Easy Peasy Deer Camp Chili

Easy Peasy Deer Camp Chili

by Dan Born, Hunt to Eat Ambassador


I put this chili recipe together for our annual Minnesota deer camp, as well as road trips to hunt in Wyoming and Nebraska. I wanted a meal that could be prepared in one pot, served many, tasted great and could be made with ingredients found at pretty much any grocery store, no matter the location. This chili really does fit the bill.

At the heart of my chili is ground venison, though pretty much any ground wild game meat would do. Pronghorn works excellent and I would guess that bear or even wild turkey would make for a great result. To add fat and flavor, I add a pound of ground chorizo. If you can’t find it, a mild to medium Italian sausage works just as well.

Beans or no beans? That’s up to you.  Over time I have went from using 3 cans of chili beans, down to the one listed here, and I can see myself getting rid of beans entirely at some point.

For the peppers, I like to use a bag of assorted sweet mini peppers when I can find them, which is most of the time. If not, a standard green, red and yellow bell pepper would suffice.

Deer camp venison chili ingredients


  • 1-pound ground chorizo
  • 2 pounds ground venison
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3-6 sweet mini peppers, chopped with seeds removed
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped or diced
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 1 can of beans in chili sauce (optional).
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 small bottle of orange juice
  • Quart of beef broth
  • Cheese to garnish. Beer to drink.


1. Using a large stock pot, brown the chorizo and ground venison over high heat, stirring occasionally. If necessary, brown the meat in batches. Reduce heat to medium-high.

2. Add the onion, peppers and garlic and let it cook for 5 minutes giving it a good stir.

3. Add the powdered spices, stirring them into the meat. Add the canned chili’s and do the same.

4. Stir in the bottle of orange juice and cans of diced tomatoes including any liquid found in the can.

5. Add just enough beef broth to cover everything in the pot. The chili may seem to thin, but will thicken as it cooks. Cover ½ the pot with the lid and reduce heat to barely a simmer. After 2 hours, add your beans in chili sauce. Stir. Simmer an additional hour. Serve garnished with cheese and a cold beer.

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