Sunday, November 14, 2010

Venisoup of Deer

*Warning - graphic hunting photos.  If you are opposed to hunting, have little children close or just don't like blood - DO NOT READ THIS POST!!!

When I was a little girl and my dad went hunting, I always told my mom that I couldn't wait for "Venisoup of Deer".  I'm not entirely sure what I meant, since my mom really didn't make soup all that often, but there you go - that is what I called it.

During all of my growing up years, we rarely had meat that wasn't wild game.  We had a store bought turkey on Thanksgiving and a Ham on Easter, but other than that we ate either Elk or Venison.  One of my favorite dinners as a child were Venison steak.  They were small, but soooo good!  All through hunting season, my mom and I would wait with great anticipation for our men (my dad and brother) to return from a hunt.  They went hunting every morning and every evening until they filled their tags.  We were always so hopeful when the evening grew dark and they still hadn't arrived.  We hoped that they would be bringing home meat to hang in the shed to feed our family through the winter.

Sir Knight and Master Hand Grenade carry on the family tradition.  Once more, we girls wait at home, anxiously anticipating our mens' return from the hunt.  Last night, the men returned victorious.  Sir Knight bagged a buck.  Hand Grenade had more than a little to do with Sir Knights' victory, however, because it was his eagle eye that spied the buck in the first place.  Hand Grenade had to point the buck out to his dad twice before Sir Knight caught sight of him.

Master Hand Grenade

The men usually gut their game in the field, but bring them home to hang and skin.  Once the critter is home, taking care of them becomes a family affair.  Maid Elizabeth, Sir Knight and Hand Grenade carted the buck from the truck to the shed.  Sir Knight and I hefted the buck up while Hand Grenade and Maid Elizabeth pulled him into the hanging position.

Maid Elizabeth skinning while Sir Knight watches
After we got the buck hung, Sir Knight and Maid Elizabeth went to work skinning him.  They are very good and very quick.  They got the hide off and made sure none of the hair remained (it makes the meat taste bad).  Hand Grenade got in on the action as well.  It took about an hour, with many hands working, but the end result was great.  The buck dressed out well.  We left him hanging overnight so that we could can on the morrow.

Sir Knight and buck
It is wonderful to pass the traditions of one generation to the next.  I love seeing my children have the opportunity to enjoy the same experiences I had as a child.  Maybe they too, will love "Venisoup of Deer".


  1. It is deer season here in KY with a gun. My men came home empty handed, but there is still time. Can you share some recipes for what you cook with the canned venison? We have been freezing ours, but I have been wanting to can most of it.

  2. There is no meat better, IMHO, than venison backstrap. Oh, and venison jerky. Hunting is a great family tradition, especially when the purpose is to put meat on the table. In our family, we all hunt - even us girls. We aren't always successful, but when we are we are very thankful for our bounty.

    Responsible hunters and fishers are good stewards of the environment and of wildlife. Sorry, Sierra Club and PETA, but it's true.

    NoCal Gal

  3. My parents came from the late 50's and early 60's generation and thought guns and hunting were horrible. This is where I respectfully part ways with thier philosophy. I have never been hunting or fishing, but I hope to go hunting (and fishing) sometime in the future. I did a stint in the military so I learned to shoot and got a healthy respect for firearms.

  4. My daughter and I just took our hunter's safety course. Now, we have to find someone experienced to take us out and show us how it's done.

    My son will take the course next year.

    I look forward to the fresh game! Not to mention the hides!


  5. I can't recommend the hunter safety course enough! I went through it when I took my two boys as my hubby was working too much to go. I was really impressed with it! I had my daughter take it (she was 15) even though she doesn't want to hunt or shoot much. I thought it was really important in today's weird world that she know how to handle a firearm, and safely unload it should the occasion come up in a stressful situation. There are many accounts of shootings in schools, malls, etc. and I was a robbery victim at the age of 16 as I worked in the fast food restaurant. Just some thoughts! God Bless!

  6. My 2 oldest sons have been hunting with their bows for several weeks now - unsuccessfully so far. All 3 (2 boys and dh) will be shotgun hunting this weekend. I am so hopeful for at least one dear. I will also be canning it for the first time and would love if you could share recipes. Thanks bunches!!!!!

  7. my dad and two brothers hunted every year for deer and occasionally for turkey..rabbits and squirrel were whenever. personally i don't care much for the taste of game but if prepared properly i tolerate it pretty well. my favorite venison recipe is when daddy would mix venison and pork 50-50 and make venison sausage. the trick with most game is in seasoning and brining. game usually has very little fat so fat is important to add. it never bothered any of us when it came to skinning and butchering (dressing) has to be done and living on a farm it is just an everyday thing. if i was the last human being on earth and i was hungry and bambi happened along-well, ya get my drift on that one.

  8. Dear Enola,
    Recipes and baking question:

    Did I just miss it or do you have all of your recipes tagged so I can find them by clicking on a category?

    I was looking for all of your bread recipes, specifically the "Amish" bread recipe with the picture of the gorgeous rolls all risen and with a dusting of flour! I've tried to go back over each month's posts and can't find the recipe.

    Did you take it off of your blog? I sure hope not!

    Diane in TX

  9. Dear Diane;

    I did go through my blog and put all of the recipes in a "Recipe" section. I don't have an "Amish" bread recipe - I think the only roll recipe is the Oatmeal Roll. I hope you find what you are looking for! I haven't taken anything off my blog. Thanks for encouraging me to organize things a little better!


  10. Dear Enola,

    Ooopps! My mistake!!! I found the recipe at your sweet friend's blog Life at Providence Lodge. I knew it was one of you Idaho ladies. I would love to come to a pot blessing with all of you! Wow! You gals can cook!

    But I was excited to see all of your recipes . . . my kids are begging for the doughnuts in the morning and I am thinking the oat rolls are going to be delicious with supper tonight!

    Thanks for your hard work and effort; not only keeping your family well fed; but helping the rest of us do the same!

    Diane in TX : )

  11. Congratulations on the successful hunt. As I sit here typing, my husband is butchering an elk. I package and wrap afterward. I shot my first deer this season. My husband and son (14) dressed and butchered it. We didn't actually shoot the elk, but a neighbor asked us to butcher 2 that his family shot because they don't have time to do it. Our last chance for our own elk this year is my daughter (16) whose season ends on Dec. 31st.
    We usually package deer or elk as backstrap, ham steaks, a couple packages of stew meat and the rest is hamburger. We use it for everything. We've never added anything to it, the gamey taste is usually due to not allowing it to hang long enough or in the case of Northern California, too much sagebrush as their main source of food. Now we live in OR and our deer here taste great. Thanks for sharing the photos. My daughter always photographs our dressing so on our computer screensaver is many pictures of butchering time. Unfortunately, our computer also faces the dinner table. Makes for interesting conversation.