Allow me to introduce myself: the name is Beth Graham and I am lucky to call our intelligent and beautiful blogger, Melissa, my BFF. I also got to share a room with her while she was teaching in Ishpeming (I'm an SLP...look it up). But my bio isn't why we're here. We're here because it's deer season.

A year ago, on Thanksgiving Eve, I was exactly where all hunters want to be; sitting in my deer blind watching the does. I was a little edgy because I knew, in all likelihood, this would be my last hunt of the year. There was a lot of family coming to town for the holiday. This was my 6th year hunting and I still fell under the category of, "Buckless Yooper" (insert intense music here). Around 3:30 pm a decent sized spike horn started making appearances. But he was chasing one of my does and I never had a clear shot at him. My adrenaline was sure pumping though. Around 4:30 my girls started to meander on their way. Then HE came in. A beautiful 5 pointer. I set up my shot, clicked off the safety, and...

BANG!

As I shot, the buck stood up on his hind legs to rub his antlers in a branch. Shit! Did I miss because of it? I knew it was a good shot but couldn't account for his movement. He bolted. That's when I got the adrenaline shakes. A hundred things were buzzing in my head, but I managed to get a text to my husband, Justin, who was sitting at our camp. "That was me! Five pointer at least. It ran. Oh shit." Justin isn't the most technologically advanced guy and I'm only allowed to text him during deer season. When he hadn't responded in 30 seconds I sent out eight more rapid-fire texts. He finally responded, "ok." I guess my adrenaline rush hadn't reached him. I promised myself I'd wait 15 minutes before going to collect Justin and start tracking my deer (you don't want to come up on a deer that's laying down and dying and push it further away). I'd like to say it was the longest 15 minutes of my life, but I only made it 10 minutes before I hightailed it back to camp. I know I was talking 100 miles an hour when I came through the door and found Justin reading. READING?!?!? He apparently didn't realize I'd just shot a BUCK! At this point, my version of the story and Justin's differ. But I'm writing this so you'll hear it how I remember:) He made me drink a beer to use up more time. He might as well have poked a hole in the bottom and had me shotgun it. Knowing I should wait and actually waiting are two horribly different things. Finally he started getting his outdoor clothes on. Finally we headed out.

First stop, the scene of the shot. Blood! And lung tissue!! We were on the trail. The blood trail was far apart and there was little snow. But I'm an excellent tracker and was literally running from one blood spot to the next. And then the trail ran cold.

My heart dropped.

My stomach dropped.

We backtracked.

We split up and went down different paths. And then I saw it, blood! I called for Justin and he started to laugh as I was hunting for more blood to follow. "Turn around," he told me. And there he was, my first buck.

The rest of the night was a blur. Family and friends flocked to our camp and celebrated with me. And, of course, there was the traditional shot of blackberry brandy for the successful hunt to go with all the beer.

"The second week of deer camp, is the greatest time of year!" ~Da Yoopers, "Second Week of Deer Camp," 1987

 
 
Slow Cooker Venison Sloppy Joes


Original recipe makes 4 servings
  • 1/4 pound bacon
  • 2 pounds venison stew meat
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon prepared Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions
  1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove from skillet, crumble and set aside. Brown stew meat in bacon grease for flavor.
  2. Put onion, sugar, vinegar, cumin, chili powder, garlic, mustard, ketchup, salt and pepper in slow cooker and mix well. Add bacon and venison and stir together.
  3. Cook for a minimum of 8 hours on Low setting. Use a fork to separate the meat into a thick and yummy Sloppy Joe-style barbecue.

  • PREP5 mins
  • COOK8 hrs
  • READY IN8 hrs5 mins



http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Slow-Cooker-Venison-Sloppy-Joes/Detail.aspx?evt19=1
 
 
Vegetable Deer Soup 


Original recipe makes 10 quarts
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 pounds venison stew meat
  • 3 cups chopped cabbage
  • 3 large potatoes, cubed
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans peas, drained
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans carrots, drained
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans green beans, drained
  • 2 (15.25 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 (64 fluid ounce) bottle tomato juice
  • 1 (32 fluid ounce) container beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • 1 pinch ground mustard
  • 1 pinch curry powder
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch dried parsley
  • 1 pinch Italian seasoning
  • 1 pinch garlic powder

Directions
  1. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown the cubed venison in the hot butter, stirring frequently. Add the cabbage, potatoes, peas, carrots, green beans, corn, diced tomatoes, and remaining 1 cup of butter. Pour in the tomato juice and beef broth, then sprinkle in the sugar, beef bouillon granules, salt, black pepper, cumin, mustard, curry powder, cayenne pepper, parsley, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the venison is tender, and the soup slightly thickened, about 1 1/2 hours.

  • PREP45 mins
  • COOK2 hrs
  • READY IN2 hrs45 mins    



Recipe taken from Allrecipes.com 

 
 
It's Deer Season here in Michigan. Rifle season is fast approaching on Friday, November 15th. In honor of Michigan's hunting tradition, I have decided to share a healthy venison recipe each day until Friday, opening day of rifle season. I hope you find these recipes useful and delicious.