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Check out this Dutch oven wild game cookbook

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If you work it right, the hunt isn’t over when the animal is harvested. In fact, one of the best parts of the hunting experience is when you can start feasting on the meat!

Linda Stephenson at a Dutch oven cookoff.

Linda Stephenson at a Dutch oven cookoff.

Book Review: “Linda Stephenson’s Wild Game Dutch Oven Cooking: From the Hunt to your Table”

by Leon Pantenburg

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It’s one thing to have the meat from a game animal. It may be another to cook it! How often have you heard: “I don’t eat venison (elk, antelope, bear, pheasants etc.) because it’s tough and tastes gamey”?

I don’t hear that from my family. My kids were raised on wild game, and my daughter’s favorite meat is elk. Gamebird gumbo is also a favorite.

But what if your family is not familiar with wild game meat? How do you introduce it into their diet?

An important part of every survivalist or prepper’s survival kit and tools are outdoor, campfire recipes. You may be able  to collect a squirrel, rabbit or deer, but not know how to prepare it so the meat tastes good. During an emergency or a disaster, your cooking situation might be a campfire, Dutch oven and game meat.  How do you cook a squirrel, rabbit, grouse or piece of venison outdoors?

“Wild Game Dutch Oven Cooking” can answer many of those questions. (And you can use these recipes in your indoor kitchen, too.)

I have known the author, Linda Stephenson, of La Pine Oregon, for years, and she is a superb cook and close friend. I have competed with and against Linda in Dutch Oven cooking contests, and she’s always a contender! Linda and I teamed up to win the 2003 La Pine Frontier Days Dutch Oven Cookoff, then went on compete in the 2004 IDOS (International Dutch Oven Society) World Championships, where we finished eighth.

So this can hardly be called an unbiased review! But friendship aside, Linda has the credentials to write with authority about wild game cooking.

Linda is former chapter president of the Central Oregon Dutch Oven Society, one of the largest IDOS clubs in the nation; a former IDOS regional director and she has sponsored several Dutch Oven cookoffs. Linda is also active as a Dutch oven teacher and judge, and is the author of several other cookbooks.

So when Linda told me she had written a wild game cookbook, I put my order in for one of the first copies. Linda grew up in Central Oregon, hunting with her Dad in the high desert.  At age 12, Linda began preparing the evening meals at hunting camp, often using  the wild game they had brought home. While camping the woods, Linda perfected her cooking skills over a campfire. Linda’s favorite recipes, and family favorites,are the basis for this cookbook.

The hunt isn’t over when the animal is harvested. One of the best parts of the hunting experience is when you can start feasting on the meat!

The hunt isn’t over when the animal is harvested. One of the best parts of the hunting experience is feasting on the meat!


Linda’s book starts out with a section on getting started in Dutch oven cooking. This, alone, is enough reason to buy the book! She gives an overview of what you need in the cast iron department, and how to use it.

The book is broken down into sections, depending on the kind of wild game you’re cooking. There are specific recipes for antelope, bear, buffalo, caribou, deer, elk and  moose.

A special section on sauces and marinades can be used in any type of cooking. There are enough venison  recipes alone to make this a great gift for deer hunters, and the successful elk hunter won’t need another book.

Because I like small game hunting, I was particularly interested in the small game section. During a disaster, chances are it will be much easier to collect small game animals than the larger species! Besides, hunting small game is a great way to get kids interested in hunting. And there is no better training for hunting whitetail deer, than stalking squirrels with a .22 rifle!

Whether your interests are in survival, subsistence hunting, a Christmas present for the hunter who has everything or in making the best use of a fantastic wild game resource, you’ll find something of interest in this cookbook!

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