|Photos Courtesy of Bob Gress|
As a result, I've never killed many of them while duck hunting. Honestly, they don't tend to fly into a spread much unless someone is moving around in the marsh on foot or by boat. The limit, 15, is liberal so there's plenty of opportunity. I've just never done it.
Not that eating a coot is on my bucket list, but inquiring minds wanted to know. I volunteered. They bombarded us several times early one morning last week while duck hunting. As an added bonus, six of them provided practical field work for my new Lab and he retrieved each and every one. In all honesty, they're pretty cool critters up close and personal. They've got some of the most unique legs and feet you'll see on a bird. I never waste anything I kill and knew I'd put them to the taste test once and for all.
There isn't much meat on a coot, less than a teal and slightly more than a big dove. And it's not as thick or coarse as duck meat and looked and felt noticeably tender. I marinated them in a bath of Italian dressing overnight. I wrapped each of the breast halves in bacon and put them on a kabob. I grilled them to a medium-rare and plopped them down in front of my twin 12-year-old boys for dinner. The results were surprising. Both boys liked them better than our usual dove or duck kabobs. They commented on the tenderness of the meat and mild, pleasant flavor. They were mighty tasty and I was impressed, too.
And to think all these years I've been watching coots fly by. I always liked Rodney Dangerfield and I think I like coots, too. Maybe those Cajuns know what they're talking about after all.