Friday Feast: Wild Game Snacks

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Few things are more satisfying than a thrilling day afield, game in the bag, and then feasting as the sun sets.  Whether it’s a limit of doves, geese, or the tenderloin from a bull elk that you plan to pack in tomorrow, grilling that venison concludes a day afield in a perfect way.

A zebra stallion was on the agenda of my last safari and I can distinctly remember the Professional Hunter wishing me well, as these striped beasts are incredibly crafty in the bush and taking one with a crossbow would take some luck.  “Arrow those stripes and we’ll have the tenderloin for dinner,” he said.  As luck would have it, I scored and the next evening we feasted on the most delicious venison I’ve tasted.

Special Preparation

Tenderloin over wood coals is indescribable.

Wild game is one of the most healthy sources of protein a human can eat, yet preparing it can be challenging.  Gone is the fat that makes a marbled steak so tasty and there lies the problem.  Lean works for the heart, yet not the taste buds.  When making venison sausage or just about any wild game dish, you must add fat for taste and texture.  Brad Fenson, one of the best outdoor cooks I’ve met, suggests putting 25% beef tallow or pork with any batch of sausage or jerky made from deer or elk.  No doubt, that sacrifices some of the healthy benefits, yet if the venison doesn’t taste good, your friends won’t eat it which makes it less appealing to cook.

You are about to see some terrific recipes posted from the NRA website, one of which uses bacon and jalapeno.  I can attest that you could wrap a pine cone in bacon stuffed with the hot pepper and it would taste good.  That works for geese, doves, ducks, and about any venison you can imagine.  These recipes are delicious, but follow them carefully.  Master the basics of wild game cooking before improvising:

Spring has arrived! Which means you have an even bigger excuse to enjoy the outdoors.
Even though it may not be warming up just quit yet throughout the entire country, some areas are due for sunny and 75° giving ample opportunity to enjoy all things outdoors – including eating.  Here are some unique wild game snacks to complete your weekend shenanigans. Enjoy!

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.

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