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How to Get Newbies to Try Wild Game

Sometimes it’s nearly impossible to get people to try wild game.

Perhaps they had a bite of a poorly handled, untrimmed, overcooked deer steak in the past. Just mention the words “game” or “venison” and they make a face, and not a good one. Same goes with kids. Most of them just aren’t all that adventurous. The problem is that many kids spend too much time eating processed crap and fast food, developing a craving for overly salted, carb-heavy, fatty foods. When it comes to getting people to give wild game a fair shake, it’s sometimes best to disguise it as something else.

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Sausage is usually a good way to get people to try game. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t tell them that they’re eating venison or boar sausage, but it they don’t ask, I don’t tell them until after they let me know how much they enjoy it. “Oh, I thought I told you it was antelope sausage. Tastes good, right?” Grinding antelope hindquarter with about 25% pork shoulder makes for one helluva burger. Grill it up, load it into a bun with grilled onions and a slice of cheese and feed it to your buddies who claim that antelope aren’t fit to eat. But don’t say a word until after they eat the whole thing. 

Venison Corn Dogs


Stacy Harris is a TV personality, sustainable living expert, home school mom, Southern cooking pro and all-around great person. When she’s not preparing exceptional fish and game meals for her family of 9, she’s making fun stuff for the kids to eat. Kids can be picky, but not so much at the Harris home. Here’s one of my favorites that Stacy serves to the kids at home.  


Venison Corn Dogs

Stacy Harris’s Venison Corn Dog Recipe


8 pounds venison sausage links or 1 ground venison sausage

8 cups of vegetable oil plus 2 tablespoons for the batter

3/4 cup all-purpose flour divided

1 1/2 cups cornmeal

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

Special Equipment: 8 wooden sticks (found in the arts and crafts section of super mart stores)


1. On a griddle or cast-iron skillet, cook sausage links until cooked through and lay aside to cool. If using ground venison or ground sausage, mold the sausage around the wooden sticks to resemble a link leaving one to two inches for the handle then thoroughly cook over medium heat on griddle or skillet. Remove to a plate to cool.


2. In a large Dutch oven, pour the vegetable oil to a depth of 4 inches. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F.

Meanwhile, insert wooden sticks into the links. Place 1/4 of the flour onto a plate and roll venison sausage in flour to coat, shaking off excess.


3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining flour (1/2 cup), cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cayenne, and 3/4 teaspoon of salt and mix well. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil then add eggs one at the time, whisking after each addition. Whisk in buttermilk. Transfer some of the batter to a tall glass, filling it a little more than 3/4 full.


4. Holding the end of the wooden stick, dip each sausage into the batter coating completely working in batches. Carefully lower the battered sausage and stick into the hot oil. Using tongs remove corn dog when the batter is golden brown all over, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer venison corn dogs to paper towels to drain. Repeat procedure with remaining venison sausage dogs and batter. Serve immediately with mustard.


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Scott Leysath
Scott Leysath
Quite possibly the best chef you’ve never heard of…that’s Scott Leysath. Known for many things as well as being an executive chef, he’s also known as host of the Sporting Chef on television as well. He’s an avid hunter/angler who has developed a cult-like following over three decades of recipes, public appearances, cooking columns, cookbooks and TV shows.