susquehanna stories: cooking sea ducks with pitboss waterfowl | gunner flyway series 2023
08-11-233 mins read
Scoter – along with most other divers that winter throughout the Chesapeake Bay – are targeting the plentiful varieties of both freshwater and saltwater mussels and clams, sometimes giving them a stronger liver-like taste. But don’t write them off just yet... Professional Guide Jeff Coats of Pitboss Waterfowl offers two simple recipes to make them enjoyable for any occasion.
Flyway Series

Recipe by Jeff Coats | Pitboss Waterfowl

Susquehanna is the fourth Flyway Series release from GUNNER, which features limited-edition colors that draw inspiration from iconic destinations and honey holes within the four North American flyways. Limited quantities available. A portion of Susquehanna-edition products proceeds will be donated to Ducks Unlimited R. Madison Mitchell chapterThe collection launches August 17, 2023. Sign up here for early access.

The Saltwater Waterfowler

Capt. Jeff Coates is a full-time saltwater waterfowler, podcaster and professional guide who leads bucketlist hunts on Maryland's famed Eastern shore for seaduck, brant and diving duck. He's also a grillmaster with an Instagram account (aptly named @pitbosswaterfowl) that we personally have post notifications turned on for. We turned to Jeff to see if he had a recipe for the Seaduck. If anyone could do it, we knew it'd be him.

Behind the Dish

Scoter, along with most other divers that winter throughout the Chesapeake Bay, are targeting the plentiful varieties of both freshwater and saltwater mussels and clams. Seaducks ingest them whole and then crush them with their gizzards. Since these mollusks are high in protein, these seaducks typically have iron-rich blood, giving them a stronger liver-like taste.

Because of that, it seems like most people write them off – next time, I suggest you try these two simple recipes. One's a family recipe, the other from a good friend of mine, and they're both enjoyable and suitable for any occasion.

Preparing Your Birds

  1. When “breasting” your birds, make sure to remove all of the skin and don’t leave any yellow or orange fat.
  2. Soak the breast filets for at least 12 hours in refrigerated saltwater brine. Make sure you change it out a few times in order to remove as much blood from the filets as possible. 

Note that if you’re not preparing fresh, freeze bag them in water or buttermilk. The key here is to prevent air contact with the frozen filets– this will help the taste quality as well as prolong its “expiration date.”

RECIPE #1: A Family Favorite Seaduck Recipe


  • Olive oil
  • Ponzu sauce
  • (2) Garlic Cloves
  • Chinese Five Spice
  • Chili powder
  • Fresh jalapeños
  • Bacon


  1. Marinate your bird overnight in olive oil, ponzu sauce, two garlic cloves, Chinese five spice, and chili powder (to taste).
  2. Third the breasts. Cut thin strips of fresh jalapeños, and wrap them together in bacon with the breasts.
  3. Grill on high heat for approximately five minutes on each side.
  4. Don’t overcook– look for a medium rare finish. Enjoy!

RECIPE #2: My Personal Favorite Seaduck Recipe

My favorite recipe actually comes from an Eastern Shoreman and waterfowl mentor, Donald Hughes, who was a good friend of mine.


  • Italian salad dressing
  • House Autry seafood mix


  1. Cut your filets into strips or cubes.
  2. Marinate in Italian salad dressing overnight.
  3. Bread the filets in House Autry seafood mix.
  4. Pan fry or deep fry the filets.
  5. Cook to a medium rare finish– be wary of overcooking.
  6. Choose your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!

There you have it. Let Jeff know if you try it, or follow along for more of his good eats here.


For every Susquehanna Kennel or Food Crate that our GUNNER customers purchase, we will be giving a portion of proceeds back to the Ducks Unlimited R. Madison Mitchell chapter. In addition, when customers choose to donate $1 at checkout to the organization, GUNNER will equally match that donation in honor of the customer's gift.

Want to shop the Susquehanna drop before everyone else? Sign up for our SMS messages to get early access. Our last limited-edition collection sold out in hours– you don’t want to miss this.

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