Canada has some of the best waterfowl hunting in the world – both quality and quantity. With the high bag limits and a decent shot, you should have an excess of birds.
Fresh, skin-on duck breast that is slowly rendered in a cast iron will delight folks for days on end. If you are successful enough to have more waterfowl than you know what to do with, preserve it. Techniques of curing, smoking and preserving have been passed down for generations. In the past, for most, it was the best way to keep their meat from spoiling and surviving harsh winters.
You can easily make your own cure with salt and sugar (nitrates or nitrites can be added as well), but for first timers try out Hi Mountain Seasonings Buckboard Bacon Cure. It is simple to use and works really well on lean duck breasts. After the cure has been applied and had enough time to penetrate, rinse and let it air dry. For smoking, you will want to set your temperature to 175 degrees. The waterfowl bacon is cooked when the minimum internal temperature reaches 135 degrees.
When it comes to preserving without the use of a smoker more environmental factors are at play. The largest components are humidity, temperature, and bacteria. For a more detailed article on safely curing your own meats, Click Here. A tip to help you start out – white mold is good, black and red are not. If you are unsure of the quality, throw it out. Foodborne illnesses are not fun to deal with!