Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A BIG Washington Rattler

I was hiking down a canyon trail In Yakima, Washington when all of a sudden I see THIS:

I then Attempt to film it with so-so results.

After seeing this big guy I saw 2 more including this cute baby one:

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Idaho Crayfish: Part 2

Yesterday I went out again to catch crayfish, but this time I brought along a friend. Stingray!!!

Idaho Crayfish

Today I went out to a local creek where there were a bunch of large flat rocks in the water where the crayfish could hide under.  At first I wasn't finding many because I was in water that was too shallow, but once I got to water about knee deep and started looking under the large rocks in these locations I started to find some big craw-daddies.

When I reach under the rock to pick them up I make sure to grab them behind their head so the pincers couldn't grab me.  Also I had to grab them fairly quickly because their powerful tails will contract and send them shooting backwards back under the rocks.

After I checked under all the liftable rocks in the area and had about 10 good size crayfish I decided it was time to head back to Stingray's and cook the little suckers.

When Stingray got home it was time to cook them.  First I Dumped them all out in the sink and washed them before cooking them.

While washing them I put a pot of water on the stove top and waited for a nice boil before dropping them inside.

Once inside the pot I I kept the water at a slow boil because if they cook too fast they'll explode.  After awhile they'll start to turn bright red.  Usually the smaller ones will turn first, but you should wait until all of them are bright red to make sure they get cooked all the way through

When they were done I poured out the hot water in the sink and then put them on a plate.  I was ready to eat.

The most amount of meat is located in the tails.  To get to it grab the tail with one hand and the abdomen with the other and just slowly twist it until the tail pops out.  After that use you fingernails to remove the hard exoskeleton plates surrounding the tail meat.  There is also a small brown "mud-vein" located inside the tail meat that you may want to remove it it grosses you out.  If you don't it's not going to hurt you, but some people don't like the idea of eating it so you can easily remove it by prying apart the meat and taking it out.

If the claws on the crayfish are big enough then it is also worth it to go after the claw meat.  This is somewhat harder to reach due to the hardness of the claw shell.  But it can be reached if you have strong enough finger nails or you use a small utensil such as a lobster fork.

Once you are done you should have a pile of shell pieces that look like this.

This was an awesome outing especially since I had been looking for crayfish for a few months and hadn't found any.  It was also super easy once I found a good spot and developed a good technique on how to catch them.