SCWA Partners with The Boone & Crockett Club


The South Carolina Waterfowl Association (SCWA) and the Boone and Crockett Club (B&C), North America’s oldest wildlife conservation organization, are proud to announce their new partnership – The Boone and Crockett/Camp Woodie Fellowship Program.  Thanks to a $64,000 grant from the Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, SCWA and the B&C Club have partnered to create a youth wildlife and fisheries conservation fellowship program for 16 and 17 year olds who are seriously considering a career in the field of wildlife conservation.

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Next Spring, 30 Camp Woodie alumni will be selected to receive the fellowship.  Recipients will attend a Level-3 Camp Woodie week where they will interact with wildlife professionals to learn about a career in field of wildlife and fisheries conservation and education.  At the end of the weeklong session they will fly to Montana to spend a week at the 6,000 acre Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch where they will enjoy a 5-day Outdoor Adventure Camp instructed by western wildlife professionals.  Thanks to the grant from Cabelas all expenses will be covered for the program.  The fellowship recipients will represent the best and brightest 16 and 17 year olds who are considering a career as natural resource conservation professionals.Boone and Crockett Club Logo

Those interested in applying for the fellowship should contact Justin Grider, Camp Woodie Director, via email: For more information about SCWA’s Camp Woodie and the B&C Club’s Wildlife Conservation Skills Camp, please check out our websites, and


Midlands Chapter Conservation Dinner & Auction

Mac Bagnal, SCWA Chapter Development Director

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Midlands 2015 Committee

What an awesome fundraiser the Midlands Chapter of the South Carolina Waterfowl Association hosted Friday, August 21st, 2015 at Seawell’s Banquet Center in Columbia, SC!

fruit displayI would like to personally thank David Harrelson and his committee for doing an outstanding job putting together this event. They had over 300 people in attendance and raised over 40k for SCWA programs. Seawell’s Banquet Center prepared a wonderful meal that was enjoyed by all. We would like to thank the Sponsors, Life members, Donors, and members that were a part of this event.
crowdThe continued support from everyone in the Midlands area helps to make our organization what it has become today.

-Mac Bagnal

Be sure to visit the Midlands Chapter Facebook Page!

Shots Fired: Hunter Safety Certification at Camp Woodie Marks New Milestones

   Joe Gonzalez, SCWA Camp Leopold Director of Operations/Hunter’s Safety Instructor

Do you remember the first time you pulled the trigger on a firearm?  Whether it was your dad’s shotgun, or grandpa’s rifle, or maybe your very own that was given to you as a gift, that moment marks a milestone in the life of any outdoorsman or woman.  The anticipation of trying something new, the exhilaration, and of course the timeless question, “Will it kick?

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With 865 youth visiting Camp Woodie this summer, there were a large number of “first-timers” in every session.  Each week, campers who had never fired a shotgun, broken a clay target, aimed a rifle, or drew back a bow opened the door to the simple yet unique aura of the outdoor world.  However, there is more to it than just pulling the trigger or letting arrows fly.Article 2

As outdoorsmen and women, we have a responsibility to ourselves, other hunters and non-hunters alike, and the game we pursue.  This is where our Hunter Education Certification course at Camp Woodie plays a huge role.  The course develops a seamless integration with concepts learned at each shooting venue, and reiterates their importance and application in the field.

Article 1During the course, campers receive a brief history on firearms, beginning with muzzleloaders and moving on to modern shotguns and rifles.  They learn the different components that make up a firearm, and the step-by-step process of what occurs between loading, firing, and ejecting ammunition. Campers learn about the parts and operation of a bow, as well as proper tree stand safety etiquette.

The course concludes with units on Hunter Responsibility, Wildlife Conservation, Survival, and of course an exam to ensure the material has been adequately comprehended.Article 4  This summer, 327 campers (more than a third of the total that attended Camp Woodie) received their certification through Camp Woodie’s Hunter Safety Certification program.  Each and every one of these enrollees gained hands-on field experience with rifles, bows, and shotguns, and then learned about them and their application to hunting situations.  The knowledge and experiences these youth gained through this program are invaluable.  We could not ask for a better set up.

So remember back to that first time you smelled fresh-burnt gunpowder, or saw the arrow quiver in the target you just ten-ringed for the first time, and think about what those experiences have led you to enjoy since.  And that’s what it’s all about.

Tip: Better Burgers

Better Burgers
by: Scott Leysath – The Sporting Chef

Americans eat a boatload of burgers.  Based on an annual consumption of over 38 billion burgers, or about 3 burgers per person, per week, that’s about 40 pounds worth of quarter-pounders a year for every man, woman and child in the U.S.  If you figure that some folks aren’t big burger eaters and others don’t eat them at all, some of us are eating way more than our share.  But while overindulging in the high-fat, fast-food burger might increase your risk of a heart attack, a burger made from lean ground ducks and geese is a healthy and tasty alternative that might give you a few extra years in the blind.

Grinding your trimmed, skinless duck or goose breasts is relatively simple.  If you have meat grinder, run the meat through on a coarse setting.  Too thin a grind leaves the meat without much texture and it tends to fall apart easier when cooking.  Since most people don’t own a grinder, the next best thing is a food processor.  Cut the meat into 2-inch chunks and pulse it until the pieces are roughly the size of garbanzo beans.  When all that’s on hand is knife, start chopping.  Place the processed meat in a bowl and start adding ingredients that will enhance, not disguise the flavor of your burger.
The reason that people eat so many fatty hamburgers is because fat equals flavor.  Waterfowl meat is very low-fat, so many home chefs add 10 to 20 percent ground beef or pork to their burger mix to make them taste better and to help bind meat together when pressed into a patty.  While I’m all for a juicy burger and often add some beef to my ground duck, there are other ways to add moisture to your mallard.  Sautéed mushrooms, onions, garlic and peppers, to name just a few ingredients, contribute both moisture and flavor.   Add some fresh salsa, diced jalapeno peppers, a squeeze of fresh lime and some salt and pepper and you’ve got Southwestern Duck Burgers.  Slap them on the grill, add a slice of jack cheese and hand me a cold frosty beverage.
Adding a binder such as egg or yogurt and a little flour or some crushed quackers…sorry, crackers… will help keep your burger intact when cooking.  The wet stuff mixes with the dry stuff and holds the burger together.  For your first attempt, I’d recommend making duck burgers in a heavy skillet rather than a grill.  It’s less likely to fall apart in the pan.  Once you’ve got the hang of it, flame on!

Duck Burgers

Makes 4 – 6 servings
This recipe works with trimmed goose breasts and antlered game as well.  Serve as you would any burger with bun, lettuce, tomato and your favorite condiments.
2 1/2  cups duck boneless, skinless duck breasts, cut into pea-sized pieces (see above)
3  tablespoons Worcestershire sauceBetterBurgers--element67
2  egg yolks
1  tablespoon garlic powder
1/2  teaspoon salt
1/2  teaspoon coarse ground pepper
1/3  cup Japanese breadcrumbs (panko) or substitute any breadcrumbs
1/2  cup onion, finely chopped
1  jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3  tablespoons flour
4  slices cheese, any kind (optional)
In a medium bowl, combine ground duck, Worcestershire sauce and egg and mix evenly.  Combine next 6 ingredients and mix evenly.  Cover and refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours.  Sprinkle flour over mixture (to help bind them) and form into 4 – 6 patties.  Heat some olive oil in a large, heavy-duty skillet over medium heat.  Brown on both sides, about 3 minutes each, or until cooked to desired doneness.  Top with cheese until melted and serve immediately.

For More Recipes from the Sporting Chef – Scott Leysath,

Please Visit His Website at

Tip: Expiration Date

Waterfowl Expiration Date
Duck Braised in Red Wine
by: Scott Leysath – The Sporting Chef

Before this year’s season gets underway, take a peek into the dark recesses of your freezer.  Move some stuff around until you get to those bodies and body parts from duck seasons past.  With any luck, the ducks and geese won’t be more than one season old.  Uh oh, there’s a goose from the Reagan years.

If you have game, or any meat, that has been in the freezer for a few years, it’s time to take stock of how you control your frozen inventory.  The USDA recommends eating frozen game meats within 8 – 12 months of freezing.  It’s not that you’ll get sick and die from eating a three-year old widgeon.  Your ducks will be safe to eat ten years from now, they just won’t taste good.  After about a year, the quality of the meat will deteriorate.  By the time the next season opens and you start cooking the “new” birds, the old birds are just sitting in the back of the freezer, slowly wasting away.
I know.  You’ve eaten ducks that were three or four years old and they tasted great.  Me too, but I’ve also thawed out old birds that were freezer burned, discolored and had an unpleasant aroma.  If you want to extend the life of your frozen fowl, purchase a good quality vacuum packaging unit.  The cheap ones will disappoint you if you use it often.  I’ve found that they don’t hold up to a successful duck season.  You can also freeze your birds in water, zipper-lock bags with water or anything else that prevents exposure of the meat to oxygen.  Just make sure to label and date each package so that you can use the oldest birds first.  Think of the date on the package as your expiration date.  Use within one year of the date.
If you do discover that one of your thawed ducks don’t look or smell good, don’t soak them in buttermilk or marinade.  When in doubt, throw it out and make a promise to yourself to cook future ducks when they’re at their best.  Fresher is always better. Make the most of your waterfowl and eat them before the next season begins.
This recipe will help you reduce last year’s waterfowl inventory.  Braising is a cooking method by which meat first browned and then covered and slowly cooked at low temperature until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender.  Braising can be done on the stove top or in the oven.  The important part is to make sure that the lid fits tightly so that the liquid doesn’t escape.

Duck Braised in Red Wine

Pair this dish with a steamy mound of garlic mashed potatoes.
4 servings
4   ducks, skin on or off, quarteredExpirationDate--element67
salt and pepper
1/2  cup all-purpose flour
3   tablespoons olive oil
1  large onion, quartered
6  whole garlic cloves
2  sprigs fresh rosemary
3  cups dry red wine
1/2  cup beef broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2  medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
Season duck pieces liberally with sat and pepper.  Dust each piece with flour.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown duck pieces evenly.  Place browned duck in an oven-proof, well-greased pot or dish with a tight-fitting lid.  Place remaining ingredients in pot, cover and place in a preheated 325 degree oven.  After 2 hours, add potatoes and cook for another hour or until meat is very tender and pulls away from the bone with minimal effort.  Once tender, arrange duck and potatoes on plates and spoon sauce over.

For More Recipes from the Sporting Chef – Scott Leysath,

Please Visit His Website at

Tip: Shortcuts

by: Scott Leysath – The Sporting Chef

I decided long ago that most home cooks just don’t have the time or the inclination to take the long route to preparing a recipe when a shortcut will get you home, or at least close enough to impress most people.  That’s not to say that taking the time to make a great homemade barbecue sauce or stock isn’t worth the trouble, but when you’re out of the good stuff, a bottle or can can be doctored up with just a pinch of this and a splash of that to make the finished sauce taste like you made it from scratch.

When it comes to buying prepared sauces, I like to visit Asian markets for some out-of-the ordinary flavors.  One of my favorites is eel sauce. I know some folks are going to wince when they read “eel sauce”, but it’s actually a mild soy-based sauce that’s just a tad sweet, not too salty and great with game.   It’s made from grilled eel bones, which is one ingredient I’m usually a little short on, so it’s hard to make it at home.  When you find a bottle of Asian sauce that gets your attention, I suggest you compare brands by their sodium content.  Some of them are way too salty for me.  A drizzle of eel sauce over a smoky, grilled duck breast is especially delicious.  Trust me.
Here are a few of my favorite quick sauces and marinades that will save you time in the kitchen and get you back outside where you belong.  The measurements listed should be used as a place to start and not meant to be exact.  Think of these shortcuts as an outline from which to create your own signature culinary creations.  Taste as you go and adjust at the end.  All of the recipes can be used with waterfowl, antlered game, and domestic meats.

Sweet-Hot Marinade and Sauce

Prepare a double batch and store in the refrigerator for two to three weeks.
If desired, you can double the recipe below and store the extra sauce in the refrigerator for two to three weeks.
Makes 1 ½ cups
1 1/4  cups Italian dressing
2  tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2  tablespoons honey
3  tablespoons  jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (or substitute 1 – 2 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
2  garlic cloves, minced
Combine all ingredients and whisk together or shake vigorously in a tight-fitting jar.  Pour over meat, toss to coat and refrigerate for 2 – 6 hours.  Drizzle additional sauce over meat just before serving.

Chipotle Balsamic Syrup

Okay, so you might have to plan ahead a little on this one.  Start with a cheap bottle of balsamic vinegar (16 – 18 ounces, about $4/bottle), and reduce it to intensify the natural sweetness and oaky flavor.  Makes about 2/3 cup
1 bottle balsamic vinegar
1  tablespoon brown sugar
1  teaspoon Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce
Add ingredients to a medium saucepan over medium heat, uncovered.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until liquid has reduced by approximately  two-thirds.  Allow to cool and thicken.  Drizzle a thin stream over cooked meats or salmon, but don’t smother it.  Store in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Orange-Ginger Sauce and Marinade

It’s a little bit Asian and a lot of flavor.
Makes 1 cup
2/3  cup low-sodium soy sauce
3  tablespoons rice vinegar
2  tablespoons orange juice concentrate
2  green onions, minced
1  tablespoon pickled ginger, minced
1  tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and heat to warm, but do not bring to a boil.  Simmer for a few minutes and allow to cool. Be careful when using as a marinade since the sugary orange juice concentrate will burn easily.  To avoid burning, pat dry after marinating and drizzle additional sauce over when served.

For More Recipes from the Sporting Chef – Scott Leysath,

Please Visit His Website at

Recipe: Mallard Meatloaf

Mallard Meatloaf – AKA – Mexican Meatloaf
by: Scott Leysath – The Sporting Chef

I think I might finally be fed up with cooking competitions on TV.  Somewhere along the TV timeline, a handful of affected, pompous foodies decided that they were going to pass judgment on what is or isn’t fit to eat.  And we ate it up, literally.  The typical cooking “reality” show involves a diverse group of people living together in cramped quarters while awaiting their next culinary challenge.  Some of them actually earn a living by working in a kitchen while others seem to be chosen simply for comic relief.  At the end of the thirteen week season, the winner gets the big hat and a chance to appear at mall openings and harvest fairs until his or her star fades into the distance forever.
Of course, I, like everyone else, have my own food favorites, but I wouldn’t think of telling anyone else that it’s my way or the highway.  While I do find people’s food preferences interesting, it doesn’t affect me one way or another if someone puts ketchup on their lobster or cooks their game well-done.  Perhaps if Gordon Ramsay of Hell’s Kitchen declared that pairing ketchup and lobster is “spot on”, then the rest of us would blindly follow along.  For the past couple of decades, I’ve been preaching the gospel of medium-rare game cooking.  I’ve changed a few minds along the way, but most folks pretty much stay the culinary course they’ve chosen for themselves many years ago.  “We’re just meat and potatoes people”
Occasionally, I come up with a recipe that really makes me happy.  It tastes so good that I can’t imagine anyone not liking it, but I know that the mere mention of the word “Mexican” will put fear in the minds of those who can’t take the heat.  Rest assured, this meatloaf is only loaded with flavor, not fire.  Those who like it hot can always ramp up the heat with some additional peppers, seasonings or hot sauce.  It’s a great way to use up inventory from the freezer and, best of all; it works with just about any combination of game meats like venison, wild turkey and upland game birds, provided that you add at least one-third ground beef to the mix.  Since most of us don’t own a meat grinder, you can process thawed game meat by cutting it up into bite-sized chunks and quickly pulsing in a food processor until the meat is roughly the size of a garbanzo bean.  The recipe is nothing fancy and I’m sure one of the Top Chef judges wouldn’t like it, but we really don’t care, do we?

Mexican Meatloaf

6 – 8 servings
1 cup onions, finely diced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups crushed tortilla chips
2 eggs, lightly beaten MallardMeatloaf--element67
1 cup tomato salsa (your choice of mild, medium or spicy)
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds (about 3 cups) ground duck, goose or antlered game
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound chorizo sausage, casing removed, crumbled
Combine onion, jalapeno pepper and garlic in a large bowl. Add tortilla chips with next 8 ingredients and mix well. Add ground game meat, beef and chorizo.  Mix all ingredients thoroughly with your hands. In a lightly oiled loaf pan or baking dish, form into a loaf about 4 inches tall.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 50 minutes or until internal temperature is 155 degrees. Lightly cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing into 1-inch thick slices.  Serve with salsa, mustard or chipotle mayonnaise. 

For More Recipes from the Sporting Chef – Scott Leysath,

Please Visit His Website at