Purple swamp hen...........

orchidmanorchidman Senior MemberPosts: 7,735 Senior Member
Went out this afternoon with Bloodhound to a pond about 15 mins away from home. BH checked out the pond last night and put 40-50 Mallards off it so we decided to spend a nice afternoon sitting in the sun.

While waiting for the ducks to arrive, a bird we call the Pukeko ( its a purple swamp hen) flew across the pond and landed in the trees. Pukeko are on our game licence and while tough and stringy to prepare, they do make good soup/stew, esp if cooked in a pressure cooker.

I havent shot one for a couple of years but Mark mentioned last weekend that he loved to eat them. Accordingly, as I am heading up to his place tomorrow I thought I would go put the bird up and try and get a shot at it.

Here is the video. (Apologies for not getting it on camera as it came out of the trees.)

http://s243.photobucket.com/albums/ff132/orchidman_album/pond%20shooting/?action=view&current=pondshooting009.mp4

Here is a closeup of the bird......Note the legs. ( More about that below)

http://s243.photobucket.com/albums/ff132/orchidman_album/pond%20shooting/?action=view&current=pondshooting010.mp4

They are a 'slow flyer' but can be deceptive to shoot. They are a very territorial bird and will kill the young of ducks/pheasants/quail etc if they stray onto the Pukeko's territory. They use that red beak to destroy other birds eggs in the nest and will actually seek out nests for that purpose.
They will also destroy small plants like newly sown grass and if you live in a semi rural area they will often raid your garden and destroy fresshly planted seedlings like lettuce/silverbeet etc etc.

About the legs........When I started shooting with my dad and bought my first shotgun, I would always shoot 'pook's if I got a chance. When I was about 13, I winged one which dropped into a swamp. Dad refused to let our English setter retrieve 'pook's' so I went looking for it. When I found it, it was hiding in the middle of a clump of rushes. Without thinking ( who does when 13yrs old!) I reached in and grabbed it by the head. As I dragged it out, its legs fired up like a chainsaw and Dad ended up having to take me to the emergency medical service at the local town to have 8 stitches put in my left forearm. Those legs are razor sharp and pointed like a needle. Needless to say I learned a very quick lesson on how to treat wounded 'Pook's'...........

I will always remember my dad tearing what was left of my shirt sleeve off and while wrapping my arm, saying..." You wont do that again!!!" ..............And I havent.......:tooth:

Just thought you guys might like to see some of the other native species that are on our licence....
Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....

Replies

  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,982 Senior Member
    What was that swimming away at the end of the first video?
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,735 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    What was that swimming away at the end of the first video?

    That was the 'Pook'..........I shot it as it flew out of the trees and tried to make it across the pond. The ripples in the water are its 'death throes'.......

    We ended up with 7 mallards, 1 'Pook', 2 Spur Wing Plovers and a bloody great hole in my waders which was caused by some buried barbed wire in the swamp.

    Couple of weeks before duck season we shot the same property for Giant Canada geese. BH dropped 2 in the pond just on dusk which we couldnt retrieve, so he went back the following morning to get them. When he pulled the first one out of the water it was hollow!!!! The pond has some of the biggest eels you are ever likely to see. I have seen them pull a full grown dead Mallard under water, never to be seen again.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • PFDPFD Senior Member Posts: 1,202 Senior Member
    Alec, I swear sometimes you're better than National Geographic.

    Thanks for the adventures from down under.

    I never would have thought that was a game bird.
    That's all I got.

    Paul
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    Hey man, were you pointing that shotgun at that purple swamp hen fearing it might not be dead and it might leap up and attack you??:jester: That is a very uniquely colored bird, very interesting indeed. :beer:
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,982 Senior Member
    I have seen them pull a full grown dead Mallard under water, never to be seen again.
    I had a wood duck disappear like that, do not know what got it.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 26,180 Senior Member
    Those purple swamp hens look a lot like our gallinues and coots.
    Purple gallinue:
    http://birdcentral.net/gallinue.htm

    American ****:
    http://www.pbase.com/diggitydogs/image/111759639

    They aren't very good eating. But they work in stews and such like you use them.

    Looks like you got some good birds to offset the "Pook" so y'all did good!
    If the U.S. Congress was put in charge of the Sahara Desert, there would be a shortage of sand in under six months.



  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,982 Senior Member
    Mike:
    I agree with you on coots, except I'm not so sure about a stew. I have eaten coots once or twice and saved gizzards from others. No longer.

    I do like the way Clean fries gallinule breasts; the legs are too full of needle sharp bones or something.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 18,940 Senior Member
    You should supplement your income writing for a hunting magazine Alec :worthy:
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 11,003 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    When he pulled the first one out of the water it was hollow!!!! The pond has some of the biggest eels you are ever likely to see. I have seen them pull a full grown dead Mallard under water, never to be seen again.

    Are you guys in the water with longfin eels?!
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,909 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    Went out this afternoon with Bloodhound to a pond about 15 mins away from home. BH checked out the pond last night and put 40-50 Mallards off it so we decided to spend a nice afternoon sitting in the sun.

    While waiting for the ducks to arrive, a bird we call the Pukeko ( its a purple swamp hen) flew across the pond and landed in the trees. Pukeko are on our game licence and while tough and stringy to prepare, they do make good soup/stew, esp if cooked in a pressure cooker.

    I havent shot one for a couple of years but Mark mentioned last weekend that he loved to eat them. Accordingly, as I am heading up to his place tomorrow I thought I would go put the bird up and try and get a shot at it.

    Here is the video. (Apologies for not getting it on camera as it came out of the trees.)

    [url]http://s243.photobucket.com/albums/ff132/orchidman_album/pond shooting/?action=view¤t=pondshooting009.mp4[/url]

    Here is a closeup of the bird......Note the legs. ( More about that below)

    [url]http://s243.photobucket.com/albums/ff132/orchidman_album/pond shooting/?action=view¤t=pondshooting010.mp4[/url]

    They are a 'slow flyer' but can be deceptive to shoot. They are a very territorial bird and will kill the young of ducks/pheasants/quail etc if they stray onto the Pukeko's territory. They use that red beak to destroy other birds eggs in the nest and will actually seek out nests for that purpose.
    They will also destroy small plants like newly sown grass and if you live in a semi rural area they will often raid your garden and destroy fresshly planted seedlings like lettuce/silverbeet etc etc.

    About the legs........When I started shooting with my dad and bought my first shotgun, I would always shoot 'pook's if I got a chance. When I was about 13, I winged one which dropped into a swamp. Dad refused to let our English setter retrieve 'pook's' so I went looking for it. When I found it, it was hiding in the middle of a clump of rushes. Without thinking ( who does when 13yrs old!) I reached in and grabbed it by the head. As I dragged it out, its legs fired up like a chainsaw and Dad ended up having to take me to the emergency medical service at the local town to have 8 stitches put in my left forearm. Those legs are razor sharp and pointed like a needle. Needless to say I learned a very quick lesson on how to treat wounded 'Pook's'...........

    I will always remember my dad tearing what was left of my shirt sleeve off and while wrapping my arm, saying..." You wont do that again!!!" ..............And I havent.......:tooth:

    Just thought you guys might like to see some of the other native species that are on our licence....

    You sure the one that cut you up was a swamp "HEN?" and not a rooster? Sounds like a rooster's spurs. Anyway, it looks like a large colorful version of what we call a Swamp Chicken.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,735 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    Are you guys in the water with longfin eels?!

    Yep. Last year when we shot the same pond I ended up wading out up to my chest to pick up birds. ( Was wearing waders at the time) Ended up having a tug of war with a small eel.
    Marks son is a commercial fisherman and fishes for eels during the season. The best bait for eels is duck carcases and when you drop a duck in a pond it doesnt take long for the eels to get interested.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,735 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    You sure the one that cut you up was a swamp "HEN?" and not a rooster? Sounds like a rooster's spurs. Anyway, it looks like a large colorful version of what we call a Swamp Chicken.

    Yep. Course my skin was young and tender in those days compared with what it is today.........
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,982 Senior Member
    NN wrote: »
    What was that swimming away at the end of the first video?
    Yeah, I watched it more closely, it was a big ripple from the bird hitting the water.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 11,003 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    Yep. Last year when we shot the same pond I ended up wading out up to my chest to pick up birds. ( Was wearing waders at the time) Ended up having a tug of war with a small eel.
    Marks son is a commercial fisherman and fishes for eels during the season. The best bait for eels is duck carcases and when you drop a duck in a pond it doesnt take long for the eels to get interested.

    So, generally no problems with waders on? Interesting. From what I saw on "River Monsters" and what you have stated about them, I figured chumming the water with dead ducks and then going wading was a very bad idea.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,735 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    So, generally no problems with waders on? Interesting. From what I saw on "River Monsters" and what you have stated about them, I figured chumming the water with dead ducks and then going wading was a very bad idea.

    I guess its like you guys with snakes. You get used to them. You just have to be careful where you put 'extremities' and dont do anything stupid. Unless there is blood in the water, wearing waders is normally sufficient protection.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    Alec, just curious, how does the Purple Swan Hen tastes?
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,735 Senior Member
    Alec, just curious, how does the Purple Swan Hen tastes?

    With its taste buds I guess............

    Sorry, I couldnt resist. Tastes like a cross between 'gamey' venison and duck/goose with a bit of swamp mud thrown in for seasoning. Makes great soup with vegetables, if made right and with pepper etc as seasoning. Stews well although the leg meat is very sinewy. Standing joke here is that you cook your 'Pook' by boiling it with an old boot/rock, throw out the pook and eat whats left........

    It is called 'The Poor Mans Pheasant' or The 'Purple Pheasant' in some areas.

    Here is the recipe for Pukeko soup I use.....

    2lb Pukeko meat.
    2 pints water
    8 oz vegetables ( carrot, onion,celery, leek)
    Bay leaf
    6 peppercorns ( black)
    2oz butter
    2oz flour
    1/4 pint of aniseed flavoured liquer
    Boil the whole 'pook', skim the top off (you will get a 'scum' like residue on the top) then throw the veges , bay leaf and peppercorns in and simmer for 2 1/2 -3 hrs. Melt butter in saucepan, add flour and cook for a few mins, then cool slightly then add the strained stock stirring constantly. ( this will thicken the stock) Season, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins. Remove the flesh from the pook and dice/tear it apart then add along with the liquer and cook for 10 mins. ( This will evaporate the alcohol off and leave the aniseed flavour)
    Season to taste and serve with big chunks of bread torn from a farm house loaf ( big chunks plastered with butter). Sometimes I add new season potato's to the soup and leave the vegetables in, in which case I dont add the liquer and put extra ground black pepper in. Some Port helps to give it 'body' instead of the anniseed liquer.

    You can use the same recipe for venison or any 'gamey' meat if you substitute Port/sherry for the aniseed liquer.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,429 Senior Member
    Hmmmm- - - - -that sounds a lot like the local recipie for cooking carp.

    Catch a big carp and fillet it.
    Tack the fillets to a piece of board.
    Prop the board up close to the campfire- - - -cook for one hour.
    Peel the carp fillets off, throw them away, and eat the board!

    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    With its taste buds I guess............

    Sorry, I couldnt resist. Tastes like a cross between 'gamey' venison and duck/goose with a bit of swamp mud thrown in for seasoning. Makes great soup with vegetables, if made right and with pepper etc as seasoning. Stews well although the leg meat is very sinewy. Standing joke here is that you cook your 'Pook' by boiling it with an old boot/rock, throw out the pook and eat whats left........

    It is called 'The Poor Mans Pheasant' or The 'Purple Pheasant' in some areas.

    Here is the recipe for Pukeko soup I use.....

    2lb Pukeko meat.
    2 pints water
    8 oz vegetables ( carrot, onion,celery, leek)
    Bay leaf
    6 peppercorns ( black)
    2oz butter
    2oz flour
    1/4 pint of aniseed flavoured liquer
    Boil the whole 'pook', skim the top off (you will get a 'scum' like residue on the top) then throw the veges , bay leaf and peppercorns in and simmer for 2 1/2 -3 hrs. Melt butter in saucepan, add flour and cook for a few mins, then cool slightly then add the strained stock stirring constantly. ( this will thicken the stock) Season, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins. Remove the flesh from the pook and dice/tear it apart then add along with the liquer and cook for 10 mins. ( This will evaporate the alcohol off and leave the aniseed flavour)
    Season to taste and serve with big chunks of bread torn from a farm house loaf ( big chunks plastered with butter). Sometimes I add new season potato's to the soup and leave the vegetables in, in which case I dont add the liquer and put extra ground black pepper in. Some Port helps to give it 'body' instead of the anniseed liquer.

    You can use the same recipe for venison or any 'gamey' meat if you substitute Port/sherry for the aniseed liquer.

    You know, I am going to try that with some game meat. Actually sounds good. Thanks for the recipe.
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