Growing up as an avid turkey hunter, I had little knowledge of other types of hunting-especially upland hunting. So, when a friend offered to take me out on my first pheasant hunt, I had jumped on the opportunity to go. We drove out to Harveyville, Kansas, to a nearby game reserve early one Saturday morning.
Brought with us were three hunting dogs, my guide, and my excitement. I was so used to sitting in one spot for hours calling in turkeys, maybe only moving to a different spot during the day if I wasn’t having any luck. Pheasant hunting is a constant movement between the hunter and the dogs, who sniff their way around the grounds trying to pick up the scent of a bird. Watching as the three dogs work together is just a part of the experience of upland hunting. Just as soon as we got started, all three dogs went on point. I held up my Remington 870 shotgun and gave the nod for the dogs to flush the bird. That was how I harvested my very first pheasant.
Harvesting My First Pheasant Rooster
As I continue to grow Wander Woman Kansas, I am fortunate that other hunting opportunities are available to me. There are so many organizations that have a passion to provide hunting events to women in Kansas and Missouri. Recently I spotted an upcoming hunt for women only, and knew I had to join-in on the fun. I helped promote the event and encouraged other other women I knew head out to Mayview, Missouri. In a group of six women, we hiked out to the field with our hunting guides and our now-favorite guide dogs. With this group I had finally harvested my first rooster.
Creating the Pheasant Burger Recipe
Although I enjoy being outside in nature, building these moments in my life, the biggest reason I continue to hunt is for the meat to add to my freezer for the year. I knew I wanted to try pheasant in different recipes, but had to think of how best to prepare it. I found online different blogs for ground turkey and chicken recipes and thought to myself - why can't I just substitute the turkey or chicken with the pheasant I brought home? Well, turns out I was right! Pheasant is just as good, if not better, than chicken and turkey.
During the summer I love to be outside, especially to grill. That was when I thought of a great recipe to use up some of my pheasant; grilled feta and spinach pheasant burgers. These burgers have great flavor, are super simple to put together, and everyone enjoys them. I like them so much that when I saw a recipe contest from the National Wild Turkey Federation, I did not hesitate to submit my new, favorite recipe to them.
Pheasant, Feta and Spinach Burger Ingredients
1 ¼ lbs pheasant breast (about 5 to 6 breasts)
1 ½ cups fresh spinach chopped
5 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 TBS garlic powder
¼ cup Italian bread crumbs
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp salt
Optional Toppings: Red onion, lettuce, cucumber, mayonnaise, brioche buns
Pheasant, Feta and Spinach Burger Directions
Remove breast meat from the bird and be sure to thoroughly clean any feathers or shell pellets you can find.
Cut the pheasant into chunks and run meat through a grinder.
Combine ground meat, chopped spinach, feta, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, and bread crumbs in a bowl.
Mix the ingredients well then portion the meat mixture evenly into uniform patties
While patties are setting, preheat your grill to medium heat.
Make sure the grill grates are clean and oiled to prevent sticking.
Grill your pheasant patties until no longer pink and juices run clear, about five minutes per side.
Serve patties on the brioche buns with the toppings of your choice
National Wild Turkey Federation Recipe Contest
A few weeks later, after submitting my burger recipe to the National Wild Turkey Federation Recipe Contest, I received an email that out of the entries I had been narrowed down to the top 5! And if that wasn't exciting enough, a couple weeks later I was told that I had placed 1st out of that selection! Be sure to check out the video on the National Wild Turkey Federation's Facebook page, as well as the other submissions.