What do you do with a Rutty Buck?

Hunting during the rut is wonderful because you have chances at bucks that you may never see otherwise. Last season I killed my Montana buck during the second week in November. It’s not a giant buck, but it is a mature buck with long tines. I was very happy with him.


That is, I was very happy until it came time to eat him. I tried him straight up –  fried strips of pure venison on a hot skillet with salt pepper and flour. Normally delicious, but not with this buck.

I made some summer sausage and concluded that it was a waste of good material.

Then the meat sat in my freezer while I wondered if I’d be able to eat it at all. Then my brother offered to return the remaining venison from what I’d given him, another bad sign.

With more rutty venison that I cared to think about, I needed to find a solution. Then I remembered that I had purchased a gift basket at one of our MDF fundraisers and the basket contained several seasoning mixes donated by John McGannon of WILDEATS Enterprises.  One of the seasonings was a chili blend that he calls, Controlled Burn.


I found that package in our cupboard and read the instructions. Looked perfect.

After some defrosting and a trip to the grocery store, I was ready for action. With a celery base, two yellow onions, one green bell pepper, five pounds of venison, several cans of tomato sauce and pulp, several shakes of tobasco sauce,  and a bottle of zinfandel, it had all the right stuff. Oh yeah, also a have cup of Controlled Burn.

Following the WILDEATS directions and after a half hour of chopping celery, onions and a bell pepper, I browned the venison and then added the  huge pile of chopped good stuff into the large sauce pan while the meat waited in a large pot along with the tomato sauces. It took a while to wilt the celery, onions and bell pepper mix, but before long I tossed everything into the pot and finished it off on low heat.

I’ve now done this twice and the results are wonderful. The rutty buck  is gone. Four of us feasted on chili this weekend on the eve of our annual our quail hunt and everybody was happy. The remainder is packaged in half a dozen vacuum bags which I froze and then sealed in my vacuum sealer. It won’t last long.

Now I’m almost ready for another rutty buck.

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