Exploring the gap between what we eat and where we get it.

Hunting and Cooking Wild Game: The Heart Behind Field & Food

  1. Gaspergou versus a meat cleaver
  2. Your estranged, digital grandpa
  3. Wild hog chili verde

Welcome to Field & Food. My name is Steve Schwartz and I’ve been a professional writer for about 10 years now, as well as an avid/struggling/obsessive angler, hunter, and cook. In this article, I’m going to explain a few things about this blog and what you can expect to get from it—and, what you definitely won’t get from it, too.

As the name implies, I’m going to tackle field (hunting) and food (cooking), and the intersection between the two. I wholeheartedly believe that dipping your toes into the food chain, in an ethical and responsible way, can be one of the most rewarding and important things you can do in your personal life. I’m not going to promise that you’ll lose weight or get more Instagram followers, but you’ll definitely learn some things about yourself and the natural world that you never would have by going to the supermarket. 

And that’s what this blog is all about. There are more than a few great outlets for hunting and cooking wild game out there. Personally, I’ve been inspired by outlets like Meateater, as well as Hank Shaw’s work, so don’t think for a minute that I’m trying to live up to those names. But, I do think I have something to offer that those two outlets don’t: I’m not nearly as good at hunting, angling, or cooking. In fact, I quite often suck at all three.

Let me explain.

Making the Most

My goal with Field & Food is not to be an aspirational outlet. You won’t see me trekking across Kamchatka or wrestling a grizzly bear in British Columbia. In fact, you’re more likely to see me hauling a stringer of white bass or nursing a burn from my oven literally every single time I cook dinner. In other words, I have no choice but to go for the “relatable” market—and I think there are more than a few outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen in my situation.

I live in North Texas and if you know anything about North Texas, you know that it’s not the best place to be a hunter or angler. Access to public land is near impossible unless you’re an oil baron, your name is Jerry Jones, or you’re willing to take on a second mortgage for a hunting lease. But, we can’t all dictate our circumstances and build a life out of hunting and fishing. My family is here. In North Texas, I will stay.

My goal is to help people who’ve been in my situation. You have a desire to hunt and cook wild game—or even to learn how to fish—but the suburban wasteland stretches too far in your mind and life in nature seems out of reach. I’ve been there. I’m still there, sometimes. But, through Field & Food, I want to offer resources to help you live an outdoor life in reality, not on Instagram. You’ll be surprised how much you can do right where you are.

Your Digital Grandpa

And that brings me to my second goal—access to information. If you’re anything like me, you didn’t grow up learning how to hunt or fish from family. And if you did, you’re incredibly lucky. There’s nothing more difficult than learning how to be a hunter or angler from scratch, with no grandpa looking over your shoulder and telling you to let that buck walk or to stop calling because your turkey gobble sounds like a kazoo. 

I had incredible male role models in my life in both my dad and grandpa, but neither of them was an outdoorsman. Once, I watched my grandpa identify what I now know was a gaspergou as white bass, then immediately start hacking at it with a mallet and meat cleaver. A mallet and cleaver. It was one of the worst meals I’ve ever had.

All of this is to say, the internet was my hunting mentor for so long, and I want Field & Food to help be your digital grandpa. It’s so difficult to start hunting, fishing, and cooking wild game with no reference, and if I can do anything to help create that reference, I think I’ve made the world a better place. Over the years, I’ve clawed my way into some semblance of experience in hunting and I’ve been an angler for more than 25 years, and I’d love to help empower and educate people who’ve felt a little intimidated by picking up a rifle or a fly rod. I’ve been there too.

What It Isn’t

Beyond being a hunter and angler, I’m also a human being who’s been on the internet before. There’s so much noise online and the last thing we need is a clickbait article that offers little to no firsthand experience. I’m not going to promise much with Field & Food, but I do promise to add value. I’m not going to mine the internet and regurgitate information that’s already out there, even if that means less content. 

The entire reason I started this blog is to share what I’ve learned, not what Google tells me. And that’s what I’m going to do. Beyond that, I’d love to hear what others have learned as well, whether it’s through interviews or simply comments and emails. Always feel free to shoot me an email to give/receive advice, share your experiences, or chew me out for how bad my pheasant taco recipe was (did you even brine it, bro?!).

And speaking of recipes, there will be plenty on this blog. Some of them might even be good recipes. And I pledge not to give you my life story in front of every recipe—just the ingredients and process you need to get dinner on the table. Essays will be essays. Recipes will be recipes. No one cares how my pork schnitzel helped shape me into the man I am today.

Long story short: Let’s not overthink this thing. If you like to hunt and cook wild game, or you want to hunt and cook wild game, I think you’ll find a thing or two you like in Field & Food. If you’re not, then I’m not sure how you made it to the end of this article. Congrats. 

Leave a comment below and let me know what sort of content you’d like to see from Field & Food! Otherwise, all of the articles will be about my wild hog chili verde. It’s badass.

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