My First Deer

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Gathering' started by stillman, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. stillman

    stillman Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I took my first deer tonight. Actually, I should say my first deer while hunting; I killed one with my truck a few years ago.

    A little background info first. I grew up on what used to be the family dairy farm. My grandfather died before I was born so no one milked, but my uncle has kept a small herd of beef cattle for as long as I can remember. My parents had a horses for years but they're down to one that's just a pet now. My uncle lives on one road and my parents live on another parallel road, their land meets somewhere between the two roads and makes up what used to be the old farm.

    No one in my family hunted when I was growing up. I tried to hunt but was never successful beyond a little bit of small game. I walked many miles over this property with the 12 gauge I got for Christmas with little meat to show for it. After becoming an adult I tried deer hunting a time or two but didn't make a real effort until year before last. I decided it was time to get serious about it and started looking for help.

    The first guy I asked acted happy to help but would always say "Yeah, we'll go sometime!" which actually meant, "We'll go... never." The second guy I asked jumped on it. He told me he had a good place and then he called me the next time he went out. He put me in his best stand so I'd be sure to see deer. His place was in a bow only county and I'm not too good with a bow but I learned a lot by being in the woods, watching the deer and listening to my friend.

    The next year, I told my friend about the family property and asked him if he thought it would be any good for hunting. He got very excited when I showed him the Google satellite picture and couldn't wait to get out there. We went several times, I saw some deer but didn't get one. He got a 12 point and an epic tracking story.

    This year's season rolled around and we had our first opportunity to hunt the morning of 10/30. I was in my stand and saw a 4 point buck but he was too far away for a sure shot. We left our stands and went to my parent's for lunch and to work on my dad's tractor. We filled our bellies and got the tractor running just in time to head out to the stands again. I saw 6 does, 2 of them fawns just out of spots. They walked around for half an hour giving me perfect shot after perfect shot but I couldn't take any of them - no does with firearms until 10/31. I climbed out of my tree, disappointed but happy I withstood the temptation of cheating the law by a few hours and I'll admit that I was sorely tempted.

    We didn't get to hunt the morning of 10/31 but were back in the trees for the evening. I was in the same spot, 100 yards from a white oak that was raining acorns, and knew I was going to get something tonight. It seemed like feeding time would never arrive but right about 7:00, the two young deer from last night came out and started running around. I watched them for a few minutes and another deer appeared out of thin air, like they do sometimes. It was the 4 point from yesterday. I waited another minute or two to see if anyone else was coming to the party, until I couldn't wait any longer. He was right under that big oak, quartering away... I aimed and missed clean. How? He didn't run off, he turned broadside and looked at me as if to say "Here, let me make it easier for you." and I took a more carefully aimed shot. With the cloud of self-doubt, 30.06 fireball, and the recoil, I didn't see him disappear. I heard a few deer going through the briars but I couldn't see where he went. Did he drop into the knee deep vegetation? Did I miss again? My money was on missing again.

    I waited 10 minutes then slowly made my way down the tree and packed up my stand. I moved as slowly as possible to distract myself from the overwhelming desire to go look for that deer. Why does it take 10 minutes to pack this stand when it's time to go home but 3 minutes tonight? I dawdled for 25 minutes until my friend showed up and we went looking for a blood trail. I was pushing into the briars when he called me over, he found blood. I hit the trail and found my deer about 100 feet into the woods. It was a good two-lung shot.

    We drug him out to the field and I walked out for the truck, which took us back to the house where my friend helped my hoist the deer up and taught me how to skin it. This took a while since he was teaching and I was a newbie but we got it done. With the meat in my grandmother's old orange cooler, we had supper with my parents then headed home. I dropped him off at his place around 11:30. I got home at midnight, checked my daughter and niece's Halloween candy harvest, and got to work on my harvest.

    It's all in the fridge now, aging for a couple of days.

    I'm in my late 40's but I finally got my deer from the family farm. We're going back week after next to see what the rut brings out. Maybe I'll have something to add to this thread. Probably not as long-winded. I was just about ready to give up on deer hunting and stick to small game (and the grocery store) but now I'm hooked.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
  2. Blackhawk60

    Blackhawk60 Supporter Supporter

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    Thats great man! Glad you were able to harvest one!! Enjoy the feast...
     
  3. Tiwaz

    Tiwaz Scout

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    That's a great story! Thanks for sharing. I've never hunted in my life, but I'm hoping to learn soon. Your story gives this noob hope!
     
  4. halo2

    halo2 Scout

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    Congrats! Most hunters I know now freeze the meat immediately rather than age it. They say it tastes better that way. Your tastes may be different of course.
     
  5. ACinSA

    ACinSA Bring it, don't sing it! Supporter

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    Congrats! Very cool story and thanks for sharing...you addiction has officially begun.

    God bless,

    Aaron
     
  6. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    good for you, stllman. i started deer hunting late, too, as a an adult with 3 children.
    are you still running an x100?
     
  7. Mr. Tettnanger

    Mr. Tettnanger Supporter Supporter

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    Congrats!
     
  8. TX-1948

    TX-1948 Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Congratulations!!! Hunting adds another dimension to enjoying the outdoors...even if you are not immediately successful in harvesting game....sounds like you had a good time....with a good friend....just doesn't get any better than that.....
     
  9. 1773

    1773 Guide

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    Congratulations, I know it must be particularly special to you to have taken your first deer from the family farm
     
  10. Draketake

    Draketake Guide

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    Fantastic.
     
  11. SmilinJoe

    SmilinJoe Supporter Supporter

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    Congrats stillman that was a great story. Take some of that hind quarter and grind it into burger and Then grind a good fatty brisket and mix it 50:50. Deer burgers, spaghetti, and any other recipe calling for ground beef will be 200 times better.
     
  12. Smokey Radley

    Smokey Radley Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Awesome man! I've a similar story, just really started hunting myself. It's a great feeling to finally be successful. Enjoy the first meal!
     
  13. metsuri

    metsuri Supporter Supporter

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    Well done Sir! And thank you for sharing your story. It's great to read and feel your excitement and passion of your first harvest and remember the first one always seems to be the hardest one to get. Good luck on the next.
     
  14. Izzy

    Izzy Deceased.

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    Congratulations. Nothing like putting healthy food on the table for your family.
     
  15. Rockgod1619

    Rockgod1619 Supporter Supporter

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    Congrats man!! That's awesome!! I've yet to get my first deer, hoping to this season. Way to provide for your family!!
     
  16. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Congrats on your kill! I was also in my mid 40s when I got my first deer... hunted two seasons as a teen, mostly on my own, sometimes under the patient guidance of an old WW2 vet named Bill who also introduced me reloading and pistol shooting. I hunted again in my mid 20s when the Army brought me back closer to home, this time under the mentorship of one of my NCOs (he was from MN.) I had an uncle who was also my scoutmaster who was an avid hunter of all sorts of game, but for whatever reason, I just never got the hunting bug with him, though I went fishing and camping with him at least once a month... My parents did not encourage my hunting. Maybe I just had to be older and bigger (I was a scrawny kid.) I finally started hunting again with a friend here in LA, and have killed, tracked, recovered, and cleaned my last few "on my own."

    After the initial feeling of "sorry deer, but I have to kill you", it's a good feeling being able to put food on the table... nothing like eating a piece of jerky from last year while in the stand this year.

    Again, congratulations.
     
  17. RobOz

    RobOz Scout

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    Congrats on your first deer! Hunters helping hunters is the way it's supposed to be. He helped you learn how to hunt and take care of the harvest, that in turn opened up a new place that he got to hunt. Your story was not long winded, it was the best I read in a long time. One thing, never let that bad temptation get the best of you. Congrats again!
     
  18. Donfini

    Donfini Some who wander are lost Supporter

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    Congrats!
    Start a log if you haven't already, note temp, wind speed, direction, barometric pressure, your location and gps coordinates if you can. Jot down time of day you shot it and any others you saw.
    If you make some notes on the terrain you will end up with a great tool that you can use later to hunt areas you aren't familiar with, just match up as many things as you can and pick a spot. You may also look at days that you saw nothing and know when weather patterns will minimize your successful chances.
    Enjoy a lifetime addiction!
     
  19. kaywoodie

    kaywoodie Scout

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    Well done!!! Congrats!!!!!
     
  20. Buckhenry

    Buckhenry Supporter Supporter

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    Well done,enjoy the harvest.
     
  21. stillman

    stillman Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Thank you, everyone, for the congratulations and advice.

    My goal is for our family to be totally off "factory" meat within a couple of years. I want to hunt or raise as much as possible and then we can afford to buy little additional meat we need from a local source.

    One thing that really stood out to me last night as I was processing the meat. My grandfather was a butcher and I spent a fair amount of time in the meat market as a kid. I know what fresh meat is supposed to smell like and modern day grocery store meat, even what's marked organic, doesn't smell like it should. This meat smelled like it did when my grandfather was cutting beef and pork back in the 70s. Unless my memory is foggier than I think.



    Paul, I do still work with my X100S. I wish I had carried it hunting so I could have a good pic of me with the deer. All I have is a quick cellphone shot of him on the ground.
     
  22. Gavin

    Gavin Scout

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    Congrats on your first deer! And a great story too!
     
  23. manitoulinbound

    manitoulinbound Apple Fritter Lover Supporter

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    Congrats, I still remember mine.
     
  24. T. Pollock

    T. Pollock Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Congrats bro! There's nothing like the feeling of harvesting your first one. Next month I'll be 51 and I killed my first deer at 14 but I'll never forget the excitement of that day as long as I live.
     
  25. Polecat

    Polecat Polecat in a Poke Supporter

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    Good job, buddy!
     
  26. .338WinMag

    .338WinMag Scout

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    Good to see you've got to experience the hunt and all it entails hope to hear about how yer utiliseing all those good steaks etc take care Win mag
     
  27. Grouse Hunter

    Grouse Hunter Supporter Supporter

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    Congrats, still remember my first deer clearly even after 32 years.
     
  28. dmattice

    dmattice Tinder Gatherer

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    Awesome story of your first deer man! I am 29 and have been hunting throughout the years with my father and uncles, but I have yet to shoot anything. I was especially excited reading your story as I just got a 30-06 last month and I am hoping to shoot my first deer this season. So reading that you took yours with a 30-06 is making me that much more excited to get out there with mine. Good luck with the rest of your season. I hope you bag another!
     
  29. Outdoorscout

    Outdoorscout Tracker

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    Congrats! That was a good story. You are very fortunate to have your own land to hunt in. I'm an avid hunter and have to drive three hours upstate NY to hunt.
     
  30. GreenFrog

    GreenFrog Supporter Supporter Bushclass III

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    Congrats, great story.
     
  31. stillman

    stillman Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    We had our first meal from the deer today.

    One tenderloin
    Olive oil
    Garlic
    Butter
    Salt
    Penne pasta
    Pesto

    Other than boiling the pasta, the cooking was all done in a cast iron frying pan.

    Get your pesto ready - either make it or open the jar.

    Set oven to 350.

    Slice tenderloin into 3/4" thick medallions

    Start the pasta boiling.

    Cook garlic in olive oil over medium heat. When the garlic is almost done, distribute the meat into the pan so that the pieces don't touch each other. Do not flip the meat while cooking. When the meat is about half as done as you want it, remove it from the heat. Drop a bit of butter on top of each piece of meat, then put the pan in the oven.

    Your pasta should be done by now. Drain it. Just before the meat is done, toss the pasta in with the meat, coating it with the contents of the pan. Put the pan back into the oven for another minute or so.

    Remove pan from oven and serve onto plates. Leave as much of the oil as possible in the pan but get all the garlic bits. Put a dollop of pesto on top of each serving.

    Time to eat.
     
  32. jstalljon

    jstalljon Woods Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    Great story! and congrats on hopefully the first of many more to come. I made 12 pounds of venison jerky this weekend. It's amazing how pulling out those packages of frozen meat rekindles the entire hunt and how much effort/work went into processing and packaging that game.

    Something that just isn't experienced when you pick up a pound of ground round at the grocery.
     
  33. stillman

    stillman Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    We had our second meal from the deer today, fajitas.

    Instead of grinding anything for burger right away, all trimmings, mistakes, ends, odd bits etc. were cut into small pieces and bagged up, 2lbs at the time. This meat was trimmed as close as possible but there might be some fat and silver skin left on it. This is one reason I cooked it for so long.

    I've done many beef roasts this way so it's just an adaptation of how I cook them. Sometimes we use salsa and make fajitas, sometimes I just cook the meat with the oil and other seasonings and serve it over rice.

    Fajitas:
    2lbs of meat
    Olive oil
    Salsa
    Water
    Deep frying pan or skillet - with lid.

    Cover bottom of pan with olive oil, then turn heat to medium low.
    Toss in the meat.
    Cover with salsa and add a little water if the salsa isn't very wet.
    Cover and let it cook for about 2 hours.
    Uncover and let some of the water cook out, maybe 10-20 minutes.

    While this is cooking, get your wife to make fresh tortillas. It would be a shame to eat this on store bought tortillas. (Check our video on how to make tortillas. It's really worth the trouble and you've got 2 1/2 hours while the meat cooks.)

    Garnish however you like fajitas. I like rice, black beans, cheese, and chipotle sauce.


    We're a family of three so 2lbs of meat leaves us with enough leftovers for quesadillas the next day, or we'll save the meat to go in a pot of chili.
     
  34. Danno

    Danno Tracker

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    Congrads and thanks for a great story. Brought back memories of my first deer. I'd been hunting for ten years or more with no luck. That year, sitting in the rain behind my folk's house, cold, broke and unemployed...I was thinking things could not get much worse. But I stuck it out, and late in the afternoon a six pointer wandered up the trail I was watching. The old auto5 12ga was getting mighty heavy as I waited for a clear shot....then it was there and the deer fell in it's tracks.

    Turned out to be the first of many blessings bestowed on me that season. Received job offer a few days later and the rest is history.

    D
     
  35. sonofadoublegun

    sonofadoublegun Supporter Supporter

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    This is awesome. Congratulations, bud!

    Best,
    Jamie
     
  36. stillman

    stillman Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    An Update:

    I shot at another deer and had a clean miss. This sent me to the range to see what was the matter with my shooting. The range officer is also a firearms instructor and he helped me work out the two bad habits I had developed.

    On the night of 11/9, after a day of sitting in the rain, I was watching a group of 4 does to my left. They kept looking back, like a big buck was moving in. I kept looking at them, like a big buck was moving in, and didn't even see the 2 does that were to my right. I alternated between the two groups like a tennis match until a spike tried to get the attention of the pair on my right. I watched this for a while; until the spike left abruptly and a big 7 point took his place. The does weren't interested in him, either, but that didn't stop him from chasing them over to the group on my left. They had to cross directly in front of me but they were moving fast and I didn't dare risk a shot. Deciding not to shoot calmed me greatly. I didn't have time to for my heart rate to jump when they crossed in front of me again, just 50 yards away. The buck stopped broadside for a second too long and I got a good double lung shot. He ran hard but it was clear he wouldn't make it too far. 75 yards in a blink and a big crash in a small creek.

    My friend aged him at 4.5 years. Said the number of points was not indicative of his age but the thick bases were. The antlers weren't nice by anyone's standards but mine, they were weird and cool, and they'll make good knife handles. We figured he was so old that the meat would probably be tough so I took him to a processor. I don't have a grinder that will handle that much meat.
     
    Zaveral likes this.
  37. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Congrats again! I had last years "old" buck turned mostly into snack sticks, stew meat, and a little sausage... congrats on 'not shooting'. the more deer you see, the better you get at waiting/picking "the right one". and remember to keep practicing the non-bad-habits, so that it comes naturally, when you're excited.
     
  38. Paul Foreman

    Paul Foreman Supporter Supporter

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    those are some fine recipes, stillman. well done on your second deer. 5-day muzzle-loader season opens here monday. i'll be out a couple of days ...
     
  39. stillman

    stillman Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I'm in a ground blind that I made from cedar limbs and saplings. Wind is in my face. Hoping one will come into 44 mag range tonight; it's the only way I'm going to let myself take another one before my friend gets his. (At least that's what I keep telling myself.)
     
  40. TNCanoer

    TNCanoer Scout

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    Congrats on your first deer!
     
  41. stillman

    stillman Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I didn't see anything but my friend got a 10 point.

    The one I had processed yielded 65 lbs of meat.
     
  42. stillman

    stillman Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Wife and Daughter went out with me a couple of nights ago. I built them a cedar limb blind and sat with them until just before Sunset. at that point, I climbed about 10 feet up in the tree so I could have a safe shot at the most likely place for deer to emerge. This spot is close to the property line and I want any errant shot to go into the ground since I really don't know if there's another guy hunting 20 feet inside the brush on the other side of the fence.

    Nothing came out at the spot where I've seen them come so many other nights. They came out about 100 yards down the fenceline. We watched them but I didn't shoot since I would've had to shoot over Wife and Daughter's heads.

    We were able to observe the deer for a long time and got to hear some bleating. They finally moved about 200 yards away and behind us, where the lead doe winded us. No meat but lots of fun and very educational.


    I've been in the woods all day, almost every day for the past week or so. We went to church Sunday morning and I almost couldn't take it. My senses were so heightened by being in the woods and paying attention to every movement and noise that being in a room with 200 people was nearly overwhelming. It took me a while but I eased into it and enjoyed a good service.


    I made jerky from one of the young deer. I didn't have a recipe so I just pulled a few things out of the fridge and started mixing.
    Maple syrup
    Soy sauce
    Chipotle sauce
    Black pepper

    Marinated for about 4 hours then spread the meat out on a rack. Sprinkled black pepper on the meat.
    Put the rack in the oven on 170 with a ball of foil to prop the door open (Thanks Alton Brown) and let it go for a few hours. The temp ranged from 150-170 in the oven, according to my meat thermometer.



    Also, I have another thread going, asking about processing meat:
    http://bushcraftusa.com/forum/showthread.php/163311-Question-About-Processing-Deer
     
  43. MT_Fin

    MT_Fin Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Great job on the first of many I'm sure!
     
  44. stillman

    stillman Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Our lunch today was venison burritos but the meat was from the older deer. I was able to eat 2, Daughter ate most of one, and Wife skipped the meat and opted for just the rice and beans. I have 65 lbs of meat from this deer so I'll have to figure out a way to cook it or find someone who likes gamey deer.


    So, to restore my girls' faith in the venison I brought home, I made cubed steak and potatoes for dinner tonight. I bought a $20 cuber from Amazon and it did a great job. I was truly surprised. The meat was all from a hind quarter of a younger deer. The pieces were too small for steaks but too big for stew. I ran them through the cuber twice while Daughter turned the crank for me and left them in the fridge overnight.


    3/4 pound of cubed meat
    flour
    salt
    pepper
    olive oil
    4 potatoes
    1 onion (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350.
    Cover the bottom of a covered, 10" baking dish with oil.
    Pour some flour on a plate and mix in salt and pepper. Dredge steaks in flour.
    Arrange the steaks to cover the bottom of the dish, squeeze them in there if needed.
    Put the lid on the dish and place in oven.

    Peel the potatoes and slice just like french fries. Do this slowly because you need the meat to cook for a few minutes.
    Add the potatoes to the pot, salt and pepper them if you want. You could drip some more oil over the top if you wanted.
    Let it cook for about 30-45 minutes.

    When everything is done, remove the cover and let the dish cook uncovered until the potatoes get a little crispy.

    We used 2 white and 2 sweet potatoes on the theory that deer love sweet potato plants so they should taste good together.
     
  45. .356luger

    .356luger Scout

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    This may have been covered earlier in this thread but if its gamey try soaking it in milk over night. I find it helps dull it down quite a bit might be worth trying on that old fella. That and crock pots do magic things for alot of stuff.
     
  46. stillman

    stillman Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I don't know the correct name for this roast. I've seen it called sirloin and round online, also what I think some people call "football" roast. Anyhow, it's the three muscles that wrap around the long bone in a ham quarter.

    From a younger deer, I left the three muscles connected but removed as much connective tissue as possible.


    Roast
    1/3 stick butter
    Olive oil
    Salt
    Rosemary or other herbs
    Chef's string
    Flour

    "Open" the roast so that you can access the inside. Spread butter over anything you see. Add some salt.
    Add rosemary and/or other herbs. I cut whole stems of rosemary, washed, and left the stick & leaves together.
    Close the roast and tie with string.

    In stovetop and oven-safe dish, heat oil. Brown the entire outer surface of the roast to your liking.
    Turn the roast so that the open side is up, cover the pot, and put in oven at 350. Cook until internal temp is what you like.
    Remove the roast from the pot and rest it under foil while you make the gravy.


    In a small, watertight container, mix a few tablespoons of flour and just enough cold water to dissolve it. Put the lid on it and shake to mix. Once again, do not use hot water for this or you'll end up covering the kitchen in flour-water mix.

    Return the pot with cooking juices to the stovetop, set to low or medium heat, depending on your patience. Slowly add the flour-water to the pot, continually stirring with a fork or whisk. Once the flour is integrated, it should thicken up quickly - don't let it burn or turn to glue. You can add water or milk if it starts getting too thick. Let it cook longer if you didn't add enough flour and it's too thin. Taste the gravy and add salt & pepper as needed.

    Cut the string, open the roast to remove the rosemary stems and leaves. Close the roast and slice into steaks or pull it apart like pulled pork BBQ.

    Serve with mashed potatoes or rice. Green peas are good with it, too. And biscuits, always biscuits.
     
  47. stillman

    stillman Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Went hunting with another friend on the next-to-last day of the season. There was almost no movement so I walked through the woods in hopes to push a deer towards friend's blind. The plan worked and he made a great shot.

    His wife doesn't like venison so he took the tenderloins and half a backstrap. The rest is going into my freezer. I'm going to try roasting the shanks with Hank Shaw's recipe.

    http://honest-food.net/2012/11/11/braised-venison-shanks-recipe-garlic/
     
  48. stillman

    stillman Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    The shanks were excellent. Substituted apple sauce and vinegar for the white wine because it was the closest thing we had on hand.

    I was very happy with this recipe since the shanks had been relegated to the dog food pile. There's so much connective tissue that getting to the meat with a knife takes forever. Being able to eat them adds two good meals to every deer harvested.
     
  49. boomchakabowwow

    boomchakabowwow Guide

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    late to the party..but congrats.

    it's just something different and special to be involved with the food "getting"..like a personal field to table movement. my wife's first bite of wild elk..was worth the hiking and climbing. she doesnt hunt but..i'm working on it.
     
  50. Paveglass

    Paveglass Scout

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    IMG_1988.jpg

    There are lots of other aspects of hunting that are a lot of fun too.
     
    556mp likes this.

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