Tag Archives: venison recipe

Secret Wild Game Jerky Recipe EXPOSED

Jerky

Now that the holidays are over I can sit back, relax, and chew on some good ol’ fashioned, homemade jerky. That’s right folks, I’ve been making my own jerky for almost fifteen years now. It didn’t start out so well, but through lots of trial and error–and a literal ton of wild meat–I believe I’ve perfected the art of making wild game jerky sticks.

For that last several years, I’ve been giving the stuff away to family and friends at Christmas. Since it’s illegal to sell wild game meat, it does me no good to just sit on the recipe. So, for all you hunters out there with way too much meat and time on your hands, here’s my famous, perfected recipe:

Wild Game Jerky Sticks

Materials Needed:

  • Nesco Food Dehydrator w/ extra Trays (8 total)
  • Jerky Gun w/ Attachments
  • Jerky Cure & Seasoning (brand: Hi Mountain)
  • Electric Smoker (brand: Big Chief)
  • Meat Grinder
  • Kitchen Scale
  • Disposable Rubber Gloves
  • Scissors
  • Fillet knife and cutting board
  • Wood chips
  • Measuring cups & spoons.
  • Extra Spices: Salt, Sugar, Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper, etc.
  • A pound of lean ground beef
  • Method:
  1. Remove all sinew, fat, hair, dirt, etc. from wild game.
  2. Cut meat into smaller chunks for grinding.
  3. Grind meat using smaller grinder plate.
  4. Make 4 – 5 pounds at a time to maximize dehydrator space.
  5. If you are grinding your own lean, muscle meat, then you’ll want to mix in some ground beef to add fat/moisture at a ratio of about 1:4 beef-to-wild-game. If you are making jerky from ground wild game from the processor, then skip this step.
  6. Thoroughly mix meat, seasoning, cure, and water according to ground meat instructions included with seasoning packet. Measure spices carefully. Add extra black and/or red pepper, and other seasonings if desired.
  7. Let sit for 2 – 3 hours. Do not sit overnight or the cure will make it stiff and hard to form.
  8. Start soaking a pan-full of wood chips for two hours.
  9. Use jerky gun and large round or large flat attachment to form long sticks across trays. You’ll cut them into smaller sections later.
  10. Dehydration takes 7 – 8 hours depending on temperature and humidity. Try to dehydrate at room temperature to avoid over- or under-cooking.
  11. Dehydrate for two hours to firm up jerky sticks.
  12. After two hours, remove jerky sticks and place in the smoker for two hours or however long it takes to burn through a single tray of damp wood chips. If it’s hot outside, keep your smoker out of direct sun as this will quickly over-cook your meat. Remember, you are dehydrating not cooking!
  13. If it’s freezing outside, put your dehydrator in the sun. If it’s too cold, it won’t smoke well. After smoking for two hours, put jerky back into dehydrator. You are halfway there!
  14. Rotate jerky trays every 1 – 2 hours for evenness.
  15. On the sixth hour, remove jerky from dehydrator. Use scissors to cut jerky into desired lengths and then stack them on layered paper towels on a plate for 30 minutes. This will soak up extra oil that accumulates on the surface.
  16. After 30 minutes on the plate, place back in dehydrator for 1 – 2 hours. Taste-test occasionally for consistency.
  17. When jerky is done, put back on plate layered with paper towels and let cool for an hour. Once cool, put jerky and paper towels in a one gallon Ziploc bag and place in freezer or fridge.

Other Notes:

  • The jerky process takes all day, so be prepared to babysit your meat.
  • Jerky meat cooks down to about 50% original weight.
  • The best way to ruin your jerky is to over- or under-season it. Use extra spices sparingly. Jerky that is too salty sux!
  • The second best way ruin your jerky is to over- or under-cook it. Under-cooked jerky is mushy and prone to mold. Over-cooked jerky is tough and flavorless. Also, don’t over-smoke your jerky—it tastes bad, it stinks up your hands when you eat it, and the deer can smell your pack a mile away.
  • The Hi Mountain seasoning is the best I’ve used. However, it isn’t very spicy. This is where extra pepper comes in handy. A little extra black and red pepper is almost always required. You can also add tobasco sauce.
  • Your homemade jerky will last one week in your pack, two months in the fridge, and two years in the freezer. But most likely it won’t last two days, especially if you have kids around.

The End

My 2014 Archery Buck

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Here it is folks, my 2014 trophy buck!  Okay, it was an off year, but I couldn’t be happier.  With only two days left in the season, I was very fortunate to find this buck up a little side canyon. After Thanksgiving, the area was being pounded by dozens of other hunters (or “dudes” as I call them).

I busted this little two-point halfway up a dense draw. He ran to fifty yards where he stood for a while before returning to feeding. For fifteen minutes I debated whether or not to take a shot. Would I find bigger buck? Highly unlikely. Do I need meat for the winter?  YES!!!

The buck stepped through a narrow opening in the trees. As I shot, he stepped again… I was worried as I watched my arrow hit several inches behind where I was aiming. The buck exploded down the canyon and out of sight.

I hurried over to where he stood and found my arrow: a clean pass through with lots of dark blood. Thank goodness it wasn’t guts!

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I waited a while then wandered down the canyon. The blood trail was easy to follow as it was coming out of both sides. About 100 yards down the canyon I spied a motionless pile of fur. The shot was good, hitting liver and lots of vital arteries.

As I sat in the snowy canyon cleaning my harvest, I couldn’t believe the season was finally over. I thought about the many challenges I endured this year–blown stalks, swirling wind, dreadful heat, blinding blizzards, and a major illness that wiped out half the November rut hunt for me. I also thought about the dozen or so BIGGER bucks I passed up for a chance at a real monster that never came.

Shot on the 28th; my lucky number!
Shot on the 28th; my lucky number!

In the end, I wouldn’t be that much happier with a bigger buck earlier on. For the trophy hunter, it’s all or nothing and I never found what I was looking for. But I’m also a meat hunter, and so this little buck means a lot. His death means continual life for me and my family.

Dragging my organic, free-range food back from God’s grocery store
Dragging my organic, free-range food back from God’s grocery store.

It’s easy for the trophy hunter to lose sight of what’s really important. The experience, the opportunity, and the passion supersedes the kill. The reality is, we are extremely lucky to live in a time and place where we can still partake in this wonderful tradition of hunting. I know that without it I would be lost in a world devoid of purpose.

I hope all of you had a great season this year. I’m already looking forward to next year. Good luck in 2015!

Modern Food Disaster

So, I was listening to news radio and they announced today that the price of meat, fish, and eggs has risen by 10% this year. That’s 10%, folks! This is a modern food disaster. Surely I’m not making any more money this year than last, but if I wish to eat protein–the building blocks of my active life–I guess I’ll either shell out 10% more…

OR

…shoot the dang food myself!

I’ll choose the latter; I  was planning on it anyway.

Not only is wild game more cost effective (assuming you’re hunting in an economically feasible way), but it’s much more healthy than store-bought meat–by far! Have you seen the conditions that farm animals live in? Do you know what hormones and other garbage they’re feeding the animals that you feed to your family? Do you know how fatty and non-nutritious this modern, pseudo-food really is?

I could go on and on, but instead I’ll just pull a passage from my book, Zen Hunting, for you to chew on:

These days, nature provides the building blocks of my life. The meat that I harvest by bow-and-arrow is my primary source of protein. But for the vast majority of our exploding population, their treat is tainted meat. Rotten, toxic, inorganic, sugary, imported food from third world countries wreaks havoc on our children’s bodies and minds. It spawns such wretched diseases as cancer, autism, obesity, and diabetes. It’s weakening an entire generation before our eyes, but we don’t see it because we’re too busy. The grand system distracts us from this truth with busy-ness, and thrusts upon our tables the caustic food of convenience. In truth, health is everything. Without it, we have nothing. Life stops with illness—the sick have no freedom…