We recently finished an incredible hunt on the Nebraska Kansas border. It was a beautiful morning and our dogs were working hard. We had jumped several hen pheasants which is always a good sign because our goal was to get a couple of those elusive big ring neck rooster pheasants. In nature we know that where the women are, the guys aren’t far behind. We continued our walk through the grass and our dogs was getting really birdie, meaning they were excited because there were birds near by. There is nothing as great as a well trained hunting dog in his mode; they are so flawless in action. At that particular moment a big rooster flushed and flew away from us, and from the immortal words of one of my good hunting buddies Lou would say, “Bird up, bird down”. That’s exactly what took place. Our dogs brought our birds back to us and we continued to hunt on some Milo and corn fields.
This was the perfect hunting day, because we were all successful in harvesting the birds, including my camera guy who sometimes isn’t able to hunt because he is covering the action. Pheasants are not indigenous to America, they are originally from China. These beautiful birds were imported back in the late 1800s and have since flourished. Pheasants are not only one of America’s most popular game birds to hunt; they are also one of the tastiest wild birds to eat.
After the hunt, the fellows wanted to know how we were going to cook up these birds. Several suggestions were given, such as baked, smoldered or even fried, but since I was the one who was volunteered to cook, I decided to grill them. My first step after the birds were cleaned is to marinade the meat for over an hour. I would suggest at least 24 hours marinading if you have the time, but I had big hungry hunters ready to eat and that is not a pretty site. It took my injector and injected my personal sauce of choice, which happens to be Gates Bar B Q Classic sauce into the breast and thigh. I then used the Gates Rub and put it all over the bird.
Now the meat is ready to be placed on the grill so that the magic can begin. The fellows were growing impatient, but I told them you can’t rush perfection. They had to sit around talking stuff and smell the mouth watering aroma while I would periodically turn the meat. Since I had injected the meat with the Gates sauce, it kept my birds moist and gave it a great flavor. Finally my meat was ready, so I removed it from the grill, and onto those golden brown birds I poured on some additional sauce. What is always good to complete this dish is to have some grilled corn and potatoes, which I did or whatever sides you desire. We had dined sufficiently. The guys were full and satisfied, the dogs were resting and the day was complete and we did it, Urban American Style.