The British call this bird the "Goosander." A properly placed merganser in the vehicle of the class bully or in the windshield wash bucket at your friend's garage was funny. Is Competition Ruining Your Duck Hunting? But I still look forward to seeing the first few flocks of mergies every November. Hell NO! Same as Oldsquaw - marinate yourself in beer for four hours, nail it to a cedar board, in the oven at 400 for 45 min., take it out, throw away the duck, and eat the board. My neighbor,rest his soul,use to love mergansers.He would nail them to the wall ,and let them hang there WHOLE for a few days in the sun,before cleaning them.True story. It'll earn you a … It’s a small duck that’s the only member of the genus Mergellus, which places it taxonomically somewhere between the genus Mergus (mergansers) and Bucephala (goldeneyes and buffleheads). That or the long soak in Texas Pete, flour and deep fry. And you expected what, given their diet? Moving on … . Again, consider the diet of a NOSH. Some folks even cuss mergies for the fish they eat. Soaked over night, sliced thin, pan fried with some Tony's and garlic powder. In pa we are not supposed to eat them because of pollution. No duck has as many colorful nicknames as the merganser. Yes, the smew. Common mergansers apparently aren’t especially good to eat so they are not prized by duck hunters, but they do get shot. For this reason, hunters are cautioned to not consume any mergansers. Mergansers don’t make the best table fare, which is why most hunters say they avoid them. I crossed the easy three off years ago, but I now seek the final piece; the Holy Grail: the smew. The species breeds in the northern boreal forest of Europe and Asia and winters on the Baltic Sea, Black Sea, northern Germany and the Low Countries. I wouldn't feed one to a barn cat. So first meal a simple salt ,pepper ,garlic ,Worcester sauce ,hot grill and a little apple wood smoke . Recently, good friend Steve Hickoff, Realtree.com’s editorial director and turkey hunting editor, noted that most of my waterfowling humor revolves around shovelers. Actually, I know some big-water devotees who gleefully fill merganser limits. No, you don’t have to shoot them — just give them their due this fall. Good Gumbo is more about the roux than the red pepper. That or the long soak in Texas Pete, flour and deep fry. Common Mergansers living along rivers may spend hours resting on rocks or on shore. Now and then, however, some pass through North America. Honestly, I’ve had some mergie breasts fresh off a charcoal grill that were fairly palatable. Site by Gray Loon. September 17, 2020   |  Timber 2 Table Articles, November 28, 2020   |  The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory. Hey, if it’s legal and they make use of the birds, more power to them. Mergansers are a family of diving waterfowl in Merginae, the seaduck subfamily of Anatidae. I’ve had a gorgeous hoodie for years, but a trophy hunt for the other two might be in order. In Westborough, hunting is not allowed (except by permission of the landowner), but the state permits hunting at the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Westboro Management Area (though not on … He's been a writer and editor in the outdoors industry since 1991. Copyright © 2000-2020 24hourcampfire.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved. A Merganser's Gotta Eat. isnt that whats called a "water turkey?". The Common Merganser, as the name indicates, is the most abundant and whose habitat covers the largest portions of the continent. And check us out on Facebook. One of the sweetest subsections of the duck family has to be the sawbills, formally known as mergansers. I would love to get a trio of colored-out drake mergies for the wall. Probably not. I used to eat every bird I shot, out of principle. God knows a 6pack isn't doing it. There’s just a stigma about them. Keep it clean, though. It also gave me the opportunity to become a duck snob, of sorts. Ahem. Nasty birds. But is that absolutely true? The light bulb just went on with what to do with the other mergansers. But we really should appreciate them now and then. I used to eat every bird I shot, out of principle. I marinated one in a terriaki/garlic/beer mix and all I did was waste a beer. Hen smew, like mergansers, are rather drab, but drakes feature an incredible plumage of white and gray, with crisp black lines and a black cheek patch. And hey, maybe I’ll finally see that smew. But is that absolutely true? Mergansers come in three main varieties — hooded, common and red-breasted — none of which get any respect. Yes. I just don’t need to kill a bird to say I did so or boost my numbers. Merganser??? Maybe the rotting gets rid of the merganser taste. Which brings me to another lifelong goal: obtaining the mythical merganser slam. Perhaps that’s true, but it struck me odd. Other waterfowl should be skinned and the fat removed before cooking. I won’t argue that mergansers taste good, but if you clean them quickly, soak them in salted water, and grill them rare … Cajun food is definitely one of the things I miss about growing up in East Texas, about 45 minutes from the Louisiana / Texas line. Most of these birds are about two feet long, though each species varies in size. I haven't heard that one but I would eat the guts out of a turkey before I would eat another ganzer. So unlikely as it might seem, I’m on a quest for a drake smew. Firstly, they are very important for the environment, controlling insects (particularly ticks, which carry Lyme disease). 3 / 14. Clean em real nice. I just finally figured out how to drink Pearl Beer. Let’s be real: Most guys pass up mergansers not only because they don’t taste as good as some other ducks, but also because they look funny and decoy readily. This fish-eating duck is the typical merganser of freshwater lakes. Can you eat opossums? Seriously? So everyone said my common mergansers were gonna taste fishy. There were a couple of years there in the late 90's when I pretty much survived on duck. re: Cooking Merganser Duck Posted by stein_burgundy on 10/4/17 at 6:36 am to Bleeding purple I've done it before with a 50/50 mix of milk and allegro game tame. Probably not. The black ones??? Common mergansers eat mainly fish, amphibians, crustaceans, mollusks and other invertebrates obtained by diving underwater in marine and freshwater habitats. They even told me to mix it with other meats and make sausage or even throw them out, which kinda offended me! The mergansers are also known as "Fish Ducks" and fish is their main diet. In winter on woodland ponds, wooded swamps, fresh and brackish coastal estuaries. If you haven't hidden a bluefish behind your buddies truck seat you really have missed something special. Been birding at a sewage pond? Should you ? Its flocks are usually small, but these may combine into big concentrations sometimes at large reservoirs. Liberalism is a mental disorder that leads to social disease. Click here for more Realtree waterfowl hunting content. The Hooded is the smallest of our three native merganser species, and often seems to be the least numerous, as it tends to live around swamps and wooded ponds where it may be overlooked. Hooded Mergansers weren't as bad as Red Breasted Mergansers. LOL. We'd breast them, soak the meat in milk and flour and deep fry. Migrating and Wintering I was shooting 40-50 ducks a year and that gave me a lot of duck to work with. Hooded Mergansers weren't as bad as Red Breasted Mergansers. Some of the different plumage colors include white, black, grey, brown, tan, and more. Read More. The various Merganser species have different plumage, or feathers, but similar body and bill shapes. It's a great incentive to learn your ducks and stop shooting them. Here are five reasons to love mergansers. Hey, mergansers provide an easy topic for a cheap blog post. I had a hard time eating bluebills. Mergansers are 'Neighbor Ducks.' Conversely, I’ve eaten a few redheads and mallards that would choke a maggot. I won’t argue that mergansers taste good, but if you clean them quickly, soak them in salted water, and grill them rare or use them in other dishes, they aren’t that awful. Their bill is similar in appearance to a cormorant’s bill. Like you said they smell terrible ©2020 Jordan Outdoor Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved. Smothered in them. Depending on where you go, some is spicier than others, but its non-existent in Missouri. No. November 28, 2020   |  Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes, November 25, 2020   |  Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes, Why fish ducks should make any hunter smile. I intend to watch again this fall. we avoid them like the plague...never ate one but I hear they are something to behold. Also they are fish eaters so they won't be very good. There are three types of these birds in North America. Mergansers are our only ducks that specialize in eating fish.