How Long is Crawfish Season?

How Long is Crawfish Season?

Crawfish season technically lasts from November through to July, but this is only in a very exceptional year, with a warm, wet winter.

The standard crawfish season is between spring and summer, with their peak season falling between February and May.

What is crawfish?

Crawfish, also known as crayfish or freshwater crustaceans, are small lobster-like creatures that dwell in freshwater habitats such as rivers, ponds, and swamps.

These crustaceans are popular for their delicious taste and are similar in appearance to their marine relatives, lobsters.

Crawfish come in various colours, ranging from brown to green, becoming bright red when cooked.

There are over 500 species, each having unique characteristics, but they all share traits such as an exoskeleton, a pair of large front claws and a segmented body with multiple small legs.

What month is best to eat crawfish?

Crawfish season typically lasts from November to July, with the availability and quality of crawfish peaking during the warmer months.

As you plan your crawfish boil, consider that the most reliable and enjoyable times to eat crawfish fall between late February and May.

During these spring months (March, April, and May), you’ll find the best-tasting crawfish in various locations, including southern states such as Louisiana and Texas.

The warmer and wetter the winter season, the earlier crawfish season begins, and the better the overall harvest.

Crawfish cuisine and preparation

Crawfish Boil Ingredients

A classic crawfish feast involves boiling live crawfish with a rich blend of spices, vegetables, and sometimes meat.

Here are the key ingredients you’ll need:

  • Sack of Crawfish
  • Potatoes
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Bay Leaves
  • Lemons
  • Andouille Sausage (optional)
  • Crawfish Boil Seasoning (optional)

Preparing Your Crawfish Boil:

To prepare a crawfish boil, start by filling a large 5-gallon pot half-full with water.

Add the garlic, bay leaves, lemons, and crawfish boil seasoning to the pot.

You may also add other spices, such as salt and additional bay leaves, to enhance the flavour.

Bring the water to a boil over a high heat, then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes.

Next, stir in the onions, potatoes, corn, and Andouille sausage, if using, and cook for another 15 minutes.

Ensure the crawfish are cleaned properly by rising them under fresh water.

Add them to the pot.

Gently stir in the crawfish, bring the water back to a boil, and let them cook for 3-5 minutes, or until they turn a bright red colour.

When the crawfish are cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove them and the other ingredients from the pot.

Son a large platter or a newspaper-covered table for a more rustic, communal experience.

Now doesn’t that sound tasty…

Crawfish behaviour and habitiat

Crawfish, also known as crayfish or crawdads, are freshwater crustaceans commonly found in slow-moving or still water sources such as streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, swamps, and marshes.

These creatures typically hide under rocks or logs, and they construct burrows when the water temperature is too low for their comfort.

They often burrow into the mud at the bottom of these locations, using their strong claws to dig and create a safe space for shelter and reproduction.

As a vital part of the freshwater ecosystem, crawfish serve as both predators and prey.

They primarily feed on aquatic plants, algae, insects and small fish, contributing to the overall health of the ecosystem by controlling the populations of these species.

Are crawfish good for you?

Yes, crawfish are considered a healthy food to eat.

A serving of crawfish contains around 70 calories and is packed with 14 grams of protein, making them an excellent choice for those looking to maintain or lose weight while still getting a significant amount of nutrients.

In addition to being protein-dense, crawfish also contain essential vitamins and minerals that can be difficult to obtain through other food sources.

For instance, crawfish are a good source of B vitamins, iron, and selenium. These minerals play a crucial role in maintaining strong bones, producing red blood cells, and supporting immune function.

Here are some of the nutritional benefits of crawfish:

  • Low in calories
  • High in protein
  • Low in total fat
  • Rich in B vitamins
  • Good source of iron and selenium

Keep in mind that crawfish, like most other shellfish, do have slightly higher cholesterol levels.

However, when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, they can be a valuable and nutritious addition to your meals.

When enjoying crawfish, try to opt for recipes that use minimal added fat or sodium, as these can counteract some of the health benefits that they offer.

Boiling or steaming crawfish is a healthier option compared to deep frying or heavily seasoning them.

Can you eat crawfish raw?

The simple answer is no; it’s not recommended to eat crawfish raw.

Although some people assume that eating seafood raw can be a delicacy, doing so with crawfish can pose serious health risks.

Firstly, raw crawfish can contain harmful bacteria and parasites that can result in food poisoning or other illnesses.

The most common risk is the consumption of raw shellfish carrying Vibrio bacteria, which can cause severe illness or even death in some cases.

Cooking crawfish thoroughly will significantly reduce these risks, as the heat kills off harmful microorganisms.

Another reason to avoid eating crawfish raw is the texture.

Crawfish have a slightly tough and stringy texture when uncooked, which can be unpleasant to consume.

Cooking them not only improves their taste but also makes the flesh tender and easier to eat.

To enjoy crawfish safely and at their best, it’s essential to cook them properly.

A common way to prepare them is by boiling with spices and seasonings, which enhances their flavour.

Allowing them to cook within 3-5 minutes until they turn bright red ensures that they’re fully cooked and infused with deliciousness.

Do you eat the vein in crawfish?

You might come across a vein in the tail.

The dark vein is essentially the crawfish’s digestive tract and it might cause you to wonder whether it is safe or tasty to consume.

While the appearance of the vein can be off-putting, it is not harmful to eat.

However, if you prefer, you can remove the vein before consuming the tail meat.

This video shows you how:

What do crawfish do at night?

Crawfish are nocturnal creatures, which means they are most active during night-time.

At night, crustaceans forage for food and engage in their daily activities.

Since they are primarily scavengers, they take advantage of the darkness to search for plant and animal matter on the bottom of rivers, ponds, and other freshwater habitats.

To ensure their safety, crawfish make use of their excellent camouflage skills.

By hiding among rocks and vegetation, they can easily avoid predators, such as fish, birds – and you ­čÖé

Crawfish also engage in territorial battles and mating rituals.

These encounters can result in brief yet intense bouts of wrestling using their powerful claws.

During the day, crawfish prefer to hide in burrows at the bottom of their habitat.

These burrows provide them with a safe and sheltered space to rest and avoid potential threats.

Additionally, female crawfish use these burrows as a safe haven to protect their eggs and young offspring.

Are crayfish and crawfish the same thing?

Yes, crayfish and crawfish refer to the same type of freshwater crustacean.

The terms crayfish, crawfish, and crawdad are used interchangeably by people from different regions to describe this animal.

There is no biological difference between them.

Crayfish are closely related to lobsters and have a similar appearance.

They are members of the superfamilies Astacoidea (Northern Hemisphere) and Parastacoidea (Southern Hemisphere).

With over 500 species, more than half are found in North America.

These crustaceans typically live in fresh water, such as well water, spring water, and conditioned tap water.

They prefer depths of more than 15 centimetres, with the water covering their back.

How do you catch crawfish?

Catching crawfish can be an enjoyable outdoor activity for your friends and family.

Step 1

First, choose the right time!

Make sure you are hunting for them in season. As above, the best times are usually Late February, through to May.

Step 2

Find your location.

Crawfish are usually found in freshwater sources like streams, rivers, and lakes.

Step 3

Prepare your equipment.

To catch crawfish, you’ll need a trap, some bait and some rope. A variety of bait options can be used, such as pieces of fish or an old chicken carcass.

Step 4

Bait your trap and carefully place in the water.

Tie off your trap to a secure point, such as a tree branch etc.

Now it’s just a case of waiting.

Step 5

When ready, retrieve your pot, which hopefully now contains some crawfish & empty into a bucket.

You can now re-bait the pot (if necessary) and place back in to hopefully trap some more.

Crawfish FAQs:


What do crawfish taste like?

Crawfish are often described as a mix between lobster, crab, and shrimp.

Their taste is somewhat sweeter and more tender than their relatives from the ocean.

Do you eat the vein in crawfish?

As with shrimp, you can choose to remove the vein.

It is not harmful, but some diners prefer not to eat it for aesthetic or textural reasons.

Want more; take a look at our foraging articles.

Is Wild Boar Healthy?

Is Wild Boar Healthy?

Wild Boar is considered a very healthy meat.

Assuming the boar has been feeding on a natural diet, which would normally be the case, then the meat that is produced is deemed extremely high-quality and will make for excellent eating.

Benefits of Wild Boar Meat

Wild boar meat is packed with nutrients that can contribute positively to your health and well-being.

It is a rich source of protein, which is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue.

Additionally, wild boar contains essential amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own.

Wild boar is also an excellent source of iron, which is important for maintaining healthy blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout your body.

Below is a nutritional content chart comparing wild boar meat against other conventional meats:

Meat TypeCaloriesProtein (g)Fat (g)
Wild Boar (100g)160264.3
Beef (100g)2502617
Pork (100g)2422514

As you can see, wild boar is lower in calories and fat compared to both beef and pork, so if this is important to you, then wild boar may be a good meat to try.

Is Boar Healthier Than Beef?

When comparing wild boar to beef, there are several factors to consider, but most predominantly, the nutritional content.

Whether or not it is considered healthier or not will depend on your own dietary goals and if you believe in a low-fat diet or not.

Wild boar meat provides more protein while containing less fat and cholesterol than beef.

This is of benefit if you are following a low fat diet (which I do not personally endorse).

Consuming wild boar can offer similar benefits to other red meats, such as promoting muscle growth etc.

Furthermore, wild boar is also a great source of monounsaturated fats, which are thought to help reduce bad cholesterol and promote good cholesterol levels, thus supporting heart health.

Is Wild Boar Healthier Than Pork?

Wild boar and pork share some similarities in terms of nutrition; however, wild boar has some differences over standard reared conventional pork.

Wild boar contains fewer calories and less fat than pork. Whether this is a good thing for you will depend on your personal situation and tastes.

In addition, wild boar boasts a higher iron content, which helps prevent anaemia, as well as supporting overall good health.

What is a wild boar?

A wild boar, also known as a wild swine or Eurasian wild pig, belongs to the species Sus scrofa and is native to a large portion of Eurasia and North Africa.

It has also been introduced to the Americas and Oceania, making it one of the most widespread suiforms worldwide.

The wild boar is a highly adaptable animal capable of thriving in various habitats, from forests to grasslands.

Its omnivorous nature allows it to consume a diverse diet, including roots, bulbs, seeds, nuts, and invertebrates.

As a result, their behaviour of ‘ploughing’ the woodland floor, although visually disruptive, can contribute positively to the ecosystems they inhabit by stimulating the growth of wildflowers, shrubs, and trees.

Physical Features

Wild boars are robust, stout mammals with a coat of coarse, bristly hair that varies in colour depending on their age and geographical location.

They typically possess a compact body, a hump-backed head with a rounded snout, and strong legs with sharp, curved tusks, which they use for defence and foraging.

Adult wild boars can weigh between 50 and 100 kg, with some of the larger males exceeding 150 Kg.

Behaviour and Social Structure

Wild boars are primarily nocturnal and social creatures, also known as ‘sounders,’ that comprised mainly family groups of females and their offspring.

Adult males, referred to as ‘boars’, tend to be more solitary and only join a sounder during mating season.

Reproduction

Wild boars tend to mate during autumn and winter.

Females, or ‘sows’, give birth to a litter of four to six piglets after a gestation period of approximately four months.

These piglets stay with their mother until they reach maturity at around 18 months.

Is Wild Boar a Red Meat?

As you might be curious about the nutritional properties of wild boar, it’s essential to begin by understanding its classification.

Although wild boar might resemble pork, it is actually a dark red meat that sets it apart from its domestic cousin.

This dark shade is due to the type of muscle fibres and the high levels of myoglobin, a protein responsible for delivering oxygen to the muscles.

The texture and taste of wild boar also differ from conventional pork, primarily because of their natural diet.

Since these animals graze on grasses and berries in the wild, the meat offers a more intense, sweet, and nutty flavour.

Additionally, the wild boar’s active lifestyle contributes to leaner meat, making it an enjoyable alternative to beef and regular pork.

What Does Wild Boar Taste Like?

Wild boar meat has a distinct nutty and slightly sweet taste to it, with a darker appearance compared to domesticated pig meat.

The difference in colour is due to the higher iron content found in wild boar meat.

Comparing wild boar to the standard pork you might be used to, you’ll find that wild boar has a tighter grain leading to a different experience, almost like having a unique variation of pork.

The wild boar’s natural diet, which consists of nuts, acorns, grasses, and wild cereals, contributes to its unique and delicious flavour.

This taste might be described as a blend of pork and beef with a richer, juicier flavour due to its lean composition.

The wild boar’s taste can also be influenced by its age.

Younger boars may have a milder flavour, while older boars may have a stronger and more pronounced taste.

The meat’s potential toughness is another factor to consider, as the age of the boar can affect the meat’s consistency.

Habitat and Distribution

When exploring the natural environment of wild boars (Sus scrofa), you will discover that these creatures are incredibly adaptable and can thrive in various habitats.

Ranging from dense forests and swamps to grasslands and agricultural lands, wild boar are an incredibly widespread species.

They are native to much of Europe, Asia, and parts of North Africa.

However, due to their versatility and lack of natural predators in some regions, wild boars have become invasive species in places like North and South America and Australia.

One of the main reasons wild boars populate such a variety of habitats is their exceptional adaptability.

They are capable of living in regions with varying climates, allowing them to survive cold winters, hot summers, and everything in between.

This adaptability also extends to their diet, with wild boars being opportunistic omnivores, consuming anything from plant matter to smaller animals and insects.

Interestingly, you will notice that there is a significant difference in the wild boar population densities across various regions.

In some parts of Europe, such as Spain and Italy, wild boars are relatively abundant due to the favourable conditions and plentiful food sources.

However, in other parts of their distribution, such as northern Asia or Siberia, the wild boar population is much sparser due to harsher environments and limited resources.

For more great articles, see our Food section.

Grilled Venison Burgers Recipe

Grilled Venison Burgers Recipe

Here is my time-tested favourite grilled venison burgers recipe. I’m confident that these will be the best venison burgers you have ever tasted.

JUMP TO RECIPE CARD

I believe venison is one of the all-time best and most underrated meats out there, which is why I am trying to encourage more people to try it. It’s incredibly healthy and delicious.

You can find more of my venison recipes here.

Venison is a very lean meat with a low meat-to-fat ratio and as such, you’ll usually need to add in a little extra fat to help with the flavour and to ensure the meat binds together.

This will be the same for any other wild game burger.

There is no reason why you can’t swap the venison meat in this recipe for ground beef if you wanted and make some amazing beef burgers.

You could also use another ground meat, such as turkey etc.

How to cook venison burgers on the grill? What is the secret to grilling burgers?

The secret to grilling a burger is to make sure you have created two heating zones on your grill.

First off, make sure you are using some decent lump wood charcoal, and let it burn for approx 20 minutes so that it has a decent covering of ash over it.

Scrape all the charcoal over to one side of your grill. Place your grill grates on top and get to cooking temperature.

You now want to cook your burgers on the side with no coals underneath.

This indirect way of cooking allows the burgers to cook more slowly and evenly, without flare-ups burning the outside of your burgers.

If your grill has a lid, put it on and let the smoke build inside to add more flavour.

Assuming you have a good medium-high heat, turn the burgers after approx 4-5 minutes and give the other side another 3-4 minutes.

Don’t overcook your burgers.

Undercooking is always a worry, especially when serving to family and friends, but as long as you follow the indirect cooking method (and maybe sample one yourself), then your burger should be thoroughly cooked through.

For extra reassurance, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should be at least 160┬░F (70┬░C).

The above method should give you a perfect venison burger every time.

How long should you grill venison burgers?

For a standard-size venison burger, grilling on medium-high heat, using the indirect method, you should grill for approx 4-5 minutes on one side, then turn and grill for approx 3-4 minutes on the other side.

This very much depends on the size of your burgers, as well as the heat that you are cooking.

To check your burgers are fully cooked through, use a meat thermometer and ensure the internal temperature is at least 160┬░F (71┬░C), or 165┬░F (74┬░C) if they contain any pork.

This very much depends on the size of your burgers, as well as the heat that you are cooking.

What do you mix with venison to make a burger?

You can mix a variety of different ingredients into your venison burgers, depending on your taste and what you have available in the pantry.

For some standard ingredients through, go with egg yolk, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, butter, salt and pepper.

What is a good binder for deer burgers?

Venison is very low in fat and you therefore usually want to add some fat back in to allow for a more juicy burger and to also allow it to bind together to form the burger shape and stop them from falling apart.

On top of adding bacon to the venison burger, you should also add in egg yolk, as this helps the burger mixture to bind properly.

Egg yolks help this to happen while adding extra flavour and nutrients to your burgers. Go for organic free-range eggs if you can.

Do venison burgers need a binder?

Yes, you should use a binder when making venison burgers.

One of the best binders is a free-range egg yolk.

Adding an egg yolk helps you to properly form the burgers into their shape and also helps to stop them from breaking up when cooking them.

Can venison burgers be pink in the middle?

Yes, venison burgers can be slightly pink in the middle, as long as the internal temperature has reached at least 160┬░F (71┬░C).

If you are unsure, use a meat thermometer to confirm this.

If you have used pork in the mixture, such as bacon, then the temperature should be at least 165┬░F (74┬░C).

What is the best fat to mix with deer burger?

The best fat to add to a deer burger is either beef fat or pork fat.

Beef dripping is good for this, or for the pork option, go with chopped bacon. Either of these will increase the flavour of your deer burgers.

How do I make my venison burger not taste gamey?

Use well-prepared venison and as fresh as possible.

Generally speaking, if you use good quality venison, for your ground deer meat, then once combined with the other burger ingredients, you will not notice any gamey taste.

Not everyone likes the taste of venison, but when put through the meat grinder and mixed with the other ingredients, most would think it is beef they are eating.

Grilled Venison Burgers Recipe Card

Grilled Venison Burgers Recipe

Grilled Venison Burgers Recipe

My time-tested venison burger recipe – that that just works every time.
Use good quality ground venison for this and you won't go far wrong.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, bbq, European
Servings 6

Equipment

  • 1 Chopping board
  • 1 large bowl, for mixing
  • 1 cast iron pan / skillet, or baking tray

Ingredients
  

  • 2 pounds ground venison meat
  • 1/2 pound smoked bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 large burger buns
  • Toppings: sliced cheese (either american cheese, or cheddar) garlic mayo, normal mayo, lettuce, mustard, onion, pickles.

Instructions
 

  • Using your hands combine the ground┬ávenison, egg yolk,┬áWorcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, butter, salt and black pepper, in a large bowl.
  • Once mixed, using your hands, form 6 even balls with the mixture. Then shape each ball into a burger pattie.
  • Place onto a┬ábaking tray that has been lined with parchment paper (greaseproof paper).
  • Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and put in the fridge for approx 20 minutes to help firm up the burger patties.
  • If cooking on the grill, preheat to a medium-high 450-500┬░F (232-260┬░C). If frying, preheat your┬ácast-iron pan/skillet to a medium heat before cooking.
  • Using your thumb, make an indentation in the middle of one side of each patty. This indented side will become the top and the reason for doing this is that it will help stop the burgers from puffing up while the cook.
  • If grilling:┬ábrush some olive oil on the indented side of each burger and place on the preheated grill, indention side down. Cook for around 4-5 minutes. Flip the patties over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165┬░F (71┬░C).
  • If frying: Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter to the preheated pan. Add 2-3 burgers (thumb indention side down), and cook over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Flip over and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165┬░F (71┬░C). Cook the remaining burgers in the same way.
  • Place the cooked burgers onto a clean chopping board and place a slice of cheese onto each one while they are still hot.
  • Assemble your burgers:┬áSlice each burger bun crossways (if not already done). Butter the top and bottom of each. Spread mayonnaise and/or mustard inside each. Add lettuce, sliced onion, sliced tomato and pickles.
  • Serve with french fries. Enjoy!

Notes

Tips:

  • If cooking on a skillet, make the burger patties a bit flatter (thinner) so that they cook more evenly.

Storage:

  • Refrigerator – Uncooked burger patties can be prepared in advance and then stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours before cooking. You can also use cling film (plastic wrap), but I try not to use this stuff, as it’s not great for the environment.
  • Freezing – Wrap each burger patty in parchment paper and place them in an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before cooking.
Keyword venison burger recipe

Venison burger toppings

Some great venison burger toppings include:

  • Cheese slices – either American cheese or cheddar
  • Lettuce
  • Sliced onion
  • Sliced tomato
  • Pickles
  • Crispy bacon

The best cheese for venison burgers

This is a matter of opinion, but in general, slices of American cheese or cheddar work best with venison burgers.


Want more goodness? Check out my famous venison chili here.