Deer Hunting Season - Deer Bones, Meat, Venison Jerky Recipe

Most of us either hunt, or use a lot of meat we produce ourselves. For me here in Iowa it’s deer hunting season. I don't know about other parts of the US, or the world, but here in Iowa deer is a staple food for most of us. This is how I use every bit of that deer during the hunting season to feed my chickens, my dog and myself. I even use it in the wood stove. When skinning the deer, hog, or what ever you are putting in your freezer that dan, this will work pretty much across the board.

Get 3 good sized buckets or tubs. One bucket for the deer organs you will keep for yourself or dehydrate or freeze for your dog. I keep a guardian dog so it’s really important to hold some of this good food over for summer feedings. One bucket is for the guts and things you really are not going to keep. The last is for the deer meat or venison, you will use for the table.

white tail deer during deer hunting season

Deer Hunting Season and Skinning the Deer

After skinning your deer take the hide and stake it out fur side down on the ground. Your chickens will peck off every bit of blood, flesh, fat and even eat some of the hair. Very little will be left to burn in the stove.

Dear Hunting Season: Using Deer Bones for Fires

If you butcher bone in, as most of us do for flavor, you will want to pick these up after your dog enjoys them for a while. If you don't butcher bone in, or give them to a dog to enjoy first, just stash the deer bones up in your wood pile. Bone burns longer and hotter than wood. Save the bones for just before you go to bed. You won't have to get up in the middle of the night to stoke the fire, those bones will keep the fire going and you will have enough heat to get a good fire going again come morning.

Deer Hunting Season: Using Deer Bones for Tools

Deer bones are also wonderful tools. It’s expensive to buy a leather awl. I have never had a store-bought awl. I have had my leatherwork in well-known magazines. Most of the tools I use for my leatherwork came from a deer or sheep.

Dear Hunting Season: Using Deer Marrow

Another thing you can do before you start carving away at those bones, is scoop out all the marrow. The marrow is the most nutritious part of the animal, it contains salts and minerals not found in other parts. After scooping it out, you can save it for flavoring soups or stews, or even mixing it with some spices and egg for a type of pudding.

Those bones are a valuable part of any animal that shouldn't be over looked.

A Deer Meat Recipe during Deer Hunting Season

When you go deer hunting, one of the best things about it is that you can make deer jerky. Here is a simple recipe for deer jerky.

Deer Hunting Season: A Simple Recipe for Deer Jerky

Fill a bucket with apple cider, even the cheap store-bought stuff will do. For one 10 gallon bucket use about a gallon of cider.

For every gallon of cider use one bottle of Worcester sauce and one bottle of soy sauce.

This is your base, from here you can flavor with some cayenne, sage, pepper, liquid smoke, what ever you want.

I also use this mix as a marinade. This is wonderful with deer, lamb or beef, and oh so simple.

The real trick to cooking deer meat is to not treat it like deer. Treat it like beef. You wouldn't chase your beef before you shoot it. You wouldn't hang your beef in the garage and let it sit in exhaust fumes for a week before your butcher it.

There is a whole gamut of things people do to deer meat and then expect it to taste good that they would never do to any other sort of meat.

Freezing your Deer during Deer Hunting Season

Start out by treating your deer, like you are going to eat it. Cool it quickly, pack it well. The best way to wrap deer meat for the freezer I have found is also very cheap. Use the black lawn bags.

Cut them into about 2 foot squares or sizes that would be about the size of the freezer paper you would use. Wrap your meat in side the plastic bag just like freezer paper. Divide each piece of meat within a layer of plastic. Finish it off by wrapping the whole thing in newspaper.

I promise you that you will have less freezer burn than with any other kind of wrapping and save hundreds on expenses.

The final stage to having the best deer meat you ever tasted, assuming you didn't go kill a big buck and then think you would share some awesome steaks with your buddies. You wouldn't buy an old bull or an old boar and think the meat would be good would you? I didn't think so.

Now all you have to do is take that young buck or doe and cook the deer meat to a medium rare. Deer doesn't do well if you over cook it - not in steak form anyway. Just like beef, the best way to enjoy a deer steak is over a fire with friends.

I hope this helped get your deer hunting season off to a good start and to keep your winter fire a bit warmer.

By Gypsy, our resident homestead blogger from One Sky Ranch

Gypsy's Wanderings Homestead Blog

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