Cedar Rapids, Nebraska has a population of just 300-some people. It's the Cedar River that winds through the town that took Scott to the Cornhusker State to hunt for, of all things, turtles. When the Cedar River floods from time to time, areas near the river become swampy and create the perfect conditions for snapping turtles. Scott says in this town there is a large multigenerational family that has made turtle hunting a rite of passage and banking on their expertise, he joined the family to watch how a turtle hunt works. Using pitchforks with filed tips, Scott says the family members wade into chest high water with their pitchforks and begin searching the bottom for big snapping turtles. They go side to side with the pitch fork, Scott says, and hope to hit a 25 to 30 pound snapping turtle and if they do, then they reach down and pick it up. One of the more difficult things about turtles is how difficult they are to clean after catching them. It takes a lot of work, he says, but in the end it comes down to getting the meat out and then cooking it low and slow. There is nothing good about a medium rare turtle, Scott says, so cooking it until it breaks down and becomes tender is important.
Moving on to Missouri, Dead Meat focuses on groundhogs. While many small game animals make great table fare, the groundhog is more complicated. Somewhere on a scale between muskrat and beaver, Scott says groundhog is palatable, but not overwhelmingly enjoyable. While it looks fatty, he notes that it's actually very lean and when cooked to an internal temperature of 165 it can then be bathed in barbecue sauce and turned into a decent barbecue sandwich. Scott says the meat is overall like that of a dense turkey thigh, but drier and stringier. While in Missouri he also gigged for frogs and he provides an inside look at nightime gigging.
Finally, Scott will also talk about invasive carp and how when prepared correctly they can be fantastic. Using a salmon brine from seasoning company Hi Mountain Seasonings, Scott says he let carp brine overnight and then had them prepared by a local chef who turned the carp into delicious carp tacos and carp pizza dishes. Listen in as he underscores the importance of brining the fish really well in order to mellow the carp flavor.
Be sure to listen in as Sporting Chef Scott Leysath joins The Revolution to talk strange eats and the all-new season of "Dead Meat" kicking off in October, Saturdays at 2:00 pm ET on Sportsman Channel. You can watch past seasons as they air right now leading up to the premiere of season 4. Viewers can also watch "Dead Meat" anytime on MyOutdoorTV. Also keep your heads up for a new show with Scott coming to Outdoor Channel next year called, "The Fish Monger".