One of the best things about hunting is that it gives us so many reasons to celebrate. When you creep into your deer stand under the stingy light of a headlamp and feel your stomach do somersaults, you’re celebrating that special feeling of being totally alive. Gathering with friends around a crackling fire in deer camp is another reason to celebrate. And when someone gets lucky enough to bring a deer back to camp, well, that’s the best celebration of all. And the good times continue, long after the last tinge of powder has drifted away.
Be it buck or doe, the care we take in field dressing and butchering, to ensure that every piece of meat is saved, is our way of showing respect for the animals we take. And what better way to honor the game and cap off another successful deer season than by preparing a venison feast?
To help you get started, we asked three renowned chefs (who are also die-hard hunters) to share some of their favorite venison recipes. We then teamed up with our sister publication SAVEUR, whose staff graciously opened their test kitchen to us, preparing the recipes and allowing us to photograph the wide array of tantalizing dishes you see here. Along the way, we added our own thoughts on the best cuts and the best cutlery with which to carve your slice of venison heaven. There are tips on how to grill the perfect steak, and a guide to great wine pairings.
So put your feet up, throw another log on the fire and savor the pages that follow. Deer season might almost be over, but the enjoyment of it is still going strong.
Below are recipes, tips, behind-the-scenes photos, and other fare that will make the best of your haul this season.
From camp to kitchen: How three top game chefs (who also love to hunt) crack the code for serving up hunting’s best red meat.
Be a Better Butcher
A chef is only as good as his cut of meat. So when your deer hits the dirt this season, make sure you follow these tips to prepare the best venison cuts.
How to Grill a Perfect Steak
Everyone loves a good deer steak, but not everybody knows how to make one. Follow these tips and master the grill.
Choosing the Right Knife
Now that you have your perfectly prepared venison steak, you need the perfect knife. Here are three of our favorites.
Donate Your Deer
Each year hunters donate millions of pounds of venison to those who are less fortunate. We can help you find out where to donate your deer this season.
Behind the Scenes
Take a sneak peak at how we shot our December/January venison feature.
Cooking Wild Turkey
When the Pilgrims sat down for their first Thanksgiving dinner you can bet they weren't dinning on a store-bought bird. Celebrate Thanksgiving the way it was meant to be celebrated with these wild turkey recipes.
If you're wondering what kind of adult beverages to serve before your Thanksgiving or venison feasts, here are some of our editor's favorite bourbons and scotches.
10 Best Single-Malt Scotches
We've compiled a list of our 10 favorite single-malts, so pour yourself a wee dram!
10 Best Bourbons
Kentucky is known for two things: Derby and Bourbon. We've compiled a list of the best bourbons the state has to offer.