Happy hunter: Landers eats up national exposure
In July last year Jackson Landers wondered on his blog if anyone would be interested in a semi-formal class on how to hunt deer from a locavore’s perspective. Boy, was he on to something.
In short order, the local insurance broker and brother of Œber-blogger Waldo Jaquith (and son of Hook award-winning essayist Janis Jaquith) was the subject of a story in the New York Times, got a publishing contract for his book A Locavore's Guide to Deer Hunting, has partnered with New York City chefs to serve game, and he's hard at work on a new book called Eating Aliens, about hunting and consuming invasive species (lizards, frogs, and the like), for which he also has a reality TV proposal. (See the trailer here at rumur.com/aliens.)
Just recently, Landers was the subject of another New York Times article as he heads to the Big City to show folks how to cook Canada Geese, which, as recently happened in Charlottesville [Unfriendly skies: Forest Lakes, the Miracle on the Hudson, and Canada Geese, September 2, 2010], were slaughtered in Brooklyn's Prospect Park over the summer due to concerns about the dangers they present to commercial airplanes. Indeed, it was into the Hudson River that US Airways Flight 1549 landed in January 2009 after geese flew into its engines, and since then authorities have been thinning the population. Last summer, 1,235 geese were rounded up and killed at various sites around New York City, but the Prospect Park thinning was the single biggest, where 400 were removed in a few days.
However, Landers isn't in New York to save the geese or endorse their slaughtering for the sake of air safety, he's there to let people know that landfilling all those dead birds is a big waste of food and that they actually make for good eatin'.
“When people taste a Canada goose and say Ã¢â?¬Ë?this is terrible,’” Landers told the Times' Andy Newman, “usually when you track down the history of how the animal was taken and butchered, you might have an animal that’s gut shot and left to sit for a few hours in the back of a truck. If you handled a cow or a domestic chicken the way that a lot of hunters handle their meat, it would taste gamy and vile as well.”
Landers contends that Canada geese actually taste "better than most species of duck." To prove it, he'll be teaming up with a Brooklyn chef and Slow Food NYC to show New Yorkers how to cook geese in a two-hour workshop on October 30 called “The Locavore Hunter – Geese Gone Wild!”
Remarkably, Landers still managed to teach his Deer Hunting for Locavores class down here in Charlottesville over this past weekend, but he admits that the November and December courses are questionable. Indeed, his quest to hunt and eat strange animals has been keeping him on the road, including a trip to Georgia to hunt feral hogs.
"I'm mostly hunting at night with a night-vision scope on an AR-15 on this huge farm in the middle of nowhere," Landers tells the Hook in an email. "It's a very surreal expedition. I haven't had internet or cell phone access for more than a few minutes at a time in days."
"We just finished editing the pilot for the 'Eating Aliens' TV show and I'm working on the first half of the new book," writes Landers on his blog. "By November, I could be fully engaged in working on a full season of the TV show, and if that is the case then I don't know that there will be any more deer hunting classes offered in the next year."