Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bear meeting twice while hunting for wild boar

 Mr big bear picture taken in the area

A normal way hunting for Wild boars in Sweden is to feed the boars with grain , corns, peas , bread or similar products somewhere out in the woods.
You need to do this frequently so that the boars always know there is something good to eat there.

Then u need to go out there in the evening before it gets dark as the pigs are more active during the dark hours of the day. You sit there for hours and frequently during a long period of time sometimes before any pig appears and u get an opportunity to shoot. A lot of work and waiting mostly.
But very relaxing also and exciting when u start to hear noices in the bushes and start hoping.

You see a lot of animals when u sit there. Badgers, foxes, hares, deers etc. while u are waiting.
Very nice !
But u never expect to see what I have experienced twice. 4 years and a few kilometers between.
Both experiences was pretty similar to each other.

I went out in the evening at late summer time. Very hopeful to shoot a pig .
Sitting and waiting and suddenly hearing a load sound. Branches breaks loudly in the wood.
The heart starts pumping and your think the big one is coming.

You unsecuring the rifle and start aiming so that u don´t need to do any  big movements when the
boar enters the scene .
But when it shows it´s big head and the massive body u soon starts realizing this is not
a boar. Not a boar at all. The distance both times was only 10-15 meters away from where I sit.
You pretty much having a big male brown bear in your knee.

The first hut was on legs 2-3 meters up in the air. Felt a little bit more safe though. The second hut was on the ground more or less. The wind must have been good both times as the bear wasn´t affraid at all and didn´t seem to care though.

The first time the bear came from the bushes 20 meters in front of me. Showing it´s head a few seconds before he climbed out in the open and started to run towards the food 10 meters in front of me. I slowly glided down on the chair I sat on so that only the top of my head and eyes was above the opening I looked through.
The bear started to eat bread and corns on the ground. He ate very clear and loudly. After 30 minutes it layed down on it´s back over the food that was left.
It stared to yawn a couple of times and then it layed down like that for at least 15 minutes.
My back was hurting and I started do think I had to stay in the weired position I was sitting in for the rest of the night. For sure I sat still like a stone where I was.
The rifle was unsecured though in case. I though to my self the bear is nice and harmful and wont do anything. It´s probably more scare for u . But then I thought. I´m sitting close to the food and it might try to protect it from me or maybe see me as a better catch to eat.

Anyway the bear went up on it´s legs again. Started to walk slowly back to where it arrived.
Without any signals the bear started to run back in to the bushes and away . Could hear it very clear when like a train running through. Must have sensed something I believe scaring it .

It was pretty dark now and the clock was still not midnight.
I started to call my friends and parents and tell the story. First I thought I stay the night in the hut.
Most I talked to said no problem some told me that bears sometimes runaway like that and circle back behind u when it knows where u are. Then it waits for you.
Not the signals I needed. I waited for another 30 minutes and then I took my chances.
Checking around everywhere with the light and the unsecured rifle ready with the finger on the trigger in case. Not the safest way to move back to the car in bad terrain and darkness.
The car was only 30 meters away from where I sat so I reached it pretty fast . It has never felt so good to close the car door and move back home.

The second time a encountered the same male bear I believe was 2 years later only a few kilometers away from the first.
Then it was midsummer time and light most of the night.
I new the pigs was there every night for along time. I had missed them every time. But not tonight.
I had prepared some sandwiches, coffe and candy to be able to hold out all night if needed.
Tonight I was going to shoot a big for sure.
I think it was around 7-8 in the evening I went out. The clock was now almost 3 in the morning.
I knew the pigs sometimes turned up around 5 in the morning.
I was going to wait them out all night if necessary this time.
I was very sleepy and tired around 3 when I suddenly hear a big break in the woods behind me.
My heart started to pump adrenaline and I wasn´t sleepy anymore.
Same as last time. A big boar I thought. Now I was going to get it.
Just 2-3 meters besides the hut I see the bear running down to the corn in front of the hut only 10-15 meters away this time also. It doesn´t seem to notice me this time either.
This time it felt much closer as it just past me also. I don´t know but I felt more relaxed this time.
I reached for my mobile and closed the flash on the camera. Then I tried to get a few pictures.
This time I hade a camo net in front of the window. It was a perfect timing I thought.
The bear was out there for about 30 minutes this time. I bent down my head and tried to check the mobile if the pictures was ok. They were just dark and it seemed to be 200 meters away. No good pictures. When I did this I heard this load noice of branches breaking.
I thought the bear was attacking the hut as it seemed so close. It was a real chock feeling before
I could hear the bear running away in the distance.
Now it was getting very light and the sun started to shine bright.
This time it felt much better to move to the car.
Before I did that I took a break in the hut drinking the last coffee. I felt pretty calm then I thought.
When I lifted the coffee mug my hand shaked like crazy.
Supposed there was a lot of adrenaline left . Funny feeling.

I suppose I have been very lucky to see this magnificent animal so close.
Two times in this big area of Sweden where there hardly are supposed to be any bears at all
is pretty amazing.
Just wondering if I will get the opportunity to see this animal a third time. Hope I have the same luck then though the third time.
The bear seems to walk around a lot in the area so the chance might turn up again one day.

Thanks for sharing my experience!

This was a close call . Just days before my first real meeting with Mr Bear:

This was my second meeting:

Friday, April 29, 2016

Pork chops on the grill

Friday evening after work .
A few Pork chops on the grill and a nice new beer to try out.
A fresh sallad and some fried French fries and Bea .


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Wild boar down

Yesterday evening I went out hunting for wild boar again. What is better then bringing home your own wild meat directly from the wilderness. Being able to do the basic hunting our ancestors once did. You know the animal had a good life and u know the meat is natural and fresh.

Have been out a lot lately and the pigs have been there almost every time.
But every time they have been cautious. They most probably sense my smell in the wind scaring them away.  This night the wind seemed to be in a good direction .
2 pigs entered the scene from the wood around 20:30. It was still pretty light out.
They moved fast across back and forth and they looked at my hunting hut all the time.
I didn´t dare moving to much and aim with the rifle as they were only 15-20 meters away.
It was 2 young boars around 50 kgs each.
I almost got my chance at last starting to aim slowly but they moved on in to the bush again.

They were gone and the time was ticking.
They usually snort loudly when they mark they have sensed u. Now they didn´t sound at all.
I thought they might come back a little bit later again when the dark covered them better.
I was right. Around 22:00 it was much darker and the birds stopped singing for the day.
2 dark shadows appeared on the scene again. Now they were much more relaxed and moved slowly.
They finally stopped . I lift my rifle and aimed. It was enough light in the scoope and I could see the animals pretty clear.
I made sure the animal I aimed at was alone and nothing behind. Aimed at the shoulder were u are supposed to aim . A big forgiving area covering the lungs. Hitting the lungs the animal bleed to death very quickly and you minimize the risk of wounding the animal and the need for a search.

The shot went off and everything went blending light from the rifle fire.
I could hear the animals running rapidly toward the bush. Focusing on listening towards what direction the animal was heading for. Felt I had a pretty good idea where though. You can´t see anything in the dark for a short while when u get blinded from the rifle fire.

I could hear my heart pumping from adrenaline . I gave it a few minutes  . Reloaded the rifle with a bullet in the chamber before I left the hut to check for the pig.
I arrived to the shooting area started to look for blood , lungbits or anything . Nothing.
Got a little bit worried for a possible search and a long night ahead.

I picked up my car to get some extra light over the shooting area. Didn´t find nada.
Now I went to the the bush where I thougt the pig run in. Around 10-15 meters from the shooting area. Put on an extra headlamp and started searching the ground.

There it was finally . A small blood drop and then another heading in one direction.
It was promising but a little bit worrying . Should have been a road of blood now giving a positive indication.
I heading for the bush . Bending down seaching for drops. Not many at all. Unsecuring the rifle ready to shoot if any mad pig attacks from nowhere.
Now I´m about 15 meters in the bush. I´m sweaty and confused but there 5 meters away I see a body.
Yes! It´s my pig. It´s dead. I see the blood in the shoulder area and the open dead eyes and feel good about the result. The bullet hit where it was supposed. A few pictures of the beautiful animal was taken. Feeling very humble and grateful .

The rope was still in the car and I forgot the gloves also.
The pig wasn´t that big so I grabbed a leg and started pulling it towards the car. When I started to see the car I went there for the rope to drag it the last 15 meters.
50 kgs dead meat through the dens bush is pretty rough when u carrying the rifle in the the other hand. But it was secured though.

This was for sure a good exercise for a guy like me.
The pig was loaded to the car in a big plastic box. Then sitting down in the car relaxing for a few minutes catching the breath and drink some water before bragging on Facebook.
Then I left for home.

Got home about 23:00 . Then the big job started to gut the animal and remove the skin.
Was a while now since last time but the routine were not forgotten though.
00:30 I was in bed .

Now we finally have some new fantastic meat for the smoker and grill to last a few weeks anyway.
Good material I suppose for a new post on this blog shortly.

Be careful out there!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Home made bacon and egg toast

What can be more delicious to eat then a simple bacon and egg toast.
Only a 10-15 minutes job to make.

Heat up a frying pan with some nice real butter.
Let it melt and start bubbling and get this golden brown nice color. Then u fry up some slices of white toast lightly  in this golden liquid. When ready put them on a plate.

Add more butter in the pan and start frying the eggs.
Try to keep the egg yolks whole during the process .
1-2 eggs per toast. Season with some salt and black pepper . Add the eggs on top of the toasts.

Now it´s time for the Bacon. In this case home made smoked bacon. Fry them as long as you like.
Good either way if not burned to much. Then u add the bacon on top of the toast.
Punch a whole in the egg yolk so it flows out and makes a nice yellow cream floating across the toast.

Now u have the most fantastic delight to enjoy!



Friday, April 22, 2016

Fantastic Crawfishing in August

In August the traditional Swedish Crawfishing season starts in Sweden.
Here some memories from earlier adventures in Fyrväpplingen with family and friends.

You get your numbers/locations in the lake were u are allowed to put out 10 cages which u add some fish bait in. The crawfish are attracted to smelly bait like white fish in this case.

We get out around 4-5 in the afternoon . Preparing the cages and dropping them at different locations with different depth from 0,5 meter up to 3-4 meters to the bottom just to try out where they might be.

Normally you are supposed to wait a few hours before u check the cages but u are only allowed to fish until midnight at this place so you don´t want to waste time at any bad spots.

After 2 hours at the latest u start checking the cages and hopefully u have some nice crawfish in them. When u find empty cages you move them to other hopefully more attractive spots.

We always start up a nice fire burning all evening. Having some good food and something to drink. A few spicy hotdogs over the fire is always nice.

While the cages are out in the lake we all like to look for Crawfish along the lake shore.
When the darkness starts setting in around 7-8 The crawfish starts to be more active in the water looking for food along the shore . Preferably u wear a good headlamp so that u can use your hands freely when u look in the water for them. You use a fishing line with a hook or similar with some added fish bate or mayby a net.
If there are any nearby they soon start coming and eating the fish. Then u try to bring them in. That´s a big sport as many of them get scared and disappears fast. Some are not that lucky though.

We usually checking and moving around the cages 4-5 times during the evening.
Some are empty and sometimes u get 5-10 in one cage. Then u are very excited  just to find the next 5 cages empty. Always looking forward to this day every year. So funny and exciting even though it´s a lot of job also and a lot of bad smelling fish bate to handle . But it´s worth it for sure.

After a good evening we hopefully have about 150-200 Crawfishes at the the allowed size.
They crawl around in a big plastic box.
When we get home they stay in the box over night while we take a few hours sleep .

The next day we cook the poor creatures alive . But it´s a quick procedure though.
We boil hot water mixed with salt , sugar , beer and Crown dill .
When the water bubbles u drop in 4-5 Crawfish in it. They die directly and turns red .
You remove them and wait for the water to start boiling again. Then u do the same procedure again.
After a while u need a new water mix . Let´s say after 50 Crawfishes.
Because the dill starts giving some bad taste when boiling to long.

Then u add the ready cooked Crawfishes in some kind of container. We use a big plastic box.
You poor over the saltwater  so it covers the Crawfish. Adding som extra fresh dill on top.
Then u let it cool down over the day.
In the evening we have our friends and family gathered for a nice Crawfish party " Kräftskiva".

The crawfish is now removed from the water and put on some serving plates.
The kids grabbing the biggest very quickly. You are lucky if u get one big to try yourself.
The tails and the claws are the parts most eat. Some like to eat some other stuff called "Smöret".
Some yellow goo from the stomach.

To the crawfish we eat pie . Cheese pie and smoked ham pie. The cheese is a Swedish delicacy called "Västerbottens ost" . A little bit like the Italian Parmesan cheese. A wonderful pie and cheese.

We drink beer and the famous Swedish snaps. A lot of different brands and herb tastes.
It should be cold and we always sing a Snaps song before we drink it. " Helan går " The famous song.
The kids drink soda though but can join singing .

Hopefully the party goes on for a few hours after midnight if everything works out as it supposed to do.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Smoking Perch in wonderful Geta , Åland

This is a great memory from summer 2014 when we rented a nice cabin in Geta, Åland together with some good friends.
The weather was great this week and the fishing turned out really good when we finally found them.
At this cabin down by the sea we had our own really fine smoker. Great surprise!

The first 2 days we didn´t get any fish and thougt the sea was dead but then we find the spot and started to catch some really big sized Pearches.
Finally we could start smoking.  
The first big catch we smoked didn´t turn out well unfortunately. We cooked it to long and the fish got dry and chewy. Big disappointment for sure.
But we didn´t give up. It´s funny fishing and when u catch fish it´s just wonderful.
We got a new nice catch and we gave it another go.
This time giving the smoker some more heat and we didn´t smoke it to long this time.
To get the smoke we used juniper wood growing close by. Don´t recall how long we smoked it but it didn´t take that long this time. Didn´t want to do the same mistake twice.

A great time waiting for the result. Something cold to drink in the hot sun. Smelling the wonderful smoke and ocean air and the best ocean view u can ever imagine.

This time the fish turned out just perfect. So good so nice!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Smoked beef jerky

Smoked some cube steak slices in the smoker today for just a few hours in low temperature.
It was cured overnight in a salt and spice marinade.
Sprinkled some crushed spices on top when finished smoking.


1 kg ready sliced cube steak

Cure mix containing:

1 dl soya sause
2 table spoons salt
2 table spoons crushed black pepper
3 crushed garlic cloves
1 tea spoon ginger powder
1 tea spoon aniseed powder
1 tea spoon habanero chili powder
1 tea spoon cayenne pepper
1 table spoon lemon juice
2 table spoons golden syrup

The sliced steak should be well mixed together with the cure mix .
A plastic bag works well for the mixing and keeping the meat in.
The ready mix then stays over night in a refrigerator.

The next day the meat is threaded on wooden sticks in this case fitting well in the smoker.
The smoker is started . Alder tree wood chips is used .

Trying to keep the manual smoker temperature at about 60 degrees celcius for about 4 hours.
When u feel the meat looks dry enough u can remove it from the smoker.
Don´t want to kill the meat with to much smoke either. Be careful.

When the meat is removed you sprinkle it with a spice mix to get the little extra
sparkle to the taste.

In this case a mix containing :

1 tea spoon anissed powder
1 table spoon crushed black pepper
1 table spoon sea salt flakes
1 tea spoon chili pepper powder
1 tea spoon muscovado sugar

Now ready to enjoy with something cold to drink.

Bon apetit !

Thanks for showing your interest!
Please comment this and if u have a good recipe/cure don´t hesitate to share it here.
We all want to improve our cooking skills and try something new. 

Smoked pork belly and ham

What is better than some home smoked pork belly and ham.
Cured with salt during a week first. As salty as u prefer it.
Then smoked for about 10 hours.
Slowly increasing the temperature until the meat ends up with an inner temperature at about 70 degrees Celcius.

Then u have the best bacon and ham u ever can imagine,


In this case:
1 piece 1 kg pig ham
2 pieces pork belly 1kg each

1 piece pork belly was cured/inbedded in 0,5 kg salt for 2 weeks. 0,2 kgs Nitrite salt and 0,3 kgs       sea salt. Liquid was removed a few times during this time and some extra salt added.

The second pork belly piece and the ham piece was cured in a saltwater bath for 4 days.
All meat was covered in saltwater during this time.
The saltwater mix was about 5% salt and 95% water. You cook up the water and add the salt.
Then u taste and add as much salt u like the meat to taste. The meat will be exactly as salty as the saltwater mix. Good to remember.
The saltwater will then penetrate about 1 cm into the meat from each side of the meat.
If the thickest part of the meat is 8 cms then it will take about 4 days for the salt to reach the center.
It´s better to keep it longer in the salt water to make sure all meat is cured as the taste won´t change anyway.

The nitrite salt makes the meat more red and attractive though . Also protect the meat better but is not as healthy if consumed to often.

The day had come to start up the smoker early in the morning. Alder wood chips used.
The meat was hooked in the smoker. A thermometer was added to the thickest piece of meat to the middle of it.

The temperature in the Smoker was between 60-90 degrees with some peaks up and down for 10 hours when the temperature was peaking over 100 degrees for a while to finish.
Some dry herbs from the garden and juniper chips was also added during the smoking to add some extra flavors.
In the end 1 dl sugar was added into the fire to give the meat a final goldish color finish from the smoke it gives.

The meat is removed from the smoker and covered in some aluminum foil to rest and cool down for a few hours.

The meat is wonderful as it is warm but u can feel all the tastes best when cold so wait a few hours or the day after to enjoy.

The ham was sliced and perfect on the breakfast bread to enjoy with some nice mustard on top.

The pork belly cured in salt for 2 weeks was very salty but good.
Perfect to enjoy with one or two cold beer together with friends as u get a little bit thirsty.

The other pork belly cured in saltwater was much milder and not that salty. Very nice sliced on some bread but also perfect to fry as bacon with some eggs . Delicious !

Thanks for showing your interest!
Please comment this and if u have a good recipe/cure don´t hesitate to share it here.
We all want to improve our cooking skills and try something new. 

Home made Pancetta ready to enjoy

                                                                          April 16

This weekend I hanged two pieces of pork belly in my cellar after beeing cured with salt, blackpepper and some other spices for one week.
Now it will hang for about 2 month. The hope is to end up with a kind of  Pancetta as a result.


2 pieces of pork belly. 1 kg each.

Cured for one week in:

0,5 kgs salt ( 0,3 kgs Nitrite salt )
1 dl crushed black pepper
5 garlic cloves crushed
1 tea spoon ginger powder
1 tea spoon cummin powder
2 tea spoon chili powder

After beeing cured one week in a plastic bag the meat was hanged in a room in the cellar keeping
a steady 18 degrees celcius temperature .

Will now hang for 2 month.

This is the result after 10 days. Shrinking a lot and getting a little dry in the corners. But still smelling good and can´t see any mold. Getting a little more redish and attractive though.
See if there will be anything left when ready. Still a long way to go though....

The picture showing start and now.

                                    April 26                                                                 April 16

                                                               Jun 7

A fresh photo above . Only 8 more days to go before the true test.
Smells very good and doesn´t feel hard like a stone. Hopefully beeing able to slice with a knife when time is in.


Finally !!

Supposed to hang a few more days. But I felt it was time to take a first test bite.
I have been smelling at the meat for some time now and it smells so good. The smell u suppose it should taste also. Today I couldn´t wait any longer.
Sliced a few pieces and tasted.  It was just so perfect . I really didn´t know what to expect.
The smell promised something good though and it was.

Will enjoy this with a slice now and then with family and friends.
It was 2 big chunks when I started the process and now only one third left so it won´t last very long
I´m afraid....

Now I know it works though and can start planning to make sure there is always new pieces hanging and waiting to be enjoyed.

So happy !

Smoked wild boar

The shoulders from a 50 kgs wild boar are perfect for the smoker.
After 10 long hours in the smoker reaching an inner temperature of 70 degrees celcius it´s ready.
Perfect the day after sliced and served cold with a nice creamy potato gratin with a lot of garlic.
A nice cold beer or a glass of red wine.

Yummy !


Wild boar shoulders
Cured in saltwater 5% salt and 95% water.( Salt % depending how salty u like it )
Nitrite salt added to get some red nice color to the meat.

The meat will hang in the smoker for 10 hours. Alder wood chips used.
Trying to keep the temperatur between 70-90 degrees celcius for as long as possible.
In the end speeding up the Temperatures to about 100-110 degrees celcius.
Finishing with a handful sugar on the fire to give the meat a goldish color touch.
Remove from smoker and enjoy !

Thanks for showing your interest!
Please comment this and if u have a good recipe/cure don´t hesitate to share it here.
We all want to improve our cooking skills and try something new.