Level-up Your Wild Game Cooking

By Gabby Zaldumbide

As hunters, we know how important it is to treat your wild game with the utmost respect. This involves practicing fair chase, making sure your firearms are dialed in, and taking meat care seriously. To me, the hunt doesn’t end when you punch your tag; it ends with that last package of meat you pull out of the freezer. Hunt to Eat is here to help you make the most of your harvest.

When I started cooking wild game a little over two years ago, I experienced its steep learning curve. Wild game, generally, is very lean and muscular. This makes cooking it a lot different than more traditional meats. I grew up eating your regular, store-bought meat; there was a lot of chicken, beef, and pork in my diet. Since that’s what we always ate, I knew the basics of cooking meat, but I had my fair share of failures while I was learning about wild game. Many tough, chewy, and overdone meals were had.

This left me feeling a little guilty every time I cooked wild game. It took so much work to actually harvest an animal, and there I was, ruining large portions of it because of failed cooking attempts. I wanted this meat to taste the best it possibly could, largely because of how important it felt to me. This animal gave its life so that I could be nourished. Shouldn’t I treat its body with the same amount of respect I would treat a living being?

Wild game cooking, though a bit tricky, can be made easier with a little help. This is where Hank Shaw’s cookbooks come in. Whether you love waterfowl hunting or archery elk season, he’s got a cookbook for you. Buck, Buck, Moose is all about cooking large game, including elk, deer, and pronghorn. Duck, Duck, Goose is exactly what it sounds like; a cookbook on how to cook delicious waterfowl-based meals. Pheasant, Quail, Cottontail is rather self-explanatory, too. If you love small game hunting, that’s the book for you! If you are a serious Hank Shaw fan, check out his entire collection. You’ll find each cookbook’s matching tshirt and more there. For all the upland bird hunters out there, you get a bonus: find Game On: a Birdhunter’s Table, Reloaded in our shop, too. Want even more? Check out our YouTube channel and give our video recipes a try.

Ready to start cooking, but need some supplies first? Hunt to Eat has you covered. We recently partnered with Kai Housewares and now have our very own knife collection. Whether you just need a boning knife or an entire knife set, we can help you out. Our etched cutting board will give you the perfect surface to carve backstrap steaks or filet fish on, too. Plus, keep your clothes clean with our Meal Deer apron and The Butcher towel.

These resources will help take your wild game cooking to the next level. Never again will you suffer through a chewy shank or a leathery steak. With a solid recipe, sharp knives, and an easy clean-up, you really can’t go wrong. Most importantly, knowing that your harvest didn’t go to waste and became a delicious, home-cooked meal that’s ready to share with family and friends means you made the most of that animal’s life. To me, that’s a life worth celebrating.

Did you give wild game cooking a go? We want to hear how it went! Shoot us an email at community@hunttoeat.com and tell us about your cooking adventures.