Hunters have a lot of options when preparing big game, small game, furbearers, and even waterfowl.

But, sometimes it is nice to change things up a bit.  If you are anything like me, a snack of jerky, salami or summer sausage hits the spot.  Summer sausage is perfect for entertaining, and jerky makes great snacks for kids, as well as hunters, trappers, fisherman, and campers.

There are many quality commercial jerky, salami kits, and other meat kits available for purchase.  These kits often provide many options as far as flavors and methods that are available to provide a tasty treat. I have experimented with most of these kits, and have found them to be easy to use, as well as providing a quality finished product.  But, recently I have ventured out with making jerky and salami without purchased kits.  From time to time, I still use store bought kits.  Especially when I am in the mood for a flavor I can’t find a recipe for.  But, the satisfaction I get by doing it on my own is what I prefer.

Most of the ingredients you need you probably already have in your cabinets.  If not, they are readily available at your local supermarket.  Also, this is a great way to use up roasts, ground meat, duck breasts, and even furbearers that might not get used before you begin filling up your freezer again.

Making jerky, summer sausage and salami from scratch is not a hard process.  The toughest part is having to wait to sample the snacks.  Unlike other dishes you regularly cook, these recipes often call for a marinating and “cooking” process that can take hours, even a couple days before all is said and done.


I am not a fan of waterfowl.  I have never enjoyed it like others do using the traditional methods to prepare it.  But, being a person that eats what he kills, I found a way to prepare ducks that I enjoy.  This recipe can also be used for geese.  You will just have to adjust the seasoning for the larger sized goose compared to a duck.

4 ducks

¾ cup soy sauce

¾ cup teriyaki sauce

1 cup red wine

1 tablespoon liquid smoke

2 tablespoons freshly ground peppercorns

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons rosemary

½ teaspoon onion powder

Mix all marinade ingredients in a plastic bag.  Fillet the duck breast meat, then partially freeze it; this makes the meat easy to slice.  Carefully remove as much tendon and fat as possible.  Slice 1/4-inch strips along the grain.  Marinate them overnight.  To prepare the jerky, use one of the following three methods.  SMOKER:  Use the lowest heat setting possible for 3 to 7 hours.  DEHYDRATOR:  dehydrate for 8 to 10 hours.  OVEN:  Spray the oven rack with cooking spray and line the bottom of the oven with aluminum foil.  Drape the meat strips on the oven racks.  Prop the door open 2-inches with a toothpick or short pencil.  Cook at 150 degrees to 170 degrees for 4 to 7 hours.  When done, each strip should bend but not break.  Store in your refrigerator or freezer.




This recipe can be used with any big game animal.  I normally use it on whitetail deer, but it would just as good on moose, antelope, elk, caribou, or any other big game animal.


5-pound roast

1-quart water

1 cup vinegar

1 cup salt

1 tablespoon pepper

Steak sauce

Worcestershire sauce

Cut meat into ¼-inch thick strips, cutting with the grain.  Boil water, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Soak meat strips for five minutes.  Remove meat from water/vinegar mixture and drip dry.  Place strips on oven rack.  Set oven temperature to 200 degrees and leave door slightly open.  Allow meat to cook until almost completely dry, about 60 to 90 minutes.  Mix steak sauce and Worcestershire sauce to taste.  Brush on both sides of jerky strips.  Continue to cook another 30 minutes.  Store in airtight containers.


I love to trap.  Now I do not eat all the furbearers I catch.  That would be impossible.  But, I do eat the occasional BBQ coon, and have tried some other animals.  Some were alright, and others not so much.  One that I have tried, and enjoy is beaver.  But, there is only so many ways to cook a beaver.  That is why I make beaver jerky.  It is a great way to use up some beaver you have trapped, and you will never know it was beaver, except for the fact you made it.  It is just like any other jerky you might eat.


3 pounds beaver meat, cut into thin strips and fat free

1/3 cup steak sauce

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon liquid smoke

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon pepper

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

Put meat and all other ingredients in a zip-loc bag.  Flip flop bag every day.  After three days of refrigeration, rinse meat, place on oven rack and dry at 200 degrees for 2 to 2 ½ hours.



1-pound ground venison

8 ounces ground pork jowls

1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Morton’s Quick Tender

1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, cracked

¼ cup beef broth

Combine the venison and pork in a large bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients (except the broth).  Mix thoroughly.  Transfer the mix to a re-sealable plastic bag and chill overnight to let the Tender Quick work on the meat.  To taste test: microwave a half-inch ball for about 15 seconds on high – or fry a small patty – until all pink is gone.  Seal the baggie back up again, squash the sausage mix with the palm of your hand until it’s almost uniformly about 1-inch thick.  Now drop it in the freezer for about two hours.  When the edges start to get hard, it’s time to add the broth and mix the sausage well.  For the best texture, mix the sausage until it’s really sticky.  Mostly it will stick to itself, forming a ball.  The mix also will get harder to work as it gets sticky.  To mold the salami lay a length of plastic wrap on the counter and place half the sausage mix in the center.  Fold the plastic wrap over and shape the ball into a two-inch-diameter log.  Twist the ends of the wrap to round off the salami and carefully place the log on a baking pan, rolling the log off the plastic wrap.  DO NOT COOK THE PLASTIC WRAP.  Repeat for the second half of the sausage mix, leaving at least an inch of space between the two logs so air can circulate.  Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Cook for about 5 hours.  Chill, slice and serve.

Just about everybody loves jerky and salami.  Going to a store and buying a package of prepared either can cost an arm and a leg.  Chances are that you already have what you need in your freezer and cabinet to prepare these tasty treats right at home for a fraction of the price.Jerky and salami makes a great treat for children and adults, it is healthy, a perfect snack for those long winter days in a treestand, and a good way to use parts of your harvest after tiring out on the same old recipes, and not to mention that it is satisfying knowing that you made something so good from your success in the outdoors.  The only downfall is that as quick as you made your treats, they are gone.  When this happens, simply start planning your next batch.