a picture of an elk and then one of his own dear family. 

Hunting camp is a big deal in these parts.  It’s the only time a lot of us get away to go camping so we like doing it once a year.  This year we have about 62 people going, 18 of them are hunters.  You usually go to the woods to get away from the noise and hustle and bustle of life but I have more quiet here at my house than I think I will at hunting camp! 🙂  But it’s a good time even if you do come home smelling like a campfire.

All of join together for an evening meal and I do the planning of that.   This year I’m making chicken & potato packets one night  and grilling them over wood coals.  Others are bringing sides. I don’t think I had really thought it through when I sent the menu out to everyone.  Originally I planned to take some oven grates we have around here and dig a shallow area in the earth just wide enough for the grates.  Our grates would have only held 36-40 pieces of chicken.  I’m doing a lot more than that – about 90!  Clearly I needed another plan.  The latest idea is to take some hog panel fencing, cover it with chicken wire and put my aluminum packets on top.  It will be a most interesting grill since it will probably be 6-8′ long and setting on the ground.  I’ll try to remember to get pictures and post next week.

We have a travel trailer that I’ll be sharing with another lady and her girls.  Most of the men will be sleeping in a wall tent that has a wood burning stove in it that keeps them warm until the fire burns out.  The rest of the group have trailers, although there will be a few regular tents.  Those are the really tough campers!

You won’t be seeing me here at Treasuring the Moments for a few days but I’ll be sure to catch up with you next week. Oh, if you have never heard an elk bugle you really have to see thisIt’s video footage of elk bugling in Rocky Mountain National Park .  Elk bugle the most during the mating season (the fall of the year).  It’s an awesome sound to hear when you’re out in the woods.

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Filed under Family Life Updates, Hunting Season

Hunting Fever

About this time of year, hunting fever sets in.  There are elk and deer hunts on the schedule in the upcoming months and just this past Friday antelope season started.  Zachary was drawn for a unit that gave out only 4 tags and there was an average of 70 people who put in their name per tag.  He was one of the lucky ones.  He was fortunate enough to be blessed with an antelope opening day (September 4) which was wonderful since we had our Middle Ages Co-op on Saturday.  This way he wasn’t being pulled in two directions. 

Did you know these facts about antelope?

They have exceptional eyesight – they have been compared to high powered binoculars

Average life span – 6-8 years

Speed – faster than 60mph

Gestation period – longer than any other big-game animal in the U.S.

 

I’ve included several photos of Zachary on his antelope hunt for the sake of Seth (my 18yos) who’s still in Ohio. 

 

Zachary looks pretty happy about the whole thing 

 

Make that quite happy 😀

 

It was a family event.  They think hunting is so fun that they all wanted to go.?? (sorry, can’t relate fellows)  I think Justus, our little fellow, walked 6 miles that day.

 

They even had someone else, who loves hunting more than eating I think, join them.  He’s the one who brought his camera and took pictures.  In case you wonder just how big antelope horns get, this particular one is large enough that it could be listed in the Boone & Crockett Record Book.

The boys were quite happy with the horns, I am happy to have the meat. 

Does your family hunt?

 

 

(An update on our Middle Ages Co-op Day is forthcoming in the coming days.)

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