Other Items You Can Use for Processing Deer Meat...

Tips for the Safe Handling of Venison and Recipes

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Deer-Processing Equipment – Knives and Sharpening Equipment and Recipes

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John’s Note: If you take a deer this season, don’t miss out on some of the most-delicious meat ever. Researchers have proved that venison, a heart-friendly meat, contains fewer calories than the same size serving of chicken or turkey and one-half the calories of ham or ground chuck. Venison also has more protein than freshwater or saltwater fish and one-tenth as many fat grams as ground chuck. A rich source of trace minerals, including calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and iron, venison has a cholesterol content comparable to chicken and turkey.

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I was a deer taxidermist during the 10 years I was building my writing business. My family and I always ate a couple of deer each year, since my wife and I first married

45-years ago. One year we butchered, prepared the meat and ate 13 deer. So I consider myself a connoisseur of sharp, dependable knives. I like Buck Knives, particularly the Model 103 Skinner with its extra-wide, stainless-steel 4-inch blade finished with Buck’s advanced Edge 2x technology that keeps the blade sharp. The Skinner also holds an edge for a long time and makes re-sharpening much easier. I like the phenolic handle with its aluminum butt and guard that will withstand extreme weather conditions. A compact folder with a stout blade and a contoured handle, the Model 271 Alpha Dorado works well for quartering a deer as well as for outdoor and every day use. The Model 183 Alpha CrossLock PBS for butchering features an advanced design, patented, double-bladed locking liner knife, a spear point on main blade, a saw and a gut hook on secondary blade to make field-dressing game easy. Designed with a small fixed-blade knife with a unique gut-hook blade and a non-slip camo-colored handle, the Model 477 Caping Knife works well for delicate field dressing. To learn more about Buck Knives, go to www.buckknives.com, call (800) 326-2825, or visit your local sporting-goods store.

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The W.R. Case Amber Bone Hunter Trapper lightweight knife with a rich, amber hue jigged-bone handle features clip, gut hook and saw blades in an easy-to-use style. For more information, visit www.wrcase.com, or call (800) 523-6350 to find a dealer near you.

Benchmade Knife Company’s Genuine Stag, a sleek, comfortable, well-balanced, versatile and easy-to-use knife with a drop-point fixed blade, makes a great utility knife for everyday use, works under adverse conditions, comes extremely-sharp right out of the box and includes a dyed leather sheath with belt loop for easy transport. To learn more about Benchmade Knife products, go to www.benchmade.com, call (800) 800-7427, or visit your local sporting-good retailer.

Many professional chefs recommend the Chef’s Choice new Professional Sharpening Station 130, sharpening system that sharpens, steels and strops all types of knives – straight edge and serrated kitchen, Asian style, sports and pocket knives. The Sharpening Station 130 offers a three-stage sharpening system, eliminates the clutter of ineffective sharpening gadgets and provides versatility of customizing the knife’s edge for optimal performance with any cutting task. For more information about Chef’s Choice products, visit www.chefschoice.com, or call (800) 342-3255.

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I’ve used GATCO Sharpeners for many years now and always have found them reliable. Featuring a permanently-affixed rod in the rod-hone handle, a knife/clamp angle guide for more-consistent, efficient sharpening and an extra-wide sharpening surface for a better edge, the GATCO Sharpening System guarantees a professional edge on your blades every time. You can go to www.greatamericantool.com, or call (800) LIV-SHAR(P) (548-7427).

Smith’s 4″ Diamond Combination Sharpener – With a sharpening steel that extends 3-5/8-inches from the handle that serves as protection for the steel sharpener, this compact, easy-to-carry sharpener comes with a lifetime service and replacement warranty from the manufacturer. You also can purchase a leather scabbard with belt loops for easy transport of the knife sharpener. Call Cabela’s at (800) 237-4444, or go to www.cabelas.com to learn more.

Butter Bean Pie

Our family has made several versions of this dish through the years, but this one from our cousins is our favorite and features heart-healthy fiber.


1 pound dried butter beans cooked

1-1/2-pounds ground venison

1 can tomatoes (15-16 ounces)

1 large onion

Salt and pepper to taste


The day before you plan to prepare this dish, start soaking dried butter beans in water to cover, and boil the water. Then pour off that water, rinse beans thoroughly, and soak beans covered by water overnight before pouring off the water and rinsing the beans. Brown ground venison in skillet. In large, deep cooker, place layer of butter beans, a layer of venison and slices of onion. Repeat. Pour tomatoes over layers. Cover with thick pie crust (can be ready-made). Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.

Venison Casserole in a Crockpot


1-1/2-pounds venison that all the white connective tissue has been cut off of and that has been soaked, covered in heavily-salted water, overnight in the refrigerator, and then thoroughly washed before preparing dish

Unseasoned meat tenderizer

Worcestershire Sauce

2 1–pound cans of tomatoes

Seasoned salt

6 ounces wild rice



Cut meat into strips, sprinkle with tenderizer, and season to taste with Worcestershire, seasoned salt and pepper. Cook in crockpot on HIGH 2 hours. Add wild rice and tomatoes. Cook additional hour on HIGH, adding more liquid if necessary. You then can cook mixture on LOW for several hours or turn WARM.

For more venison recipes, get the new Kindle eBooks, “ The Best Wild Game & Seafood Cookbook Ever: 350 Southern Recipes for Deer, Turkey, Fish, Seafood, Small Game and Birds” and “Deer and Fixings.” by John E. Phillips. “Click here to get these books.”

About the Author

John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (AMA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.

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