Nine years ago, we started offering hunting culinary schools for the sole purpose of instructing hunters what to do with their trophies after the harvest. We have hosted schools for saltwater fishing, deer hunting, hog hunting, duck hunting, goose hunting, snow goose hunting, alligator hunting, dove hunting, and Sandhill crane hunting. A common problem I encounter in the hunting world is hunters who do not eat their prize. I have heard all the excuses from my family does not eat wild game to it tastes like shoe leather. The issue with the taste of the animal is dependent on how the hunter handles their game directly after kill. Therefore, we came up with the hunting culinary schools to teach, to inform, and to educate about the proper steps from field to table. We are in our tenth year, and we are hosting our eighteenth school this fall in Oklahoma about deer hunting.
Coastal Wings is a guide service and lodge in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Kansas. We have lodges in three states which allow us the freedom to offer a complete experience not found at other motel run guide services. We host our hunters with lodging, meals, and hunting services. We feed wild game as appetizers, main dishes, and samples several times each week. We recently hosted a Spring Snow Goose School in Arkansas, where we harvested Snow, Blue and Ross geese. After the harvest, we instructed each participant on how to clean their birds, how to prepare their birds for the freezer and table. We then choose a few samples to take into the kitchen and use for dinner each night. We cannot do it alone, and we utilize the help of several chefs, cookbook authors, and knowledgeable local cooks to help instruct our students. Each teacher brings their own cooking style and passion to the schools – whether it be cooking in a certain flavor profile such as Asian or Italian or preparing charcuterie. Each student will acquire several different perspectives from all teachers involved.
The morning hunt takes on a little different pressure during schools due to a need for specimens for use at the school. My guides are from all over the United States and have hunted many different states and countries. Each guide brings a little diversity to the hunt, whether they are bird hunters, western big game hunters, or fishermen. Their stories and history make wonderful camp fire time at night after dinner. We hunt each morning, for the desired prey, until noon. At that time, we gather at the lodge for lunch and then the afternoon classes begin. Everyone is welcome, not just those successful, to participate in the cleaning and butchering classes. We will walk the school through the process on the first animal from start to finish. Then, we ask the students to try while we are watching to help with any questions as it is always easier to learn through hands on experience. After cleaning has ended, we will take the time to let the chefs pick their cuts for dinner meals, and then we will start on the vacuum sealer. After labeling and following the proper tagging requirements, all meat will be placed in coolers or freezers.
When darkness falls and the guns are put away, everyone gathers in the dining room for the social hour and dinner meal. Stories from the day are told and the chefs begin to discuss the meal for the evening. Typically, three tiers of food are made out of the meat cuts from the day. Our chefs will answer questions ranging from marinades to spice choices to wine pairings. Each participant will receive a signed cookbook with helpful recipes, marinades and charcuterie instructions. After the meal, participants enjoy the comradery around the lodge and relax in preparation for the next day.
Are you interested in participating in our next hunting culinary school? Send us an email for information.