So Now What?
Congrats on your Big Bull or great buck! Filling your tag with a legal and ethical hunt is more than rewarding. Now what do you do next?
We hunt for many reasons. Some hunters like the fellowship, antlers, adventure or food. As long as the hunt is sporting, legal and honest you can be proud.
Getting the critter to the butcher, camp or home is when the real work begins. I keep hearing stories about tagging the easy, huge elk or deer. “We just rolled him into the back of the truck!” The truth is I have never been so lucky. The pack out for me has always involved a lot of work. Whether with a pack animal or use of “pack friends”, the work just begins after you pull the trigger.
Why so much effort? For a lot of true hunters, it is about food. We take great pride in filling our families’ bellies with healthy and nutritious meals. Wild game has no chemical additives and is delicious. As a loving provider, what type of meals would you want most for your family? Humans are hunters and gatherers. We survive upon meat and vegetables. Our canine teeth prove our omnivore nature.
Preparing a meal for your family is a true act of love. One of my favorite recipes is called “Deer Chesapeake”. This recipe has it’s roots in a hunting camp from the eastern shore of Maryland. Prior to the opening day of deer season, a group of hunters rendezvoused at their rustic camp. The evening meal was prepared from last years’ remaining deer from the freezer. The same old cook made the recipe from memory. My friend, Keith, watched each year to try and write down the precise conglomerate of ingredients so he could carry on the tradition. At Keith’s western Maryland deer camp, the tradition continues. Deer Chesapeake is my favorite recipe and works equally well with moose, elk or antelope. I hope that you all will enjoy sharing this recipe with friends and family!
Brown the following in a large iron kettle;
2 lbs. of cubed meat, ¾ lb. of diced onion, ¼ clove of garlic or garlic powder, 5 tablespoons of cooking oil.
When browning is complete add the following;
½ tbsp. of dry mustard, 2 tbsp. of paprika, dash of red pepper, ¼ cup of brown sugar, ½ cup of Worcester sauce, 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar, 1 cup of ketchup, 3 cups of water.
Simmer for 2 hours
Add 4 heaping tbsps. of flour to ½ cup of cold water and mix. Pour this mixture into the Deer Chesapeake and continue to cook until it thickens.
Serve over large egg noodles. As a side, prepare this “Southern Corn Bread” recipe.
Mix the following;
1 cup white flour, 1 cup yellow ground cornmeal, ½ cup of sugar, ½ stick melted butter, 1 tbsp. of baking powder, 2 eggs and 1 cup of milk.
Bake in a 9 inch pan or muffin tin for approximately 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
The leftovers, if there are any, are even better the next day. I have made up this recipe well ahead of time and found it makes for a quick and hearty meal after a long days hunt. Enjoy and carry forth the great traditions of hunting!