Monthly Archives: January 2013

Wild Game – The Ultimate Organic Food Source

By Nick Pinizzotto
AHT Contributor

I was having a conversation with a co-worker recently about why we hunt and it was interesting that both of us had one of the same top reasons, which is for truly organic food.

Within hours of being shot, these fine mallards were processed and in my freezer.

Within hours of being shot, these fine mallards were processed and in my freezer.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that the only reason I hunt is to put meat on the table. In fact, I’m toying with the idea of getting more into predator hunting because there is an overabundance of predators and they have a profound impact on game that we eat as humans. What I am saying is if I didn’t eat the wild game that I shoot, I likely wouldn’t hunt. That may surprise many of you, but rest assured that I am the furthest thing from killer, which I define as someone who hunts for the sake of the thrill of the kill.

Vacuum packing ensures the meat will stay fresh for several months, although I doubt these mallard breasts will be waiting long.

Vacuum packing ensures the meat will stay fresh for several months, although I doubt these mallard breasts will be waiting long.

Just prior to moving to North Dakota, I had come pretty close to eliminating any meat from my diet that wasn’t wild game. I admit that I occasionally had a weakness for a pile of hot wings and a stadium hotdog, but for the most part I only ate what I shot. When we relocated to North Dakota last spring, I had to give my remaining meat away leaving me with nothing in the freezer for our first few months here. While this didn’t impact Angela as she is a devout vegetarian, it had a definite effect on me because for the first time in a long time I was eating store-bought meat products. While often tasty and juicy, I never felt quite the same after eating commercial meats and there was something about the richness of the various cuts of beef, pork, and chicken that just didn’t seem right.

I was elated when hunting season finally came around this year and I was able to begin refilling the freezer. After a pretty successful fall, the freezer is now full of a variety of duck species, geese, and the whitetail buck that I shot in early November.

My whitetail buck was quartered and partially processed in the field before final cutting and wrapping. This is a necessary practice if you hunt far from road access in the wilds of North Dakota.

My whitetail buck was quartered and partially processed in the field before final cutting and wrapping. This is a necessary practice if you hunt far from road access in the wilds of North Dakota.

I really appreciate knowing exactly where these animals came from, and there is something special about having a hand in processing all of them. The same cannot be said for commercially packaged meats, particularly those that are purchased at large chains and big box stores. Please don’t get me wrong. This is not a rant about not eating meat from commercial sources. In fact, I encourage everyone to purchase meat products as close to the farm as possible, and directly from local farmers where possible. Farms that allow their stock to grow naturally and practice grazing as a primary way to feed are preferred to those that overfeed and under-exercise their animals. There are a number of good documentaries on factory farms and processed foods that I encourage you to check out in order to help inform your opinion.

There is plenty of wild game in my freezer for the coming year.

There is plenty of wild game in my freezer for the coming year.

There is a lot of quality information out there about the differences between wild game and domestic meats, and I found a very balanced report prepared by the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension that is worth reading. You might be surprised to learn that there isn’t a huge difference between protein and fat content of wild and domestic meats, but this varies widely among species as described in the chart below. The real difference is in the lifestyles of the animals while they are still alive, and how they are handled from death through the butchering and packaging process. It’s a big enough difference for me to choose wild game over commercially processed meats at least 90% of the time.

I’ll conclude this article by sharing the interesting story of author Tovar Cerulli with you. Mr. Cerulli turned vegetarian and eventually vegan in his early 20s, only to later decide to take up hunting as a way to feed himself and his family better. Cerulli states on his website: Over the past three years, my blog has brought omnivores, vegetarians, hunters, and non-hunters into dialogue with one another. It is a place for celebrating all the ways we are sustained by the larger-than-human natural world. A place for asking questions. A place for not being too sure any of us has all the answers. A place for listening, learning, and laughing, especially at ourselves, peculiar animals that we are.

I became acquainted with Cerulli through Twitter, and have been intrigued by his perspective ever since.

I’m blessed with the ability to obtain my own meat through hunting and a wife that works hard to fill our refrigerator and shelves with organic foods. Granted, I could get crushed under a giant piece of falling space junk tomorrow and it wouldn’t matter, but I think it’s worth my time to eat as healthy as possible in anticipation of many years ahead.

While there are many reasons that I hunt, being able to put healthy meats on the table combined with the humane nature of harvesting it through hunting make me proud of the lifestyle I’ve chosen.

Nick Pinizzotto blogs at He is the Chief Operating Officer of Delta Waterfowl. The Western Pennsylvania native currently resides in North Dakota, where his passion for the outdoors is put to good use on a daily basis.

New Yorkers Stripped of Rights, Freedom

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

It wasn’t about guns, it was about freedom and New York State residents awoke Tuesday morning stripped of it.

The free people of New York are disarmed.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York Sate Senate orchestrated a closed-door deal, ramming secret legislation through under the dark of night. The result: an over-reaching bill that strips New Yorkers of their Second Amendment rights.

The right of the people to keep and bear arms is no longer the law of the land. New York has been infringed upon – thanks to a dictator named Cuomo and a class of clowns knows as the State Senate.

All rumored to be burried in this bill…

The number one selling rifle in America is now illegal in New York State. Thousands are manufactured in New York’s Herkimer County, but its people are now not free enough to own one.

Having a magazine with a capacity of eight rounds or more is now illegal in New York. The max is a seven round clip. Yeah, the Ruger 10/22 you bought to take your son or daughter squirrel hunting is now useless without its 10-round clip.

Oh, and if you need to purchase bullets for that .22, good luck.

10 Round Clip

10 Round Clip

All law-abiding citizens are now subject to a background check when purchasing any type of ammunition – and there are limits on the quantity you can purchase. Good luck getting through the line at Bass Pro or Wal-Mart the day before deer season.

Those who possess a hand gun permit will now be forced to be recertified every five years. Can you say money grab?

The so called ‘mentally ill’ will now be stripped of their guns. That next knock at your fron door could very well be the State Police demanding your weapons.

The question that begs to be asked is what exactly defines mentally ill? Is Johnny Joe considered mentally ill because he was prescribed an anti-depressant following the death of his 6-year-old son?

All of this legislation comes from the same man who decriminalized the use of marijuana while criminalizing gun owners – In the same speech!

Is this America or Neo-Nazi Germany? The last time I check this was The Land of The Free and The Home of The Brave. At least half of that statement remains true.

Let’s face it though, this wasn’t about guns, it’s about freedom – or the removal of it. And let’s not forget Mr. Cuomo’s 2016 ambitions. Coincidence? I say not.

New York State ratified the Constitution in the year 1788. It died on January 14th 2013.

Dear Deer: Fear this Spyder

Christmas may have come and gone, but this weekend had a similar holiday morning feel to it.

After more than six weeks of waiting, my new bow, a Hoyt Spyder 30, finally arrived! But I wasn’t able to get my hands on it until after a few patience-testing days. Work and family obligations left me unable to get to my bow shop to pick it up, even though the call of its arrival came several days prior.

Spyder 30 ready to hunt!

Spyder 30 ready to hunt!

Last week’s ATA show in Louisville came with it a number of reviews on the bow. I’m pleased to see that the lion’s share of those were glowing (including one that noted Hoyt’s unprecedented under-rating on IBO/ATA feet per second – seems it’s actually faster than advertised!).

While I’d like to say it was Hoyt’s connection to one of my hunting mentors Bill Winke that led to me selecting this bow, I actually decided on the Spyder after a true open-minded test drive of several 2013 models. The Spyder simply outclassed all others when evaluating my personal preferences on draw cycle, shot reaction, speed and general feel. The Mathews Creed was the other finalist among the six bows I shot and finished a close second when the decision added up.


The Spyder actually marks the first Hoyt I’ve ever owned. My last four bows previous to this have been Mathews, and I’ve loved every one of them for different reasons. My favorite among any of those was an Outback that still hangs in my hunting room and will be a bow my kids will one day shoot. As I get older, I’m getting less brand loyal and more into equipment that I simply like better.


In fact, the one minor detail I decided to give up on when selecting and ordering the new bow was getting the Bone Collector licensed version. I have nothing against that crew, I just didn’t want to appear like a hardcore BC fan who just had to have the show’s logo on my bow.

I buckled after realizing that doing so was going to save me an estimated $100. I felt strongly about wanting a camo riser with black limbs on the bow. Ordering this version meant I didn’t have to go through Hoyt’s custom shop, which was backed up well beyond the six weeks I waited.

Upon getting the bow set up by Sie Graham at S&S Graham Archery, it was time to start sighting it in.

If I can maintain this kind of group, the Spyder 30 and I will get along just fine!

If I can maintain this kind of group, the Spyder 30 and I will get along just fine!

It didn’t take long. I’m no Robin Hood, but I was pleasantly surprised with the initial groups out of this bow out to 40 yards. It’s truly a fun and comfortable bow to shoot.


It Turns Out, She’s One of Us!

Very few things have captured the national news cycle over the last 24 hours more than a particular football fan sitting in the stands during last night’s BCS National Championship game.

Katherine Webb as a Realtree model (Image borrowed from

Katherine Webb as a Realtree model (Image borrowed from

This particular show stopper, though, just happens to be dating A.J. McCarron, the quarterback for Alabama who easily steered his team to consecutive national championships during the aforementioned game. That’s still not what made her Twitter followers grow roughly 8,200% since (and still climbing!).

Katherine Webb (@_KatherineWebb) was in focus on ESPN’s broadcast when play-by-play analyst Brent Musburger made several comments pointing out her beauty. The rest of the world, as awkward as it was, pretty much agreed.

I’m not sure anyone could argue that she’s beautiful, but then again, she is also the reigning Miss Alabama.

For us hunters, it gets better.

It turns out Webb also is a hunter. In fact, she is a camouflage model who has done work for Realtree in the past. According to Realtree staff, she loves to hunt quail, dove and deer, she describes herself as a country girl and is very proud of those facts.

I’m from the country. I’m a hunter. Heck, I even have a boat load of photos featuring me in Realtree camo. Any comparison to Miss Webb stops right there for me.