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New Orleans, LA

(504) 517-4844


saint hugh cooks: orange-infused pheasant

Emily Degan

If, like me, you’re still cleaning out your freezer from last year, this is a great simple recipe to just throw in the crockpot for an easy work night or weekend meal.

2-3 pheasants, depending on size
3 sprigs of fresh thyme, trimmed of steams
3 sprigs parsley, trimmed of stems
1 tablespoon of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup of chicken or vegetable broth
1 orange

Grate the orange.
Rub the outside of the birds with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and the grated orange.
Stuff their cavities with trimmed thyme and parsley and minced garlic.
Place the birds in the crockpot.
Halve the grated orange and squeeze it over the birds.
Squeeze any remaining remining juice into crockpot.
Pour in the broth.
Cook on high for 3 ½ hours, then on low for 1 – 1 ½ hours.

Happy cooking!

field notes: on teal

Emily Degan

Mid-September means teal season in Louisiana. While we’re excited simply to be back in the marsh calling birds and taking shots, we wanted to spend a moment taking a closer look at these colorfully feathered fowl.

Green-winged teal feather magic. 

Green-winged teal feather magic. 

Teal are dabbling ducks, spending most of their time in shallow, primarily freshwater ponds and wetlands. The three most common varieties of teal are: blue-winged, green-winged, and cinnamon. Teal are smaller than most other duck species, characterized by their short necks and tails. Blue-winged teal are the second most abundant duck in North America (behind the mallard), though their population fluctuates with water conditions and the availability of wetlands.

Because they are less cold tolerant than other duck species, teal tend to migrate further south in the winter, sometimes venturing well into northern South America. Their migration starts earlier due to this longer journey.

Many hunters consider teal to be the fastest of duck species, but the red-breasted merganser actually hold that title, having clocked in at 100 mph.

Teal taste less gamey than diving duck species, so many people prefer to marinate and roast them. We shared one of our favorite roasted duck recipes on this blog last fall, and you can find it here.

Happy hunting!

field notes: on 2017-2018 changes

Emily Degan

Winter is coming and, thankfully, so too is hunting season. 

We’ve all eagerly awaited it and can finally rejoice that it is, at last, in sight. But in our excitement, we need to keep in mind this year’s changes to the rules and regulations, so that we can all enjoy a fun and fruitful fall and winter. 

Louisiana updates are summarized below.

Migratory birds

  • Teal: season now spans the last 16 days of September
  • Duck: daily bag limit of 1 pintail
  • Dove: shot has been restricted to non-toxic size 6 or smaller


  • Reporting time decreased to 72 hours after harvest
  • Restrictions on the weapons that private land hunters can carry for personal protection during primitive seasons have been removed
  • In areas 4 and 10, entire season is now either-sex harvest with a limit of 3
  • In area 5, water level re-open benchmark has been lowered to 14-17 feet, depending on specific location
  • In area 7, entire season is now either-sex harvest
  • Experimental quality deer seasons have been eliminated on all WMAs
  • Adjustments to season dates for Bayou Machon, Bodcau, Boeuf, and Dewey W. Wills WMAs


  • Season now opens on the first Saturday of April
  • Reporting time decreased to 72 hours after harvest


  • Age to hunt waterfowl has increased to 17 years or older
  • Squirrel hunting days have been added to the Grassy Lake and Pomme de Terre WMAs
  • Squirrel and deer hunting days have been added to the Kisatchie National Forest 


  • Live transport permit requirements for feral hogs have been eliminated during February hog days on WMAs
  • Additional hunting days have been added to the Richard K. Yancey and Sherburne WMAs

Happy hunting!

in our sights: great delta tours

Emily Degan

Last Saturday morning, my mom took me up on a belated Mother’s Day gift – a tour for the both of us with Great Delta Tours. Great Delta Tours offers a hands-on look at the Mississippi River Delta’s development into one of the world’s most diverse cultures and ecologies.

I had the pleasure of meeting one of the company’s founders, Barbara Johnson, through the Louisiana Master Naturalist program. She started the company after working firsthand with coastal communities through the aftermath of the BP oil spill. “I realized that ecotourism was an important economic engine and livelihood for people in our New Orleans area,” she says. “The Great Delta Tours celebrates the Delta as a natural wonder that has shaped an incredible richness of wetlands, cultures, history and economy.” Our tour did not disappoint.

Starting in the French Quarter and winding through Gentilly, New Orleans East and all the way down to St. Bernard Parish and Shell Beach, Barbara’s co-founder, Peter, led our tour. A New Orleans-area geography professor of 25 years and avid birder, he brought both great historical and natural knowledge to the experience.

Here are a few of the many things we learned:

  • New Orleans’ Native Americans settled not in the French Quarter but near today’s Fairgrounds and used Bayou Road as a footpath for trade, bringing goods from Lake Pontchartrain ships to merchants in the Quarter
  • The half-mile area between Leon C. Simon Drive and Lake Pontchartrain (much of University of New Orleans; campus) was previously part of the lake, as evidenced by remnants of a lighthouse, which is now on-shore
  • Oil companies use turkey vultures to lead them to breaks in piping/spills, because turkey vultures are attracted to the decay-like odor of natural gas and oil

New Orleans natives, both my mom and I were shocked at how much we didn’t know about how and why our city developed and continues to develop. For us, the tour was a great mother/daughter outing, but I’d recommend Great Delta to solos, groups, tourists and locals alike.

And, if you’re interested in booking, take $10 off by using promo code ‘SPECIAL.”

Happy touring!