Vermont Hunting Season 2010


Game camera shot of our two Randall Linebacks who are facing off in a lower field.



The two does I watched from my treestand the afternoon of opening day.



The seven-pointer that I got on the first Sunday of the season. The venison will be enjoyed by our family as well as neighbors.


Published in: on November 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm  Comments (542)  

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  1. I’m looking forward to read how you prepare it. We have, for years & years, prepared suet pudding for Xmas but now have difficulty finding beef kidney suet because all the deer hunters buy it up. Wonder why?

    • We can our venison and always put a small hunk of beef suet in each jar. A couple pounds of suet will go a long way.

      • Well we never canned venison when my hubby used to hunt but I always requested a big slab of beef suet from the butcher to lay over the top of any venison roast I baked. My father-in-law who swore he couldn’t stand the taste of venison, enjoyed it at our house and couldn’t believe what he had just eaten. Of course we always aged our venison in the old extra fridge for 8 to 10 days before packaging for the freezer. Geez Chris, you have my mouth watering for venison roasts once more…been too may years!

    • Beef suet is often used by hunters who process their own venison hamburger, since game meat is not ‘marbled’ with fat like beef. My family prefers to trim our burger very lean, then add 10-12% suet to help the meat cook. The result is a very lean burger without drying out.

      Congrats Chris and keep up the great work!

    • Chris:

      Question for you. I have seen on your Country Kitchen show and America’s Test Kitchen show you and
      various “cooks” stirring items being prepared and sauted in frying pans and sauce pans with what apprears to be “rubber” spatula. What ones do u use ?
      I have tried it several time with “Good Cooks” and Rubber Maid ones only to have them MELT what gives?

      I love your shows. Please also repeat the conversion measure of using kosher vs std table salt. And what is the reason for using “Sea Salt”

      • those “rubber” spatulas are probably silicone. i used to own a b&b and we have about 6 or 8 different sizes and styles. they take high heat and are dishwasher safe.

    • I am appalled by the negative comments on your deer hunting picture! I feel that if someone doesn’t like it, then don’t look. I personally enjoy the sport of hunting. Maybe there is something they do that appalles me. Please don’t stop posting the deer hunting pictures, I really enjoy them. That is part of life. Where do they think food comes from, HELLO!!!! Also, I love your recipes and really enjoy your shows and magazines. Keep up the good work!!!

      • Hunting consists of tracking and following and doing a bit of work, not hiding and waiting for an unsuspecting 7-point buck to walk into your gun sights.

    • We have always ground beef suet in with both Deer and Elk for burger. As stated too lean and does not hold together. Plus as with all meat the fat adds the flavor. We also can venison. In order to use all meat.. we have even cut the ribs and turned them to fit in the bottles. We put a slice of onion and a clove of garlic or two,in the bottom of the bottle, the amount of salt required for the size bottles you are canning and pressure can. Can be used so many ways and many can’t tell the difference from pressure cooked beef. Here in the Panhandle of Idaho hunting is a way of life that is taken very seriously. We eat what we take, and we well.

    • It would be wonderful if cook’s illustrated or america’s test kitchen did a recipe on wild meat pie. My mother used to make a giant one for special occasions. It was delicious but the pie crust was always too thick and soggy on the sides and bottom. What is the right mixture of cubed meats to use so some meat doesn’t overcook and end up being too dry. My guess is this is why the suet is being bought up by deer hunters-people don’t know how to cook deer so it doesn’t dry out.

  2. Well done. I’m sure a tenderloin of venison will be quite the treat!!! Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. With best wishes,
    Nelle Somerville aka @Baltiville

    • If you want an even better flavor IMO, try sheep suet

  3. Talked with you a few years back about a new TV program. Would like to revisit. Can you contact me at my personal email.
    Thank you,

  4. Re: seven-pointer that you got on the first Sunday of the season

    Do you have any venison recipes that you’d like to share? My husband family had a good hunting season in Minnesota this year and now we have some in our freezer. We’ve subsituted the canned venison for beef and have made philly cheese-like sandwiches. It’s very tasty.

    • we used a brine mixture of 50% soy sauce and 50% coke cola .
      be sure to cook it rare, well done makes it tough. Works well for venison or elk.

    • Yes! I would like to see some venison recipes, too!

  5. Chris, I have long wished the test kitchen would publish some venison, pheasant, and other wild game recipes. How about an issue or episode dedicated to them. Do you have any resources for such things? Happy Hunting

    • I know J. Kenji Alt-Lopez has posted a few venison recipes over at Serious Eats. I believe he still contributes to the magazine, so he should be able to develop a recipe or two.

  6. Don’t you wear any safety orange to avoid being someone else’s trophy?

    • Usually do but not that day — maybe deer can see colors!

      • Chris, Deer are color-blind, and people wear the orange because it is a safty issue and the hunters have to have so many inches of square orange on. And there are NO other animals or birds that have orange in there ‘fur’ or ‘feathers’. And at turkey season, the hunters don’t wear as much orange, because the turkey have VERY sharp eyesite.

      • Actually, deer are not colorblind, they happen to see in the color spectrum of blues, not reds, which is why we hunters wear hunter orange for safety. Go out in a blue coat or jeans & they’ll spot you a mile away.

      • Have often heard that yellow is a no-no

      • In Maine it is a law that you must wear two pieces of orange….such as hat & vest.

  7. Congratulations Chris!
    Did you butcher it boneless or leave some bone-in cuts?

    P.S. We met at the cheese festival at Shelburne Farms this past summer. Hope you are well and happy!


    • Almost all boned except a few of the better steaks…

  8. Hey Chris – Great looking buck! Looks like a pretty mild winter so far…

    I prepared triple chocolate mousse cake and red velvet cake for thanksgiving this year and the family loved it! Thanks for the great recipes and keep up the good work.

  9. From the Cook’s Illustrated website: NO RESULTS FOUND FOR “VENISON”

    As avid amateur in the kitchen and the deerstand, I would love to see a few recipes or tips on the processing, care and preparation of wild game. Come to think of it, no one is better prepared than the Cook’s Illustrated staff to write the definitive book on the subject. It’d sell like hotcakes (with venison breakfast sausage on the side).

    • Our family loves what we call Kopfwurst. We cook the venisen until it falls apart, put it through a food grinder along with cooked onions and suet cracklings. Then we season it with salt and allspice. We add cooked oatmeal for consistency. We freeze it in packages and heat it in the microwave before serving. Our babies could eat this without choking when they were first starting out on solids.

    • It would be good to see some recipes from Chris on how that meat was prepared. Can venison be dried like pork?

    • Ross,

      Visit my website at

      I hope to get connected with Chris at some point to potentially do a segment or two together if he is open to that on cooking game.
      I am a national educator on game cooking (The only Master Game Chef in the country) and Founded the New England School of Fish & Game in 1995.

      Chris…I would enjoy the opportunity of working together…congrats on the 7-pointer…happy eating!

    • I’d like to second the motion to Cook’s Illustrated to come up with a source for the processing and preparation of wild game. I have a copy of “The Farm Cook and Rule Book” by Nell Nichols but it presupposes that contemporary cooks know how to do certain processes with game. My favorite quote goes “skin the heads and remove the eyes” and it goes downhill from there. Obviously there’s a knowledge vacuum for most younger generation cooks when it comes to preparing game: “roast wild ducks quickly in a hot oven and serve very hot on slices of browned mush.” That’s it for wild duck, all of it.

      Another suggestion on subjects that I’d like to see covered on the show is the general canning and preserving of foods, especially meat and game. Some of my canned efforts were fabulous, others I wound up feeding to my chickens. Not sure what I did right or wrong. There’s a lot written in “The Farm Cook and Rule Book” but it assumes you know how to do things I’ve never heard of and it’s kind of dated in a lot of ways. How would you serve lemon, walnut or cucumber catchups? Would these or cantaloupe pickles appeal to contemporary palates?

  10. Do you ever make “real” mincemeat with the trimmings from your venison? My mother did and I do still on occasion when I can get the venison. I have used beef, but game is better. I know that some folks turn up their noses and meat in mincemeat, but it is so good in pies or my favorite, small tarts. I am from an older generation that still likes things that are not supposed to be good for us!

    • This year we had a lot of green tomatoes that didn’t ripen. Found a recipe for green tomato mince meat. A butcher friend of mine got us about 5lbs of beef suet and it made some outstanding mince meat. Already made cookies and pies for Thanksgiving–

      • Green tomatoes are prepared by italian cooks by slicing, breading and then frying them as if preparing veal cutlets. Yum!

      • I use green tomatoes to make jam.

        5 cups groound green tomatoes
        5 cups sugar

        Bring these to a rolling boil for 13 minutes. Add a large package of Jello. Seal

        The Jello can be any berry flavor. We like strawberry. I’ve used raspberry and blackberry.

      • Fried tomatoes taste better with early (rather than late-harvest) green tomatoes, that is if you can spare them. I gather all my late unripened tomatoes and pickle them with any Jalapenos left in the garden. Excellent in Bloody Marys!

  11. Beautiful buck! Still waiting for one of my hunting friends to bag one for a venison dinner down here in Florida. Loved the oldtimer joke in the newsletter, by the way!

  12. Nothing like buck fever. Have you or will you show some wild game recipes on A.T.K.

  13. Great Photo of the Buck, brings back fond memories of my dad and his hunting season-I love venison can cook it like beef I was raised on it so can just make it like beef, Love the BBQ ribs done w/lemon. I also liked to can it, like potted meat. I used to can it when dad shared some – he passed away so now Im without it ;( My son is his Grandson, for sure he HAS the Daniel Boone genes! He just doesnt get to hunt here in TX. Its so costly! Thanks for your letters – they bring back many fond memories……

  14. Love America’s Test Kitchen and bought last year’s program book. Very disappointed that when you buy a book you have to agree to get more books. Won’t buy anymore. Too bad…

    • That’s odd – I got the 10-year anniversary package and last year’s season on DVD & book – I didn’t have to agree to get anything else.

      • I bought the 10 year with DVD also and they sent me another book unsolicited that I had to repackage and take back to the Post Office on my own. No easy task for someone on disability. They also sent me a “free” copy of a monthly magazine that I had to contact them to cancel or they would bill me for. Pretty shoddy business practice if you ask me. Why should I have to contact someone to not bill me, for something I didn’t order?
        One more time and I cancel all contact from them.

      • My husband bought me several books and videos from ATK, all of which I love. However, he was so incensed at the unsolicited spam which followed, he has vowed never to purchase from ATK again. Poor marketing! My loss :-((

      • I too was disappointed that I started receiving unsolicited books after a purchase but I just refused delivery a couple of times and they stopped coming.

      • I agree that being sent books without requesting them is bad. I was sent several and had to leave work to go to post office to return them, meanwhile getting billed for them several times after sending them back. PLEASE stop this agressive practice! Your books will sell themselves…

      • I won’t buy any more on line — if I can help it – I don’t like having to get more that I really don’t want and have to return. It’s a bad system and I bet it turns off many. Love your books but don’t want them all!!

    • I had the same issue–I bought two of the yearbooks and a little while later another book (and bill) showed up on my door. I went back and checked everything I had and saw nothing about signing up for other books. Didn’t cost me anything except time to send it back, but I still won’t buy another book from ATK or CI until I see something in writting that they stopped. I agree, horrible business practice.

      I’m sure they get a few extra sales from people who forget or can’t send the book back, but that almost guarantees that person never buys from them again.

    • This is a chronic problem–it’s not kept us from ordering ATK books, but it has really ticked me off more than once. I wish ATK would drop this practice. Any chance of that, Chris?

    • My wife and I love using Cooks Illustrated magazine and cook at least one recipe per month. We get the magazine for relatives as gifts and they are hooked immediately. We watch ATK whenever we can. Unfortunately, we do not order any more books because of the presumptuous practice mentioned. It took a phone call to cancel any further deliveries and the sales rep would not relent until I asked her to respect my wishes.
      Other than that, I will continue to use Cooks Illustrated as a mentor in the kitchen.

    • I agree that the agressive marketing is a black eye for America’s Test Kitchen, Cooks Illustrated and related products. I don’t mind being offerred to buy things and often purchase. I hate getting cookbooks in the mail because I did not return a postcard. I usually keep them because it is too much trouble to return but then resent the book and the company everytime I see it.

      • I also got a book that I hadn’t ordered and no longer order anything for fear of repeating this incident. I’ve seen several things that I would have ordered if not for this marketing strategy, so it has really backfired.

  15. Sent you an email of our game camera & what we caught on it here is TX. My husband is goign backout this weekend & I am hoping that he will come back with not just venison but hog as well. Let us know how you cook your meat….

  16. Prior to thanksgiving I rec’d a call in response to a letter I wrote regarding ‘never fail lemon meringue pie that my grandmother used to make; unfortunately I was unable to return the call. Could someone help me reprise this recipe? Thhe filling was runnier than a custard and I believe she used something from Watkins products?

    Patti l. Hixson
    Sparks, Nevada

  17. Great buck! It’s been pretty good on bucks for us down here in south Louisiana as well. Me and my 8 year old son watch your show all the time on LPB. The most informative cooking show on TV! Keep up the good work! Merry Christmas!

  18. My daughter is a student at Vermont Tech in Randolph. She tells me that many of the rules for dorm life stem from behavior that has caused problems in the past.

    One such rule in the manual is you can’t hang a deer carcass in the shower. This wasn’t because of one deer, but on one occasion ALL the showers in a dorm had deer hanging.

    • Great story! Should have gone to VT Tech — my kind of extracurricular activities.

    • Well,it was really a pleasant surprise to find out that all the red-neck are not located here in the South. Heck, if we Southerners had know how akin were our Vermont Brothers and Sisters we might have prevented the Waa-war of Northern aggression! I would also like to know what is said about Vermont.
      Christopher, I knew immediately you were an allright guy, when you spoke of rabbit hunting and beagles. I grew up in a beagling household.

      A Happy and Prosperous New Year to you and yours and the Test Kitchen crew.

    • I am surprised that Cook’s Test kitchen has not published a cookbook of venison recipes.I am not familiar with venison and had to hunt long and hard for tasty recipes as some still have a very gamey flavor or the meat was tuff. Love reading your letters from Vermont. My husband grew up in the country but now we live in the city. You tales of life make him homesick. Also why do you hang deer in the shower?

      • Our family has hunted for deer and elk here in the Pacific Northwest..Washington State for longer than 35 years. In my experience, the gaminess of venison or elk has more to do with how the animal is cared for and the timing of the process. Can’t be a stomach shot or you can taint the meat; removing the hide quickly so the animal may cool down is a must, and of course knowing how to “field dress” properly is the initial concern. And then cleaning, keeping it clean, careful transportation and YES the aging process is equally important. And then when the animal is actually butchered, NO TALLOW is allowed. My husband and grown children…including the added spouses have learned to debone everything and the burger meat, small bits, have ABSOLUTELY no tallow…we have a local butcher add beef suet and process our burger and make polish sausage for us. We butcher the animal, and I am the officially meat wrapper…and we triple wrap…two layers of saran type (tightly with no air) and a final wrap with freezer wrap…and our meat lasts longer than you think it ought to. I have never canned meat…interesting idea.

        Thanks for the deer photos, and I agree, how do people think the meat gets into the meat cases at the store?

        Chris keep enjoying communing with Mother Nature, helping to thin the herd in your area to maintain a healthy one. And simply remind folks to cook their venison or elk rare, you can always add heat…but once it is over is overcooked.

        Enjoy Mother Nature’s Bounty!

  19. I’m a subscriber to Cooks Illustrated and would also like to see a few game recipes. A cookbook on the subject would be pretty cool, too. I always enjoy more obscure food topics when it comes to cookbooks. Love the pics and video from this hunting excursion, though!

  20. I’m sorry, but I find it so distasteful that you post and send out emails about killing animals. I love Cook’s Illustrated, but have to say that these posts/emails are really alienating many of your readers. I enjoy reading your Letter from Vermont emails about food, recipes and your experiences in Vermont, until I come across the part about killing animals and then I stop reading. You, of course, have the right to post what you like and live your life the way you see fit, but these posts really bother me. Love your magazine and tv show.

    • Lisa, do you eat meat? If so, you should be aware of where it comes from before it ends up on your plate. It is healthy to get in touch with the origins of your food. Some hunters may take an obnoxiously macho approach to describing what they’ve bagged, but Chris’ account is thoughtful and modest. A great follow up would be recipes using the venison from his buck.

      • I agree with Lisa killing animals is a distasteful topic, better left for that “special blood thirsty category / website” of jerks that hunt and kill animals. Too bad, up to this point I had liked chris’s letters. So sadly sadly, very sadly disappointed!!!

      • I’m sorry that there are those who choose to be so close minded as to not understand reality. Blood thirsty killers? Let me give the person a reality check, my home state of Georgia has every year, Yes evey year, over 60K..that’s 60,000, in 2009 it was 65K auto X deer accidents(reported). Ga. ranks 5th in the nation, so I would assume that person would rather kill people, by letting deer not be harvested? Or they would rather just let them keep mutipling? Would you feel better if 100K, 200K deer or people were injured or killed? The most cost effictive, smartest & Best way to use and manage the resorce is hunting! What they think doesn’t solve the problems, save any lives, save any crops, feed anyone or make a healthy Deer Heard. They think with their heart, not their head. I can and will be more than happy to debate the reason we have game animals in the numbers we do today. It’s the Hunter, not the anti. Hunters donate every year, tons of high quality Venison to the needy & hungry who would other wise do with out. Before you trash hunters, please do some research, find out the truth, understand what great people hunters are and what great work hunters do. There are exceptions,the ones that give it a bad reputation. The majority of Hunters are caring people who would help anybody and do. This is reality, not the anti-propaganda or the hateful uneducated slander that was posted about Hunters here.
        God Bless you Chris, I’m passing you along to all my Hunting Buddies. Let’s cook and cook the best nature has to offer!

      • We are part of nature and if the deer herds aren’t culled, the deer end up with a lung disease usually seen when there are too many animals. They suffer a long agonizing death. I have seen it. The harvesting of a deer for consumption is much better than the animal being hit by your car then suffering along the side the road and likely damage to the car or worse to the occupants. This was a clean shot by Chris, the animal did not suffer and it will provide sustenance over the winter. Every time I drive I-90 from Seattle to the middle of WA state, I have to be on high alert for deer and elk crossing the Interstate, day or night. I just returned an hour ago from such a drive at night. We had a near miss of an elk last fall and we do not want that experience ever again. Someone else hit it though and the hit did not kill it. I would rather the elk had an instant death by a hunter.
        Yes, I am a woman and I started hunting in SD when I was twelve. The wild game and waterfowl was part of our weekly food source as it still is for many in this nation. The gun comments below are out of line as your children can be injured just as severely from your kitchen knives, your hot stoves and your electrical outlets. More “children” drown at home in bathtubs and five gallon buckets than are harmed with a gun. See the CDC stats on that. All of my children have been trained about guns and they shoot guns responsibly. Chris has many viewers and we all need to take our turn at what interests us on his blog, newsletter and TV show. I think we should have learned about taking turns before we were five. Please think about that before you make any more admonishments, attacks or threats.

    • And just where do you think beef, pork, and poultry come from?

      • What has that got to do with anything?

        Suppose you’re a new parent and join a baby blog to learn more about parenting. Would you then expect to receive emails with videos of a cesarean section operation, along with the doctor’s description how he took a scalpel and cut the flesh on the mother’s belly … because that’s where babies come from?

        The sport of hunting isn’t a part of America’s Test Kitchen, so the gross details don’t belong here. I’m also very disappointed.

    • @ Lisa: That animal lived it’s live to the fullest in the wilds of nature up until it’s last moments. It wasn’t corralled in a stinky pen to fatten up or shipped off in crates like ‘cattle’ to be ‘processed’. This animal was harvested with dignity. I think it’s great that he can share that experience and his harvest with others. Just sayin’. 😉

    • Well, i am a big believer in taking responsibility for what one eats which means that I think that one is MORE responsible for sourcing one’s own meat in the woods than someone who buys a steak in the supermarket. If you are a vegetarian, okay, you win! If not, I think that taking responsibility for killing what one eats is a better way to go. Anyway, do appreciate your comments however — all the best!

      • I’m with Lisa. Why is it that carnavores are seemingly not allowed to object to hunting? It’s not even so much the killing but rather the apparent joy of the kill. Hunting is as much a sport as Nascar. Nice try. If you think there was no joy in it, then look at the photo again. Chris is the only face smiling. Sorry and no disrespect intended.

      • If you are not a vegetarian, or a “pescatarian” like my wife, to object to hunting, i think, is disingenuous. First, object to cows being slaughtered the way they are… then the pigs… chickens etc… the hunter is so far down the list of people to object to. As for enjoying it, don’t smile or enjoy the next time you bite into a nicely cooked steak etc.

      • Yes, the hunter enjoys the hunt and the fruits of his labour. I suppose the farmer is smiling quite smugly too when the steer and the hog finally end up wrapped in brown paper and put in his freezer. Hunting a deer in the woods is no different than picking wild berries in a meadow. Try to see hunting as an opportunity to be in touch with our ancestors and the “roots” that we stem from. Three or four generations ago hunting was the ‘norm’ and I suppose they too were very happy to hang the deer they killed in the back shed. We don’t need to be sad about hunting deer any more that we should about buying pork-chops from the grocery store.

    • I, too, find it most distateful-bragging about killing an animal. I’m not a vegetarian, but some how going out to purposely killing a deer is gruesome.

      • People all throughout the country get $14.50 an hour to go to work every morning and ‘PURPSOELY’ kill cows, pigs, and chickens, in slaughter houses every day. They might even enjoy their work! Spending your day off hunting deer in the woods where the deer has a very good chance of getting away, is more humane that rounding up a bunch of farm animals that have come to trust their caretakers, and then systematicaly killing them all.

      • How sad that we have come to this. My husband is a hunter and I love to garden. We live in a culture where we have become so distant from where our food comes from. The harsh reality is animals are killed to sustain us and not seeing it does not make it any less real. If more people had kept their eyes open the greed and demand for meat in our country would have not pushed our dear farmers to over harvest by more cruel methods! If we all had to kill our meat my guess is we would eat allot less and appreciate the animals more! If people truly knew hunters you would understand that they are not having fun by watching an animal suffer but are excited by the hunt! BIG difference! Many people such as my husband have fond memories of hunting with his dad for their family winter’s meat! As a family today we choose to eat from nature and we see with our own eyes the beauty that is wild and free right up until it is on our plate. There are very very few hunters that have fun in watching an animal suffer for the very reason as hunters SEE with their own eyes what these dear animals give up to feed us. Hunters have a great deal more respect for nature then most of society! Hunters have a deep appreciation for the meat they consume and are usually showing others the pride of feeding their family by showing the kill. Some part of a dead animal is what we all eat on a daily basis unless you are a very very strict vegan. (consume no animal products what so ever) Not seeing it makes us less responsible so we can live in a world of denial. I feel quite certain even the farmers are frustrated by the demand for meat and the amount of work it takes for us to go to the store and buy a nicely wrapped well preserved piece of chicken or steak. Our environment has taken a beaten for far too many years because we have turned our eyes away because we don’t want to see what it is we are really comsuming. Hunters are not the bad guys! We as a society are. When will we all open up our eyes and see what is really going on in our world in every area of our food production! Having a blind eye is what has brought us to where our world is now!

        Thanks for listening, I have wanted to write this for a long time! 🙂

      • A hike in the woods, the skills of the hunt, the success of a good, clean kill, food on the family table…whats not to smile about? Think about that the next time you eat a store processed chicken!!!

      • If you eat meat you are either a predator or a scavenger. It just depends who does the killing.

    • Seems to me this is more about respect for the animal, and awareness of where food comes from. I can’t envision Christopher as a bloodthirsty hunter out purely for thrills.

    • I believe that killing an animal for food is completely different than killing for sport.

      • People no longer need to kill for food. They kill for sport and the food is lagniappe. If people were killing for the need for food there would be no wildlife left. Killing for food had nearly brought the wild turkey, deer, and many ducks to the brink of extinction. Sportsmen have saved these species through hunting fees, licenses, and ammo taxes to increase their population and turf.

      • The fact is, many people DO rely on game as a source of food. Our large family can easily use 4 deer in a year. We factor it into our food budget. Not only does hunting provide food it teaches our children where their food comes from, responsible hunting, and meat processing skills. We work together as a family to process and package our meat and our kids take pride in inviting friends over to taste a meal of venison that they have provided.

        They realize that they are contributing to the family by taking time to sit in a tree stand at 4:30 in the morning, then come in and get ready for school. Not your typical teen behavior! I am proud of my men and their hunting skills!

      • People where you live no longer have to kill for food. Many people out where I live are hours from any store and kill for food and that is their main sustenance.

        And just how do you think the meat gets in the store? Are those animals killed? I would think it ia a lot more humane and healthy to kill and eat by hunting.

    • Lisa, here’s a tip: Turn the channel and go bake a cake.

      • I agree. Lisa, if you are so opposed of hunting you should have stopped after you read Chris’s story about his hunting excursion . Keep your negative comments to yourself.

      • Lisa, No matter how you look at it, something had to DIE first before you could eat it. Every thing we consume was a living thing at one time. Apples, carrots, onions, Etc., you name, it lived before! Some one els has already stated that there are more deer in the US than ever before. There are more deer in NY than when Columbus landed in the new world. Almost everyone I know that hunts here in NY, eats what they take. Some in fact would have a very “lean” year if they did not harvest a deer or two. Some even take more, all legal I might add! They share with those that were not as fortunate as they. There is also venison donation program throught the state. You’re right, I don’t “have to” hunt, but it is some of the best time I spend outdoors with family and friends. Some years I don’t get a deer, am I disapointed? Yes, but I still had good time! Do we have to hunt? Absolutely not! But I cannot afford the body repair work I woould have if we didn’t hunt. Might I suggest that you take a hunters education course in your state? They teach not about how to hunt, but about safety, ethics, conservation and responsibility. I belive too many of the American people have been sheltered from the reality of life.

      • Bake a cake??? Lisa have you ever seen an egg laying operation? Get real or go vegan…either way, why are you reading Cook’s illustrated? It’s full of meat receipes.

    • And your “Big Mac” just “magically” appears on your plate . . .

      Hunting is NOT “shooting fish in a barrel”! THEY win, MORE often than not.

      I spend $100’s of dollars for Hunting Permits that fund the care and management of all wildlife – deer, bears, rabbits, waterfowl. How much did you spend on Wildlife Management last year?

      The state of VA is BEGGING for hunters . . . the herd is that large and over-populated!
      “Withering” is becoming a HUGE issue in PA, MI, WI . . .

      My bullet results in a Clean Kill in under 3 mins. Withering lasts 4-6 months (or more), with the same result!

      Tell me, what is more “Humane” . . . my bullet or 9 months of decline and starvation?

      PS: There are more Deer in the US (NOW!) than at any point in our country’s history – they are a problem.

      Some States have set-up “Mass Kills” – Lure the Deer in (30-50, or more!) and “Open Fire” with 10-15 Marksman.

      MORE Deer are killed by CARS, than by Hunters!
      Stop Driving! I’ve hit 2 deer in the last 5 yrs!
      In that time period . . . I’ve killed NO deer with a firearm!

    • It is very unfortunate that people find hunting and killing of animals distasteful. I would presume that they have had a bad experience which has swayed them toward this opinion or do not understand most ethical hunters. But, if it were not for the animals harvested during the process of settling our great country, I doubt very seriously that many of us would be alive today. Additionally, I believe that it makes on a better person by harvesting their own food, just like vegetables. You gain a certain appreciation knowing where it came from. Finally, if it were not for the hunters that harvested the deer, the eventual outcome for deer is that they become over populated, suffer from disease and starvation or become road kill. They do not just grow old and die peacefully. I believe as other posts have indicated, that Chris’ story of his deer is quite modest and is in VERY good taste. Also, I would to see more recipes dedicated to wild game for those of us who do choose to harvest them.

    • I find it hard to believe that people still feel hunting is some kind of slaughter game and that a hunter should not be happy when he/she harvests a nice buck; educate yourself before throwing stones. Hunting is as much a part of America as Mom and apple pie and far from the easy “walk in the woods and pull the trigger” game people may think it is. I love to hunt and it offers a wonderful bonding time with my teenage son. It helps me teach him responsibility, safety and respect for nature. We donate some of the meat to the less fortunate and eat what we harvest (normally one or two deer per year between us). Everyone is entitled to an opinion but the problem is that many take it to the point of trying to deny others the ability to hunt or try to make them feel barbaric in some way. Funny how you do not see the same opinions when you post pictures of fishing, what is the difference? Chris, I am now more of a fan than before, please post some game recipes.

    • Thank you for expressing my thoughts exactly! I look forward to the posts from Vermont until I read about how many rabbits, deer or other woodland creatures he and his family have killed that week or month. Is this really necessary? I found this last one to be particularly disturbing and the accompanying photo sad. And before all you hunters out there get your panties in a twist, I fully realize that hunts are needed to keep the deer population down, blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda…I would just prefer not to know the gory details and then see the picture of the dead animal being displayed. Guess that makes me a wuss.

      • Well, to all of you out there who claim that hunting one’s food is not a “necessity” let me just say this. Do you not “hunt” down the best bargains and meat sales when you get your Sunday paper? Do you realize how your ribeye steak got to your plate? Do you know how many hours of sunshine your steak experienced while it was on the hoof? Do you know whether your chicken parts EVER saw the light of day, the joy of eating a grasshopper or a blade of grass, even the bit of gravel that is necessary for proper digestion of poultry’s food? How “responsible” is it for a person to ignore the issue of humane animal husbandry, or the lack thereof, while pointing the finger at a man who is obviously proud of his ability to put meat on his family’s table. I can assure you that without my father’s and brothers’ abilities as hunters, the 11 of us would have starved to death just in the same manner these deer are going to starve to death. I am grateful for God’s provision of animals for food, and for His permission of it. He told Noah after the flood that now it would be permissible, if not necessary, to use animals for food, as long as Noah was careful not to eat the blood, since that represented the animal’s life, which belonged to God himself. Therefore, if God himself has given us permission to eat animals, how does any other human have the authority to tell us we may not? Respect for life commands us to balance the issue of who will starve – the human, or the animal. When one hunts, it solves both problems. . . and, at the same time, the issue of humane animal husbandry as well, since the more one hunts, the fewer domesticated animals are necessary to keep penned up without access to fresh air and sunshine.

      • don’t llok and close your computer

    • I just assume I will hear news about all things Vermont when I get the “Letter From Vermont”, including farming, small town gossip and hunting. Don’t subscribe to the letter if you don’t want to know how Chris spends his time. Stick to “Notes From the Test Kitchen” and keep your life nice and rosy 🙂

    • A fact:

      Life is born of death.
      Something else must “die”, that you may live.
      Every single day of your life is a gift given of the death of something else.
      Animal or vegetable or other.

      A single seed has just as much desire to fulfill it’s identity as ambulatory living creatures. One can even measure a piece of fruit’s sensing of injury with a crude electrical meter.

      To define life by it’s similarity to the characteristics of your own form, is to be ignorant and insensitive to the life force pervasive in all living things.

      In the Earthly realm, life and death are one.

    • Don’t know if this will appear public or just to this poster….I couldn’t get the post button to work…I agree with this post completely however. Perhaps this poster will be kind enough to repost if this doesn’t show up since I can’t seem to… In essence, hunting really has nothing to do with cooking although we are perhaps being hypocrites because the meat has to come from somewhere…I do not share the middle America view “gitin’ yer gun out and shootin’ thangs”…although I am originally from Texas. I sang a special concert as part of Santa Fe opera outreach years ago…(I am a singer) in someone’s home that had trophies hanging all over the wall in Texas….I was sickened….wanted to run out screaming…We all know where the meat comes from honey, just don’t show us you posing with Bambi and tell us you murder her, k? Love the magazines and the shows….stick to cooking it and not killin’ it…at least in public…If you’ll remember chef Ramsey caught Hell for eating something or another after freshly killing it on a tv show…show biz baby, gotta give the people what they want…and leave off the rest… 😉

    • Lisa – are you as bothered by discussions about abortion as you are about discussions of hunting? I’d like to see people as incensed about the wholesale slaughter of humans as they are about harvesting part of nature’s bounty.

    • I am sure Chris did not post the picture to offend anyone. If it were not for hunters, much of the wild life habitat that remains would be gone. Long live hunters and their prey! Thank you Chris! P.S. I bet there have been a few seasons Chris didn’t bag anything.

    • I live in rural MN and have had many near misses with my car and the species Odocoileus virginianus (our fury, white-tailed friends commonly referred to as “deer”). In our area, we are thankful to the deer hunter for thinning the herds and sparing peoples’ lives – as too many of our friends and neighbors have lost their lives on the road because of deer/car and deer/motorcycle accidents. But this year my husband and I are even more grateful for the box of venison we picked up from our butcher because (due to personally tough economic times) we had only two meals-worth of meat left in our freezer when we brought that venison home. Deer hunting is a very practical thing in our impoverished county for most of the hunters, and only a very very small minority are of the ridiculous, boastful, blood-lusting sort. I don’t completely understand the need to photograph one’s self with the fallen animal, other than it stems from the century’s-old tradition of (a) keeping a record (in picture form after the onset of the camera) of each year’s hunt and/or (b) providing proof to one’s friends that the story told of the magnificence of the animal you’ve taken matches reality.

    • I support your recent catch,the seven pointer, especially during these tough economic times.

      I’m sorry that some of your readers are offended by a person hunting to put food on the table for his/her family, its better than grovelling for food stamps — its certainly a healthier food choice. Just think, its “ORGANIC”.

      If by chance you discuss the butchering of the deer meat, will you describe the process for making salami.

  21. Hello Chris,
    I subscribe to American test kitchen,
    But I do not want to hear about your hunting exploits.

    The outdoors should be enjoyable for all.
    I have small children and don’t want to meet men with guns when I escape to the outdoors.

    Please stick to the recipes.

    • Would you rather the animals died of disease? Deer hunting is necessary to avoid overpopulation. You seem to hate guns. I guess they could hit the deer in the head with a rock but I don’t think the result would be as effective. I take it you are a vegan and eat no fish, fowl or meat.

      • Hunters say they “cull” herds and keep animal populations from growing too big for their environments. However, animals dying from natural causes, disease, four-legged predators, old age, etc., is a much more natural method of culling herds. Human hunters, with high-powered guns with telescopic sights, etc., kill many animals that should have lived to produce better offspring. Let nature do the weeding out, and let the happiness the hunter feels (re: Chris’ smile) be something that isn’t an excuse for unfair slaughter. I am a omnivore, yes, and I eat meat that someone else has killed. That doesn’t mean I don’t try to utilize producers that attempt to be as humane as possible in their slaughter of our protein. At least, I don’t smile over the carcass of a once helpless creature.

      • I am not opposed to hunting or the use of the food supplies for reasons listed above. I understand the rationale. I think what is at the crux for me is the picture holding the dead deer. It is traditional, this kneeling by a dead deer, but not very dignified for the animal. I love the test kitchen and the pictures of idyllic Vermont. The “dead” deer photo wasn’t really necessary.

      • So Ms. Immel, you don’t “smile over the carcass of a once helpless” creature? When you sit down to eat a burger, roast chicken, or steak, do you grimace in disgust? As you eat it, do you cry? Don’t be so silly, Rachel.

    • You made the statement ‘the outdoors should be enjoyable by all’. Well, I do not think you mean that. Some enjoy hunting and like to eat the fruits of their labor. So by ‘all’ do you mean everyone except hunters? There goes the ‘enjoyable by all’.
      Oh well.

      • By “all” I do mean everyone except hunters.
        When you hunt, you exclude others from the area.

        I eat meat. But killing as a sport is deplorable:

        I did not ask Chris to send me an email talking about hunting and I wish he had not.

      • “Enjoyable by all” except hunters one said. How about if those wishing to enjoy the outdoors stay on their own property. Hunters, if not hunting on their own property often lease (pay money) to hunt somewhere. There is nothing more frustrating to a hunter than to be sitting in a stand for hours, waiting for the exact time that the deer come out to feed, and a hiking trespasses onto the hunter’s property and ruins the hunt. If you want to enjoy the outdoors, hike in a state park where hunting is not allowed.

        Sounds like a double standard to me!

      • To the folks who find Chris’ post on his recent hunting experience “distasteful”, I highly recommend that you google “slaughter of food animals” and see just how that chicken, cow and pig meet their end. With a good clean shot, the hunted animal never knew what hit it. Just watch how the animals lined up in a slaughterhouse have to watch and smell their colleagues go through. I applaud Chris’ hunt and enjoy venison myself. If I could hunt exclusively for my protein, I would. It’s better than the chemical laden factory farmed meats. Try to keep an open mind. If you don’t like hunting, remember: pick your battles. Factory farms are worse in so many ways for people, the animals and the environment. If you are a vegetarian, great. I applaud that, too. But if you want to make a difference, go after factory farming and not the hunter gathering foodstuffs for himself and his family and friends…

    • Regrettably, eating meat involves the death of animals. However, there is something about having fun while killing them that influences my opinion
      of hunters. I wish I hadn’t read your newsletter.

      • Hunting is a sport as old as the day is long and is enjoyed by many very good people. Enjoying the spoils of your sport is perfectly acceptable. I would be upset if someone was standing scowling over the animal as if to say “you’re next.” Those who think cattle, hogs, baby calves, etc., that are raised for slaughter enjoy a humane death need to visit a slaughter house. One clean shot through the heart or head is a very humane way to have venison for dinner. Nice shot Chris, and I feel certain the deer felt nothing. There will always be a place for wild game hunted by man and that is on the table right next to the mashed potatoes.

      • Oh, so it’s better to merely enjoy feasting upon their flesh and savoring their flavor?

    • Why can politically correct extremists never seem to allow for any other point of view? It isn’t just that they have a point of view that may differ from others; it’s that everyone else must either totally adopt their view or be ostracized and condemned. It is a blatantly irrational and extremely aggressive position.

      Hunters – or as you characterize them “men with guns” – are restricted to specific, short periods of hunting seasons. So all you need do to avoid your children meeting them in the woods is not to escape into the woods during a very brief hunting season. You seem to be saying that “men with guns” must stay out of the woods at all times, in case you and your children might want to escape to the outdoors at any time of your choosing. Does that not strike you as a somewhat extreme and self-centered position which excludes all others?

      If you choose not to hunt – fine. If you choose not to eat meat – fine. If you choose almost any other lifestyle choice for yourself – fine. But do not presume to force your lifestyle choices on everyone else.

      Overly aggressive extremists in all forms are anathema to almost all forms of “humane” human culture. You get to make your own choices. You do NOT get to force your choices on others.

    • If you don’t want to hear about hunting, don’t read about it.

      I agree that the outdoors should be enjoyable for all. I also have small children and don’t want to meet men with guns. However, we live in America, and people have guns. I wish I lived in an area where the only guns I had to worry about are those of hunters. Consider yourself lucky!

    • Irene,
      Looking at Chris, I don’t get the inkling that he’s some likkered-up redneck gunning down anything he sees from the pickup truck window.

      It appears that he’s using a Browning Lever Action and perhaps a Swarovski scope, not a M-16 and laser sights.

      It’s a given, that 100% of usable meat will be utilized, so that animal did not die a “sporting” death, rather it was harvested upon his land.

      Compare the “sporting” and “market” hunting waged against the Bison:

      Not to mention the act of genocide by starvation upon the Plains Tribes.

      20 years ago, I overheard a NY resident complain about wrecking his Saab 9000 on an errant whitetail in Vermont:
      “With all the money I spend at Stratton, you’d think Vermont could put adequate fences up along the roadways.”

      The same situation exists in Fairfield and Westchester Counties… deer aplenty and few legal methods to harvest them. Well, aside from stoving-in your Bimmer, Lexus or Mercededs.

      The result of a vehicle-deer accident is nearly 100% unusable meat, but at least you’re not facing “men with guns” when you’re out in the woods.

      Woods that more than likely you don’t own, but you can ignore the NO TRESPASSING signs as you’re a nature walker, or trail-riding equestrian.
      Not some damn gun-toting (property owner) man.

    • talk to a ranger or sheriff about your concerns, please! You will find that most campsites have “guns” to protect the campers from opportunistic predators both the 4 & 2 legged varity!!! Teach your children about guns and preditors.

    • Irene,

      Do you have any idea who pays for most for the outdoors you enjoy? The major portion of the revenue comes from the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses, ammunition and firearms. Also from groups like Ducks Unlimited, Wild Turkey Foundation, Pheasants for Tomorrow, The Ruffed Grouse Society, and on and on. So when you meet those “men with guns” don’t forget to thank them.

  22. Chris, I have a need to use only whole wheat flour for bread, pie crusts, pasta, etc. Do your kitchen angels have any recipes that would allow me to use whole wheat flour in all places for white flour.

    • Check King Arthur Flour. You will find plenty of Whole Wheat and other grain recipes. Also, gluten free recipes.

  23. Hi Christopher,
    My mom, who watches the American Test Kitchen without fail, mentioned to me that you hunt; she knows that it’s one of my joys. I’m so very happy that you are willing to share your days afield and the relationships that go with them, as they are the stuff that life’s precious moments are made of.

    I am an avid-but-not-in-the-field-as-much-as-I’d-like hunter. My idea of a perfect day is hunting with my black lab, “Macayla,” upland or waterfowl, where the air is crisp and the smells of the earth fill me with appreciation and wonder.

    I have not hunted large game, yet. But hope to. I do cook game of all kinds and really appreciate the American Test Kitchen for sharing its research and results. It’s made me a better cook and baker.

    So thank you again. I’ll subscribe to your blog for more updates!

    • Agree that hunting with a dog, birds or rabbits, is the best way to spend a day outside even if one comes back empty-handed. It is depressing that so many folks have never spent the day outside hunting on a cold November day with a good dog — rarely gets any better than that. Well, times change.

  24. …another plead for venison recipes please!

  25. Congratulations on that buck! Surprised you find time to get out there with doing the show. Could really use a few good rabbit recipes that doesn’t just stew it. Got any? Didn’t find on Cooks iPhone app.


  26. I so wanted to see pictures of your new stove…..

  27. I would love to see a venison roast prepared by Bridget or Julia

    • One of my favorite things I love doing with venision is to make Sauer Brauten..(spelling). I love when the meat and veggies are marinating for several days usually 3 days. When I turn the meat over you just want to dive into it because the marinaded meat smells so yummy. I cook it in a cast iron dutch oven, and finish it off with a ginger/snap and heavy cream gravy..yummy.. enjoy.

    • We love venison roast prepared this way (Slow-Roasted Beef). When I don’t have to knock half a foot of snow off the Weber charcoal grill, I like to do it on that, but it works fine in the oven too. It’s done so quickly, I’m always amazed.

  28. I have a great recipe for Super Wisconsin Summer Sausage. It could be Super Vermont, Minnesota, wherever. It’s very easy to make. I have made it with ground venison. Oh, so good! If anyone wants sthe recipe, just give me a shout-out. J

    • Judy —
      I would be VERY interested in that recipe! Had a recipe at one time, but can no longer find it. Both my husband and son hunt deer and there is nothing better that venison sausage as long as its prepared well.

      Thank you so much 🙂

    • I’d love to have it. ruthofgolden at yahoo dot com

    • Hi Judy
      Would love to get the summer sauage recipe from you.
      Thank you

    • Me, three!

    • Please send me the recipe for Summer Sausage. Thank you!

    • would appreciate the summer sausage recipe- Thank you

    • I also like summer sausage and have a great recipe from the south. I would like to try your reciepe if you can send it to me. Thanks

      Ladd Hey

    • Jay, I would like your recipe for summer sausage.

      thanks in advance,

  29. Thanks for sharing. You will have to share some venison receipes, I have such a hard time finding them.

  30. Chris, Congrats on the buck. I can’t wait for all the new recipes for deer I’m sure you’ll come up with. Now if I can just get my deer…

  31. Great looking buck, congratulations. No blaze orange ? Over in NY in gunning season it’s suicide and not lrgal without it. Signing in with others; would li8ve to see a ATK or Cook’s Country show devoted to venison and game.

  32. Great buck–congratulations! I agree, we need to make a good venison cookbook-!! And who better to do such than cooks country! I am sure many of us country people would share recipes with you, that we love and enjoy. I also can venison, and add some beef fat, or pork is fine too, as long as no spice. I even make venison ham–and we love it! We also share with HUSH–for food shelf. Neva

  33. Hi, Chris —

    Yes, venison recipes, please. What happened to the doe with the injured front leg from your video, did you ever see it again? Do people ever consider harvesting the ones that are clearly in pain? Is there something unethical about taking a doe?

    • Cannot shoot a doe except during bow season. I do not have the heart for that. Illegal to shoot an injured animal as well, I think. If I was starving, however, I guess that would be a different matter.

      • Hi Chris,
        I love your magazines and TV programs and truely enjoy your Letters from Vermont (including the latest).
        Can you explain why shooting an injured animal is illegal (does not seem humane)? Also interested in the difference between bow and gun hunting and why bow hunting isn’t one you pursue. Also limiting Does to bow only seems to be counter-productive to culling requirements.
        Although I understand the need to cull the deer herds and I applaud orgs such a Hunters for the Hungry the irresponsible “hunters” give all hunters a bad name. Every year there are tragic accidents here in VA. Just last week a 7 year was killed by his 10 year old brother (ran across his field of fire). They were out “hunting” with their father. He didn’t die right away either. Very sad…what was that father thinking. I wouldn’t want to spend the rest of my life with that memory. I see it as three lives lost!!
        Responsible hunters (eat what you kill or donate to a food bank) serve a meaningful purpose in culling the deer herds, rabbits and some waterfowl (I’m not as forgiving for bear and turkey however) but they need to police their own. Blow the whistle on the illegal, reckless and irresponsible. Here in VA there are those that just kill and leave the carcass. Disgraceful.
        I too, would like to see some good venison recipes.

    • The ‘doe’ with the injured front leg is a young buck – did you miss the antlers? In Nebraska you are allowed to take one with horns and one without meaning a doe since they are way over populated here!

  34. Christopher,
    I guess that the meat for all those who object to hunting just shows up at the butcher shop after having died of old age??

  35. Have you ever corned venison? My husbands grandmother did one year and it was the best corned meat I ever had. Try it!!!!

  36. Couldn’t you have been satisfied with just the photos? Did you really have to kill it? It’s not like you’re starving or unemployed. How can you wax so poetically about the two does munching in the field, and then ambush/slaughter the buck? Not very sporting.

    • Well, if you have ever hunted deer in my part of VT you will agree that it is sporting. There is a lot of skill and time involved and many people, myself included, can go years and years without even seeing a buck during the season much less shooting one. Getting up in a tree at 5:45AM when it is 20 degrees out is just part of it — the rest of it is knowing where the deer are which requires a lot of time and effort. But, as you might point out, if the deer had rifles I probably wouldn’t think it was that sporting either!

      • Time and skill climbing up a tree and then whacking the deer as it unsuspectingly walks beneath you???! I am incredulous.

        Of all thefood shows I watch and cooking genre I read, you and yours are my favorites. So why don’t you put the gun down and stop disapppointing me.

      • Gerald, I haven’t seen any guns on the show, have you? Besides that I can’t count the number of shots I didn’t take because I didn’t a clean shot.

    • What’s the answer then Gerald? Hand to hand combat? Jeesh

    • Gerald, it’s far better for the nature walkers and out-of-State visitors picnicing with their Lab and Shepherd to just let the dogs run the deer down.
      The dogs will be happy, the deer will be gutted but not dead, and the couple enjoying the great outdoors will be relieved when the blood, isn’t from their dogs.
      “Fluffy what ever did you find? Thank God you’re not hurt. Want a treat?”

      Meanwhile there’s a young deer screaming a 1/2 mile away, dying in agony: “Aaaaaaaaaaaa BaaaaaaaaAAAAAh” – but that’s ok, it’s the natural sporting, instinctual way of thinning the herd, and you can’t hear it from the blanket.

  37. Congratulations on your successful hunt!
    I applaud you for talking about it in these days of political correctness.
    I love the PBS shows and truly enjoy reading your writings. Thanks for many joyful hours.

    • Well, as you can see from the posts today, I am not making myself all that popular. What I don’t understand is that deer hunting is the ultimate example of “local sourcing” of foodstuffs which is all the rage and politically correct but talk about shooting a deer and everyone gets up in arms. People want someone else to do the dirty work so they don’t have to know where their meat comes from! Oy! My kids know where their food comes from which is great.

      • I applaud you for making your hunting post public, for feeding your family with natural, local, plentiful game. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing so. I am encouraged by the way you and your family live off the land and all that it provides. It is my goal as well. Please do not be discouraged by the negative posts of others. Keep up the great posts – of all kinds!

      • Christopher, I got completely pulled into the hunting debate and just wanted you to know that although I don’t hunt, I fully support your sharing with us your personal experiences hunting. It seems to me a great lesson to teach your kids where their food comes from and that you don’t kill just to kill, but to put food on the table. It’s a rich person’s “problem” and quite frankly, a decision, to get all upset about people hunting animals in the woods. Thank goodness we have grocery stores and enough money to go to them anytime we feel like it! Love ATK and keep ALL the stories and recipes coming!!

      • I find the attacks on your hunting post rather crazy! If someone is against hunting, just don’t read the email.
        And isn’t it odd how not one of those bleeding heart types commented on your sending the hogs to be slaughtered? Guess its the “bambi” effect.
        To each his own, we make our own choices. I sure don’t want someone else’s choice forced on me!

      • Well said, Chris! My daughter loves animals and gets emotional about the thought of them being killed. She’s not a vegetarian, though, because she loves meat. Right now, she thinks that only animals that have died of old age are in the supermarkets. She’s 9 years old. Adults should be able to handle the truth about what they are buying and eating.

        Maybe next time you could talk about hunting a boar or something not as cute as a deer. It might cut the negativity in half!

        Keep being real!!

      • I agree. I am not a hunter but I know where my food comes from. Too bad more people don’t spend some time on a farm. This is just out of control political correctness. I really like the comment by someone above when they said that man does not have to kill for his food anymore. Really? Huh. No wonder that USDA Prime steak costs so much with everyone standing around waiting for cows to die a natural death at the country club. Sheez.

      • I concure with Ruth! Too many people living in an urban environment do not understand what it means to live off the land, wheater farming or ranching. It would be nice if they could spend more time out there to understand what life is really like! Feel the soil, get up to milk the cows at 4 AM – 7 days a week!

      • Chin up Chris. You rock! Beautiful example of taking responsibility for your food supply chain. Watching overweight Americans whine about hunting when they are happy to use the McDonald’s drive thru makes me sick. Sigh. I hope to teach my kids about where food really comes from. Thank you for doing your part.

  38. Chris,
    I really appreciate you letting us see some of your personal life. To be honest, I had thought that you were not a hunter. Several commenters seem to have the mentality that I incorrectly attributed to you, my apologies. As someone who prepares food for a living I am glad to see that you are also someone who knows were all your food comes from.

  39. Nice buck! Congrats. Took a good doe during archery season myself.

    For those who asked about venison recipes…I have substituted venison for beef in many of the ATK recipes with great success. For example: take a loin roast (20-24 oz), season with salt and pepper. Let it sit. Turn on the oven. Sear the roast on all sides. Finish in the oven with a meat thermometer. Make a pan sauce. Slice and serve. Good stuff.

    But wild venison absolutely cannot be cooked beyond medium or it will be too tough.

  40. Venison backstrap medalions lightly floured, salt and pepperd and fried in butter till just done.Served with runny eggs,crispy hashbrowned potatoes, home made biscuits and backstrap gravy. Deer hunters breakfast usealy served around four thirty in the morning so as to alow time to get to the stand,blind or tree your hunting from.

  41. I used to live in New Jersey. I hated seeing people hunt and kill animals..never tried anything with wild animal in it. I moved to Oklahoma where everyone hunts. Some of the people here if they didn’t hunt they wouldn’t have anything to eat. I have tried deer and squirrel now. But I have a diffrent outlook on hunters. As long as people hunt and eat the animal I have no problems. Its the people that kill for the thrill I don’t like. I would love to be more like Chris and make alot of my very own stuff. I grew up eating everything out of a store and don’t know how to cook,can,clean animals,make maple syrup,Etc.One day I hope to learn alot of the things Chris does.I think it would be alot of fun.

    • DM, I’m from Oklahoma and I learned early on that you hunt to eat what you kill. That’s the rule I was raised to follow. Hunting for trophy is slaughter not hunting.

      I like that you were able to get past the politically correct “it’s bad to kill animals” bull. Even as they gladly eat all forms of farmed and processed meat.

      Chris, great write up on the hunt. Love to have a taste of what you cook up!

      • I don’t think that many people hunt because they need to get food or starve. I hunt because I enjoy hunting. I eat what I catch, not because I need the wildlife to survive, but because I enjoy the hunt and the flavors of the game.
        For those hypocrites who are against killing farm animals for food, and say that they still eat meat,all they are doing is contributing to the slaughter of the animals. This “killing” should be on their conscience.

  42. Here, here on the venison recipes request!

    Congratulations on the buck, Chris. My husband is an avid hunter & has gotten 5 this year. We give lots away, but it is pretty much the only meat we eat aside from our own pasture-fed chickens.

    I am an animal lover, too, and I still have a difficult time with the hunting of animals. But I’ve come to realize that a life must be given for my family to eat. And to take that life in a respectful way is the only way I will eat meat. These deer live in the beauty and freedom of nature, not in cages where they are piled on top of each other & “slaughtered” before they reach a certain age so they don’t die of disease or deformity. While it is still difficult, we gratefully make use of everything we can – canning, frenched racks, ground, barbecued ribs, venison stock from bones (best french onion soup ever BTW using CI recipe!) Please don’t pass judgment on all hunters for killing or being rednecks and understand there is a bigger picture.

  43. Nice job dropping the buck with one shot. I wish those that complain about hunting would remember that someone has to kill the steer, hog or chicken that they enjoy on their table. Killing a deer humanely is no more stressful to the animal than running it in to an abattoir. Caroline is right about fall carrots being sweeter. It’s the reverse of your maple syrup process. When the carrots (a biennial) get frosted in the fall..the sugars developed in the leaves are moved toward the root to help it overwinter. Thus they are always much sweeter than spring or summer harvested carrots…and because they mature in cool, damp weather..very seldom tough and woody.

  44. Nice Vermont buck. And thank you for helping so many people make the connection between farm, field, and table.

  45. Congratulations! My husband hasn’t shot one so far, but we’ve had two given to us. I’d like to add my vote for more venison recipes, and can I cook venison using beef recipes, or do I make changes? I’ve not had good luck, so we usually grind all but the tenderloin and backstrap into hamburger.

    • Our favorite venison recipe is made with round steaks; pound out a bit, dust with flour and brown in some oil, then put in crock pot with an envelope of onion soup mix and a jar of red pasta sauce (whatever you like). Cook on low for 10-12hours and serve on noodle or parsley potatoes. Absolutely the BEST! And no gamey taste!
      Another good resource for venison recipes: VENISON: Fast and Foolproof Favorites from the Readers of Sports Afield, Henry Sinkus, Editor

  46. Hi Chris, Congratulations on the buck, and enjoy the venison. It is so great to have someone post these items that feature someone who supplies his own food, from a vegetable garden right down to killing and butchering of meat items, some farm raised and some hunted. A pleasant reminder that our food doesn’t originate in wrapped in plastic in a grocery store. I live in the country in Alberta, Canada, where I can frequently observe deer, both mule and white tailed, from my house windows, as well as other wildlife, and have had to surround my gardens with electric fencing to keep them out.

  47. I love the hunting stories. I’m guessing the people who don’t also don’t eat meat as it is required to kill an animal to do that. Much better to quickly end the life of an animal living a full and free life in the wild then to keep one trapped in a feed lot. And venison is much better for you than beef. I look forward to more stories on hunting and your down to earth lifestyle in Vermont.

    • Fantastic-then it it safe to assume that you ONLY eat animals that you can kill in the wild?

  48. Great hunting pictures! Your pictures were tasteful and appropriate for any audience. Too many folks think all their food comes from the grocery store and they don’t stop to think about everything that goes into preparing a meal. Thank you for this post!

  49. Okay- you got your buck, now how about a good old fashioned venison mincemeat recipe for canning it? We always had mincemeat pie (YUMMY) For the holidays and I am looking for a good one. Unfortunately, a recipe never got passed down and is lost. so venison mincemeat canned PLEASE in Cooks Country for next season’s buck hunting!!

  50. What an extremely horrible letter! I do not want to hear of your blood thirsty killing exploits. Very sick story, keep your lust for killing to yourself!!!

    • Hunting for one’s meat seems to me to be far removed from a “lust for killing.” Beats the hamburger at the local Stop and Shop — that animal did not leave a free life nor was his end pretty. Hey, this is where our food comes from — why hide it?

      • Not my food. Vegan all the way. I enjoy your newsletters, just not this one. In this case I just had to quickly scroll down 🙂 Oh, and press the delete button.

      • Thank you Mr. Kimball!

      • uh, then read something else…perhaps Moosewood has a blog?

      • Thanks for the great post and I strongly support your opinion on this topic. I grew up on a farm in southwest Wisconsin where we raised our own beef, pork, and dairy as well as had a large garden and are avid whitetail, turkey and squirrel hunters. I find it amazing how many people don’t have any clue where our food comes from and how interested my friends are to hear about this topic. There is nothing cruel or unusual about hunting in fact it would do most people some good to go to a farm and understand the process or even watch National Geographic to see how carnivores kill their supper.

        Looking forward to a show and/or articles on cooking wild game.


    • We’re all so very pleased that you’re not judgemental or extreme in your characterizations of others.

      ” … killing animals is a distasteful topic, better left for that “special blood thirsty category / website” of jerks that hunt and kill animals.”

      America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Country, Cook’s Illustrated, and Christopher Kimball are all about cooking; preparing food; where food “comes from”: ALL foods – including animals, fowl, and fish. The blog is entitled “Vermont Hunting Season 2010.” Did you not think it might deal with hunting, killing, and preparing animals?

      For what arcane and delusional reason do you think anyone would heed your opinion or lend any credence to your view?

  51. I think it is wonderful that Chris harvested a beautiful buck. I am a true southerner,(born and raised), and for the life of me I could not imagine Chris deer hunting much less actually bagging one. My hat is off…I am impressed. WOW! Now, give us some mouth-watering recipes for the venison. I can’t wait. We love you in the south!!!

    • Well, I don’t wear a bowtie while hunting! I love the south as well — great to hear from you!

  52. I love your hunting stories. Please keep sharing them. A cooking text is the exact place for being reminded that real food, and real life, are gifts of sight and insight, resolve, sweat, engagement in, and perspective on a world beyond the borders of the supermarket and the check-out line tabloids. “Life is real…life is earnest.”

  53. Enjoyed your letter and humor. My lawyer girlfriend shoots her own buck each year on her timber land in Georgia and I have eaten of her bounty. I have too many rabbits nibbling in my garden IN Chicago proper. Would they be safe to trap and eat and where would I find out how to make a trap? Laura

  54. Nice going Chris. All of the naysayers are just manifesting a malady that effects this entire national society from top to bottom. We have all been off the farm too;damn long.
    Once upon a time animals were “tools” or product. Never pets.

  55. what a neat chatty newletter concerning your deer hunt and september’s bacon being gone.
    i’m a retired wildlife biologist so i’m familiar with the goings on of deer season. at camp, sitting around a fire ring after the hunt with my twin sons is now what i derive most pleasure from during the season.
    i teach texas parks and wilflife department, hunter education as part of my “give back” to the hunting ethic.
    love your tv test kitchen, i’ve suscribed for around 6 years to cook’s illustrated.

  56. To those opposed to harvesting deer:
    Perhaps we should all stop driving during peak deer movement hours–they may get hit and killed on the roadway! There is an overabundance of deer, how many people (if not you) do you know who have hit/injured/killed one while driving? Is this more humane? Does the loss of life and damage seem like a better alternative than thinning deer populations by hunting them? High populations of deer damage the environment and threaten themselves with starvation. They have few if any natural predators, except humans and our cars. Put a herd of goats into the woods and you will see the damage they can do. Ditto for deer.

  57. Congrats on the buck! We just spent yesterday packaging a six-pointer for the freezer – steaks, stew and ground. Have eaten beef maybe 3 times in the past 5 years – we raised two healthy boys on venison, raw milk, garden produce, home-grown rabbit, chicken (eggs,too), turkey, home-ground flour – can’t beat the flavor, the freshness, and the health! Bravo, for taking the less-worn path. Keep the stories coming – I read your “editorials” out of Cook’s Illustrated to my family every month. Excellent writing…oh, and the recipes are danged good, too!!!

  58. Game recipes please. I have a freezer full of venison and we are having an explosion of feral pigs here as well, any ideas would be most appreciated! Thanks. L.

  59. I cook therefore I hunt and visa-versa. I’m looking at putting a team of celebrity chefs together for the Wyoming Governor’s One Shot Antelope Hunt. I’m a member of the Past Shooters and was wondering if you would be interested.

  60. Thanks for sharing your hunting story with us, Chris. I’m certain you knew you would take a few shots yourself from the folks who have no idea about realistic wildlife management, and I appreciate your courage in facing them and explaining in a very gentlemanly manner why we hunt. We live in a world of the “Chronically Offended.”

  61. Just a note to say how much I enjoy the letters from vermont email and the jokes that come with them. My husband and I never miss an America’s Test Kitchen Show. Love to watch your taste tests.

  62. The other side of the coin is that uncontrolled deer populations face starvation and make for a lot more car collisions.

    In this state we no longer have enough large predators to do the job, and from a deer’s point of view I think getting shot would be no worse (likely better) than getting run down by coyotes.

  63. My son got his first deer this season…. a 12 point buck. After the sheriffs and tow truck driver all took pictures of him with the deer, one of the guys took it home. Still the talk in our quiet Iowa countryside. 😀 It would be great to have wild game recipes on Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s Country! Would even pay the extra for the Editor’s Choice recipes.

  64. I used to have a really big problem with people who hunted and still do when they are only out there for the thrill of killing a living thing, I don’t have any issues with a person who is going to eat what they kill. I also have seen the damage deer can do when an area gets so overpopulated with them. I guess those that are really having a problem with the hunters are themselves out every winter making sure these deer are finding enough food to eat so they won’t be dying of starvation miserably, I am so sure they are trekking up a mountainside and laying food out for these deer, sort of putting their money where their mouth is if you will, after all starvation in a cold snow bank can’t be a very quick way to end a life. My husband used to hunt until he realized that he in no way wanted to eat what he shot and then he stopped the hunting and took up taget shooting, which he admits he enjoys so much more than he ever did the hunting aspect.

  65. Keep on hunting, Chris! In Arizona we have to apply for a tag, some go MANY years before they are lucky to get drawn. We are enjoying elk sausage made by our neighbor – yummy! For those who don’t want to read of your exploits, just don’t read that portion.

  66. Forgot to add hunting and eating what you kill is much more respectful than slaughterhouse beef and chicken. What is worse is to see dead deer by the side of the road; the meat wasted.

  67. That buck makes me nostalgic for the 12 years spent in a check station meeting hunters and gathering herd health data. Taught a few how to dress out the result of the hunt! Congratulations!!

  68. Here’s a link to an article about maple syrup that I thought you might like to read. Just paste it into your browser. ~ Cheri Hunt

  69. To you ‘offended’ folks: You guys really scare me. The way I see it that living close to nature, the way Chris does, is very responsible to our earth and he probably lives in balance with it more than most of us do yet but you somehow make it ‘evil’ and that is just twisted. It really bothers me because of the logic of it all. It’s OK for Chris to whip out a dead bird or a part hacked of a carcass of a cow or pig on a nationally televised TV show, and show you how to prepare it but, oh, take a picture of a successful deer harvest, put it on someone’s personal blog and it suddenly it’s all wrong?
    Look, if living such a life bothers anyone then stop posting, and spend your time elsewhere. There are plenty of other blogs to read. This blog is not obligatory. It is not fed to you ala Clockwork Orange. (puns partially intended) There are tons of other cooking shows to watch and blogs to read. It may be unfortunate to you that someone you respect ‘suddenly’ disappoints you when they take off the bow tie and TV apron and show a little reality about themselves so…just change the channel and go watch Martha Stew….oh wait, never mind. 😉

    • Amen and Amen!

    • Well said.

    • I object to the hunters’ belief that the “thrill of the hunt” is so important. Do hunters really hunt for food, or for the “thrill”.

      We lived in Central Oregon in the early 70’s, having moved there from the big city. My husband was asked if he was all ready to get out and do some hunting. The guys in the barber shop thought he was a pansy city-slicker who either couldn’t hunt or didn’t know how much fun it was to kill your prey. My husband replied to their queries, “I don’t hunt. Don’t care to do that”. “Well, why not? It is the natural way of things, and is fun.” My husband replied, to a then-quiet group, “I don’t hunt. I did all my hunting in Viet Nam.” Whether you kill for fun, for sport, for thrill, or because someone has told you to, it still is too serious to be a “thrill”. Yes, our grocery store meat has been killed. Maybe not as humanely as we might wish. But, at least we are not thrilled with how much enjoyment we got from the death. We can’t and probably shouldn’t stop people from hunting. I just wish those people, Chris included, didn’t look so happy about their killing.

    • Wrong. This is an America’s Test Kitchen blog and the show is SUPPOSED to be about cooking, recipes, taste testing, equipment and science. You can go to the website and read it for yourself.

      This isn’t a hunters’ forum for posting videos and telling stories about hunting down animals, or posting comments like, “Nice job dropping the buck in one shot”. IMHO all of that should be taken elsewhere.

      • No Allison you are wrong. This is not an America’s Test Kitchen Blog. It is the hosts personal blog. Where he might write about things that he does in his personal life.

      • If this is the host’s personal blog, someone needs to change the header at the top of the page.

  70. I just wanted to say how much I love the letters from Vermont! They are always interesting! Born and raised in Minnesota, I have always been around hunting. I do not understand why anyone would have a problem with this. Please keep your letters coming. Also, LOVE the show!

  71. Chris,
    Congratulations on your deer!

    I am always excited to read references to hunting in your writings. It seems that many with a public persona feel it necessary to forsake mentioning their involvement and sometimes to stop hunting altogether in order to be more acceptable to the masses.
    My family and I also will be enjoying the venison harvested this year!
    Thanks again for a refreshing honesty and a wonderful product.
    Warm regards,
    Paul Fox

  72. In NJ alot of hunters line up on both sides of the road waiting for the others to make loud noises to chase the deer to the hunters. At times the”hunters would point their guns as I passed the. I found that kind of hunting distasteful. But with age greater understanding happens, and your hunting story was okay, but knowing about the chemicals they feed the cows, the chickens etc. How can anyone object? when I taught 5 and 6 year olds, I found many children do not where hamburgers, bacon, sausage, and scrapple comes from. I find that distasteful too. Hi Ho Hi Ho it’s off to hunt we go!!!!

  73. I just received your email informing me about your “successful” hunt. You are a disgusting, sadistic, pathetic excuse for a human being. How shameful to kill a beautiful wild creature for your own pleasure. I intended to give gift subscriptions to everyone on my list this year-until now. I no longer wish to subscribe to ANYTHING you have any involvement with, I am sickened by this email and your idea of good news.

    • Where on earth do you get your food? Someone has to “kill” for you!!

    • Wow, Mr. Owen, I don’t understand your response to Kimball’s fall hunt, you seem very, very angry [speech therapy has helped my lisp].

      I would be quite interested to hear about your meat eating position, do you have a similar response over all forms of meat consumption?

      I think many people do find the experience of gathering one’s own food ‘pleasurable,’ but that is far different from killing for “pleasure.”

      • I have to agree with Elmer, Mr. Owen, I don’t understand your reaction either. It seems more knee jerk than thought out. Chris didn’t kill that deer for pleasure, he killed it to eat it. People have been doing that for thousands of years. Meat protein is part of out dietary requirements. Meat based protein is necessary to ensure proper development and maintenance of the human brain for starters. Additionally there is growing evidence, not conclusive yet but increasing, that a vegetarian diet, especially in children, results in lowered IQ scores, stunted growth, and a variety of other ailments that most people would consider wiped out. Rickets and softened teeth for example. We have incisors and canines in our mouths, only found in meat eaters. Herbivores do not have those teeth.
        If you do eat meat, I have to wonder where you think it comes from. I can tell you this, they do not “make” it at the grocery store.
        If your objection is to “killing Bambi” I suspect you live in some city and I would invite you to spend a month out here in the country where I live. Deer are not nice, they are not huge compared to a horse, but those hooves are very sharp and they are amazingly strong and mean. I have had a young buck stand it’s ground and threaten me while I’ve been out on my not so tiny and not so quiet lawn tractor.
        Some years back one of my neighbors had their dog killed by a doe. The dog was snoozing in the yard and the doe came in with a young one in tow. Disney would have you think the doe would leave or the fawn would play with the dog. Not so. That doe went into attack mode right away and the poor dog never had a chance.
        I’ve had my cat menaced by a deer. He was coming home from a days hunting and a doe started after him. A house cat is hardly any threat to a deer, and there were not fawns involved this time. Just a mean old deer with an attitude. Fortunately I was outside at the time and heard the warning barks they give and managed to scare the deer off. Those of us that live out in the country with deer know the facts. Bambi is a mean tempered SOB.
        Lastly, there are not a lot of animals that are big enough to take down a deer roaming the countryside anymore. Wolf packs and Cougars are pretty much gone so the deer don’t have any good sized natural predators left to cull the herds and keep them healthy. The result is that the herds will grow as long as there is available food. When the food runs out they die off in large numbers leaving diseased carcasses behind. When it rains those same carcasses can wash down into the water reservoirs. Even before then while the food supply is plentiful the deer can eat down the underbrush to such effect that whole hillsides can be eroded away.
        There was a news article a couple years ago about how the city of Baltimore had to authorize hunting around their main reservoir because the deer population was three to four times normal size(they’d found a safe have)and the lake was polluted from the rain run off from the hillsides. The city will still have to spend millions that it doesn’t have to dredge the lake. All because too many soft hearted and ill informed folks felt sorry for the deer and got the real thing confused with a cartoon caricature.

  74. Pay no mind to the folks offended by hunting, it’s a “hot topic” for eternity.

    Let me add one more request for some game recipes. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to put venison in the freezer yearly as well as wild pigs, dove, quail, ducks, geese, etc. and am always looking for ways to add variety to my dishes.

    Thank you and happy holidays.

  75. Hey Chris – Great buck and great story telling on the hunt. Know you’ll enjoy the meat’s of your labor. Can’t tell for sure but it looks as if you took this buck with a 300 Savage. Is that the case?

    Good luck on your future hunts and please keep reporting on them as you report on how you get some of your other foodstuffs.

  76. Greetings from Wisconsin Mr. Kimball,
    Congratulations on your buck, thats a great rack for a seven pointer. You have the most informative and interesting cooking show on TV. I recently signed up for a subscription to you magazine I love it! and now I find out your a hunter also. You now have a fan for life. Merry Christmass.

  77. Chris,
    Congrats on the 7 pointer! I’m also a Vermonter (now living in Virginia but you never leave Vermont, do you?). I taught hunter safety in Bradford for many years. Delighted to see that you’re a hunter and have the courage of your convictions.

    Best of everything,

  78. Love the pics & the method. Keep them coming!

    Curious to know if the venison tastes game-y.

  79. Chris, I really enjoyed your story, particularly at this time of year. Not only is hunting, for many, a time honored family tradition, but is responsible in a not so very small way, for the survival of humanity.

    Furthermore, a controlled hunting season and ethical sportsmen and sportswomen are responsible for a healthy deer population as well a a positive economic impact in those affected area.

    It always surprises me how some are so quick to judge and make statement about those things of which they have no knowledge.

    My Dad is gone now, but I would give anything to be back on a lake fishing or walking through the woods with him…

    Some how the thought of going to the market and picking up a freeze wrapped steak just doesn’t bring back the same thoughts and feelings.

    Shame on the who are so judgemental.


  80. What??? No bow tie with your hunting outfit?

  81. Hey Chris:

    I have a suggestion: When ;I ;have leftover game (birds, venison, elk) I make ravioli with goat cheese, sauteed spinach, pinenuts, or what ever you like. With a brown butter, shallot sauce, you’ll have a “locavore” feast.


  82. I love the back and forth of it all! No big deal that you sent your pigs, that you’ve been feeding everyday, off to be turned into bacon and hams! YUM! Nice to know where your food comes from. How dare you poke those defenseless maple trees! I enjoy hearing your stories about life in Vermont!
    Best to you ALL From Arizona!

  83. I am not a hunter but I see nothing wrong with Chris (or any other hunter) posting about their experience when they actually put the meat to good use. Meaning they don’t hunt just for the sport. I’m curious about one thing though; I received my e-mail about Chris’ adventure with no pictures. You had to come here to see the picture. If you didn’t want to see the picture or hear about the hunt why in Heaven’s name did you click on the link to come see the pix?

  84. Jamie Oliver has a great venison and celerac recipe. It uses juniper berries – you can probably pick some in your woods.Select a great red wine and enjoy your harvest.
    I’ve hunted with Tom for rabbits in Connecticut many years ago and Nate comes to Connecticut every year to hunt with me and his uncle Ron – it’s a good thing – we need a young guy to drag the deer.

  85. I just cook venison in the crockpot with some water and dry rubbed with Wham seasoning. Google wham bbq seasoning.

  86. Chris, congrats on your venison. i didn’t grow up in a family that hunted. We live where there are many, many deer and i know so many hunters are grateful for venison in their freezers. Made some squash soup and it was wonderful. Thanks for all you do in your kitchen.

  87. My husband is a bow hunter. I never ate Venison because I didn’t know how to prepare it properly. We have it made into sausage, bratwurst, and snack sticks. We use the tenderloin for roasts and breakfast steak. The meat is lean and very healthy. Previous comments regarding overpopulation and deer starving are reasons to hunt. The hunters we know do it for the healthy meat source and not for the thrill of the kill. If you have never seen cattle slaughtered, it is a sickening sight. Shooting deer is a humane and dignified sport and for some, their only source of meat. No one is going to make you eat anything you don’t want to. I just know too many people that would love to have the ability to shoot deer but so much of our land is private and some don’t get opportunities to hun. It’s great that we can have opinions and choose what we want to eat when we want to eat it. I love ATK and have purchased your books. Keep up the fantastic work you all do!

  88. Good story! Reminds me of hunting in central Texas…getting to the blind long before daylight, freezing, finally something shows, barely light, excited and ready to shoot when I wonder when deer learned to moo. I am ready to hunt again.

  89. My earliest memories were of the sweet smell of hickory smoke coming from my grandmother’s smokehouse at the end of a cold, sunny fall day when the reds & golds of sunset slid over the hills behind the smokehouse & my Dad, uncles, their cousins & neighbors had completed processing one of their own farm-raised hogs. We never saw them actually shoot the hog, but we knew & understood the connection between what our family ate & how it came to life, lived to maturity, and was used completely to sustain our lives. My grandma used the lard for all her breads, biscuits and cornbreads, the bacon for breakfasts, the hams for family dinners & to take to families before funerals, the jowls for head cheese, the pigs’ feet for pickling. They survived the Great Depression & WWI & II by being self-sustaining. I learned how to pluck & clean a chicken, how to make butter from cream & to understand that we are all stewards of the many gifts our Creator has given us. We used to say that our French grandmother used everything on the pig but the whistle! They don’t call them the Greatest Generation for nothing! Thank you, Chris, for keeping it real. – La. Country Girl

    • Wow! That could have been about our Northern Minnesota farm!! Only difference is, Gramma used everything but the squeel of the pig!!!

  90. Chris, great way to promote and get in touch with the viewers. Love your show and the cooking tips. I have a great idea for a cooking show. If you want to enjoy some great duck and goose hunting on a private preserve, I’ll take you but you got to listen to my treatment in return! It is a real winner!

    P.S. Please wear hunter orange, I like the show!

  91. Beautiful Buck. Over the years of watching your show I have not seen wild game being cooked. Do you have good recipes for getting the wild taste out of deer?

  92. To those concerned about animal cruelty. If you have read this blog before, you should already know that Chris raises his own pigs hence the name of his farm “Three pig farm” if I remember correctly. He has talked about rabbit and deer hunting with his son and neighbors as well. In my opinion, as long as you are only taking what you need and are not killing and leaving to rot, you are doing no disservice to the animals. Most hunters have a heart and do not like to watch the animals suffer, so make the kill as quick and clean as possible. To kill an animal when there is already one dead and ready for you at the store is hard to understand for some people. To kill your own meat and have to clean and process it is alot more messy and time consuming, but worth it for those who care about animals and where their food comes from. When you purchase meat from the store you are voting with your dollars and supporting the mistreatment of farm animals, as well as the use of copious amounts of antibiotics and hormones that are unhealthy for the animal and also for you as you are consuming them in the meat. More antibiotics are used in meat animals in the united states (mainly for prevention which doesn’t work) than are used for humans. I don’t remember the figures but they are truly astonishing. In raising and hunting your own animals you are truly doing the best for the welfare of the animal and that of your family. We are in short supply of predatory animals here in the U.S. so deer and other prey animals overpopulate in the spring and summer and starve to death in winter. Hunting slims the population so this is not as much of a problem. If we allow repopulation of the wolves, bears (grizzly included), and big cats that used to take care of the prey population it would no longer be a problem. It was fear of becoming prey ourselves that created that problem, but that is another matter. What Chris is doing is keeping the old way alive for the next generation. In the case of natural disaster, guess who would survive? Just think what Pa Ingalls would think of all of this. Like it or not, we are all a product of hunting due to our ancestors. If they did not hunt, we wouldn’t be here. It makes me sad to see the dead deer, but I am glad he will be appreciated for his life and death. I live in Long Beach, California where it is illegal to even raise chickens in your backyard, but I would love to raise chickens and rabbits for meat if I could. They would be cared for with love, killed with dignity, and eaten with an appreciation for their life well lived. At least the deer was able to live a natural life in the wild, without human intervention until that fatal shot. At some point, my husband and I would like to move to the country, and at that point, we will probably hunt.

  93. I’m really distressed by the negative comments regarding Chris’ hunt. People have just become so disconnected with where their food comes from. Read “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” for a great commentary on this subject. And Chris, please continue with your delightful stories of life in Vermont and yes, recipes for game meat please!!!! We have lots of elk to use in our household!!

  94. Great pics Chris-Eat more deer!

  95. Jesus, Kimball, surprised you were not shot! Wear some orange for goodness sake. Oh well, I suppose there are many heirs for the publishing empire.

    Enjoy your bounty

    • I usually wear a nice 8-point rack on my head as well and hang out in deep cover! I do usually wear orange but since I shot this one without a bright color, am starting to think that deer see colors well! And, you are right, one of my kids can step in — Charlie even wears a bowtie once in a while.

  96. I don’t know what the people who wrote accusing you of some horrible act are eating these days that doesn’t inflict pain and death on other creatures. Even strict vegans must hold themselves responsible for the death of countless insects and lower life forms that are necessarily killed in the process of everyday farming. Why is it that only soft, brown-eyed creatures like deer and elk elicit such response from people, while it is evidently acceptable to kill chickens, fish, pill bugs, and nematodes, etc.? Life is life; and there will always remain a close connection between death and dinner. The complainers probably have not paid much attention to the concentration camp conditions in which most domestic animals are ‘finished’ or they might see some wisdom in harvesting game in as nearly a fear-free environment as probably exists. Until people develop the capacity to get their nutrients by munching on grass (even then some insect life is bound to perish), we will have to utilize animals in the process of converting the energy of sunlight into a form that we can access. Providing all living creatures with the best life and death is the best we can hope for in this world.
    Having just spent two days dressing out a big elk, I would love to see some recipes for game, pheasants, etc. Thanks for your publications and your great letter from Vermont.

  97. Congrats Chris on the buck and the nice clean kill! My husband and I have not been lucky enough yet this year to get a deer, but have seen a few out of shooting range. Still have a couple of days to hunt yet. Blaze Orange required here! While others may not appreciated your letter,I enjoyed reading it. Love watching Americas Test Kitchens on PBS!
    We live on a farm in southern Illinois and have raised and processed our own pork,chicken,turkey,and beef with the help of our children. At an early age they learn where their food comes from and makes them appreciate it that much more. We also have a large vegetable garden which they help with from planting to table. Many people just don’t realize where their food comes from and how many preservatives and other things there are in it. My neighbor insists on using our farm fresh eggs in her holiday baking and says that the store eggs just don’t compare. Keep up the great work and good luck with the rest of your hunting. I look forward to hearing more even if others don’t.

  98. I have, since introduced by my mother, enjoyed the TV show, magazine, and website subscription. As my freezers are always well stocked with game my children and I harvest, the Cooks resources provide ideas for getting the most from my precious meat. Now knowing Chris shares at least two of my passions, preparing great food and hunting, I feel even more connected to Cooks.

    Thank you for sharing your story…hum, wonder if any of the meat will find its way onto an episode.

  99. Thank you for porting these great pictures and exciting letter about your hunt. I am married to a hunter and am a recovering vegetarian, lol. While I don’t necessarily want to go hunting with him, I am happy when he gets something (which is not that easy to do) because I know my children will be eating pure ORGANIC meat for several months. I cannot for the life of me understand this double standard when it comes to hunting-people want humanely raised meat, but somehow hunting is barbaric.

    I can guarantee that if they saw pictures of cattle being raised in a disgusting feedlot and then slaughtered, they would be even more put off, but the food industry keeps those images quite hidden. I would choose to be that deer you shot over one of the feedlot raised cows any day!

  100. Chris,

    I really enjoyed your letter and the photos. I can’t visit the “wild” very often and miss that aspect of life I enjoyed growing up. Congratulations on your successful hunt! My dad hunted meat for our family so I know the value of those meals. Thanks for taking me back to a simpler time.

  101. When I lived in western Colorado, hunter safety courses were required in fifth or sixth grade. We all learned how to safely shoot a rifle and hunt respectfully of animals and humans. With fewer and fewer natural predators, the deer population would grow out of control if it weren’t for limited harvesting by means of hunting. The state carefully controlled the number of deer licenses that were sold, and you could only get a doe license by a type of lottery. So you were left hunting the bucks, which were not easy to find. Sometimes you didn’t get anything and had to wait until the next year. There was no mass slaughter of animals. If you did get one, you usually took it to a place where they processed all the meat for you and you took home packages and packages and put them into your freezer. For many years we ate deer and elk instead of beef, until we left that part of the country. That all has to seem very odd to people from other areas, but that is healthy, organically grown, grass-fed meat! Take care.

  102. Thank you for sharing your hunting trip with everyone!

    For those of you who were offended by this please remember you CHOSE to look at the blog and you CHOSE to see what happened even after seeing the title (Vermont Hunting Season 2010) but yet you are offended by it. Seriously? Get over yourselves. I’ve been watching all the shows for quite some time now and have subscribed to emails for several years and can remember reading about or hearing about hunting numerous times over the years. It’s nothing new. I promise. Don’t act surprised or shocked about this.

    Our ancestors were hunters and trappers. It’s very well documented in history. Many barely survived by this means because maybe they had a terrible crop that year and had to hunt for food just to make it through the winter. Much of what you find in the supermarkets (Whole Foods included) is PROCESSED in some way or another. Hunting for ones food is as close to “natural” food as you’re going to get. My brother in law, nephew, niece and my late brother all used to hunt. Deer, squirrel, groundhog, rabbit, etc were all common foods in their homes (and still are to some extent today). I’ve never hunted but can respect those who do because they do not do it for the thrill. To many hunters it’s the being out in nature they find serene. You have to use ALL your sense, something many of us don’t get to use on a day-to-day basis.

    Just because you choose NOT to hunt because you think it’s “inhumane” doesn’t really give you the right to berate those who choose TO hunt. Would you want someone to come to your house and berate you for things they don’t believe in? Probably not. You’d most likely run them off. Think before you speak. If something offends you there’s always another choice–DON’T LOOK AT IT.

  103. What disappoints me about mr. bowtie is his company’s aggressive selling practices. Whenever I buy a cook’s illustrated book, I then get more books they think I would like. That’s pretty slimy, if you ask me.

    • Grandma T – You must think that ATK is family because they’re so folksy. They’re not. They are in business, and it’s good business to seel to people who have already bought from you.

  104. Hi Chris,
    Thanks for sharing your adventures with us, always well done.

  105. Chris, good to know you like the outdoor life.Please let us know how you prepare your game meat, and what other ingredients you add to meat i.e. pork,ground beef.

  106. So many opinions about hunting, but Chris opened the bag on this himself. Certainly most of us, not all, but most, that eat meat wish to enjoy the meal, and wouldn’t go to the slaughter house. Perhaps, if Chris believes that we should be aware of where our food comes from, they could have a show featuring, the killing, hiding, and processing shown. It may create a few vegetarians, and probably spell an end to the Test Kitchen shows. The fact that so many found it in poor taste probably means it is a facet of informaion best not shared. As for those of you saying you “can’t imagine Chris” doing, saying or what ever, get over your celebrity worship, you only know the TV guy, not the man. He is what he is to different people, and his audience does not see a multi dimensional person, just a persona. Enjoy the show and the personalities presented on it, don’t think that means they will be joining you for dinner and drinks soon.

    • If we quit “sharing” everything that someone, ANYONE, objected to, we might as well throw our PCs out the window. That’s the problem in America today – a few people object to something and the rest of the nation is expected to bow to that whim. i.e. let’s remove “Under God” from the pledge of allegiance because one dad found it offensive. Oy!

      If it offends you – don’t read it, don’t say it, don’t look at it! That’s your right. My right is to write it, say it, publish it!

  107. Love your letters, Thank you.
    First year my son and grandson weren’t here to go hunting. They now live in other states and I miss there stories. But my daughter’s fiance got two. They were hit my cars and he was allowed to take them. So good eating will be had by all.

  108. Hi Chris– great story- loved the pics!!

  109. I would expect that you knew this would happen when you posted pictures of your hunting success. The internet is full of kneejerk anti-hunting people who cannot be reached by reason. It’s the same kind of people who support feral cat trap-neuter-release programs, even though the neutered cats still happily consume entire populations of endangered songbirds.

    But there are also people who are capable of having a dialogue about this, and I’m glad that you have put this post out there as an opportunity for debate. I just hope you have a thick skin. 🙂

    BTW, as a wildlife ecologist and omnivore, I totally support responsible culling of a species that is well over its carrying capacity.

  110. PS To the people saying that the anti-hunting folks just shouldn’t look at the post. That’s like saying if you don’t like murder, don’t look when we do it. I disagree with them that it’s murder (or even bad), but that is not a reasonable response. If you want to change opinions, it’s better to recognize, respect and respond to the actual concerns. So for example the posts that discuss what happens to deer when the population has gone over carrying capacity – hit by cars, dying slowly and painfully of eg chronic wasting disease, wiping out other native species – are more likely to reach people on the fence.

  111. Congratulations on your responsible kill. It is our heritage in this country.

    And no Native Americans I’ve ever met talked about a vegetarian culture. They thanked the spirit of the creature and were grateful. I thank the meat I eat and the Creator who provided it, even when it was store-bought…though now I buy only pasture raised.

    When folks are out of touch with life as it is in the real world, they make decisions made on the imaginary one.

    We see the results of the “Bambi” generation takeover, when children were separated from real life, and lived in the television and movie buffered artificiality of civilization.

    What do these folks think happens to animals when mankind “advances”?

    New roads? Animals with guts squashed all over the road in a bloody streak as rubber takes them out…or starve as their range is taken over. I’ve managed to save a few. But where can they go? People are everywhere, “chewing up the range”.

    Do you live in a new development? How many animals do you think died a cruel death…unseen…before you moved in? Do you know that a male Cardinal sets his boundary and starves behind those “invisible walls” when the land is cleared?

    Do you eat grains and vegetables? What do you think the chemical fertilizers and pesticides do to animals it touches? This stuff is also killing the microorganisms in our soil and leaving farms abandoned because the land can no longer be mined. They are dead to even weeds.

    Do you use a toilet? Where does your end product go?

    Do you use plastic? Know about the Dead Zone in the Gulf with lots of plastic bags killing sea creatures and the Ocean that gives forth oxygen we need to breathe?

    Use a gas powered vehicle to go anywhere? Airplane? Electric that sometimes kills birds who use the lines to roost? Cellphone? TV? Computer? MP3 player? The list goes on and on.

    Do you read National Geographic? My father insisted that we did. He was a hunter and fisher. My sons are hunters and fishers, and we need that meat to survive the economic times. What will you do if our civilized world collapses? Eat the well manicured lawns with all their toxins?

    If you are a “civilized” human, no matter what you do you are killing animals. Usually in a very cruel manner. It is a product of humanity.

    And unless the complainers are willing to shrink their “footprint” on the Earth to an area they just stand in, they are as cruel and bloody as they claim hunters are…they just can’t see their invisible slaughter.

    • Great comment, Priscilla.

  112. Thanks for sharing your emails and blog posts with my family.we really like seeing the photos from your part of the country.I personally don’t hunt but have two sons that do.My youngest just turned 14 years old and has limited out each year since he was 10 years old.We usually take the field dressed deer to a local meat company to have it processed for our use.I hate to go off topic any more but could I get more information about your new wood cook stove?The one we are using is 20 years old and we are thinking about a new one.

  113. Holy Cow! and Oh Deer!
    What a firestorm rageth here
    To avoid such awful distress
    At “see the photo” do not press!

  114. What’s next? Shall we prepare ourselves for an email about how Chris sharpened the edge of his grandfather’s ax, picked up a turkey, tucked it under his arm, walked it over to a tree trunk, how he stretched out its neck on the block, then raised his ax … because there are morons who receive the ATK emails who allegedly need to be educated about ‘where their food comes from’?

    Give me a break.

    The details re: hunting have nothing to do with ATK.

    • Why not? Everyone swoons at foodie seminars about “local sourcing” and “slow food” and when one mentions hunting or raising animals for meat, folks head for the doors. Drives me nuts. I am happy to start this discussion so Americans can stop acting like children when it comes to their food supply. Everyone should have to witness a feedlot and slaughterhouse at work (then tell me how much you like to buy meat at the supermarket!). My deer hunting photos will seem like kid’s stuff by comparison. And where our food comes from DOES have something to do with ATK! It may have everything to do with it.

      • If where our food comes from has everything to do with ATK, why haven’t we seen you shooting animals from up in a tree on the TV show?

        I also don’t recall any TV shows that opened with you on the front porch stretching out a turkey’s neck across a block, and then, in front of a camera, you whacking off its head.

        Have I been watching another show?

        BTW – I never said I had anything against responsible hunting. I have just maintained your gratuitous display and all the joy you received from killing that animal is, I believe, in very bad taste for a newsletter that doesn’t just go out to hunters and livestock farmers.

        I’ve certainly never seen Martha (who lives on a farm) or any of the other cooking show hosts butchering live animals for all the viewers to see.

      • Allison, Martha’s “farm” replete with miniature sicilian donkeys? It’s a tax write-off/marketing ploy.
        Clue: “Stables” vs. Barn. “Miniature donkeys” vs. Polled Herefords.

        She won’t be making “Donkey Confit” anytime soon.

        Now before you say: “You don’t know…”

        I grew up there. Lived-and-worked in that town.
        There are, or were, a few real farms, mostly for breed-stock in the area.

        But to call Martha’s venture a “Farm” is like calling Donald Trumph’s yacht a “Ferry”.

  115. The people that are complaining about Chris shooting the deer, You need to visit a feed lot or slaughter house where your beef and pork come from. In feed lots the animals are so crammed together that they can’t really move around much.I have seen a feed lot and you need a clothespin for your nose since the stench is so bad. Slaughter houses are just as bad. Animals that are hurt laying around and the abuse these animals take before they die to go on your plate. Do some research on it. Its so sad. But Chris kills humanly and he uses the whole deer. If we didn’t have hunters the animals would be so over populated and dieing of starvation. People here need to hunt to stay alive. Some others here will shoot the deer to give to the needy people so they can make it through the winter. We even have food banks that will take the deer for the people. I think that’s so wonderful. Chris I think its wonderful that you shoot the deer and use the whole thing. I love seeing all the things you do. Keep up the great work.

  116. Chris;) Congrats on the buck, he’s a beauty. What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday. My Dad made me understand, years ago, that watching the sun come up while at the watch was worth missing a Sunday in church every time, and when you knock down a deer on that morning…..bonus !!! Thanks for the “Tart Tatin” recipe it was a hit at the hunt camp.

    p.s. I’m a member of P.E.T.A. People Eating Tasty Animals

  117. What a handsome buck, congratulations! I only wish my husband had the same luck. Maybe next year…
    and to those who do not appreciate how much work hunting takes and the deliciousness of meals that are made from wild game, then skip this blog. I agree with Anne, if you don’t like where the post “is going” then don’t read it. Slaughterhouses and feed lots are far worse, and have you taken a good look at how chickens are raised commercially? You wouldn’t be fond of chicken if you saw.

  118. Wow. Some of these attacks are just getting out of hand. I’m all for the hunting pictures – as I stated in my earlier post – but the personal attacks are not cool. It would be great if folks would stop the name-calling. Also, some of the ones who are so adamantly against hunting apparently have nothing against belligerence… so you’re kind of acting like what you say you hate.

    Anyway, GREAT blog post Chris! I saw nothing sadistic, disgusting, or even pathetic about it. Also, the picture, itself, was not “messy” at all – so nothing there to turn off the appetite.

    Again, thanks Chris for an honest blog post.(Pardon my familiarity and don’t worry, just because I use your first name doesn’t mean I’m expecting you for drinks!)

    • I like Old Fashioneds (three drops bitters but hold the cherries)!

  119. “I see you Brother, and I thank you. Your spirit goes with Eywa, your body stays behind to become part of the People.”

  120. Chris,

    I love the newsletters and I enjoy the show and the website. I live vicariously through you with I must say a certain amount of envy. I live in South Florida and there is not much to hunt here and if you could hunt you would expire from heat stroke while sitting in a palmtree stand awaiting a kill. Looking at your pictures you can almost feel the chill in the air and smell the fresh air. Don’t stop publishing and sharing your hunting pictures with us. You must go fishing too and I would certainly enjoy seeing where you fish and the fish that you catch. Thanks for sharing.

  121. Wow! Given the level of response to a simple story about a successful deer harvest, maybe it is time for you to post pictures of a hog-killing, followed by a pictorial on dressing, skinning and cutting up the carcass. It is easy to see that some people need a little reality injected into their fantasies about the food chain and how it works!

    • Agreed! My kids have watched killing hogs, dressing them out, skinning them, and getting them ready for the butcher (it was their choice, not ours, about the viewing). They are much better off for the experience since now they can make up their own minds about eating meat or not. (They all do eat meat, by the way.) I would vastly prefer to eat meat raised on our farm or hunted in the woods. Not only healthier but, somehow, it seems more humane to me if one can use that term regarding eating an animal! It beats buying hamburger at the supermarket.

      • Chris – Well said. Both my daughters have their hunting licenses, and everything in our 17 cf freezer (beef, fish, ducks, geese, pheasants, pork) we saw while it was alive, including the steer. We stopped buying beef at the store because we feel it’s healthier and more humane to contract with a rancher to buy their grass fed beed. It’s a lot more work, because you have to arrange for it to be killed, cleaned, and hauled to the butcher. Then you pay for the butchering, and you have to pick it up ( a 1200 pound steer will provide about 450 to 500 pounds of wrapped beef), and have a freezer big enough to store it. That said, it’s worth it. Our grass-fed, aged Black Angus beef runs less that $5 a pound “all in”.

        And the value of having your kids know where there food comes from? Priceless!

        BTW, out here we would call your buck a “4 pointer” or “4×3”. You Easterners crack me up. 🙂

  122. I personally could not shoot an animal. Here in North Georgia where I live you can see carcasses on the side of country roads where people have killed deer and cut off only the head and left the whole carcass just laying there. If people want to hunt and use the meat go for it.

    • Everyone in Vermont uses the meat. In fact my neighbor, Tom, took half of the venison and has already had more than one dinner with it. People in my part of the world still depend on wild game to feed the family. It is not a luxury.

    • Sometimes in Ar. Road kill is left. Most times the person that hit the deer will take it home if possible.
      Also if they have a good rack it will be taken. Hunting from a vehicle is illegal in most states anyway. I am not a hunter but my sister is. I love wild meat. I can’t get it in the stores here.
      If you do not like the way we prepare our meat maybe you should watch Andrew Zimmerman. He shows all kinds of food abroad and lots of countries do not kill the creatures but cook them alive. Try it. Wild animals are killed more humanly than slaughter houses are.
      Enjoy your next steak… I like mine med rare.

    • Suzi – There are idiots everywhere. I’m a hunter, and think that morons like that should be prosecuted on the grounds of being excessively stupid.

    • Suzi, you might be seeing deer which have been killed by cars where the head was later removed by passers by for the antlers.

  123. Chris,
    I enjoyed your blog about your deer hunt. As the daughter, neice, grand-daughter, and great-grand-daughter of South Texas ranchers I have grown up aware of where meat comes from. I grew up(starting at age 7-years-old)hand feeding and caring for the first bull that my father told my cousin and I: “He is yours to feed and take care of”. My cousins and I grew up attending our family’s yearly round-up and sale of animals to the cattle buyers who worked for the slaughter house. We learned early that our animals were being raised to one day be processed into meat(hamburger, steaks, roasts, ribs, tripas(tripe), leather(like our boots,saddles,coats),and any other objects made from bones(fertilizer). During the South Texas deer hunting season, atleast a deer or two was hunted and divided up between my dad and my aunt and uncle and used to feed everyone. I agree with hunting as long as you use your catch as food and not as something one takes pleasure in killing. Keep up the great work on America’s Test Kitchen. I really enjoy your show.
    Rebecca Elisa Watson

  124. Love all the photos you include with your newsletter. I would also love to see a photo of your new wood stove; one with the brand name clearly visible!! Thanks for all the wonderful recipes. And, to have at my beck and call all that wonderful maple syrup!

  125. You might have just killed someone’s mom or dad I think hunting is cruel and terrible.

    • True but lots of deer die a cruel death over the winter because of overpopulation and a meager food supply. That is why states regulate hunts to manage the population. Also, a buck, like the one I shot, is not a family man at that point — they are out on their own. I would not shoot a doe for that reason, especially one that still has fawns. Have had plenty of chances but have never taken them.

  126. Hunting is terrble you might have killed some one’s mom or dad.

  127. Chris,
    Thank you for sharing your hunting success. One of the things that I find the most enjoyable about your “personal blog” is that you share all of the experiences that are part of living on a family farm where you grow, raise and usually hunt for your food.
    I find it sad that an inexperienced group of individuals who are so completely disconnected from the reality surrounding the origins of their food can vilify those who live and understand the reality.
    Myself personally have decided to have a no kill farm. I will only hunt for my meat. I believe that it is far more respectful to hunt for an animal who is conscious of the fact that it is being hunted and might be killed and eaten as compared to an animal who is raised to come and expect, depend and trust someone to feed, shelter and protect it from predators and then to have that provider suddenly and unexpectedly kill it.

  128. I am a hunter with a positive attitude. I have a fire and feed the birds from my ground stand. If a deer comes and taps me on the shoulder I might shoot with the gun or the camera depends on my mood at the time. However, I was looking for canning recipes and ended up on the USDA site. Please Chris, you can do a lot better than that. My aunt used to can all varieties of meat but none of her kids remember how she did it. I think it “kept” a lot better in the jar than wrapped and placed in a freezer.
    Please Chris, some “updated” canning recipes. LLL

  129. Dear Chris,
    I must admit I had a little twinge of regret when you described yourself in the tree with a gun, but I do understand. When I was little and my father was alive, he hunted deer and we ate it. He also went spearfishing and we ate the fish he caught. He didn’t use extra oxygen,either. He thought it was unfair to the fish! Or maybe he just said that.
    Anyway, I buy meat that has been grown on farms that practice whatever gentle killing methods I guess they have. I don’t like the idea of animals being tortured for human consumption, but I do love a good steak. What can I do.
    I have learned a great deal through this interaction.Thank you all.

  130. Always enjoy your letters and stories. Congratulations on a successful hunt. Nice buck. Well-prepared game meat, especially venison, is hard to beat.

  131. Nice buck, Christopher! The majority of our ‘burger’ and ‘sausage’ is home made out of venison. We enjoy the healthier, lean meats, as well as the experience of processing the meat together.

  132. Chris,
    Love the show, the magazine, the letters from Vermont. Appreciate that you eat what you shoot. And how fortunate that you don’t HAVE to shoot what you eat—you choose to do so. That’s why, in my thinking, there’s a teensy bit of: Is it really sporting to use a 3X scope?
    In spite of that, I’m still a huge fan and hope you live long and prosper.

    • Well, I leave the scope at 1X unless I see a deer. You need the magnification to see that they have at least three points (otherwise a buck is not legal). Checking out antlers at 100 yards or more without a scope is pretty hard to do. Also, this deer was taken at about that distance and you want to be as accurate as possible for a clean kill. It ain’t very sporting to shoot a deer, or anything else for that matter, in the rear end because you can’t see it from a distance! An accurate shot is a safe, kind shot.

  133. Beautiful Buck Chris! @ any of the people who are contributing to this nonsense of ‘it is so inhumane to hunt’; where do you think your food comes from? Honestly, it is more humane to kill an animal with a bullet than to get it from a slaughter house. Nowadays, animals in slaughterhouses are infested with disease because they live ankle deep in their own waste, eat feed that is filled with chemicals that biologically alter them to contain more edible meat, and many never see the light of day. Take chickens, for example, they are engineered to have more white meat and breast meat. They are given so many hormones that a five month old chicken of today is comparable to a nine month old chicken of the 1970s. Many of them cannot even walk because they are completely incapable of movement, they die because their internal organs give out from their increased production. You should all watch the movie, ‘Food Inc.’, as it will inform you of the reality of where your food comes from. I am a Sophomore in High School and I firmly believe that it is more important to be educated in matters of controversy and then form your opinion rather than to simply spew random curses on someone for what they do in their personal lives. Nobody cares that you find an instantaneous death by a bullet more inhumane to death by having your head twisted off. No death for an animal for food is going to ever be “humane”, death never is “humane” it is that simple. If you want your food from a humane death, wait until it is dead from old age and has no edible meat; that’s your choice, for the rest of the world that need’s to eat food to survive, we will stick to having it killed by a bullet like it has been for a few hundred years.

  134. It always amazes me how people can be in such denial of where their food comes from. When my children were young we raised a pig each year on a friends farm closeby. My children got to go feed the pigs, and my friend’s beef cattle. We made sure that the boys knew that those animals were being raised to become our food for the winter and named the pigs each year — Pork Chop, Bacon and Ribs are three that I remember.

    I also hunt and to me it is just part of life knowing where your food comes from and that you are responsible for the death of an animal so that you might live. I enjoy hunting, but I have never enjoyed killing an animal and as a matter of fact it always makes me a bit sad. Just as sad as I was when the day came each October to slaughter our pig.I sit here typing this just around the corner from our freezer in the basement which is full of moose and venison. My family knows where their food comes from. I have more game tags to fill, but enough is enough and we need no more than what we have. We will spend the next many months doing moose steaks on the grill, savoring Belgian beer and venison stew and perhaps a cassoulet or two, all with game we have harvested humanely,honestly and humbly. To cook any of it thoughtlessly would be a crime.

  135. Most Excellent Sir!

    I’ve watched America’s Test Kitchen off and on for a while and I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, but never in a million years would I have taken you as a Hunter.

    Congratulations on harvesting some of natures’ finest.

    Please pay no attention to those who give you grief about your hunting.

    I sure our forefathers didn’t settled this Great country living on bean sprouts and hummus. Keep up the good work.

    • Well, in Vermont, if you didn’t eat meat, very few people would have made it to springtime since meat and potatoes is about all the grows there with the lousy soil and long winters. I think that one’s politics changes when one gets really, really hungry. All of a sudden, that cute bunny rabbit starts to look a lot like dinner! In our town, lots of people still depend on game for dinner, for getting through the winter. All the best.

    • I am neither a vegetarian nor a sentimentalist but I am sick to death of hunters. I grew up on 7,000 acres plus or minus (we had a river border) and hunters were the bane of our existence. My hunter father shared the sentiments I’m seeing and he allowed it and we suffered for it. Gates that should have been left open were closed and and gates that were kept closed would be opened. Dead livestock and damaged farm equipment. We had to follow all blood trails on the possibility of ending the suffering of whatever some “hunter” was too lazy or stupid to track. I encountered trophy pronghorn and bighorn about once a month and I have the marksmanship to easily have killed one quickly and cleanly from outside the flight radius. It wouldn’t have been a particular “sport” – just being outdoors all day. You can look upon an urban metropolis as being “natural” I suppose. Just about as “natural” as a Remington 700 with a 3-9 40 Scope. If your hunting old, lame Alaskan brown bear with a 6 inch knife – call me. If you’re picking off prime “Trophy Bucks” at 600 yards then leave evolution alone. We left hunting/gathering behind 50,000 years ago. Dad’s gone. So are the hunters. I don’t miss ’em.

      • Stupidity abounds in all fields, not just the coddled, protected and probably misguided children of the urban wastelands. Too many “hunters” of the weekend variety attempting to rekindle their connection to nature do at times seem to forget the common courtesy and consideration for the farmer or rancher who graciously allows others to hunt on their land. The old basic rules of “If you open it, then close it behind you”, and “Leave the gate the way you found it” seem to have been lost to a generation of people that do not make their living from the land. But, as I am sure you will have noticed on this blog, there are those that do apparently care and think about how heavily they tread in pursuit of “game”.

        On the other hand, there are still many who in being allowed that privilege, need to learn to appreciate the relationship between the food they harvest from another’s land and the land itself that the caretaker husbands, whether as farmland, rangeland or whatever. Sometimes they need to be reminded to respect that relationship, and the very hard work that kind of a life demands. Dead or lost livestock is a serious financial penalty for the kindness of allowing others to hunt your land. Taking potshots at a piece of machinery awaiting it’s turn can completely ruin a harvest if the timing is bad and is a costly repair in man hours and/or money at the best of times. It should go without saying that one shouldn’t do this kind of thing, but I’ve seen it happen, and it’s caused great hunting properties to be closed off. The answer for my grandfather was to charge for hunting on the ranch in order to cover the cost of the vaquero or cowboy who would “escort” and guide the hunt. The money always went to the “guide” (who worked for him anyway), and was sort of a bonus (they didn’t and still don’t get paid all that much), and they kept the client from killing the livestock without paying for the loss and from shooting the equipment because they didn’t want to have to fix it.

        So your sentiments are completely understood. And I do firmly believe that for the most part, those hunters who visit this forum (due to the nature of the blog in the first place), represent a group of responsible people that wouldn’t have caused the kinds of issues you mentioned in the first place.

  136. Congratulations on that fine buck, Mr. Kimball, and congratulations on your successful show. My wife and I never miss it on PBS. We have Idaho Mule deer and elk meat in our freezer now, and have a couple of antelope steaks left from a late summer hunt which will be cooked soon. (We cook it somewhat like fine veal would be cooked.)

    When you can find the time, you should come out here to the Wild & Wooly West and hunt elk. Elk meat is scrumptious!

    Pay no attention to the know-nothing metrosexuals who would starve were it to ever come to a point that the beef trees, hog trees, lamb trees, chicken trees, and fish trees out behind their supermarkets, were to suddently go dry.

    Trying to reason with the anti-hunters is just as productive as going out in the pasture and arguing with a stump.

    Keep up the great shows and best of luck in Vermont’s deer hunt season next Fall.

    (By the way… Browning Lever Action, a great hunting rifle. .308 Win.??)


    • Actually, my favorite rifle of all time was my 32 special, open sights. Great for hunting in the woods but converted over to the 308 with a scope two years ago. Yes, it is a Browning lever action.

    • I’ll second Bill on the Elk – when I was a kid my Mom battered Elk and deep fried it. Not the healthiest but it sure was delicious!

      I’d take a deer from the woods any day over a cow or pig slaughtered in an industrial farm. Same concept as buying local fruits and vegetables.

  137. Great buck! I shoot only does they eat better! In the south we are over run by them. A friend saw 53 does in one day last weekend while hunting. I too would like to see a series on wild game cooking.
    I am interested in the canning mentioned in some of these e-mails. I never though of canning deer?
    If you need a great recipe for deer shoulder, I have one to share.

  138. On a similar vein,my friend in Ft. McMurray Alberta bagged a moose this year.I live in Calgary and he brought me down a chunk of it.I used the “Carbonnade a la Flamande” recipe from your book and it turned out perfect.He is bringing me some deer before Xmas.I will try the recipe on venison as well.

  139. Katherine, the use of a low powered scope enables the hunter to better identify his target and prevents accidental shootings. I don’t like to hunt around people using iron sights!

  140. Isn’t it absolutely fantastic that we live in a country of varied opinions like this and nobody goes to jail for giving their two cents?
    Long live America! =)

  141. We are a pretty sanitized lot these days. We don’t want to know (and fortunately for many, don’t need to know) what it takes to put dinner on our table, clothes on our back or (real) soap in our shower. I live in an a rural area where the deer and rabbits have no natural predators. The vegetarians are desperate because their gardens are overrun by starving Bambis and Thumpers. A dilemma to be sure and blessed are the fence builders for they shall be offered some of the harvest.
    I didn’t grow up with wild meat and I admit I don’t care for the taste of venison but I am fortunate to live near a bison ranch and I can get all the delicious pasture raised bison I want. And I have no illusions about how it is the bison make it from the field to my freezer, but again, I’m fortunate to live in an area that supports a small, family run abattoir. And this city girl has actually gone there and seen that. And, while one might wish there were meat trees or high quality protein bushes, humanity has ever been sustained by animals who gave their all for us. My personal belief is that trophy hunting and waste of any sort is more than distasteful – it is immoral in a world that, increasingly, is struggling to feed itself. Kudos to those who understand the food chain and use it with respect. And kudos also to Christopher Kimball – who surely knew the debate would rage when he posted the pix and wrote the story – for initiating a conversation.

    • Thanks

  142. Hi Chris,
    Lots of debate about hunting I see.
    Please don’t let the anti-hunting lobby influence your TV show or Blog content in the future. We listen to the vocal minority too often. The earth in NOT flat, aliens do NOT live among us, and deer in the forest do NOT talk to rabbits named Thumper.

    P.S. – Why is it that nobody gets upset about fishing?

    • Fish are not cute, do not have fur, and nobody made a cartoon about a talking fish whose Daddy got shot by a hunter (okay, there was that Finding Nemo and there were fisherman and…). It all goes back to Bugs Bunny and Bambi — Walt Disney made this mess and now they own PIXAR too! Hmmm…

  143. Hi Chris … I’m sure you are well aware it takes a steadfast cook with a mischievous grin to stir the proverbial pot. You have done so, and created mostly great aromas and raised a little stink. Alas, deer season is over, snow is on the ground and it’s time for more brisk winter pursuits. So let’s break out the snow shoes and try our hand at grouse hunting ( only)
    or pray for a real cold snap and auger a few holes in the lake ice ! As I see the thermometer is at -7c, this afternoon I’m going to tackle “Poached Pear in Almond Tart” …..K. Stout, Gore’s Landing

  144. Love to watch ATK I have always loved to cook for my family but now I love to cook for others.I am just a country girl, just this summer we bought three hens and every morning and evening I feel like it is easter when I go to feed them and gather eggs. They taste so much better than store bought. Is it normal for them to slow down with their egg laying during cold weather. The highs have been in the thirties [bama girl].

    • Yes, during the winter egg production goes way down. If you leave a light on in the henhouse, that usually increases production or a red heat lamp as well. Don’t know why everyone doesn’t get hens since they are cheap and easy to keep and the eggs are a million times (or so) better.

  145. Just finished reading your blog. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this a personnel blog about what YOU do? Why shouldn’t you post about you hunting success. I did not find it done distatefully at all. And you should be able to smile about it, it took 2 days and a lot of hard work to get.
    No, I’m not a hunter. My husband, sons and father are. And it is always a joy when they come back with something new. They do not get a deer every year. They will only kill bucks. We also raise our own beef.
    I live in eastern TN, and we have a lot of deer here also. Too many now. Had 3 cross in front of us on the highway this past SAT evening. Almost jumped into the front end of our car. Second 1 almost got the car behind us. Traffic on the other side almost didn’t get stopped. Last winter, the hood and windsheild of my sons car was taken out twice within 1 month by deer that jumped on them while crossing the road at night. Like every thing else in life, there is good and bad ways to do it.
    By the way CONGRATS on the 7 point, nice one. Would also like some recipes for venison.

  146. I am from the north of México and would love to share game recipes, especially venison. We make tamales and venison with chile de color (red dry chile). I have a cookbook collection that includes old recipes. I love to cook and to learn new recipes. I have enjoyed deeply all the reactions that the hunting game has provoqued. I just can say that TOLERANCE AND RESPECT are the keys to pacific convivence.

  147. I call my husband a “two legged predator” as a joke because he is a hunter. He is a very responsible hunter and makes sure that he has a sure shot every time. He doesn’t take risks when hunting. Two of my 3 sons are hunters also. He makes them take the Hunters Safety Course first- my oldest took it at age 8! Our guns are locked up in a Fort Knox safe and the ammo is kept separately locked up also. Safety is always foremost. He does not hunt for the largest “rack” of antlers. The states DNR (dept of natural rescources) decides each year how many deer of each sex need to be offered up for hunters to insure that the population stays healthy. There aren’t the 4 legged predators around to “cull” the herds any more. They did that to the weakest, oldest, and injured. SO even the trophy hunters that ARE out there for the biggest set of antlers that they can find are helping because they are found on the OLDEST male deers!
    If you are so concerned about the hunting being so gross, why don’t you look at the web site listed at the top of the videos of the processing of the meat that you buy from the grocery stores! It isn’t very nice at all and we never give it a thought. Even the eggs that we buy aren’t laid under humane conditions!
    Unless you buy directly from a farmer that you know who raises “free range” chickens and eggs, grass fed organic cattle, don’t complain. But even the cattle have to be loaded onto a truck and taken to the butcher and are probably scared out of their minds on that unusual trip before they are killed-hopefully humanely. I’m sure that the wildlife that are killed by a hunter die a much more humane death and have enjoyed their FREE life. Try to think about that. Look at the videos. Maybe you will become vegetarian!
    But beware on the roads for those deer. I hope that you never are in an accident with one. I feel sorry for those deer who are injured and have to die a slow death. I have also taken care of a woman who had to have facial reconstruction due to a deer coming through the windshield of her car in the accident. she also had many other injuries and was airlifted to a university hospital.
    My niece also used to think it was horrid that my husband killed “bambi”. She changed he mind at age 22 when she had to drive the country roads at night in northern Wisconsin from a job. She had many near misses on the road and could see that he provides a service to all who drive by hunting.
    The hunters are proud at the time of the photo. They are harvesting for food and may be getting the added bonus of antlers if they chose. They are not just harvesting the antlers or head and antlers and leaving the body. Even the hunters who do, give the meat away to someone else to eat. Do you know how your beef,pork,chicken,fish or eggs were raised and killed? Really think about it….don’t complain unless you are a vegan then……but watch over your veggies because they may get eaten or be contaminated by pesticides or be from geniticly modified seeds!!

  148. Dear Chris,
    Just had to jump in fray here since I also was somewhat taken aback by your hunting pride. While I personally don’t approved of hunting, I guess for some people out in the hinterlands, it’s somewhat necessary since the local supermarket isn’t exactly around the corner, walking distance. I won’t ever do it myself though. I’d rather grow, harvest and eat only veggies before killing an animal myself.
    But as an unrepentant omnivore, I also know exactly where my meat foods come from: feedlots; and I’m not at all happy about that.
    Even as a child I never was under any illusion where meat products originate. But I too don’t “get” hunter’s smiley faces in photos taken with their kill.
    Taking the life of any living creature, is a serious act not to be taken lightly, at least in MVHO. That’s why some native americans prayed and gave thanks to the animals they killed, for giving up their lives to feed the people. I believe you can be glad you have food to eat without being all smiley about it. I don’t get all smiley when I leave the market (especially after reading my receipt total). But, whatever…this is just my two cents anyway.
    Still love you, still love the show and I won’t stop reading the blogs, no matter what, so just keep ’em a comin’ (especially anything about your horses…I have one too).

    • I have seen many a native w/a huge grin after harvesting or hunting. A smile can be full of reverence for the creator and the creature given for sustenance.

    • Dana,

      My advice to you and other “squeamish” Americans who despise the thought of mankind consuming animals is to go move into a bubble house where you can grow your own indoor organic food and not be bothered with the realities of modern civilization. A modern civilization which still deals with certain aspects of life that previous civilizations have had to do in order to survice: hunt and fish for food.

      Reading comments from people like you makes me thankful that we had (and continue to have) red-blooded Americans who built this great nation up from hardships and survival struggles. Because as God as my witness, we never would have made it eating tofu and nothing but vegetables.

      • ” Americans who despise the thought of mankind consuming animals is to go move into a bubble house where you can grow your own indoor organic food and not be bothered with the realities of modern civilization. A modern civilization which still deals with certain aspects of life that previous civilizations have had to do in order to survice: hunt and fish for food.”
        Excuse me Jason, but your little rant about my post is a bit overblown. Pray tell, where in my post did I say I “despise the thought of mankind consuming meat.” I said nothing of the kind. Furthermore, I do believe I admitted to being and “unrepentant omnivore”…
        Just because I wouldn’t kill an animal myself to eat, doesn’t mean I don’t understand the necessity for some in this country to hunt for food. I made that absolutely clear in my post.
        Go back to first grade, learn to read and comprehend…and use a dictionary if you don’t know what ‘unrepentant’ and ‘omnivore’ mean…

  149. Congratulations & Thank You for sharing your hunting success!! My hunting husband pointed out to me that other states call it “7 point” while in Nebraska you would have shot a 4 by 3 buck

    We have 3 deer in our freezer from rifle and muzzle loading season. We make our own jerky in the dehydrator (so easy to slice, marinate and dry but it gets eaten way tooooooo fast) and pressure can what does not get eaten right away. The ‘free range’ deer fatten up on corn and hay meadows so the flavor of the venison is not at all ‘gamey’!

    The destruction of hay bales is a part of why ranchers welcome conservation efforts. It is a loss that can not be made up in the dead of winter when they have cattle to feed and the huge herds of deer have devastated your reserve food supply. Yes I know this to be a fact as I grew up on a ranch in the Sandhills of Nebraska!

    Contrary to the “nay-sayers” who have posted against hunting here, it is a part of CONSERVATION in my state. This is easily understood with the 2010 deer season latest figures that just were posted.
    Report from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission: “Good weather on the opening weekend of the deer firearm season made for a successful harvest. Hunters harvested 63,000 deer in Nebraska. A target number of 90,000 is the projected total deer harvest at the close of all seasons (archery, rifle & muzzle loader).”

  150. Chris I have a question maybe you can help me with. I got the cookbook, The complete America’s Test Kitchen Tv Show Cookbook 2001-2010. On Page 466 there is a Choc Chunk Oatmeal cookie. In the ingrediants there is a couple things that says (see note) I have looked all through the book and cannot find any notes for those ingrediants.There was a couple other recipes I cannot find the notes for either. Can you please let me know where I can find the notes for those? I must be overlooking something.Also I never recieved the dvd’s and it don’t say anything about them on my receipt are they on backorder? Thanks

    • DM, the “notes” are usually just underneath the title for that recipe. As far as the DVDs go, I’d suggest calling the help number on your invoice.

      I doubt Chris is involved in the ordering process.

    • Within weeks of becoming vegan in 2007, my high blood pressure and diabetes were greatly improved which delighted me and my doctor. Animal fat and protein are tough on the liver and kidneys.

      In addition, I have come to believe that animals should not have to die for me to live. I do not demand others take up my position. What I do ask is that my moral and health choices are respected and not made fun of.

      I remember the words of a mid-western WWII veteran, a former hunter, who after the war found he could no longer hunt. He said that it was because the animals did not carry guns to defend themselves. Those were his feelings.

      I love America’s Test Kitchen. I happily use recipes that are or can be made vegan.

  151. Thank you so much for posting your hunting experiences and photos. I love everything you send out in your newsletter. There is nothing to compare to wild game meat, nothing so tender or flavorful. In this day and age more than ever before we do need to hunt for our meat because the majority of meat available in stores is full of hormones, antibiotics, fed GMO grain and now chocolate cast-offs from the Mars corporation. I taught my kids to hunt because I felt it necessary for them to understand what taking a life means. Meat is not some unrecognizable package in the grocery store, it’s a living breathing animal. If you can’t kill it, you shouldn’t be eating it. American life has become far too sanitized and as a result millions of animals live confined/horrible lives so that Americans do not have to consider where their meat comes from.
    I don’t enjoy hunting, it’s not a ‘sport’ for me, I hunt for meat and I do it honorably and humanely. and yes, I am very glad when I get my animal because it means the hunting is done and I have good clean meat for my family and myself.
    Keep it up Chris, you have my vote!

  152. I seems like a different world to me on the East coast. We don’t have the space or animals…It is still hard for me to accept the fact that we still hunt. But I guess thats how it is when you live in Los Angeles.

  153. Love the pictures, thanks for showing! I have been slowly returning to the local food that my generation is so far removed from. This year I dressed doves for the first time (that friends had shot), and just a few weeks ago made a lovely lambs head stew. The head was rather difficult for me, I had never been so ‘close’ to my meat, but ultimately I took this (and half a day) and made a great meal. I am not vegetarian, but only buy meat I can afford from farmers I know & now trust, and advocate hunting as really the best, most simple way to truly eat ‘local’…nature on the whole is cruel, and I believe humans, being conscientious in their meat choices, can be kinder for an animals end than the wild will ever be…sorry for the long post, in short, thank you for sharing 🙂

  154. The animal rights folks have gone too far. They have a right to their opinion of course. I will defend the right to be wrong to the death. LOL. They lambasted Sarah Palin for killing a Moose (it was a Caribou) on her Cable show. Folks people have hunted since before recorded history. We have a large brain which requires protein to function. I have always eaten what I kill. These animals would starve and die with out culling the herd. However I do not approve of deliberate cruelty. If someone were to hurt my cat they could expect to be cheerfully beaten to a bloody pulp. You have a choice these game animals can be hunted by man or they will be hunted by wolves, bears, coyotes, etc.. Death by bullet/arrow is kinder than being suffocated by Wolfe, etc. at their throat. The world has a food chain. It’s a fact of life.

  155. Disclosure: I’m a non-judgmental pescatarian that just loves leather shoes and boots.

    Everyone has their line, albeit a crooked one, when it comes to treatment of another living creature. How one gets to their comfortable spot is their business as long as suffering is not involved, then I tend to speak up (I.e., slaughter houses, puppy mills, shooting for trophies only, etc.).

    As a scientist, the argument that hunting deer is good for its population doesn’t hold up, if the deer taken are the healthy bucks from the herd. Simply put, it lowers the genetic diversity of the offspring, making the herd more susceptible to disease.

    If you must feed yourself in this manner, take the sickly does. Not the healthy bucks. Unless, of course, it’s the mantel you’re looking to dress. Then I’d file this under cruel and ask that you refrain emailing me about your hunting expeditions.

  156. I lived in an area of Connecticut where hunting was not allowed for all the ‘good’ left wing/liberal ideas. As a result there was a super abundance of deer. I have lived the majority of my coping with Lyme Disease. I fully support hunting and culling the deer.

  157. Ever hear some animal worshiper ever complain about how animals treat each other? Ever hear an animal “rights” person decry the brutal, merciless killing of a deer by a pack of wolves? You know, where they cripple the animal so it can’t get up and run away, and turn a deaf ear to the mournful cry of the deer as it knows it will surely die, and while they take bites out its flesh while it is still alive?

    When such people call a fisherman a murderer, do they stop to think what it is like to be a fish’s meal? Do they empathise with a minnow that gets swallowed whole and dies by being digested rather than running out of oxygen? Of course not.

    I said animal worshipers above for a reason. Their irrational love and adoration for a lower species while they spit venom at their own kind has to have its basis in some sort of psychosis. I dount anybody will move such a one explaining how responsible humans do their killing as humanely as possible.

    After all, sane reasoning only works on the sane.

  158. After reading the latest newsletter, I had to come back & look at these remarks. Granted I only skimmed as there are a lot. But I have to say: 1. is the blog called America’s Test Kitchen or is it Christopher Kimball? If you don’t like it don’t read. & 2. hunting is a part of where food comes from. Just because we live in a time where we don’t have to physically collect our food (ie. hunting, foraging, gardening,) that does not mean we should be so obtuse in our awareness as to where food comes from. I personally don’t hunt & really don’t want to see my meat looking like anything other than what comes from the grocer, but that doesn’t mean I am offended by where it comes from, if it bothers you so much you might want to consider becoming a vegetarian. The smiling & joy.. well, hell, aren’t you smiling when you have accomplished something that takes skill & patience? Is he supposed to be unhappy that he accomplished his goal. People, get a grip & Christopher keep up the lovely blog.

  159. Your editorial essays are one of the best features of one of my favorite magazines!

    To those who were upset by your killing the deer: try eating your beef or chicken or whatever alive, idiots!

    Keep on keepin’ on, and thanks.

  160. hey chris’ giving you a high five from canada! not being mean , but thats a wee deer compared to some here. we look forward to hunting season as the deer have taken out many windsheilds & cause bang up problems.but on the other hand , your deer looks perfect for rhe table. some of our deer can get pretty ‘funky’. but happy to see that your showing your neighbors that hunting is grand there. we get too many u.s. hunters here just for the rack…. pity. so enjoy what looks like an awesome buck. cheeers & happy new year.

  161. hey diane h; do you have a good recpe for canning? i haven;t done that it yeeeeaaars….. could you remind me how long to can ? thanks muchly.

    • I was a Master Food Preserver for the University of Nebraska, Hall county extension service and only use ‘tried and true’ pressure canning recipes for low acid foods. Here is the website for venison:

      It is 75 minutes for pints and 90 minutes for quarts – both dial gauge and weighted gauge. Also this is the USDA recommended time to process if you cold pack OR hot pack. (Here is a tip we do when canning our cut up venison cold pack: add one beef bullion cube per pint jar.) Excellent over noodles but our favorite is over mashed potatoes!!

  162. i am with ‘jack’ way back there. we are in canada and we have to put in for ‘a draw’.. meaning you may get ‘lucky’ and get a license , or you may spend money and get nothing. we take hunting very seiously. we hunt only because we need the meat. we have 3 older sons that are away working during hunting season. love to come home on time off and have a lovely venison or moose/elk.. bbq.
    but tis year we did not get any draws. so we did not hunt. but we paid to put our draws in.
    p.s. and after having a big buck come through my winshield….. i’d rather harvest it than let the ravens eat it.

  163. Good for you!
    Deer eat anything and everything including baby birds!

  164. Have you tried sous vide venison? It must be awesome, packed, say, with salt and pepper and a bit of fat like suet or bone marrow. I cook beef chuck roast for 4 days at 60 C, which breaks down the collagen into gelatin, but leaves the tender meat fibers still pink and tender. I would love to try a similar venison cut of meat cooked in this fashion.

  165. Chris,
    Thanks for the photos of the fine buck. My mom would make venison mincemeat and can it in quart jars to enjoy throughout the year. My own deer were usually cut into steaks and stew meat, that latter actually being used for kabobs. I’ve found that recipes for lamb work quite well for a well-killed deer, and we used recipes we obtained when we lived in the Middle East for lamb and mutton on our deer with great results.

  166. Another comment on the flavor of venison. The hunter must make a quick kill and then field dress the animal as soon as possible. I was taught to pass up any shot that I couldn’t make accurately, and to be certain of my skills before I took to the woods. This meant that I’ve passed up many, many more “opportunities” than I’ve taken. I’ve watched beautiful deer and elk walk slowly past me at a range such that I was not able to make the shot. I’d rather do that than try and miss, or worse, try and injure the animal or make a bad kill.

  167. Gosh, there are “nay-sayers” against sitting in a tree and shooting things that walk under it? I’m stunned.

    I spent years working with a deer hunter, and learned all the reasons for it, and while it doesn’t make me happy I understand it as a necessity and as a sport. But he went out on foot and actually, you know, hunted. In what way is what’s described in this blog post a sport? The word “hunt” used to imply a greater degree of skill and challenge than sitting unseen up a tree and waiting for something big to come into range.

    But then, I don’t like killing things for fun, so YMMV. Right now I’m only trying to figure out if my cancellation of the “letters from Vermont” emails also means a cancellation of the Cooks Illustrated emails. Oh well – I’ll live.

    Unlike the deer.

  168. Why no venison recipes on the Cook’s Illustrated website? I would love to see how the chefs there suggest preparing it.

  169. Congratulations on your successful hunt. I do hope you will choose to wear orange in the future for your own safety. Hunting is first about being safe, and secondly about harvesting a game animal.

    That’s about as local as it gets!

  170. I am late to this discussion. I read in the latest Letter From Vermont that there was some controversy about Chris’ hunting photo and story. I did a lot of hunting growing up in South Texas, and I have to say, it was always about stocking the freezer. I understand some people not wanting to hear the details or see the photos, but what is interesting to me is that you rarely hear these same people getting upset about fishing. In fact, I would venture to bet that several of those who were outraged at Chris’ post probably have gone fishing themselves. Is pulling an animal out of the water, and letting it suffocate to death really not as bad as shooting it? Or is it that fish are low enough on the food chain to make you comfortable with it?

  171. It’s all well and good to be a responsible hunter and defend your “sport”. Altho, I for one don’t see having a Remington .303 or a Winchester 94 as “sport”. The deer don’t stand a chance. Why not just call it slaughter (and contrary to what those of you have written here — many deer are badly injured and limp off to a long and terrible death — how convenient you neglect them). But here’s what’s worse. ALL the respondents here sell themselves as “responsible hunters” and I’m sure there are plenty of them. But there are more that are morons and worse. Mostly you never hear about them but a few show up in the newspapers with the unbelievable stories. Like here in Maine where a woman hanging up clothing on her backyard clothes line was killed with one shot (yep. It just took one good clean shot.) The “hunter” said her mittens looked just like the whitetail of a deer. And then there are the ones that got great joy blasting holes in my fathers dragline. They probably couldn’t hit a deer but they sure could hit a 10’x10’x10′ metal house on tracks. Ahhhh, The great American hunter. He scares the bejesus out of us (that’s why you should wear orange). The final story? My dad had a full sized black poodle. Before going for a hunt in the woods during “the season” he wrapped a big piece of day glow orange around the dog’s saddle. He didn’t get 50 yards from the house before a shot rang out very close by. The dog yelped and was quiet. My dad hit the dirt and began yelling: “WHERE ARE YOU?!” “WHERE ARE YOU?!” Getting no answer he warned that no answer would result in a shot from him. No answer. So he aimed where he thought the shot came from, raised the muzzle at 45 degrees up and fired. IMMEDIATELY a voice screamed close by … “DON’T SHOOT”, “DON’T SHOOT”. That allowed my dad time to finally check on the dog. It was dead in a pool of blood. The other guy came out and said he was sure it was a bear. My dad grabbed his rifle by the barrel and swung it as hard as he could straight at the lake. It sunk like a …. well, like a rifle. It’s owner began yelling and screaming. My dad said … “so call the police!” and walked away carrying his trusty friend. Later he decided to check in with the Ontario Provincial Police (the O-P-P). They came up the lake in a police boat and my father related the story. He speculated that the guy was from a cabin further up the lake. The OPP motored to the cabin, knocked and a man answered. They asked if anyone else was there. The guy said: “No one here but me.” But then a voice from the back yelled: “Hey Sam! Who’s at the door?” They were taken away in handcuffs. My father offered to pay for the rifle when he got paid for the dog. He never heard from or saw (thankfully) him again.
    My point is this. It’s all well and good that readers of Kimball’s are good hunters. But there are many, many more that are scary, should never be allowed near a firearm, and cause much grief. Let’s not forget them. Or the wounded deer left to die alone in pain …. and what did they do to deserve this?

  172. Deer hunting is a practical solution to over population.
    I live in NW AR & deer are everywhere. I live just outside a small town, & everyone around here hunts. I live venison & have some great recipes. You go Chris!
    The photos are great. You keep hunting too. Deer are a real nuisance & highway hazard. They do a lot of damage as it is, & would do far more with no hunting to control the population. The people against deer hunting should make an effort to learn how dangerous deer really are. They eat crops & cause accidents on the roads. There should be more deer hunters than there are. Enjoy the venison!

  173. Please cancel my subscription. Thank you.

    • You should probably call customer service. I doubt Chris is involved in subscriptions, either.

    • You can unsubscribe yourself by clicking “unsubscribe” at the bottom of your email “Letters from Vermont.” Or do you want someone to do that for you, too? Like letting a factory kill your meat for you?

  174. I hunted deer in Michigan when I was much younger (I am over 70) and my husband and I at what we hunted. There are no natural predators in Michigan for deer and every year they starve or get diseased because of their numbers. If anyone ever saw the films of deer that have herded together in a long winter that have eaten all the food and are starving to the point where they can’t be fed and die of a slow, agonizing death, they would rethink the hunting idea. It is absolutely necessary in most states to keep the herd under a certain number or that is the result.

  175. Dear Chris, I am a hunter as well. Although I have not hunted deer for a few years, I still get that certain feeling every fall. Thank you for having the courage to ut the photos on your Blog. I admire people who keep up american traditions, especially those of hunting.

  176. With the wealth of Chreistmas music at this time of the year, (especially Handel’s “Messiah”),I’m reminded of a family story: My Great Grandfather started his work life as a stable hand in Dayton, Ky. Around 1910, as autos began to become more prevelant, replacing horse-drawn transportsion, he became a mechanic; so, he was referred to as “a man of Sorrels, aquainted with grease”.

  177. “VEGAN”…….”Hunter with BAD AIM”!!!!

  178. Chris, I came here after reading your newsletter.

    I’m not a hunter, but I’m glad to hear ALL your tales of living in Vermont. They read like a real-life fairy tale. It’s good to hear that the old sense of community still lives and thrives in places! It’s also good to hear about you beyond the TV personality. When are Bridget, Julia, Jack and Adam going to start a blog?

  179. I’m just beginning to learn about blogs, [mainly because I’m writing one about my 23 year old son’s journey and healing of two freak strokes], but the one’s I’m subscribing to seem to all be about food.

  180. Chris, we are centrally located in Missouri and are lucky enough to enjoy all types of wild game. I guess you can say venison is our beef as it is used in all recipes. I get a kick out of those who say the don’t like the taste. Most people who come to our house for dinner assume it is beef, and well, we just don’t tell them any different. Congrats on the buck!

  181. I found out about the Cooks Illustrated Empire after reading an article about cooking rabbits in Field & Stream. I then bought a Cooks Bible, and have since been hooked.
    Keep up the great proven recipes, and Congratz on the nice buck.
    I made a oven sausage this yr from ground front hams and it was splendid, especially with a home brew brown ale and sharp cheddar.

  182. Bye, bye GERALD and all the other wusses and vegans,

  183. Dear Chris,

    My favorite memory of deer hunting go back to my youth. I was taught to hunt by the father of a boyhood friend. My friends dad thought himself rather an expert at hunting deer and wanted to impress us with that knowledge. My friend and I were unaware that his dad was carrying these little round chocolate candy in his pocket.
    Reaching into his pocket, he would sneak a few, then pretend to pick up deer feces. He would get this very knowing look on his face, shake the little balls in his fist and then pop them in his mouth. Looking up at the sky he would say, “Its a buck, by the taste I would guess it pass by here about 20 minutes ago. Well my friend and I thought his dad had to be the greatest hunter of times. And if thats what took to be a great hunter, well we’ll pass.

  184. Chris, I watch your show as I am able. Really enjoy it. GOOD JOB!
    I have just spent an hour before having my breakfast reading all the blogs about the killing of deer. WOW are we divided on this one!
    I am more in your corner. Sustainable, humane hunting is ok in my book. My son-in-law hunts, sometimes with a bow, and is an accurate marksman.
    He helped build a ‘cabin’ on some acreage in Connecticut. It is so beautiful – warm woods, major fireplace where he cooks food in large black pots while warming the whole area on cold days. We now spend our Thanksgivings there. It is such a treat.
    My daughter, his wife, bakes beautiful fruit pies to go with the turkey and other meats which are roasted and grilled. It is a feast for the eyes, the soul and the body for all of us gathered there.
    Chris, you are doing just FINE!

    • Congratulations on the Deer!
      Glad to see some Recipes for Venison too!
      Keep up the good work.
      Cheryl Dixon

      Fairfax, Va.

  185. I very much enjoy everything you do — I have learned so much about cooking…. after having cooked for almost 50 years, and actually started out at about age 14 cooking for a haying crew — Hurrah for you being real. Human beings are part of the food chain. People who don’t understand that are just deceiving themselves and do so by choosing not to know what others must do so they can sustain their own lives. I know hunters and they are lovers of wildlife as wildlife really is — not some sissy version gained second hand from pointy-heads who have never experienced the wild except as it exists through a picture window of their expensive vacation home. Should that window ever break they would perish in a nano-second because they know nothing.

  186. Chris,

    I am a huge fan, hunter, avid cook, and a wildlife biologist by trade. So glad to see you are not hiding your hunting lifestyle from those unfortunate enough not to have grown up with the natural world. I experience the disconnect that modern folks have to nature every day in my work.

    How one can vilify hunting when the animal lives freely in its natural habitat, and dies a quick and humane death by an ethical hunter’s hand (we hope), and provides natural food that is free of hormones, dyes, and antibiotics is beyond me, especially when so many are ignorant of the way their food is actually raised on factory farms and the appalling conditions those animals exist in.

    Keep up the great owrk! Love your farm!


  187. My grandfather hunted from age 11 in the Oakland hills to put meat on the table for his mother and three younger siblings late last-century. He did not find the need to boast that he took the life of an animal, even though he did do camera work by then – he had a pioneer-engineer mind from the start – and also learned to cook without animal protein even though he spent a good portion of his adult life in the undeveloped wilds.

    It’s the braggadocio attitude of hunters that causes the increasing illegalities and just plain poor hunting methods of raunchy idiots proliferating American society with its scourge of fast-paced and now-boastful look-at-me-me-me communication that causes the rest of us – yes, those of us who eat a minimal amount of white-only meat from locally-produced organic free-range family-run farms and buy only sustainable seafood – to shirk from photograghs hunters think are so amazingly fascinating.

    Best leave the photo shoots – pardon the pun – to be looked at and read about by the fam, Chris; there are other things to write about –

  188. With regard to your harvesting of the buck, we need MORE of this not less in most parts of the country. The deer population is out of control in most urban areas and the sane, considered management and harvesting of native animals is a good thing. In addition, it is important to remember where meat comes from, hoe it is processed and having respect fo the bounty of nature and having a continued reverent connection.

  189. Congratulations on your big buck. If people don’t like the photos of you and the deer sorry for them. Where do they think their Beef, Pork, Chickens and Turkeys come from? or Buffalo, Elk, Moose, etc etc. They were all killed for the dinner tables. Man has hunted to feed his family sense the beginning of time. Enjoy your deer your a successful hunter and should be proud of your hunt.

  190. Here’s another request for some venison recipes. I cook my venison like beef, and it often ends up tough. I have also tried it in some of the ATK stew recipes, but I wasn’t impressed. Please pass along some of your recipes!
    Thanks in advance.

  191. I think taking wildlife it this manner is wonderful. Just as it was meant to be.

    I wonder if those opposed to your photo are sitting there munching on a hamburger has they type their objection. lol

  192. Chris, w.r.t. the photo of you and the deer… nice buck !! Looks like a clean kill, too. Congratulations !

    Unfortunately, and perhaps inevitably, a good part of your target readership is likely middle- to upper-middle-class urbanites, who probably think their steaks and chops grow in little plastic trays. They don’t like facing the reality of where it really comes from; hence the negative comments.

    Please do start publishing recipes that use game meat – it’s a wonderful and renewable food resource.

  193. Chris,
    I just skimmed the “7 point” blog thread and it seems that the arguments for, or against hunting have not changed over the years.. One thing has changed, and that is the content and presentation of the cooking programs on PBS. When we were raising our kids one of the activities on a winter Saturday as the temps dropped and snow piled up, was watching cooking shows. I would like to commend you and your staff, your program is among the best of the past and present “flock” of cooking programing.

    Keep Hunting..

  194. I sure hope all you anti-hunting commenters don’t eat any meat whatsoever. If you do, you are hypocrites, plain and simple.

    Also, if you eat meat, and it isn’t free-range, you are supporting a system which is exponentially more cruel than any hunter. Do some research on how meat animals are raised and slaughtered in this country. Go visit a feedlot or a battery chicken operation sometime. Until then, keep your uninformed, poorly-thought-out opinions to yourselves.

    I’m not a hunter, but don’t have anything against it, as long as the meat is put to good use. It’s much more genuine than pretending that meat magically appears at the store, wrapped neatly in plastic.

  195. Amen regarding the MacQuarrie book recommendation. It’s a ‘hidden’ gem in American writing.

  196. Being raised on deer meat was just a way of life for me as a child. Something I do miss! My husband and I neither one hunt. But I do know how to cut a deer up for the freezer. At one point of my early married years we were not well to do and deer was a staple for us everyday. I’ll tell you what. I probably only had 10% body fat! I know that was from eating lean deer meat. I never grew tired of it either. I could care less seeing the picture of Chris and his deer either but I’m not a hunter either or I would probably feel differently. When I saw the picture I did not think “Oh what a vicious killing that was!” Come on people! Don’t tell me you don’t watch TV and see violence on it! Do you write to these people and tell them about their horrible shows they have on? Do you watch the news? Couldn’t have anymore violence than that! Grow up! Complain about something important. And do what I do. Don’t look at the picture! Big Deal.

  197. As a fellow hunter, I did wince a bit when I saw the title of your blog posting. Not because it made me uncomfortable, but because of how I was sure it would strike a nerve with many of your readers and viewers. It seems that many in the foodie (god, I hate that word) religion are staunchly opposed to hunting. I should know, I live near and work in The Peoples Republic of Madison (Wisconsin). Thirty square miles surrounded by reality. Before anybody tells me that I can choose to live elsewhere, I do love where I live. I am a tree hugging, granola who happens to hunt. Their idea of hunting is attending the local farmers market. What many in the opposing party fail to realize is there is far more to hunting than just pulling the trigger and smiling over your “slaughter.” The enjoyment a hunter gets out of scouting, learning how to interpret the wildlife sign, spending time with family and friends in the outdoors is indescribable. I used to break out in hives and loose sleep a couple of days before the traditional 9 day gun deer season when I was 12 years old. Now, I just loose sleep at 40 years old. Shooting a deer is just icing on the cake. So far, I haven’t done that this year, but I got to do and see things many people don’t ever get to see in person. I observed a fisher, a pine martin, grouse, turkeys, a bobcat and a wolf, not to mention many species of birds.

    People need to be more accepting of others view points and ways of doing things. I greatly appreciate seeing who Chris is outside of the studio and I applaud his principles. Posting his hunting adventure on this blog, knowing full well he may loose readers/viewers over this content, shows that he isn’t just about the dollars his little empire generates.

    Keep up the good work Chris. You and your crew have made me a better, more informed cook. My family appreciates you a bunch. Nice buck, BTW.

  198. I did not see the piture and article that all this is about. I see nothing wrong with posting a picture of a hunter with the deer that he bagged. Being raised in a big city suburb, I never did hunt. However, my father in law was a hunter and he enjoyed the sport. We all shared in what he hunted. I think Lisa has to learn to see things from other people’s perspective. I myself could never hunt, however, I know that overpopulation causes the deer to become sick and die a long painful death. Hitting a deer with a car can cause the death of the driver and passengers. The more deer there are, the more chance of an automobile accident. The hunters are doing a service to the community by hunting the deer. It not only brings down the deer population, it brings in some revenue for the states. The people I know who do hunt, eat what they bag and most of them do not go around boasting how wonderful they are because they shoot animals. All the hunters I know do have a picture of themselves with their buck, or string of geese or ducks, etc. I don’t blame them. It’s only natural to want to have a photographic memory of it afterwards.
    Lisa needs to get a life and not be offended so easily.
    I enjoy America’s Test Kitchen very much!

  199. Chris,
    I enjoyed your photos of Vermont. Deer hunting is a choice for many Americans, one young guide in Wyoming told us he must hunt to feed his family because the life they have deer, rabbits, etc., provide food for the long winter. It is necessary.
    PS, I am not a hunter, also are animals grown for food treated any better? I think not, think about it.

  200. This was so simple. I enjoy the magazine and wanted to give a fellow amateur kitchen helper a gift subscription for Christmas and at the same time (which you can do on a hundred other magazines) extend my subscription at a better price. At ATK no can do. I remember trying this two years ago and ending up with two subs to my home. This year wrote to “connect with us” dept. no luck. Seems absolutely foolish that a loyal reader cannnot do this. Hunt all you want but spend a couple of hours fixing your business.

  201. Congratulations on that buck! Would love to see some recipies for wild game on ATK or Cooks Country. Don’t let the negitave posts dissuade you from keeping it real, remember when Julia Child killed a live lobster on TV and all the “responses” that created. She was awesome and I think you are too!

  202. When I saw the buck last month, I wondered why you took a fairly tough piece of meat, because it had horns, when a two year old doe provides the best overall meat, and a yearling doe or spikehorn provides the equivalent of veal. The last big-horned deer I took, 30 years ago, a 10 pointer, proved to me that even double grinding the meat will produce tough (like bits of rubber) burgers. I mix one pound of 80% lean ground chuck with about four pounds of ground venison for great burgers (but it didn’t help that 10 pointer).

    • To Stanley Green’s question of why a horned buck, one reason is legality. In most areas of the state you can’t hunt antlerless deer in rifle season.

      In neighboring New York when I lived there you needed a special permit for doe in addition to a regular hunting license, and it wasn’t always available.

  203. Nicebuck, amazing controversy….. I have a (almost) 19 year old daughter that has refused to eat store bought meat for 5 years, ever since a high school presentation on the raising of animals for slaughter; I call her a social vegetarian! She will eat anything I hunt and put up myself. She is a second year college student at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in the school of Agriculture, studying to be a large animal vet. She will not eat any animal that has been raised strictly for slaughter. Those poor animals are generally crammed into very restrictive pens, have little space to move, are given supplements to increase growth quickly, then killed as soon as they are large enough to turn a profit. Those animals are treated like a field crop. I think it’s much more cruel to support the machanized killing of those animals buy buying a plastic wrapped package in the grocery store than hunting, but I guess if someone does that they can feel innocent some how. Of course if someone has no alternative than to buy grocery store meat I can understand it, I just try to avoid it myself.

    I live in Southern California, not exactly a hunter’s paradise, but I hunt in Indiana and generally take 3 deer a year. That’s about 200# of meat, enough for our family for a year. We own 80 acres in the north east corner of that state and between the rest of the family there’s another 120 acres. We spend a lot of time and money every year on food plots and habitat development. Over the past 2 years I’ve had roughly 4,000 trees planted to provide a year round everygreen bedding habitat and shelter for the deer; if I averaged the expense per pound of meat it would not be inexpensive. The property I own has a healthy, increasing, deer population and only gets hunted 4 or 5 days per year. I make sure we plant crops that will provide a year round food source, not just something to attract them for hunting. We’ve also got a lot of pheasants now. I love to hunt, but I can’t say I enjoy the killing part. The fact is if I want to eat meat someone has got to do it. I only have 1 week a year to hunt. I might sit in a tree stand every morning and evening for days without seeing a deer, often in the snow, wind or freezing rain. And when a deer does come into view I’ve still got to decide if it’s mature and then take, and make, the shot. Then the actual work begins…. Drag, dress, hang, skin and butcher. We do all of our own butchering and packaging. As a family (including brother in laws) we have processed up to 15 deer in a year, one time we did 5 in a weekend; that’s a lot of work. We can a lot, grind a lot, save the tenderloins and good steaks and have 20 – 30# of summer sausage made a year. Even though my kids are ‘city kids’ they appreciate all of this.

    Good luck next season!

  204. Chris,
    I used to have an airport shuttle service and I told my drivers that there were 10% of the people that you could never please, no matter how hard you tried. Reading through these replies I see that you have heard from some of the 10%’s. Don’t let it bother you, just chalk it up to the fact that they are part of the 10% and keep on with the successful enterprise that you have going. I hunt and fish, have for years, recently had folks over for dinner and served a meatloaf made with venison, elk, and javelina; wasn’t much of it left when the dinnere was over. Not everybody ate it but I had other stuff as well. I too would like to see more about game recipes, but rather than put articles in CC or CI, probably do a cookbook. It just might sell better than you think, especially if you can get it carried by Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops or any of the other big sporting goods retailers. As another word of advice, my grandfather gave his younger brother a farm in PA that had been passed down through the family. It was originally awarded as payment for armed service in the rebellion against England. Later on, my uncle asked him why he did it and he replied, “I just got damn tired of living the way my neighbors thought I should”. Don’t let the 10%’s dictate to you how you should live your life. Good Hunting and fishing to you.

  205. Hi Chris,
    Just wanted to let you know that this post makes me very excited. As a young highly-educated (female) teacher living in an very urban setting, I have often felt that my surroundings limit the tolerance for discussions about hunting.

    Most people wouldn’t know or guess that I have bow-hunted deer every year for the past decade. I would argue that while there will always be hunters out there for sport, the majority of us are passionate about respecting the land and those that inhabit it. Many years I have hunted and never gotten anything because I believed the shot was not good enough to take in order to risk the deer’s life. And although I have been hunting for over a decade, I would be remiss if I didn’t include that there is always sadness at killing an animal. But this comes with an understanding that this deer will not suffer and starve through the long winter (as many do in the midwest), and this sacrifice will allow other deer in the herd to live. Lastly, our family makes summer sausage, venison steaks, ribs, and even uses the suet for the birds, in order to use everything in respect to the animal.

    For those of you that believe that industrialized meat production is a more humane way to include meat in your diet, I urge you to read “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver, or to simply watch the DVD “Food Inc.” What the American people think is happening with their food is vastly different than what is happening in reality. Not only is wild game meat more humane (they get to live their lives as nature intended, with brief amount of suffering versus a feedlot), but it is much better for you.

    My husband and I are avid cooks that love the America’s Test Kitchen show and cookbook. Up until this point, I have not followed your blog, since it seemed to me just like any other blog about cooking. If you are starting to include conversations about game recipes, I will undoubtedly be tuning in!

    Thanks for your courageous post.

  206. Received book I didn’t order and opened it because I didn’t know what it was. When I tried to send it back, the post office sent it back to me because I was required to pay for the postage to return it because it had been opened! Huh? So if you ever get a package from ATK and you’re not sure what it is DO NOT OPEN IT, or you’ll be paying for the return postage. Very nasty business practice. There may have been a book I wanted but, besides the hassle of returning unsolicited stuff, pay for the returns? Leave me out of it!

    • Your experience with books arriving unsolicited is true of any book or anything.
      Should you get anything in the mail you did not order, do not open it, send it back and you won’t have to pay postage.
      Because you opened it, you have to pay postage to return it. But if you return it via media mail, it is a nominal cost. Ask ATK to reimburse you for it. I bet they will if they care about their future business.
      No one gets a buy with shoddy business practices.

  207. Hi Chris,
    Nothing wrong with hunting wild game! My family has done that since before I can remember. We are from the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. I no longer live there, but my brother does. He has “lived off the land” for many years now. Fish, partridge, deer, his freezers are full, which gets him through from season to season. Hanging that deer as long as you can, the enzymes break down the meat, takes away the gameiness that people say it has, NOT, and that is what makes the most tender meat you can ever have. Hunting is also for population control, but most people don’t think of these things. There are rules and seasons for it all. Keep hunting Chris and enjoy!!!!

  208. 1. Chris is smiling, not because he is a bloodthirsty killer, but because deer taste good and he accomplished something.

    2. As a lifelong hunter, from a family of hunters, raising children to be hunters, I can tell you that none of us do a happy dance when we kill a deer. However, we are extremely happy that we were successful. The moments that lead up to and following the killing of a deer are chock full of waves of thoughts, emotions and nearly uncontrollable rushes of nervous energy. But none of it is about a blood lust.

    As a hunter who mainly hunts with a bow because the seasons so much longer, I can tell you that part of the nervous energy (dare I say adrenalin rush) is triggered by the intimate proximity one must be with the animal (usually 20 yards or less). The same emotions are there when only armed with a camera. One errant move, sound or change in wind direction and the deer is gone.

    At thus point, if I am successful (clean heart and lung shot), the immediate feeling is one of sadness… I just killed this majestic animal. However, about the time I’m making the first cut to field dress the animal, the joy returns. All I can think about is how wonderful it will be to have this animal at home to share with my family.

    We are blessed to live in an area that is over-populated with deer and we eat venison about 4 days per week all year round.

    3. For all you de-natured people, who don’t know anything about this, keep hiring someone else to kill your meat. That is ok with us. We mostly ignore you. We really do. Until you start messing with laws that affect are hunting privileges.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

    • Absolutely Bernie!
      With you 100%
      Hunting for my food in Oregon.

  209. Thank you for allowing us to share the moment with you! Evidently some people don’t realize you smile not only for the great shot but the fact you are providing good healthy meat for your family. We are senior citizens and no longer hunt but still fish and I have had a garden and chickens for years. Our son-in-law provides venison for us for the winter which is greatly appreciated. Thank you for ATK!

  210. It is pretty simple minded to assume that a photo of a “smiling” successful hunter is a celebration of a kill. It is a happy reaction to a lot of time and effort put into a pursuit that does not always produce.

    Thank goodness your Cook’s empire is successful enough to survive w/o Mr Bish’s subscription!

    • I live on the shoreline of CT in the suburbs of NYC and lately 6 deer cut through my property and I think they are beautiful to see. To me, they are the little bit of wildlife that remains in my area of New England and they deserve to live. I also get a group of wild turkeys sometimes and I think they are beautiful, too. It has never occurred to me to get a license and a gun or hunting bow and then try to kill and eat them.

      Who says there’s an overpopulation of deer? There isn’t from my perspective. I like the handful of deer that cut through my property a couple days a week. Maybe there’s an overpopulation of people. After all, almost every square yard of the town I live in has been built upon. It’s ridiculous — we encroach into the habitat of the wildlife and then they are the problem?

      But wildlife apparently have no rights because every year bow hunters in their 50k pickup trucks appear (they need to hunt to eat?) to kill whatever wildlife remains. I still can’t believe hunters are allowed in my neighborhood, which is 1 acre zoning, when there are residents and their pets outdoors.

      I have never been an animal rights activist, but when I saw the pic of Kimball with his dead deer and the big smiley face, something rubbed me the wrong way. I understand some people in rural areas need to hunt to eat, but don’t understand why wildlife has to be annihilated in other places, and what there is to smile about after you kill an animal. The American Indian woman who posted earlier and her culture seem to have it figured it out right.

  211. PETA = People Eating Tasty Animals

  212. Hi Christopher

    I sill have your original 1993 issues and the annual hardbounds from 1993,94,95,96,97,98,99,2000.Also , have the 1000 Best Recipies. All the books have gotten good use, all food stained, some with the bindings broken. I want to thank you for always giving me a recipe that I know will be wonderful. When people ask me how I became so knowledgable, Cook’s Illustrated is my recommendation. I prepared your 1995 Perfect Prime Rib for Xmas dinner, added the crispy shallots to the Mashed potatoes and it was delicious.

    Thanks Again


  213. Chris, congratulations on such a nice buck. As for the offended non-meat-eaters, it is interesting how bad an idea the Crusades were, yet the same people who oppose such behavior do no less themselves by insisting that we must all become Vegans to protect animals that we assume to be fellow human beings. They aren’t. They’re dinner.

  214. Hi Chris, I’ve been a member of your website and have several of your ATK books and CI cookbooks. I really value your insights and development/improvement of recipes.

    Now, with that out of the way, you just sent out an email mentioning that some people were appalled at the photo of you and the buck. First, let me say that I am not opposed to hunting. In fact, in Montana.. hunting remains a way of life.

    I am, though – very sensitive as to the perception of hunting and hunters. I am also an avid animal lover and a Board Member of a large animal network. I don’t think that most folks mind that we enjoy good, fresh, hormone and chemical free meats. I think alot object to the “celebration” of killing these animals – bragging rights, so to speak.

    My family is Native American. We don’t brag or celebrate the death of an animal – we give thanks to our Creator and feel blessed. Even more appalling are those that hunt for trophy – stuffing heads, mounting dead animals on their walls. This, I don’t understand.

    Your email seems to be in poor taste to those who feel as I do. I appreciate your culinary expertise, but the reaction of your email should not be surprising. We are cooks and fans of the culinary arts. We are not members of the hunting club. Perhaps you should consider who your audience is.. not everyone appreciate a smiling photo of you with a majestic, but now dead deer.

    Perhaps now you can understand why some people may find your photo and story offensive.

    Still love your work and support ATK and CI 100%… just thought I’d give you my two cents worth!

    • Very well said, Susan, thank you!

  215. I love the hunting stories, keep them coming! I drink them like a cold one after mowing the lawn on a hot summer day.

    Domesticated Bovine seldom comes into my house; I currently live in Nebraska and believe me if you would see the feed lots here you would be appalled! 5000 plus cattle stewing in their own filth; it doesn’t even smell like manure, it’s a nasty chemical smell. Ugh.

    My son and I just returned from our annual father/son hunting trip to ND, deer and an assortment of bird hunting every day for 10 days, does it get any better? Plus a lot of cribbage and pinochle.

    Moving back to CO in a couple weeks and can’t wait to fill my freezer with Elk, (in my opinion the best of the venison creatures) deer, pronghorn, and buffalo.

    As far as recipes go I grind 70% of the animal and use that for anything you would use ground beef for: chili, spaghetti, tacos, etc. Just throw some onions and garlic and olive oil for moisture. Venison does add a unique flavor to recipes that call for beef, fortunately my family likes it. Cooking venison with a tomato base will usually absorb a lot of the strong deer flavor. I know a lot of guys grind their deer with pig or beef fat but I’m a purist and like unadulterated deer. Although I like the idea of hunting pigs and deer down south and grinding them together.

    I made the Beef Wellington recipe from Cooks illustrated a few years back with deer loin and it was awesome! I tied two pieces of backstrap together to make a larger chunk of meat and it worked well. Very labor intensive recipe but well worth it!

    I love serving people who say they don’t like deer, marinated deer loin; I’ve had people say it was the best meat they have ever tasted. We use a strong marinade but we like it:
    1/2 c olive oil
    1/4 c soy
    1/4 worsterchire
    2T white vinager
    1T dry mustard
    1t salt
    1/2t ground black pepper
    Cut the backstraps about 2 inches thick and marinade as long as a few days to just a couple hours, I prefer the shorter times because I like more of the deer taste, the longer it sits the more it will absorb.

    I have used this recipe for deer, buffalo, elk; and usually grill them to perfection. But recently I have been searing them in a hot pan and finishing them on a cookie sheet in a 350 oven for about 12-15 minutes depending on how you like them. Actually if you cut them to varying thicknesses you could have rare and well steaks on the same sheet all done at the same time.

    I use the beef broccoli stir fry recipe with venison all the time and it is awesome!

    Recently I have made some philly cheese steak sandwiches with venison and it is a huge hit!
    Slice venison 1/4” thick and soak in ½ cup of soy for a few minutes, just like the broccoli stir fry recipe. Sear meat in a hot pan and throw a bunch of shredded extra sharp cheddar. Oh boy is that tasty! Serve on a whole wheat sub roll. If you want to take it to another level grill the bun before you throw the meat on. Coat with mustard and enjoy. Some like this with fried peppers and onions.

    If I remember more recipes I’ll throw them in here.
    Keep up the good work Chris!

  216. I am using my real name in this post you can Google me and find me if you want to contact me directly. I live in Southern Minnesota, we have a large deer population and many lakes in this region. Without the conservation efforts of hunting and fishing there would be many hungry folks. I personally know of several families that are on the on call list for local law enforcement to come and collect fresh road kill deer, without it they would have a hard time feeding themselves in this economy. Every meat market in the area does deer processing for those unable to do it themselves. On a personal note, my Grandfather used to hunt (bird and deer), though now he doesn’t but he does still fish. He has always lived off the land, not out of necessity (he will buy meat at the meat locker), but out of how he was raised (oldest son on a German farm during the depression). He raises a huge garden, cans and freezes, what he doesn’t eat right away. Goes fishing for his protein, and the man is 87 years young. Lives on his own and attributes his life to his lifestyle. I hunt as well and I can attest to the fact that its not as simple as going into the woods pulling a trigger and shooting “bambi”. Takes a lot of skill to know where and when to shoot, and more often than not you walk back out of the woods with nothing. Takes a lot more skill than walking into the grocery store and picking up a roast and plunking down the plastic. As far as my method of putting meat in my freezer I go to two well respected local farmers and pick my beef and my pig and get them processed by the local meat market, and when my luck turns good I will put some venison in it. So congrats on filling the venison section of your freezer and for again providing the source to table system.

  217. Good for you Chris. About as ‘local’ as you can get for meat. I went out 3 times this fall and came back empty handed. But its great just to be out in the fields/woods watching the world.

    You all might find Jackson Landers interesting, he’s teaching people how to hunt again, and educating people about invasive animals like boar.

    best, eric.

  218. I think we have become a nation of wussies when one objects to seeing pictures of Christopher with his buck. This blog is about life in Vermont, not just about cooking, and if you object, unsubscribe and live your life blissfully unaware that deer feed people and that factory farms are far more inhumane to animals than hunters are. Plus people who object must have plenty of cold hard cash to plunk down at the supermarket for sub-quality meat and a lot of people do not and must harvest their own meat. I can send pictures of my car that a deer ran into at 1 am that almost killed me, that I can’t afford to get repaired because it’s old and doesn’t have collision. The whole side of the car is caved in. That deer almost came through my driver’s side window and it really was a close call concerning death for me. Can’t stand pictures of dead animals? Well, grow a back bone, stop being so sensitive to the concept of death and stop eating meat. And don’t subscribe to the blog! When I lived in the country, I used to observe hawks ripping apart mourning doves, listen to coyotes attack young deer and find the left overs in my field the next day. I’ve had deer strip the bark off my fruit trees in the winter, killing the trees. They are over populated, suffering from disease and need to be hunted to keep them healthy. Smiling after a kill is a reflection of accomplishment from freezing in a tree stand, hiking for miles to get to it and the thought of meat in the freezer for the family! I’m now a city girl but I wish for those country day and if I could afford a gun, I’d hunt for some venison, delicious rabbit and smile when I get one!

    The mindset of people who are too “sensitive” to view a picture of a fine hunt remind me of the people who moved into my country hamlet in Upstate NY. One woman bought an old house next to a farm. And then went to the town board meeting objecting to the animals and the smells. “And some of the animals are pregnant!” She actually tried to shut down the farm. It’s a sorry time when people like this are so self centered that they think they are the entire world.

    • Deborah,
      So great to see another female voice weigh-in on this issue in a way I concur with. I hunt, I butcher my own meat, and am very very thankful I can and do. While we don’t photograph ourselves with the deer we harvest (both my husband and I hunt), if we did, we’d be smiling. It’s work, we give thanks, and it’s something we do not take lightly. But we would smile in a photo.

  219. I too, grew up in VT in the ’50s and ’60s, and hunted from the time I was 13. One of my uncles was a butcher, and another of our friends was a “woodsman” / famer – rancher, so we got lots of mentoring, my Dad and brothers. So now, I can, and my brothers can, process our own harvested game, from squirrel, to deer, from perch, to tuna! That, to me is the biggest pleasure of the “hunt”, Knowing that I can, and have the opportunity to, practice these skills taught to us by our elders! I didn’t get to hunt for over 20 years after getting out of the Navy, because I was living in So. FL, and fishing was my passion. Snook and bluefish! Then my wife got transferred to Memphis, TN, a good state for getting back into hunting! Another promotion for my wife moved us back to So. FL, so it was back to fishing. My wife says that she likes me better as a fisherman, since I come home at night! In TN, I’d leave from work on Friday, head to the hunting cabin and not get home until late Sunday night! {;-) Now, we’re in CO (we met you, Mr. Kimbal, at the Tattered Cover in Denver)and I do a little fly fishing, and have been up, twice, in 13 years, to try for an elk. No luck. The first time though a moose came up to within a dozen feet of me, and his antlers were so wide, I could not have touched their opposing tips at the same time! WOW. He was looking for love, and I was hoping it was not me! The next time, a bull elk of the most magnificent porpoptions came to within range of my .50 cal muzzle loader, but he was on federal recreation land, and no matter what I called to him with, he would not cross the road to the private land I was hunting. Argh!! And, wouldn’t you know, I didn’t have a camera either time!
    Well, to get to the “meat” of the story, to answer a few questions about the “gamey” flavor of venison, My uncle, the butcher, told us to cut out all the fat and connective tissue, grisle, etc when processing your venison, then you can cook your harvest like you wood beef, adding a bit of the suet if you like. My venison burger, I ground my self, half of it course for chilli, the rest twice ground, course, then fine, for burgers.
    When growing up in VT, we’d come back with a mixed bag of game, rabbit, squirrel, partridge, woodcock, and Mom would make up a big game pie. We’d clean the game, cut it up into pieces, like a chicken, Mom would brown it all up, add the veggies to scrape up the brown bits, add stock or wine, or just water, slow cook it for a while, then add a pastry top and finish it in the oven. Don’t I wish I could go back there again??!?
    Like the PBS shows, and have been practicing all the recipies that sound like we’d like them, whick is most of them!!
    Thanks for doing what you do, so well.
    “Fannie’s Last Supper” was excellent as well. Will a DVD come out of the show?

  220. Chris,

    I always enjoy reading your Letter From Vermont, these stories of your life and activities. Be it a Fourth of July celebration in your town, a festive gathering at your home, or stories of hunting in the woods. They all offer insight into what has made you who you are, and are often a source of great amusement to me.

    For those who only wish to read about cooking, stick to the cook books. If you want to taste a version of small town Vermont, read Chris’ blog posts and prepare to be surprised by what you find.

    Keep up the good work and don’t change a thing.

  221. It’s true that, in some areas, the deer population is too large to be sustainable. This is a result of both the loss of their natural predators and their adaptation to the man-made environment. However, if the argument for hunting is to replace natural predators, then it is logical to think that hunters would seek the weakest animals in the herd. It would seem their motives are less than pure, and more about “sport.”

  222. Chris…we loved your hunting story; good job! Thanks for sharing. Nice work.

  223. I’m late to this discussion. If I personally had to kill an animal for food, I don’t think I could do it.

    However, I am an omnivore and understand where the meat comes from – CAFOs which are filthy and crowded with animals who are terrified, sick, kept in crammed areas and I doubt that their death is swift or humane. I respect the hunter who kills cleanly and swiftly and who actually eats what s/he kills.

    Everything eats, everything dies – and although I try and source meat from local people, it is not always possible. I buy organically grown/raised vegetables and chicken/eggs and buy wild caught seafood whenever I can, but if I can’t, I buy the CAFO animal and try to honor it by cooking it as deliciously as I can and not waste any of it. It’s the least that I can do as long as I’m an omnivore.

  224. Congrats on a beautiful buck!! I wish my husband was so lucky. He hasn’t had much luck here in CA for deer (too many politicians and tree huggers that don’t understand the value in hunting has led to DEcreased population in bucks and an INcrease in the mountain lion population)The harvest rate here is only 25% : ( Bummer, since I am a personal chef who specializes in wild game. I guess buying from the purveyor will have to do.

  225. Chris, after reading all the variety of responses to your blog and photos of hunting, I just have to say…God Bless America and our freedom of speech! I love your show, I love your blogs and newsletters, I love your recipes. And, I’m humble enough to admit that even though I enjoy eating meat, I am too much of a bleeding-heart wuss to shoot a gun at an animal and prepare it for my plate. So, I’m grateful for the hunters who do the dirty work for me! 😉 I am glad to see and hear about how it’s done though!

  226. Chris,
    Thanks for sharing your hunting story. I’m surprised so many meat eaters are afraid, embarrassed, or otherwise ashamed that meat comes from animals. Having processed my first chickens recently, makes me appreciate meat all the more, and reminds me that all meat requires the ultimate sacrifice by the animal.
    Thanks for sharing.

  227. Chris, I really enjoy your Cooks magazine. Your letter from Vermont is strikeingly written. You are a gem. I hope to be replenishing our hunting and shooting family by running the Santa Ynez Valley Jr. Rifle Club. 42 years old and shooting every Wed. night in the High school Gym. 22 caliber rifles for kids 11 years old to 19 years old. Located in Solvang Calif. You would be a welcome guest at the gym or any of the wineries and horse ranches here. We’ll keep our powder dry and our pans seasoned. Wish you a wonderful New Year.

  228. Chris; Nice buck to bad it couldn’t have been bigger. Unfortunaly we have to many do gooders that don’t understand why hunting is neccessary. Out here and Montana we have instermented a natural predator (wolves) to cull the heards to manageble size, which is not a perrty site to come upon. But as you know those same individual will protest if the States ask that the wolves be taken off the protected list. Go figure you just can’t please everyone. But anywhy countinue the good hunting and pass it on to the next generation.

  229. What a disappointment! Of course you were using a high-powered rifle with a scope and you were sitting in a tree stand. Did you enjoy your hot choc while waiting for the unsuspecting deer to walk in front of you in the open pasture? That is the coward’s way of modern hunting. I’ll bet you also used a lure like a corn spreader to get the deer in front of your sights. Using bait would be right up your alley. I hope you did no try anything like that while on your expensive trip to the Patagonia area of S. America.
    I thought this was a blog that was supposed to promote cooking & recipes. Your bragging about shooting a deer had no place in this article. And come to think if it – your aggressive marketing of the endless cookbooks is very shoddy. I for one would never order one and then find out that I would have to buy other unwanted volumes.
    So sorry that you made such a negative issue about the state of Vermont. I make a point of purchasing my maple syrup from Canada ! N.V.


  230. Dear Mr. Kimball:

    Don’t know if the discussion on hunting is closed yet–you probably wish it was.

    My two cents’ worth:

    I live in a built-up area of Maryland 12 miles as the crow flies from the White House. We are literally overrun with deer, to the point the county has to hire marksmen to cull the herd. This morning, as I was driving my wife to the Metro, she said, “Oh! There’s a dead deer by the road–and a lot of broken glass.” Now, that deer may have died instantly, but more likely its death was slow and painful. Better a bullet through the lungs, I’d say.

    And how about the occupants of the vehicle that hit the deer? Were they injured? One can only hope not. I expect the thousands of dollars in damage a deer strike can cause won’t make for a happy new year.

    I don’t hunt. I’d be a danger to myself and other humans, not the deer. But I’m grateful to those who do, as long as they see to it that the meat is put to good use.

  231. Thank you Chris for the wonderful picture of your buck, and congratulations. Also, thank you for showing the problem of people thinking we are a democracy and how it is easily seen how our REPUBLIC ,that allows us to ALL enjoy what we want to, can be taken away from nay-sayers if allowed to be given any credibility. I have not felt better since I have started eating wild game and baking homemade breads and my own produce. I find it odd that that the same persons objecting are probably into health food, working out, camping, and the GREEN wave that is into every facet of our lives. What can be more pure than harvesting, through hard work, endurance, and skill, a wild animal free of hormones or the like. Enjoy your venison with pride, you are not alone.

  232. No one in my family hunts but we believe that if you are going to eat what you hunt, go for it. Deer are beautiful creatures but there are too many of them, no natural predators left here on the east coast and not enough food. When I saw a beautiful buck licking sunflower seeds out of my bird feeder last winter, my mind was changed about hunting.

      AMAZE ME.


  233. Goodness gracious! So it’s okay that we have eliminated most of the deer’s predators, and okay that deer population is out of control, but not okay to kill any? In the past few years I have seen seven deer at a time in Mom’s suburban Cleveland backyard, heard Dad talk about how all his flowers and veg are eaten up (also in a city) and lost track of how many deer wander down the sidewalks in my city, Berkeley, CA, day and evening, looking for another garden to eat. We have upset the balance of nature and it behooves us to attempt to manage it. If you eat meat at all – it had to be killed first. A clean shot rather than a feedlot, any day, for me.

  234. Okay People! Get over it! Chris is a GREAT cook/chef- with an intelligent approach to everything he does. Hunting deer have nothing to do with how good a cookbook author he is.
    Now, How do you think your forefathers made it in this world without killing– yes I said killing (politically correct word now= harvesting) wild animals to eat- to stay alive??? Not too many were vegetarians, if any at all.
    What’s worse is when hunters just kill for “fun” or the deer horns, and leave them (the carcasses) lay in the field, or dump them on the side of the road.
    Some people are just over sensitive about what it means to kill and eat wild animals- you need to get over yourselves, grow up, and get in touch with reality. By the way, venison is an excellent source of iron, and it tastes great too, especially when the farmers plant fields of corn, and the deer have feasted on what’s leftover or dropped on the ground.

  235. Since Gerald Bish has to be a vegan, why would he subscribe in the first place?

  236. It’s truly amazing how some people can’t understand the joy of hunting for your own food. I’m not a great shot but my hubbie has enjoyed bagged a few of those nasty squirrels off of the back deck. We aren’t either one of us good with a bow and therefore can’t get ourselves venison even though we manage to keep them fed from our landscape. As our neighbor has been blessed with a deer or two, we have received great venison jerky and lovely venison roasts for preparing. How fortunate we are to be able to enjoy his harvest.
    Keep up the great work. We look forward to seeing you on our Create channel. Tell me, who needs cable when you can great PBS channels. Thanks for the shows. I keep wishing I could see how you would prepare French basque or Spanish Basque dishes.
    Enjoyed browsing the blog about the big hunting season success.

  237. Chris,

    To all of the naysayers who have been critical of your hunting, they should read Michael Pollen’s “In Defense of Food”. MIchael made a point of sourcing his own meat (and everything else for a meal) for the experience of learning what it takes to put food on the table. It was a gut-wrenching experience for him, and he too experienced the high that results (naturally) from succeeding, since it isn’t all that easy to accomplish! To those who enjoy meat of any kind and have a problem with this, they really need to get more in touch with reality; the fact of the matter is that this deer died a much more humane death than a cow or pig (or chicken for that matter) in most large production facilities. The fact that you prefer a more personal involvement in your food preparation is a worthy goal that each of us could learn from and would make us both more picky and more appreciative of the end result. While killing for the sake of killing only (not eating) is certainly not a desirable attribute of any hunter, this seems to be very far from your purpose. Thanks for sharing this part of your life.

  238. Beautiful buck, Chris!

    Hunting is a way of life for many. Sometimes the “kill” is the only thing that staves off starvation.
    Being a Southern farm girl, I began hunting when I was nine years old and continued hunting until two years ago. I am now seventy five. Never did I hunt for a “Trophy” and leave the carcass to rot. That carcass was food for the family. We were taught to thank the spirit of the animal who gave us their life so we could live.
    As for senseless killing, it was drilled into us that “if you can’t eat it, don’t shoot it”! My brother once shot a skunk. Our father made him clean/skin/cook, and eat a portion. He never did that again. And it set a great example for the rest of us.
    I echo the request for game recipes.

    • Mary: Your Dad’s lesson to you brother is pure hunter ethics. Great stuff. Gave us lads some fiber.

      When I was twelve, back in then-rural (then-sane) Massachusetts, my dad passed me his old Iver-Johnson, Knox-All Special, dog-ear hammered 12-Ga. .. a right-of-passage kind of thing that may only be meaningful to a hunter. That gun was likely 70 years old even at that point, and with 32 inch barrels, nearly un-shootable, but it was a treasure to me. Our English Setter had moved on to those uplands in heaven that summer, and we had not as yet replaced him for fall shooting. Rules for walking up pheasants were clear without the support of a dog: Shoot one bird and wade the chest-high brambles til he was found, then continue hunting til the light failed.

      In a freak act of nature (and one that, to my lasting disappointment, has not repeated itself often), I somehow succeeded in cocking both those hammers and in doubling on a flushed coque pheasant … and a hen!. I grinned at Dad for a split second proud as punch, only to stop in my track as he glowered back silently. Well, it dawned on me that I’d broken two cardinal rules in a stroke; shouting an illegal hen and doubling without a dog. And, the punishment could not have been more swift and crushing: March strait back home; clean the birds; clean the Iver-Johnson; and stow it in the closet for the remainder of the bird season … partridge season included!

      I have since retained a quaking flinch reserved for those rare occasions when a double rise presents itself. There are many good lessons to be learned in the coverts, ones that the less fortunate non-hunters will never grasp.

      May you get out and beat the brush now and again, Madam!

  239. Thought highly of you prior to this “hunting” thing, but you really blew it. Really, Chris, you don’t have to kill something to prove that you’re a “manly man”. Killing a defenseless animal for sport and then drumming up the “we need the meat” argument is lame. I mean REALLY lame. I can’t believe this mentality still exists in (almost) 2011.

  240. Thank you, Mr. Kimball, for the fine television shows, the great magazine and web site and the interesting blog. I’ve been a fan for years. It was nice to see the photo of you with your kill. Beautiful buck! Congratulations. Count me with those who support your right to hunt and post a trophy pic on your blog. I share your enthusiasm for the thrill of the hunt.

    Many here, including you, have spoken about locally sourced food and the ecological benefits of harvesting game humanely, especially in areas which lack predators, which sadly is almost everywhere. It’s distressing to see the success the media has had in instilling the mistaken belief that animals are cute and cuddly woodland creatures with child-like personalities and demonizing those who venture into the wild with a mind to provide for their families. I encourage those who have criticized hunting to take the time to understand how the nicely packaged meat in the grocery stores is produced. Read Michael Pollian, watch Food Inc.

    The taking of a life for food, whether wild game or an an animal you’ve raised, is a soulful experience. It makes you more human, more a part of the world – something which is hard to understand in the world most live in of air conditioning, concrete, and landscaped office complexes. While there are some, most of those who hunt aren’t mindless killers. To the contrary, we know and respect the animals we take in ways you can’t understand until you’ve done it yourself.

    Thank you again.

    For those who are interested in game recipes, check here:

    • @Wyoming Hunter… you’re the reason why people are so abhorred with the notion of hunting. You sound positively giddy over the thought of killing an animal.

      Make no mistake, I love game, fish and my family have hunted for years. I’m all for responsible hunting… but ATK is a COOKING/RECIPE website.. the picture of a smiling man with a dead deer looking back in the photo WILL BE OFFENSIVE to some.

      Wake up hunters.. you live in the modern, real world. Not everyone will support what you do, but you can make your arguments to support hunting much more effectively if you didn’t sound like Psycho Bob and his merry band of redneck Bud drinkers tromping through the woods just to find your trophy.

      Hunting is a gift.. it is a treasure. Treat it as such. It is not your right, it is not a necessity.. it is a way of life and its your job to educate those who know nothing about it.

      Talking about “killing Bambi” kills more people in auto’s.. you do nothing to support your stance or your mindset. You sound cruel and numb to the issue of life and that of all sentient beings.

  241. Responsible hunting preserves American traditions, is far healthier than feedlot cattle, and in the long run is more humane than the way factory farms raise America’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Thanks for sharing, Chris, and Happy New Year.

  242. Chris,
    I don’t hunt. My husband doesn’t hunt.

    We are extremely thankful for those that put food in the market in a manner that does not require that we do the cleaning and prepping beyond the limited amount we must in order to enjoy said food (buffalo, cow, chicken, pig are a few that come to mind).

    Hunters that hunt are, generally, doing it for food… carry on. Enjoy the hunt, enjoy the food!

    I enjoy the stories!

    People that engage in sport shooting are doing it for entertainment. The fact is they don’t always get their trophy buck or bear or ____ (fill in the blank), there are worse things done to animals and to people in the name of entertainment…

    I just wanted to say a big fat THANK you for your Letters from Vermont!!!

    We love to read them even with the stories and pictures of the most recent hunting trip.

    If you were my husband and came home with such a prize… I would high five ya and say: “Way to go! Let me get my camera!”

    Be proud… it’s not every day you get a buck, a doe, a bear, a pheasant, a duck… I would need a canon to do what you did with a rifle.

    God’s Blessings to you, to yours, to ATK in the New Year…

    Shoot! I forgot to tell you we love ATK (too)! Leona

  243. chris this is a no win or equal lose discussion… the
    truth is we don’t need to hunt to stay alive.. the why
    of why folks like to hunt can go into many areas of
    human behavior.. still ..if a person hunts and uses the meat… fine.. to kill for the challange of the
    hunt asks much different questions of human-kind… and even further…. does hooking a fish not amount to basically the same thing ? courtesty of the us air force i have enjoyed fresh alaska salmon…
    any difference ?. and in closing… the meat in the supermarket comes from somewhere… you just don’t see the process in getting it there…
    PS to you and your team.. keep up the good work…have a healthy and joyful new year… kt

  244. It is so funny that people worry about dying by snake bites, spiders, scorpions, etc. More people are killed in this country by hitting Bambi with their cars than by all snake bites, spider bites, and scorpion stings combined (not even close). In West Virginia you have a 1-in-5 chance of whacking Bambi with your car. My family and I barely escaped death when an 8-pointer attempted to jump over the car and hit the top of the windshield and roof. Any lower and he would have come through the windshield. I have no problem with deer hunting, as in some states they are so over-populated that many starve to death in winter.

  245. Deer are stoopid because during Hunting Season they run around Vermont in the daylight without any weapons to defend themselves even though Hunting Season is advertised all over the place and guys like Mr. Kimball are hiding in trees trying to kill them dead.

    If Deer don’t want to be shot maybe they should hide during the day and hang-out and eat with the Raccoons at night. I’ll bet some of them do that already which is why Vermont has so many deer. I think.

    I’m sorry that Deer are stoopid and taste good but isn’t that all part of God’s plan?

    Besides, vegetarianism isn’t all that it is cracked-up to be. Here is proof:

    I used to live in Springfield, Vermont but now I live in Florida (Republic of New Spain) where I am growing Brandywine Tomatoes in pots in front of my house but if there were such a thing as a Deer Tree or a Rabbit Bush, you can bet that I’d have planted one of each by now and this morning I’d have fertilised the Tree/Bush with, ya know, Deer and Rabbit Feed and whatnot; even though the damn Raccoons would prolly eat my fertiliser and gathering a Freshly Picked Deer or Rabbit would be noisier than Finals at The Army War College and likely upset my liberal neighbors who look at me as though I am dragging a Manatee into an Abattoir whenever I am out at my Grille cooking a Brisket Texas Style.

    I think you get my point.

    Leave Mr. Kimball alone. Of COURSE he is smiling. He hit what he was aiming at.

    • OK, here’s one who SHOULD NOT be allowed to sit in a tree with a gun.

  246. Chris – here in Michigan deer have become such a problem – eating crops, damaging landscaping and causing millions in auto damage – that we have extended seasons for does.

    I enjoy your cookbooks, but I wonder why so many of them require trips to the store. We grow much of our own food, purchase local beef and pork by the half, and raise our own poultry. How about a cookbook for those of us that truly eat locally – with recipes that don’t start out with cuts of meat that you’re only likely to find in a plastic wrapped package – and things like frozen and canned vegetables and fruits?

  247. Chris, nice buck. Being from Idaho I’ve harvested many mule deer and elk but never a white tail! Of course here we score the points on just one side so for a minute there I was ready to see a real monster. 🙂
    Do you use caul fat when preparing the loin? That really is a wonderful way to stuff and wrap venison for some flavor and moisture. Have you ever had the opportunity to harvest an elk? For my taste elk is as good as it gets, much better than most beef you buy in the store.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  248. Chris,
    I live in Duluth,Mn. and they deer here are at an extreme over abundance. We have even put an in city limit bow hunting deer season the last few years. We limit the heard by approx. 700 deer and they still are a problrm. They get hit by cars which can be very costly and sometimes harming.They eat all vegetation which includes trees,flowers,& bushes.I am not a hunter, but many of the deer die from starvation & exhaustion from not enough energy in our extreme winter weather. Good hunting. Slats

  249. God forbid you ever go fishing!! Just don’t let your readers find out; poor fish!

  250. Chris: Coming from a publication that I thought was your typical liberal rag, I was pleasantly surprised to see commonality with the ‘other’ side of America, by viewing your deer hunt. Congratulations on not only bagging a good buck, but ENDEARING a whole new set of readers to your publications. I love it when political correctness takes a back seat to reality.

  251. Chris, you are absolutely right on all counts. There is nothing, and I mean nothing, like going out into the fields or woods on a beautiful morning looking to kill something. No, really. There is nothing like the feeling you get when you exercise the ultimate power….to take a life. That is what the sport of hunting is all about. We are not then mere predators, because predators have to hunt to live. Predators can’t choose to let their prey live another day. We can. In making that decision whether to let live or kill, we have God-like power. True hunters like ourselves, Chris, we know the joy that comes with taking a life. The single shot properly placed is to be celebrated as showing that our ability to express our power is commensurate with the power itself.

    I speak not of “harvesting”. That term is only for vegetable matter. It is odious and demeaning to the animal and to true hunters to use it to describe hunting. No true hunter would use the term “harvest”. Self-described “harvesters” are self-deniers. They are hiding the fact that they love the kill. They will be happier if they just admit their truth to themselves.

    Yes, yes, it is a lovely morning when I watch my lurchers chase down a rabbit across a frosty meadow and tear it to pieces in the warming sun. Better still killing a deer with one proper shot. That is living! I don’t eat game, I give all the meat to my friends, who are glad to receive it. There’s no need anymore to hunt in order to put food on the table but allowing oneself to eat what one kills allows too great a chance for self-deception; that is, when you allow yourself to pretend that hunting is about food. It’s not. It’s about feeling that surge of power that comes with taking the most valuable thing there is: life. That is why true hunters such as us, Chris, are smiling in our hunting photos – it’s the afterglow from that moment of ultimate supremacy.

    The best way to spend a day outside.

    • John G, I do not in any way believe there is anything similar between you and Chris. It is obvious when one reads your description of a day in the woods, and when one reads his.

      Chris, I’m sorry John G knows how to type, because in this post he denigrates all of the humble men who really do hunt to put food on the table out of pure motivation to improve the quality of the food their family eats.

      So, fellow posters, please recognize the difference. Yes, unfortunately, there ARE people who do hunt for sport, and obviously John G is one of them. Sounds like a guy I read about in the Bible, what was his name? Oh, yeah, Nimrod, “a mighty hunter in opposition to God.” And that was after God said humans could eat meat, but Nimrod made for himself an unfavorable reputation with God and humans both.

      Nice shot, Chris. Great logic, as well, and since now I’m sure everything has been said AT LEAST TWICE, I guess I’ll shut up & let somebody else have the soapbox – have a great year! May your maple sap flow like water, and your sows have ears like silk. May your land be very productive, flowing with honey & milk!

  252. There are people who need to hunt and fish for sustenance because that may be their primary food source.

    There are people who don’t need to hunt or fish for sustenance but do so for pleasure and for sport and, by the way, they eat what they kill. For those people hunting is not a necessity.

    Everyone has talked about killing the deer/elk with a rifle or a bow and arrow and the assumption is that all have been “clean” kills – one shot kills. What about the ones that aren’t? What about the ones where the deer/elk is wounded and runs off? Do hunters track the wounded animal to finish it off and put it out of its misery the way they do a horse at a race track that breaks its leg? Or do they just shrug and say, “oh well, there’s one that got away” and wait for the next one to come into view?

    I grew up in a city and as a child would go with my Mom to a live poultry market where she would pick out a chicken or duck. In full view it would be killed, the blood let, the bird defeathered, cut open, innards removed, and wrapped. As the fish monger she would pick out a fish and it would be opened up and filleted while the heart was still beating so I’m not squeamish about “killing” animals for food or eating innards or any part of an animal.

    People find bull fighting offensive but to others it’s a ritual that an expression of a culture and of grace and beauty. And also, the bull stands more of a fighting chance against the matador since matador can get gored than the deer stands against the hunter who is up out of the way in a tree.

    • The bull stands a chance? So if he gores the matador he gets to back to a retirement of grazing? I don’t think so, at least for Spanish style. I understand other countries like France have “fights” where the bull is unharmed, and can have a long career.

  253. First of all ….Nice Kill. Any hunter knows ground hunting in the woods is very challenging….there is skill & some luck. But in defence of hunters, they would be the first responders to save deer & other game if there was an extreme harsh snowy winter.

  254. For those of you looking for good recipes, check out the DVD “What’s for Dinner Deer?” Information about hunting and how to butcher the deer as well as great recipes using all different cuts. Really good!…and if you are not into hunting, please disregard this post!!

  255. Chris,

    I can completely understand about people who hunt deer. It is one way of keeping the herd population at a reasonable number. If the deer population was left un-hunted, more deer would die of starvation anyway. There are states and countries that the land owners are required to thin the population of deer on their land, if they own a lot of acres.

    When I was in grad school, I would spent my vacation days, and weekends, sitting in a tree with a 22 rifle. Most of the time, deer would eat a lot off the groun, but if they went for the apples on the branches, I would fire my rifle, not at them, but into the air. I had to be careful because I’m left handed, and in those days, there weren’t any right handed guns, not many anyway.

    I certainly would have a hard time to kill a deer, so hunting was not something I wanted to do anyway. A lot of people don’t understand what “wild” means, or survival means. Our society is so used to picking up hamburg, steak, pork ribs, and don’t even think about those animals were one alive themselves. Hunting is a way of life in the “back country”, the “woods”, or “willy woggels”, as us northeasterns sometimes use.

    Deer meat is very dry and tender, so have to be careful how it’s prepared. I have two Nephews who hunt deer, Bear and moose, but deer is their passion. The oldest hunts with both gun and bow&arrow. He was second in Archery 15-20yrs. ago. The one thing I do worry about is, the land is being developed so quickly, I hope the day never comes that the deer no longer have enough of THIER land left, for them to survivE.

  256. Mr. Christopher Kimball.
    I am an 8th generation Vermonter(Bradford/Newbury area) residing in Rhode Island. I eagerly await and read aloud to my Rhode Island husband (often with tears) your stories of Vermont. Vermonters are a people who are not separate from but an actual part of the environment.
    My brother in N.H. hunts but I never have, and do not like game meat. I ealize it is more organic than my store sirloin, but I never liked the flavor.
    After a fall spent in the woods with his son hunting, his daughter wanted to not go to tennis , not go to piano lessons , but wanted to go out into the woods with her dad. My brother speaks of how when you are walking and talking through the woods you do not really see,learn, experience nature, it is by sitting silently waiting for the woods to come alive as if you are not there do you actually become a part of it and appreciate it. He finds nature and the deer within beautiful. He loves getting to know and discovering the habits of the animals. He respects the animals (moose and deer) he kills for food. He enjoys the process and success of hours of freezing cold efforts for sure. He knows delicious meat is available for his family. He is not aware of how much more concentrated the essential amino acids are in meat vs vegetables, he just loves the flavor.
    That day, when Hannah wanted to spend time with her dad, she ended up killing her first deer! Her brother didn’t get a deer this year, his first was last year so he might have been bummed out. In the photo she is pretty proud of herself, she is in 5th grade and it isn’t an easy task. The pride on my brother’s face was even greater, he was beaming!
    She of course wanted the entire deer made into jerky!
    As for my own hunting skills, I prefer to walk, run, snow shoe, and cross country ski in the woods, and shoot stationary fluorescent targets at the range!
    Congratulations on your tasty deer, it is thoughtful of you to share it with your neighbors.
    Someday I hope to discover how I can be a part of a Cook’s Country taste test in VT. I know you are near the Battenkill and Manchester Center, is it possible to find out how I could sign up for a taste test?

  257. Hi Chris, I have talked to you a couple times in Kohler, WI about deer hunting. You’ll be happy to hear my husband got a large 8 point buck and a doe this year. My favorite way to prepare the nice pieces is to cube it and simmer with water and seasonings for shredded venison to stuff in chimichangas! Also cut some into thin strips to pan fry for burritos. (can you tell we like Mexican food?) Let me know where to post recipes and I will share some. Glad to hear you have deer back in your area!

  258. Hey Chris,
    I thought you might enjoy this. About 8 years ago I worked for Georgia DNR when a controlled hunt for thinning of the deer herd at one park was announced. No hunting had been allowed in the park for decades and it was overpopulated with malnurished, undersized, and starving deer. The day of the announcement a lady called to say that she and some other women were going to come out and chain themselves to the deer to stop the hunt. I immediately went back to my cabin and loaded – my camera. If they had ever shown up those photos would have made me a wealhy man.

    Good hunting!

  259. chris,beautiful buck,i can just taste those tenderloins , you do never have to fill guilty about harvesting a deer,they do no good dead on the side of the road,i have had relatives killed by deer being killed by another car because of overpopulation,these opponents should come out on a hunt and no that deer are not just waiting in the woods just standing there,we are in there environment,post more pics,and stories,and recipes good luck mike

  260. Is that a Marlin 336C in .35 Remington ? Fine rifle for the ~100 yard range. Congrats!

    Whispering Pines, NC

  261. I live on the shoreline of CT in the suburbs of NYC and 6 deer cut through my property lately and I think they are beautiful to see. To me, they are the little bit of wildlife that remains in my area of New England and they deserve to live. I also get a group of wild turkeys sometimes and I think they are beautiful, too. It has never occurred to me to get a license and a hunting bow and then try to kill and eat the wild deer or turkeys.

    Who says there’s an overpopulation of deer? There isn’t from my perspective. I like the handful of deer that cut through my property a couple days a week. Maybe there’s an overpopulation of people. After all, almost every square yard of the town I live in has been built upon. It’s ridiculous — we encroach into the habitat of the wildlife and then they are the problem?

    The wildlife apparently have no rights because every year bow hunters in their 60k pickup trucks appear (they need to hunt to eat?) to kill whatever wildlife remains in this stupid town I live in. I still can’t believe they are allowed to hunt on my street, which is 1 acre zoning, when there are residents and their pets outdoors.

    I have never been an animal rights activist, but when I saw that pic of Kimball with his dead deer and a big smile on his face, something rubbed me the wrong way. I understand some people in rural areas need to hunt to eat, but don’t understand why wildlife has to be annihilated in other places, and what there is to smile about after you kill an animal.

    • A person is usually free to do what he/she wishes to do on his/her own property. Mr. Kimball was certainly within his rights guaranteed by the constitution. In fact, the constitution allows people to bear arms against PEOPLE who threaten the safety of their families, if not their cultures, is this not true? So how could it be said that he is wrong for hunting the deer on his own property? Certainly he is in the best position to know whether the herd would benefit if there were fewer of them this winter, or not. I’ll bet his property is not overrun with other hunters, unless they are there without his permission, so if he chooses not to wear orange (although it is said to be safer if one does), he has a right to expect no one to shoot him on his own property. The deer have no expectations. Because they have nerves, undoubtedly they can feel pain if mistreated, but this means they also must feel the pangs of hunger if they don’t have enough good. So an instant death by means of a bullet guided by an expert marksman is much more humane than letting the deer starve.

      Also, real hunters (I don’t know anybody who hunts for sport, so I am talking of the ones who hunt for food) DO DEFINITELY track any animal that was injured because he moved before the bullet or arrow arrived at the intended target, leaving the animal able to run. They do not leave the animal to suffer any longer than absolutely necessary before dispatching him mercifully quickly, and then the harvest continues as if the shot had been perfect.

      I know this because my father and my five brothers, as well as all 9 of my dad’s brothers, hunted in this manner. We were thankful for the food, too. Only now do I appreciate the unpolluted quality of grassfed venison, acorn-fed squirrels, and pastured chickens. When we got meat from the store it was usually hamburger, and now I realize I should be GLAD it was only something we fell back on when the hunters were unsuccessful.

      Incidentally, it was a common occurrence for my brother, Kevin, to set up a shot by watching two squirrels until they lined up in such a way he could get both of them with on bullet from his 0.22 rifle. He came home one day with too much of s smirk on his face because he was too full of himself over it, and Daddy “grounded” him from hunting for a whole month while my less-productive husband hunted in his place. I am proud to say that during that month Dad was successful in teaching Kevin to respect the lives of the animals we were eating, and not himself (quite so much, anyway!).

      Therefore, my opinion (and that is all it is!) is that a balance must be struck between hunters, the hunted, and the spectators. In any “sport” (that is what y’all are calling this, right?), that is like basketball, football, etc, the spectators do not call the shots or make the rules. If the players do something they don’t appreciate, usually the spectators either leave the stadium or change the channel, depending on the venue, and if they ARE physically present at the venue and make their opinions vocal enough, or physical enough, usually they are encouraged by other spectators to leave. . . sometimes even police are brought in to escort them out.

      Just a thought. . . have a GREAT day, y’all!

  262. Chris, If God did not want us to hunt deer, He would’nt have made’em out of meat. Thanks for the photo’s of the hunt, and oh yea- nice buck.

  263. I meant to say the deer would necessarily feel pangs of hunger if they do not have enough FOOD! Sorry about that. I’ve typed for living so long that now my fingers have minds of their own, and sometimes they dare to ignore the orders from Central!

  264. What a Country! I am fortunate to live in the woods on the North Olympic Peninsula of Washington State where deer, elk and grouse are available. I see them almost every day but restrict my hunting to Montana. Many types of seafood are readily available also. My wife and I hunt, process, cook and enjoy our own wild game and seafood.
    We enjoy ATK and use the recipes frequently. Chris and Staff, please keep up the great work.

  265. I find it fascinating that the anti-hunting vegetarians are attempting to take over this blog. Why they criticize Chris [or anyone for that matter] for hunting is a mystery to me. Don’t they understand where meat comes from? Are these trolls pure vegetarians of the sort that refuse to kill any living being – be it insect, mouse, or larger? Or are they the meat eaters and leather wearers who just don’t think it’s nice to kill Bambi.

  266. I also am curious to know how they (anti-hunting vegetarians) feel about going to war against fellow humans. If they would kill a person, why can’t we (huntophiles, if you please) kill our own meat to eat?

    • People, people, peaple! Can we just let go of this discussion anyway! A lot more heat than light is being produced. If you want to just argue I can suggest some more topics — religion, politics, abortion, circumcision, global climate change. Then take those discussions off this list, OK? Let’s just let go of this hunting topic and go back to how to make a great pancake or cookie or casserole, etc.

      • Point well taken, Rose! So here’s my Aunt Betty’s recipe for a killer venison stew:
        Cut your venison roast into 1″ pieces, roll them in flour, and brown them in hot oil of your choice. Bacon grease would be toothsome indeed. Put browned meat in slow cooker. DO NOT ADD WATER!
        Add root vegetables of your choice cut to the same size as your venison; be sure to include onions and about 8 whole cloves of garlic (that would be one head, divided and peeled but not cut up). That way if people don’t like garlic per se, they can identify it & leave it for those of us who do!
        Suggestions are carrots, Idaho potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, onions. But if you don’t like one of them, for heaven’s sake, leave it out.
        If you like mushrooms and do not have fresh ones, open a can and pour over the root vegetables; yes, it’s ok to use the juice but I wouldn’t add much water ’cause the veggies are full of it.
        Now, sprinkle with plenty of pepper and just a few shakes of salt over the vegetables.
        Turn the crockpot on high, cover tightly, and 6 to 8 hours later you will have the best venison “stew” you ever had. Just turn off the crockpot, leave it covered to rest while you meke these easy but wonderfully tasty biscuits to serve with it.
        Take 2 cups of self-rising flour and put in a bowl. If you like really tender biscuits, use cream, but if you like a little more substance to them, use whole milk. If you are like my husband and actually LIKE hockeypucks, use water, but add enough of whatever liquid you choose to use to make a moderately stiff dough that you can control on a surface with all-purpose flour on it. Flip the AP flour over the dough to make it possible to knead it about five times, then pat out the dough to about 3/4″ thick (thinner if you don’t like thick biscuits). Cut out with biscuit cutter or the mushroom can you just emptied. (Did I tell you to prehead the oven to 400?) Pour 1/3 cup melted bacon grease or olive oil into a 9″ round or 8″ square cake pan and, tilting it, dip the bottom and top of each biscuit in the oil & set it at the top of the pan so you will always have a puddle of oil to dip all the biscuits in. Hopefully the recipe makes enough to fill the pan comfortably without scrunching them very much, because you are actually going to be oven-frying this biscuits to make crusty edges & bottoms; even the tops will be somewhat crusty. Now put the pan into the oven on a rack at the bottom of the top third of the oven, and check them at 25 minutes. Are they nice & brown? If not, leave in 5 more minutes, then remove from the oven and turn upside down onto a plate or platter. Serve with softened butter and that scrumptious venison “stew” which is just right for eating now.
        I promise you will love this. If you don’t eat meat, just leave out the venison, and it will still be good if you add some butter to the veggies before turning on the crockpot, and add a little more salt & other seasonings you like. . . and it will still taste great with those biscuits!
        I didn’t promise this would be low-fat, I promised you would love it! 🙂

      • Here, here…

  267. I concur heartily … bravo, Rose!

    Now, for those venison roll-ups …

  268. Chris, I was hoping for a recipe for Wapati Wellington – do you think I can use yours from the website and also substitute my own dried and the reconstituted Boletus edulis for grocery story mushrooms? Seems like mushrooms and meat from the same spot would be a natural.

  269. The “here, here”…was for ROSE…and it’s not even close to 0400hrs when I am posting…

    • Sigh. I stood up waving a big white flag. What I got for my efforts was first Marilyn then Ken taking pot shots at me. I think an effort to be less confrontational would be a good thing especially considering what just happened in Arizona.

      Thank you, Dana, for standing with me.

      • You’re welcome…I’ve always been a peacenik anyway. And yes, words DO matter.

  270. When the deer can also carry a rifle and can shoot back at you, then and only then will I consider this a fair victory. Does this make you feel superior???

    • R. Thommas – are we to assume you never eat any meat and are a pure vegetarian? A clean shot is a far easier death than going the slaughter house route.

    • Deer that are armed ???? That would make the hunt more interesting ! Suppose we made a trigger gard that they could get their hoof into. How would you coach them through the licensing & safety course. I’ll sign up to assist with target practice. Hopefully they would know enough to wear blaze orange (sorry Chris)….. and if they only wounded me would they be required to track me and finish the hunt !!!
      Thomas, I’ll bet you didn’t think hunting could be so much fun.

  271. apply for hunting helper

  272. Dear Mr. Kimball,
    I love that you hunt. I hunt upland and waterfowl over my 8 year old black labrador retriever named “Black Star Macayla.” To me, being in the open fields or in the duck blind in the early morning is heaven.

    I noticed your rifle is a lever action. By chance is it a Marlin 30-30? I have one, and love shooting it, though I’ve only taken one shot at game with it; a feral hog. And missed. I’m a much better scatter gunner.

    Thanks again!


  273. I love the approach America’s Test Kitchen takes to food and food preparation because I am a facts and figures person. I wish this hunting thread had never been started. It does nothing but fuel passionate feelings about hunting. I wish this thread would be taken down so we could just plain talk about good food. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a vegan and have been so for many years. I cannot use all the recipes but I do modify many to suit my needs.

  274. You completed some fine points there. I did a search on the issue and found most folks will agree with your blog.

  275. Are we to presume that America’s Test Kitchen should go strictly vegan … ?
    How else would one avoid the nastiness associated with being a nimble, canine toothed carnivore? Maybe we can bred hunting out of the carnivore, just as we’ve bred manhood out of vegans.
    Until then bring on the brisket!

    • I presume my full disclosure of being vegan was interpreted as meaning that I thought everyone should be vegan and that I was criticizing those who do eat meat.

      What I do believe is that the focus of AMT magazines is not hunting. There are plenty of those magazines. I believed that this is a magazine about great recipes that people could pick and choose from to suit their personal tastes. What on earth is wrong with that?

      Can we not just let go of arguing about who choices and just enjoy great recipes? Can we not just be grown up about this?

      • Amen, Rose M.B….
        An Unrepentant Omnivore

      • Hi folks! I am once again surprised that this conversation continues so long after the initial blog post.

        This is Christopher’s PRIVATE blog concerning his life in Vermont. He can include anything that he wants to in it. It is NOT the website for America’s Test Kitchen! These are personal musings about a place and people that Christopher loves.

        If one does not want to receive his Vermont blog I am sure that one can opt-out.

      • I see at the top of this site that this is “Christopher Kimball Blog from America’s Test Kitchen”. I assumed that it then is a reflection not of Christopher Kimball’s PRIVATE blog which I would have no particular interest in. That would be for his family and many friends. I thought that the direct reference to America’s Test Kitchen made it in a real way a part of America’s Test Kitchen. I was an English honors student in college but maybe the use of English has changed rather surprisingly since then.

  276. Your style is very unique compared to other people I’ve read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this page.

  277. Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
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  278. Nice 7 point! I appreciate that you will be taking advantage of the venison meat. I prefer that any hunter kills for meat than for game!

    • Please don’t remind us of that nasty picture — of Chris’ big smile while holding up that poor animal’s dead head like it was a trophy. I still remember it like it was yesterday. So nasty. If you want to hunt for food, fine, but show some respect for the animal.

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