Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Deer

Kids really do end up acting like their parents. Once I got on my quest to shoot a pig my boy got the bug too. The first problem was that he is just a monkey and it takes a pretty big gun to take down a big animal. "That's no problem!", he said. He asked for a big gun for his birthday in September and ended up with an H&R single shot 7mm-08. It came with a scope and a youth model stock.

The first time he shot it he held it too loose and the scope smashed him in the forehead. This thing is loud as hell and kicks hard. Neither one of us liked the damn thing...but we pressed on. Three months and ~100 rounds later the boy is hitting his targets at 100 yards.

We finally got a chance to hunt deer over Christmas at my folks place back in Kentucky. We froze our butts off but we managed to bag a small buck. I made the blind and helped my boy spot the deer, but once he saw it he took over. A perfect shot at 100 yards. The buck stumbled for ~30 yards and dropped. Neither my father or I had ever shot a deer before so we were pretty much jumping out of our pants when my boy dropped one on his first hunt. Way cool.

So.....I have been up to my elbows, literally, in venison. We took the backstraps, both hindquarters and one shoulder (the other should had a huge hole in it :) ). We also took a bag of random trimmings not associated with the major cuts. I did not save the ribs, they looked like not much was on them and I did not have the cooler space. I also pitched the organs...I know a deer heart/liver pate would be cool to write about but I honestly did not want to make or eat it.

Butchering the deer has been super fun! Seeing how the leg muscles are connected and pull apart is awsome. It has helped me understand various cuts of meat better now that I actually figured out how to find them. that's where a round roast comes from. The deer weighed ~150-200 lbs before we field dressed him. I am guessing we ended up with ~30 lbs of meat. The leg bones have been saved for a stock session this weekend and the skin is being tanned for use as a blanket.

So far we have had peppered steaks, country fried steaks (I am in Texas after all), bacon wrapped, stroganoff and by far my favorite...bratwurst burgers.

3 lbs venison trimmed of all fat, membranes and silverskin.
1 lb pork fat
1/4 pint heavy cream
1 egg
2 Tbs kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 nutmeg, grated

Put the meat and fat through the grinder then into the mixer with the seasonings. Mix well for ~2 minutes. You could easily stuff into casings at this point but I was out. Instead I formed the mix into 6 oz patties and pan fried them like a burger. Pretty incredible.

Go hunting. It's fun.


  1. Good on ya for this! I shoot a .270, which I think has less kick but will still kill an elk at 325 yards.

    You missed out by leaving the heart, which is my favorite part. Slice, then pound thin like a veal cutlet and fry to medium rare -- delish!

    I too am fascinated by the butchering process; in a weird way, it's like opening a present.

  2. Thank you, sir! I am still excited and proud as can be. I have to say that your blog helped push me in the right direction.

    In hindsight I wish I had taken the heart and the tongue. I kick myself everytime I think about the possibility of corned venison tongue. Rookie mistake...I'll do better next time.