Picking a Dog Bowl

One thing we always seem to forget. Maybe it’s because they don’t put it on the counter, lay it in the sink or put it in the dishwasher.

On the floor, out of mind.

What we’re getting at is each time you feed the mutt or fill-up it’s water bowl, you should wash it the same way you do human dishes – with soap and water.

The Hockey Puck and the Goat

The bowl is filled with the pup’s favorite chow. You retire to the living room to watch some slime on the teevee when you hear a scraping noise coming from the kitchen. You know it’s not Jonathan Toews with the Chicago Blackhawks, sliding the puck around on the floor. Your retriever moving its dish around until it nestles into a corner.

That stainless steel thingie didn’t cost you an arm-and-a-leg. And if you ever see one of these devices get chewed-up, check the animal. You may not have a dog. You probably purchased a goat.

The heavy-weight stoneware or ceramic bowls are less likely to get a goal when they’re being licked clean. They work well in the dishwasher, but there’s a SNAFU in the offing. Itsy-bitsy cracks creep-up after a while. Inside those crevasses, bacteria love to hide. So, if your animal is a card-carrying member of the clean-plate club, sooner-or-later they’re going to get a dose of something bad for them.

If you have an automatic feeder, why do you even have a pet? How do you bond with your canine? Do you get them a Skype account and video chat with them between meetings? What, are they toilet trained? How do you prevent them from blowing their wad right after you leave them for work, all day alone to watch Maury?

Then there are the plastic jobbies. If you feed your dog from one of these, you should be ashamed. What a cheapskate. Why don’t you just pitch a handful of their food on the sidewalk and leave the hose running. Geez.

Let’s Get Real

How would you like to eat your food with your hands tied behind your back? Bending over to reach the plate, occasionally inhaling a pea or some mashed potatoes. God forbid if the steak is tough. What’s your plan with that? You’re just going to shake-off a chunk at a time? Here’s what vets think is the best for your dog. Elevated feeding and watering dishes.

Versatile Dog Supply has two things you should really look into. They’re a wall-mounted Dog Feeder and a wall-mounted Heated Dog Waterer. Vet’s like these dispensers because you can elevate the devices so the poor pup doesn’t have to bend their head.

Let’s say your best friend is starting to show signs of neck or back issues. Maybe they’re getting arthritic. If it’s painful to enjoy one of the things in their short lives they truly love, it’s cruel to make them have to deal with the discomfort.

Since it’s attached to the wall, start them out as a puppy and as they grow to be the size of a small Buick, simply reposition the wall-mounted Dog Feeder and wall-mounted Heated Dog Waterer.

Finally, here’s the closer. This is the big one. Here’s why you need these devices: An elevated feeder causes less bloating and swallowing air. You know what that means?

Less dog farts.

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Do Dogs Have Feelings?

It’s almost as stupid of a question as “Which breed of pigs can fly?” Just look at the back-end of your pup when you come home from work. If you could hook that tail to a generator, you’d have enough energy to power a refrigerator. What do you think all wagging means?

It’s a demonstration of one feeling the mutt has: Excitement. Same goes for when the animal growls at another dog. You can bet the farm that the mutt is upset.

To believe that dogs don’t have feelings shows that some people have not gotten beyond the second rung on the ladder of smarts.

What Started It

In a way those who called themselves “scientists” a long, long time ago put the idea in our heads. These folks dabbled in mechanical things, math, chemistry and early physics. An early conclusion: Stuff had rules that oversaw what they’d do. Whether it was block printing or a clock, differences were noticed. You were either a human or a machine.

A fairly ridiculous philosopher – who joined that band wagon. René Descartes wrote in “Passions of the Soul” in 1649 that animals were just machines. If you ever have a chance, seek out this treatise. It demonstrates just what an idiot this fool was.

How Did Dogs Get So Smart So Quickly?

Actually, dog’s intellectual status didn’t change. Our way of thinking did as we crawled out of the dark ages. We now know that animals have pretty much the same emotions as we do (and maybe even a few we humans don’t have).

Their hormones rule their moods and feelings just like our chemistry does. As a matter of fact, science has found that dogs have this hormone called oxytocin. And what does Wiki say about this chemical?

“Recent studies (2009) have begun to investigate oxytocin’s role in various behaviors, including orgasm, social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety, and maternal behaviors. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as the “love hormone.” However, oxytocin is not strictly associated with positive social interaction. For example, there is some evidence that oxytocin promotes ‘tribal’ behavior, incorporating the trust and empathy of in-groups with their suspicion and rejection of outsiders. Furthermore, genetic differences in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) have been associated with maladaptive social traits such as aggressive behavior.”

So, next time your dog seems sad, happy, playful or whatever, it’s not some mechanical reflex. Armed with this information, respect your pup. Be smart and aware that he or she has feelings just like you.

Or, as it was written about 500-years before the birth of Christ:

“In Mahābhārata, the ancient epic of India, comes a discourse where the wise minister Vidura advises the King Yuddhiśhṭhira thus, “Listening to wise scriptures, austerity, sacrifice, respectful faith, social welfare, forgiveness, purity of intent, compassion, truth and self-control – are the ten wealth of character (self). Hence, (keeping these in mind), by self-control and by making dharma (right conduct) your main focus, treat others as you treat yourself”.”

That includes animals, too.

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Top Screw-Ups When Training Your Dog

We’ll begin with a reminder: There’s a right way and a wrong way to train your best friend. The right way is the correct way. The wrong way is the incorrect way. See how simple it is to get your mutt to grill a couple of hot dogs and deliver them to you, with mustard, when they’re just perfectly singed.

For those who have difficulty with such an easy method, let’s do a chapter and verse of how to screw-up when training your dog. These suggestions come to us from the International Idiot Association, so we have been assured they’re totally messed-up.

The Top Ten

You have to remember that the IIA isn’t the crispiest bacon in the frying pan. While they told us there were ten dumb things, we only counted seven. But, what can you expect from a bunch of dumdums?

  • You’re a wimp.
    Dogs aren’t fools. They can tell when they’ve got a push-over on their hands (or paws, as it were). You may need to enroll yourself in some confidence-training group before you adopt a puppy – gain a pair. Why do you think that mutt’s are more likely to take a chunk from someone’s leg? Because they think the weakling is prey. Man- (or woman-) up when training the canine.


  • Too little or too much.
    Sure, it’s repetition that gets the commands to sink in. If you’re teaching a border collie, since they are so smart, a couple of times should be enough. Afghan hounds. Forget it; they’re pretty for a reason – because they’re so damned stupid. What takes a couple of examples for an intelligent mutt could end-up being a hundred times for the elite-looking Afghan. With that in mind, figure-out how much wit the dog has and act accordingly. The deal is one session shouldn’t be too short or too long. It’s a process, not a day at the races.


  • Variety is a spice of life. Not “the,” just an “a.”
    While you want to train the dog in a variety of situations, don’t do it in other settings until the animal has totally “got it.” Inconsistent commands are confusing. What if one time your boss told you to put all the copier paper in the office supply room. Then the next time, they wanted you to attach the boxes of paper to the ceiling? Be patient and don’t mix things up right off the bat.


  • Set it and forget it.
    Who do you think you are, Ron Popeil? Training in life – no matter if you’re a human or a dog – is a lifelong affair. If you go bowling once a year, good luck on that 300 game. Practice old habits and slowly introduce new ones on a regular basis with your buddy.


  • Stop repeating yourself.
    If your significant other has ever said this to you, when training a dog, the mutt is probably thinking this after you’ve said “sit” twenty-times – over-and-over. The pet isn’t responding. Your big mouth means squat. A treat and some praise definitely gets their attention. Sometimes the pup is a four-legged rebel. Again, don’t be a wimp. Move closer to the animal, look them in the eyes and use a disapproving “No. Sit!” Did it work? Treat and praise.


  • There’s a time to lay-off the treats.
    Don’t be a candy machine. Treats are good at first. After things get rolling, evolve into praise. You want to get the little fella (or lady) to get to the point where doing the right thing is its best reward.


  • Don’t be a drama queen or king.
    Hamming it up with anger or force turns everyone against you – man or beast. Flick-off the emotions during training. Overuse of an exuberant “Good dog” can likewise get the pup so excited that you might as well quit training until you’ve calmed down.
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The Siberian Husky

In the early evening hours if you ever hear a mournful cry in the distance don’t go all nutsy. It’s not a baby with lungs of titanium or a lone, baying wolf. It’s probably just a neighbor’s Siberian husky. This gentle giant has depth to its demeanor. It’s a worker but the Siberian husky is also a cuddler.

On the intelligence scale, it’s no border collie. But that does not mean this animal is a dummy. While the border responds to a first command 95% of the time, the Siberian husky gets it right more than 50% when it’s told to do something. Optimists call that independence.

Hey, it could be worse. Ever try to train an Afghan hound? You’ll be lucky if they get it after 100 requests.

Getting in the Game

This breed has a lot of chutzpah with a heavy dose of inquisition. A good example of their personality is that they are “thinkers.” Siberian huskies are like the guy in the meeting that rarely says anything, but when he does speak-up; everyone around the table is stunned by the momentary burst of reason.

Trainable? Sure, but you must be patient. And be prepared to offer refresher courses every-so-often. The dog is a canine version of Miss Manners. Very polite. However, they do like to express their feelings.

The sounds do not only manifest themselves as full-throated barks. Expect to hear songs, warbles, mumbling and an entire array of noises that are worthy of a spot on the America’s Weirdest Home Dog Video Show. If they were in a band, they could play virtually every instrument with their racket.

With a double coat, you must give ‘em a weekly grooming. You’ll also have to double your vacuuming schedule or you’ll be surrounded by hairy tumbleweeds from their shedding.

Back Then

We can thank the folks from the top region of Asia for the Siberian husky. Makes sense, right? Siberia.

Pretty snowy, they were bred to pull sleighs. At first they were called Chukchi dogs after the people who created them. Then around 1900 a guy named William Goosak, who traded in furs, brought a few of the beasts from Russia to compete in some Alaskan sled races.

People were stunned at their endurance in the old All-Alaska Sweepstakes. That’s when breeders started to evolve the Chukchi into what we have nowadays.

The story doesn’t end there, though.

While the modified breed continued to sled around the great white north, in the winter of ’25 the citizens of remote Nome came down with a killer case of diphtheria. Mind you, modern transportation was still in its infancy. And while there was a cure, how do you get it to the suffering?

Thanks to relay teams of Siberian huskies, “the Great Race of Mercy” turned an unknown dog into hero superstars.

Take it in Stride

Considering that the Siberian husky is in the top twenty most popular breed by the AKC, it received that status for a reason. Nevertheless, if you plan to adopt a pup there are a few matters we need to discuss:

  • You won’t ring-up a pile of bills from the vet because a Siberian husky is not a disease magnet. There are a couple of things to think about. Check the papers of their parents to ensure that they haven’t inherited any type of eye diseases. Another affliction the mutt can be plagued with is hip dysplasia. Ask the breeders for papers from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals to give you peace of mind.
  • This animal needs to get a job. That means they’re less likely to get the blues as long as they have something keep ‘em occupied. Paper route? Forget it. They’re lousy pitchers.
  • Proper training by a professional will keep them from getting down-in-the-dumps since you most likely don’t sled to work. Schooling always gives living things a good mental attitude.
  • Lastly, these are not apartment dogs unless your last name ends in Trump. The Siberian husky needs a lot of exercise. Make sure you don’t let them run wild except under controlled, fenced-in conditions. The last thing you want your dog to do is dart toward Nome.

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What to Do When the Dog Bolts

Something is amiss. It could be that you no longer hear an occasional bark from the fenced-in backyard. Perhaps it happens in plain sight. You open the front door and the dog bolts. There’s a badly misspelled letter on the dog’s pillow that reads, “hat enuf of yur crap, moofing to canananada.”

Whatever the case may be, the mutt has hit the road for either greener pastures or on some whim that there’s a Giselle out beyond the border which they just have to run-down and catch. Now what? You’ve misplaced your best friend.

Snap Into Action

Grab the cell phone and take to the car. You must start immediately searching for the pup. Some people give the animal a couple of days expecting it to come home naturally. That probably ain’t gonna happen. You don’t want to be driving to the store the next day and find your pet sleeping eternally on the side of the road.

If you have some friends, ring them up enlisting them in the task. Form a perimeter and work your way toward your house. Periodically ring them up to get a progress report. Tell your helpers to not only keep their eyes peeled, but call-out for the dog. This is even more vital as the sun sets. The poor pup (unless it’s getting its papers checked at the Canadian border) is probably scared and hiding somewhere.

Make copies of a hand-out with a recent picture of the canine on it and a number to call if the beast is detected. Give them to neighbors. Staple copies to phone poles. Post the sheet on local bulletin boards. Kids can be of great assistance. Remind them to not attempt a capture of the pup, but to tell their parents right away. Another guy or gal that can be helpful is the person who delivers the mail. They get around a lot.


A missing dog that’s been properly socialized usually likes to hang around people. Parking lots, convenience stores, fast food joints – places like that may be where the your buddy is chilling out. Cruise around spots like that too.

No Luck?

Plan to visit the local animal shelters or dog pound. Take along a small stack of hand-outs. Describe the mutt and visit these establishments every day. There are always new strays that are being brought into the shelters.

After that, time to go to the nearby veterinary clinics. Let’s hope the canine hasn’t been injured and brought to the doctor for care. But if it has, at least you have found them. If not, leave behind some more of those little papers you printed-out. Animal lovers stick together in a time of crisis.

Use the Media

Place an ad in the local paper. Likewise read the “Found” section. Be open-minded when viewing the other ads. A white-haired puppy on the lam may be described as silver. Dirt does that to a coat. Don’t forget the local radio stations. Some may have a feature called “Pet Corner” that helps reunite domesticated critters with their owners.

Don’t give up. The little thing may wander around for weeks or be fetched-up by a stranger that doesn’t know you’re looking for the dog. Then one day they see the poster and BANGO! – You get a call.

Prevention Tips

This may sound weird, but get some knock-out pills from the vet and take your animal to the tattoo parlor. See if they’ll ink your cell number on their belly. Better yet, get a microchip implanted in the dog on the next trek to the Veterinarian or look into getting a tracking collar if you think your dog is a flight risk.

But you have to admit, a tattoo on your best friend would be pretty cool.

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Beer and Rabbit Recipe

Stop us if you’d heard this one. You know the best way to catch a rabbit? Hide behind a tree and make a noise like a carrot. Hey, it’s your fault. You could have put the brakes on before you read it.

As you and the ever-loyal gun dog have returned with a satchel full of cottontails, you’re more likely to eat the hares and not take them to the taxidermist. Who wants some cute, fuzzy creature reminding you that you didn’t bag a bear, you only shot a couple of conies.

Have We Got A Recipe for You

You say you’re not a cook. Chef-up, man! It’s time you learned a thing-or-two in the kitchen. Even a hunk like Paul Bunyan would be proud to make this dish. Why? Because it’s got beer in it.

Call it Beer Braised Herb Infused Rabbit. Or if you’re trying to impress a significant other, go French and name it “Lapin braisé aux herbes bière infuse.” Collect these ingredients:

  • 2 cups amber beer
  • 4 pounds of rabbit meat, cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups of thinly sliced onions
  • 1½-pounds of thinly sliced mushrooms
  • ½-cup of all-purpose flour
  • ½-teaspoon salt
  • ¼-teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of softened (not melted) butter
  • 1 quart of low-salt chicken stock

Take a one gallon zip lock bag and dump the salt, pepper and a ½-cup of flour in it. Shake it to mix then add the rabbit bits. Put a Dutch oven on the stove; turn it on, adding 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Give the meat a coating, but wave any excess back in the bag. As the oil slightly begins smoking, gently lay the pieces in the pot.

Keep frying until it becomes a swell shade of brown. Take it out of the fire and place the bits on a plate. Add the rest of the olive oil, shuffling in the onions, too. Give that a couple of minutes until they soften. Then slip-in the garlic and the ‘shrooms, stirring for 2 more minutes. Now is when you incorporate that concoction with rosemary, basil, salt, pepper, bay leaves and thyme.

Return the bunny bits to the Dutch oven. Bathe the stuff in the chicken stock and the beer. Bring it to a boil, cover the stew, turn-down the heat and let it lightly simmer until the meat becomes tender. It should take about a half-hour.

With the soft butter, plunge-in 3 tablespoons of flour, combining it with a fork until it comes together. Scoop the rabbit from the brew to a plate. You’ll see some fat that’s risen to the surface. Spoon as much of that stuff off as you can. Replace it with the flour, soft butter mixtures. This will make the broth thicken-up as you simmer it for about 4-to-5 minutes. Keep stirring. You don’t want to burn this life-giving gravy.

Take out the bay leaves. Taste it and add more salt and pepper if you’re so inclined.

Plate the hare. Drown it with the sauce. Sprinkle some chopped parsley on the top to frou-frou it up.

It’s served well with some fancy rice, some green beans and, in memory of the rabbit, a side of sliced carrots. It’s only fair.

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Curing Hard Mouth

There are some myths out there that suggest certain paranoid Kings and Queens used to only eat pre-digested food. One of their subjects would chew it up and then give the munchies to the Monarch. Allegedly it served two purposes: A particularly lazy leader didn’t have to grind their royal chops and the guy doing the pre-digesting was testing the grub for poison.

There are some gun dogs that are a little like an emperor. They go and get the prey but on the way back to the shooter, they mangle the living crap out of the bird. By the time it reaches you, it’s hardly edible.

Hard Mouth

That’s what this type of mangling is called. It’s a rarity you’ll ever experience hard mouth with a canine that’s been specifically bred through-the-years – and properly trained – to ruin a fowl by a heavy chomp. For instance, retrievers are generally gentle with their delivery.

You want to deal with the potential of hard mouth while your best friend is still your little buddy. Sometimes, once the die is cast, it’s pretty tough to teach the mutt to lighten its load.


After about three-months into life, before it’s ever dealt with anything except a soft chew-toy, its learning-time. Enroll them into a basic gun-dog obedience program. Don’t worry; it’s not going to change the mutt’s personality into that of a robot. Organized education is good for person and beast alike.

When you’re home, here’s where the hard mouth training begins. Little ones usually have needle-sharp teeth so you might want to sport a gardening glove to keep your hand from becoming a pin cushion.

Make a fist and let your dog bite it. Make this a daily practice. In case the pup goes overboard; push your fist a touch further into its mouth. This maneuver should signal that they need to lighten-up on their bite.

Shell-out a few shekels for some doggie dummies. Head to the yard, with the animal still on the leash. Toss the decoy underhand a few feet away. Once they have latched onto the dummy, quickly pull them back to you. Tell the pup to “Drop it,” gently pulling the thing from their grip. Since they already had their formal training, they should obey and release.

Warning: The decoy is not a toy. Don’t treat it as such or the dog will think they can yank the stuffing out of the phony bird. After doing this for a couple of days take a trip to the grocery store and buy a few cheap, frozen Cornish game hens. Frozen birds don’t take any abuse from the puppy’s teeth. The canine will be more than happy to get the icy chicken out of their grip.

When you’re playing with the animal in the house, never engage in a game of tug-o-war with a toy. Likewise, never yank the prey from a dog’s choppers. The dog will think you’re goofing with them. They are always up for the competition.

Out in the real field, you’ve just snapped a goose. As the ever-maturing retriever latches onto the kill, they return to you. Don’t say “Drop it” just yet. Move back a couple of steps. You want the gun dog to walk the extra few feet toward you. Now you can issue the “Drop it” command.

As with all training, pack your pockets with treats and a mouthful of “Good dog!” In every walk of life, we all appreciate praise and reward.

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The Weimaraner

Come Halloween, want to scare some little kid into giving up all his candy when he taps on your front door? For those who own a Weimaraner it’s pretty easy. Since it’s already kind of spooky – it’s actually known as the “Gray Ghost” – the dogs yellow eyes add a streak of scream to anyone who has never before seen this magnificent animal.

Around a century ago the Weimaraner was bred into existence to flush-out waterfowl and big game.

When the canine arrived on our continent in the 20’s it was an instant hit with the elite. So much so that it was included in many table-top Art Deco statuettes.

Surely you’ve seen the one of a fully gowned woman wearing a floppy, French dress hat.

Because of that, the Gray Ghost began to lose its rep as a gun dog and more of a cognac sipping symphony concertgoer. Forward to the 1950’s when the Weimaraner Club of America hired a Mad Man to spin the breed as a dog to outhunt all other canines.

Seemed to work. Sales of the giant skyrocketed.

Then the market for the Weimaraner as a gun dog plummeted again. This time the reason was because it’s such a gorgeous dog that it began to win all types of trophies and blue ribbons at fancy dog shows. Further complicating the hunting dog status was a photographer in the ‘90’s. William Wegman began shooting Weims wearing human clothes. Great pictures, though.

Return to Hunting

After years of breeding for beauty, a new generation is beginning to return to its roots. This time around they aren’t as huge but they do have the oomph to go the distance. Looking to purchase a Gray Ghost for hunting? When scoping out a pup, check to see if the dog’s mom and pop have what you need in their bloodlines.

You’ll definitely want to invest in a quality e-collar when you’re training the little one. This is especially noteworthy if you want them to chase down fowl and other small prey. Fearless, the Weims would race a Stegosaurus if the dinosaur wasn’t extinct. That’s why a little stimulation will teach them to steer clear of elephants and the like. Likewise, it’s worth the extra investment to purchase a GPS, beeper or some type of tracking collar. Some animals would run as far a Key West, ferreting-out a wild boar.

No Need to be Unconventional

Weimaraner’s take well to regular old training. Start with the basics. As the pet matures, teach them a course of Gun Dog 101.

Since you may have some fowl on your menu, get the pup used to water early. Change locations, too. You want to give the mutt a wide range of experiences. Even though they’re virtually hairless, they take well to water to fetch a downed duck. Just be aware that they may be shivering when they lock onto land again. Keep a towel by your side to help warm the animal after its dip in the pond.

No matter the changes the breed has gone through, from hunter to millionaire to a photographer’s model and back to a gun dog that should tell you something about the Weimaraner. If anything, these animals are adaptable to practically every situation.

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Cooking Your Goose

Here’s something I bet you didn’t know. That story written by Charles Dickens was called “Tiny Tim.” That’s not the surprising thing. Despite all of the movies, plays and other dramatizations of the classic tale, it was only a little over 2-thousand words. The article you’re now reading is 688 words.

The reason we bring this up is because of this small part of the short story:

“There never was such a goose. Bob said he didn’t believe there ever was such a goose cooked. Its tenderness and flavor, size, and cheapness were the themes of universal admiration. Eked out by apple-sauce and mashed potatoes, it was a sufficient dinner for the whole family; indeed, as Mrs. Cratchit said with great delight (surveying one small atom of a bone upon the dish), they hadn’t ate it all at that! Yet everyone had had enough, and the youngest Cratchits, in particular, were steeped in sage and onions to the eyebrows! But now, the plates being changed by Miss Belinda, Mrs. Cratchit left the room alone–too nervous to bear witnesses–to take up the pudding and bring it in.”

Classic. Just plain classic.

Cooking Your Own Goose

Since you’ve just bagged a beauty, you’re going to need to get all Mrs. Crachit up in the fowl. This ain’t your usual bird. Unlike chicken or turkey, this fine beast is thick-skinned. That means you’re going to render a barrel of fat from roasting.

Preparing the holiday or everyday goose beckons you to take the wishbone from it straight-away. With its breast-side facing up, pull back the skin so you can see the bone. Don’t rip-off the epidermis. You simply want to slice around the wisher so that you can see on both sides of the bone. No need to do a full-blast surgical procedure. You merely want to cut enough so you can yank-out the wishbone.

While there’s a debate about whether stuffing a bird is healthy or not, we’ve got a fix for that. We’ll tell you about it later during our bombshell ending.

Anywho, with your favorite stuffing – or as they say in some parts of America: Dressing – load the large cavity with your prized recipe. Don’t have one? A combo of onions, apples, orange slices and a crushed clove of garlic work wonderfully. When scooping the stuff inside, go Goldilocks-style. Not too little. Not too much. Just enough.

Sew the opening shut with kitchen string and using the trussing needle; lightly poke some shallow holes in the skin. Don’t stab the goose like you’re the Bates kid from “Psycho.” You do not want to puncture the skin.

Cooking Technique You Can Use on All Fowl

Get out the shallow roasting pan and one of those V-shaped adjustable oven racks.  Lower the goose onto the rack, placing it on its side. Pour some water in the bottom of the pan to keep the grease from becoming an oven lamp with the burnt oil. You could use chicken or veggie stock in lieu of plain ol’ H2O.


After the upcoming feast has cooked 1/3rd of the way, rotate it so the bottom side now faces upward. For the last third, arrange it so the breast is topside and raise the temp of the oven an additional 20 degrees to toast the breast a touch.

Why move the thing around so much? So that the internal juices get to roll around inside the bird. Trust us; it makes any fowl more juicy and tender.

Do you need to baste the goose? Sure, why not. Just do it with every turn of the fowl. Too much basting however can dry it out.

Now, the Stuffing Cheat

For those who use their time-honored dressing concoction, during the final part of the bird rotation, scoop the stuffing into a lightly oiled pan. Settle it flat and schlep it back in the oven with the goose. This will allow it to cook and save you from hurling the beast an hour-or-two after consumption.

Bon Appetite!

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Checklist for Hunting on Public Land

Since you live out of the big city, off in the distance you can faintly hear the “pock-pock” of rifles being discharged. Game’s on. It’s a calling you to head out to some public lands so you can pack that freezer in the garage with some game meat for the winter.

The concern is that heading into the forest is like trying to buy the latest Apple gizmo. There are lines around the block filled with other nerds like you. Unless you camped-out 2-weeks in advance in front of the store, you’re going to risk being SOL when you finally – after a 4-hour wait – get inside only to be told “We’ve just sold of the last iCrap.”

Get a Jump on the Competition

There are ways to bag a hunk of big game in the woods without having to bump into every Tom, Dick and Trevor in an orange jumpsuit. Take these suggestions:

  • Doing a little off-season advance work is key. While it’s good to look for public spots that are huge – like a thousand-or-more acres – small places have their advantages. The large tracts let you go deep. And since you regularly exercise (unlike most couch-potato hunters) you’ve got more stamina to go well-off the beaten path. An advantage of the tinier plots is that most hunters write them off, thinking there won’t be any prey nestled inside. Wrong, especially if the little parcel of public land is right next to a gigantic “Posted” area. At last check, we’ve found that a deer can’t read. Without a high fence separating the open from the closed property, a buck will prowl wherever its nose takes them.
  • Plan ahead with your boss at work. Ask about taking a few vacation days in the middle of the week. Since most hunters have a real job, they’re more likely to head into the wild on the weekends. Animals don’t punch a time clock, but they can tell when there are droves of people in their lair. Mid-week advantage: You.
  • Once you’re in the thick of things, there are no lunch breaks. Stay put. Other folks leave the stand and head to a burger joint to refuel, causing commotion. Pack a sandwich and a couple of Cokes so you can remain in the blind.
  • Generally you can tell where the most hunters are by where they park their trucks. Make note, then move on. See if you can find a property owner adjacent to the public land and ask them if you can park in their driveway. You now have the opportunity to enter the public tract through the backdoor. Think about it. If everyone is starting from a common point, they’re going to be chasing the prey to the edge of the public part. And there you are. Sorta like fishing in a barrel, right?
  • Can’t come in through the bathroom window? Then get out to the public site as early as possible – pre-dawn. The plus to this approach is that you can then lumber toward the edge of the forest where the other hunters are chasing the prey.
  • Places that are hard to get to are ideal spots to hunker-down. Get a detailed topographical map and plot where you want to be. The more overgrown and rugged areas are your target. Whitetails are always looking for a thicket to avoid the maddening crowd with rifles.
  • Don’t be afraid of hitting the trail toward the end of the season. The state wildlife folks want to keep the herd healthy and happy. They go as far as sprinkle some food around the public lands in deep winter. The game knows where these spots are. Your mission is to bag ‘em before they eat the pre-planted stuff. Why? It just makes a mess for you when you’re gutting your winter supply.
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