Food Fight Friday: Venison Shank vs. Venison Rosa

One of my favorite traits about Wild Chef readers is that they’re freethinkers who aren’t afraid to try something unconventional. This week’s Food Fighters are a good example: One takes a cut that most people throwaway or grind (the shank) and puts it to good use, and the other turns classic spaghetti on its head with zucchini noodles and grilled venison steak. Which would you choose? Me? I’m going for both.

Justin Swope’s Venison Shank

I’m sure many overlook this delicious cut. When butchering, I purposefully leave extra meat on the shank for some shank roasts. Having that bone in adds richness to the roast. I seared the seasoned shank in bacon fat, then put it in the slow cooker with minced onion, fresh diced tomato, and fresh picked rosemary and thyme. Other spices were added, which helped flavor the gravy for the roast and mashed potatoes. The green beans were picked from the garden minutes before cooking. A croissant adds to this comfort meal. As always, my homemade pickles round out each meal.

Brad Smith’s Vegetable and Venison Rosa

This recipe is a healthy twist on a classic venison style spaghetti recipe. Instead of ground, we use venison steaks cut in long, thin strips marinated in light soy sauce and Italian spices. From there, we use a julienne peeler and slice several zucchinis into long noodle strips we call zoodles. Next, the zoodles are steamed along with fresh mushrooms until they become tender. This dish also has sautéed onions and peppers with a homemade rosa sauce topped off with medium-rare venison steak strips and cheese all layered from top to bottom. This dish has all of the taste, but is much healthier than traditional pasta dishes.

Think you have what it takes to win a Food Fight? Let’s see your best fish and game dish. Just e-mail the photo and a short description to and we’ll post it here.


Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump

The Insta-Bed Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump offers comfort, quality, and convenience for guests or family. This cozy bed features automatic inflation with its NeverFlat pump, making for fast and easy set up and deflation. This pump keeps the bed at the desired firmness via a sensor and auto pump system that turns on a near-silent pump if slight deflation occurs. Choose your firmness level and get some sleep. The raised bed feature makes it easy to get in and out of while an included carry bag lets you easily transport it wherever you need.   About Insta-bed Creating some of the most unique and versatile designs, Insta-bed provides the option of a restful night’s sleep whether you’re at the campsite or at home. They pride themselves on their innovative take on airbed designs and remain one step ahead of the competition. Easy inflate bed for guests or family. NeverFlat pump offers constant firmness. Customizable firmness settings. Raised design offers added comfort. Included carry bag. Available in queen or twin sizes.

List price: $179.99

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Russell Outdoors Men’s Explorer Long Sleeve T-Shirt

Russell Outdoors Men's Explorer Long Sleeve T-Shirt

The Explorer Long Sleeve T-Shirt is a lightweight 100% cotton tee equipped with a chest pocket. It’s perfect for those days out in the field or staying close to home.

List price: $29.99

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How to Hunt for Years on $2,000: Trail Cam, Pack, and Knife

Okay, this being the fourth installment of the series, I’m dispensing with the long lead-in. If you don’t know what I’m up to at this point, start here and follow the links. And now, for the last three of 12 essential deer-gear items, all totaling less than $2K. 

Moultrie Game A-5 Camera

In the print edition, we recommended the newer D-333 7.0M model, but I’m updating that here and now. Why? Because while the D-333 we used worked fine, I have since seen quite a few unsubstantiated online reports of the camera simply crapping out. Meanwhile and more important, F&S contributor Steven Hill just finished testing this camera’s even cheaper little brother, the A-5 (shown), giving it a bargain rating “very good,” noting that it had the best long-range detection of all the low-end cams. That said, if trigger speed is more important to you than long-range detection, look at the Wildgame Innovations AXE-2, also $70, which had better trigger speed and battery life. And check out the full test in the October issue.

Remember that you’ll often need to get deer to pose for a bit in front of the lens to get decent pictures with cameras in this price range; therefore they work best in conjunction with mineral licks (where legal), mock scrapes, and small feeding areas. If you want to snap bucks on trails, cruising naturally, you need spend more.

MSRP: $70;

Field & Stream Rogue River Pack

Despite the name, we are not associated with makers of this pack. So don’t be thinking were trying to hock our own stuff. No, this is just a solid pack for the money, and you can often find it on sale at local stores. With padded back support, padded shoulder and waist straps, lots of storage, plenty of pockets, and straps for lashing extra stuff, this is a comfortable, basic pack that does the job. I bought one probably four years ago and I still use it.

MSRP: $60;

Gerber Moment Fixed Blade Knife

It’s a tad on the large side for deer, but I don’t know where you’ll get a better, full-tang field knife for this price. It has decent steel that takes and very well and hold it okay. The rubberized nonslip grip should keep your hand on the handle even it the midst of field dressing, and the knife comes with a plastic sheath. The upside of the substantial size is that the 3.6-inch blade is thick and strong enough for boning out or quartering deer in the field.

MSRP: $25;


Primos Strerch-Fit Gloves (Realtree APG HD)

Primos Strerch-Fit Gloves (Realtree APG HD)

Our light-weight stretch-fit gloves are cool and breathable with a 5-Inch extended cuff. They are great for spring turkey season or early bow season. One size fits most.

List price: $10.99

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Refuge Youth Deer Hunt is Set

White River National Wildlife Refuge, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation will be holding a youth-only deer hunt at Cooks Lake during the 2013 hunting season. The hunt will be held Nov. 30-Dec. 1.

Only 10 permits will be issued to youth 15 years of age and under as of Dec. 2, 2013. A mandatory hunter orientation will be held on Nov. 23.

The hunt will only be available to hunters who have not been selected for the hunt in the past. Each selected participant will be required to have an unarmed chaperone 21 years of age or older.

All participants will be required to have completed a hunter education course prior to the hunt. Applications must be postmarked by Oct. 15.

To apply for the hunt, print or type the youth applicant’s complete name, hunter education number and phone number on the back of a U.S. postcard. Send the postcard to White River National Wildlife Refuge, c/o Jay Hitchcock, P.O. Box 205, St Charles, AR, 72140.

Applicants also may apply in person at the visitor center in St. Charles. For more information contact Hitchcock at 870-282-8246.


Meyerco MAGCSET Game Cleaning Kit

Meyerco MAGCSET Game Cleaning Kit

Many experienced hunters prefer the simplicity of Meyerco’s Game Cleaning Set, which includes a sure grip folding hunting knife, a zipper gut hook tool with replaceable blades, a tungsten carbide sharpener and the Folding Saw. A saw is an incredibly handy tool to have in the outdoors, and Meyerco’s Folding Saw offers extreme performance in a compact affordable package. Its unique high strength lock mechanism secures the blade in both the open and closed positions. The scientifically engineered tooth pattern on the stainless steel blade quickly power through wood or bone, and the lightweight handle with overmolded rubber texture ensures a secure grip. The Folding saw comes complete with a nylon belt pouch that allows it to be easily and conveniently carried in the field.

List price: $56.04

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Alps Big Bear Pack

Alps Big Bear Pack

Alps Big Bear Pack can be used as a fanny pack, day pack, or both! The fanny pack has a large extendable day pack that gives you an additional 1,900 cubic inches of space on demand! If you’re going on a short trek and only need the capacity of the fanny pack, the expandable day pack section can stow away. The fanny pack has a large main compartment, 2 side pockets, and a front pocket, giving you plenty of space to organize your gear. The Big Bear comes with a padded removable waist belt that has an easy access pocket to keep your smaller items handy. Get yours in Brushed Realtree AP HD fabric, as well as, Brushed Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity. With so many options and uses, the Big Bear is sure to quickly become your favorite pack! 2 packs in 1: Adjustable shoulder harness; Big Bear is compatible with Little Bear optional harness pockets (not included); Webbing loops for lashing on extra gear; 800 cu. in. fanny pack capacity; 1,900 cu. in. day pack capacity; 2,700 cu. in. total capacity; Weight: 2 lbs. 5 ozs.; State Camo Pattern. Order yours today! Alps Big Bear Pack

List price: $69.99

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Ted Nugent: Deer Hunters Pay Their Fair Share

Ted Nugent on Deer & Deer Hunting

Rock out to the featured song of week and read what Ted Nugent has to say in his new blog, which will appear exclusively each week with his bone-smashing, broadhead-sharp opinions right here on Deer & Deer Hunting.



By Ted Nugent

It is welcome news to conservationists that President Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton are stepping up efforts to combat poaching on the Dark Continent.

While no one has actual knowledge of the dollars funneled to terrorist groups due to the illegal trade in illegal ivory and other poached wildlife, as the August 9th New York Times op-ed “Killing Lions, Buying Bombs” stated, what I do have is a life-time of knowledge about real world hands-on, hunting boots on the ground wildlife conservation, including those magnificent beasts of Africa.

Ted Nugent on Deer & Deer Hunting

Uncle Ted speaks the truth about how American hunters have saved wildlife populations, and paved the way for modern conservation practices. (photo copyright Ted Nugent)

Having hunted the Dark Continent many times over the past 40 years, numerous African natives, guides, outfitters and game department heads have repeatedly confirmed to me their concerns about poaching and the devastating effect it was having on elephants and other wildlife before legal hunting was properly promoted and instituted. Their concerns were always the same:  there were too few resources available from their own governments and people to combat poachers.

The sophisticated monitoring and tracking technology available today should offer some welcome assistance and relief in combating poachers and the illegal ivory and wildlife trade. But technology will only go so far. What is needed are dollars and lots of them.

While this may sound oxymoronic to the uneducated masses out there, the irrefutably proven way to generate desperately needed dollars for African wildlife conservation has always been provided by hunters willing to travel to Africa and hunt the very species the poachers were otherwise slaughtering.  In fact, the vast majority of the anti-poaching efforts in Africa are funded with money derived from American and European hunters.

The ultimate model of wildlife management perfection through hunting dollars is the United States.

It was the American hunter who demanded that indiscriminate market hunting be halted, that regulated hunting seasons be established, hunting licenses, permits and fees be paid for by hunters, and scientifically sustainable game limits be established. Hunters saved wildlife in America.

Thanks to hunters there are more deer, bear, cougar, turkeys and wild geese than at any time in recorded American history.

After almost being almost wiped completely out during the 1880s and 1890s, the American Bison, elk, pronghorn, moose and grizzly bears have all rebounded in plentiful, thriving and huntable numbers across North America.

The budgets of federal and state wildlife departments are primarily generated through hunting, fishing and trapping licenses, and habitat stamp fees and various required permits. These vast amounts of annual monies have also greatly benefited non-game species, and ultimately the improvement of our air, soil and water quality.

“They’re goin’ hunting now because they saw the rock ‘n’ roll wildman
shootin’ stuff with a bow and arrow.”


In addition to funds generated by these conservation user fees, American sportsmen have paid a self-imposed 11 percent excise tax on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment for nearly 80 years. The Pittman-Robertson excise tax has been in effect since 1937. It is estimated the tax will generate over $500 million dollars again in 2013 that will be used for restoration efforts, wildlife research, habitat enhancement and protection, and hunter education programs.

Had it not been for the American hunter, the African Scimitar Oryx and other exotic species would already be extinct. Recognizing that hunters would be willing to pay premium dollars to hunt many of these otherwise threatened exotics, Texas ranchers imported many of them back in the early 1900s and since. These animals are now thriving in Texas.

The United States is the most successful wildlife management story in the history of the world due to hunters’ awareness, demands and genuine respect for wildlife. The international community would be wise to study our system and replicate it all across Africa.

In those African countries that do so, elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards and all wildlife is indeed thriving and paying its own way. Where hunting is legal, nobody allows poachers to steal such a valuable resource.

Regulated hunting works. It is the best conservation tool known to man. If you truly value and want to save a species, establish a hunting season for it, and we will make damn sure it is respected, valued and managed forever.

I love animals; they’re delicious.

Godbless the deerhunters and Godspeed the Great Spirit of the Wild.

Be safe, good hunting, backstrap BloodBrothers,
Ted Nugent and family
For more Ted go to


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Never buy another junk cooler again!

Icey-Tek40The 40qt. Icey-Tek is a campers best friend. Not too big, not too small. The perfect size cooler for camping and hunting!

• Icey-Tek coolers are made from premium components & materials to create the ultimate commercial quality cooler for you to use with confidence in any environment that nature can throw your way.
• Components consist of a 100% A-grade polyethylene external skin with a non-staining, non-odor absorbing, impact-resistant food grade internal liner.
• Superior ice/cold retention which is obtained by utilizing premium polyurethane insulation injected under extreme pressure within all wall cavities and the lid.
• All ice boxes have ultra-heavy-duty, self-stopping lid hinges to prevent damage to the cooler.
• Lids have a rubber gasket that’s fitted to ensure a perfect seal on the cooler keeping your contents colder longer.
• Lockable and supplied with 2 receivers on the bottom of the lid and on the top of the cooler enabling them to receive a padlock.
• Innovative commercial-grade skids that protect the bottom of the Icey-Tek coolers as well as the surface they are on.
•2 drain plugs that screw in with a rubber gasket to ensure a watertight seal. Located at the bottom on each side of the cooler they are fully removable for ease of cleaning and ease of draing the contents in the cooler.


Allen Company Windproof Magnum Umbrella (Oakbrush, 57-Inch)

Allen Company Windproof Magnum Umbrella (Oakbrush, 57-Inch)

Shelter and stealth for the hunt! Allen Magnum Umbrella Blind, ON SALE! An Umbrella Blind that offers dry protection from the elements, concealment and 2-way use! Attach to any tree for an instant roof, protecting you from the rain and baking sun. Or set it on its side as a fanned-out Ground Blind. 57″ diameter. Tough camo synthetic fabric. Storage sack included. Weighs approx. 2 lbs. It’s a weather fighter and a hunting helper… get yours quickly! Allen Magnum Umbrella Blind

List price: $29.99

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