Hear the words “deer hunting” and you’ll likely think of the ubiquitous whitetail—and for good reason. You can find this species in 44 states, usually in plentiful numbers on private and public lands, while Alaska and California are home to the elusive black-tail, Nevada and Utah and several other states have mule deer, and the diminutive Coues deer can be found in Arizona.
How do you hunt a deer? East of the U.S. center spot the treestand is king, with the South and Texas also utilizing ground blinds. The Northeast’s quiet forests and those of the Pacific coast can be great for spot-and-stalk hunts, while long-range glassing and a tactical approach to getting within range are the provenance of western states. For a unique thrill, the South’s deer drives, often using dogs, are about fast shots, filled tags and a celebration feast for the community.
(Trivia: The only state that lacks a native deer population is Hawaii!).
Main Ingredients2 pounds of venison roast, thinly sliced across the grain 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon black pepper ½ teaspoon garlic powder 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 2 cups sauerkraut 6 large hamburger buns Sauce Ingredients 2 tablespoons butter 4-6 green onions, diced ½-cup cider vinegar ¼-can lemon lime soda ¼-cup apple juice ¼-cup Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons sorghum molasses 2 tablespoons honey 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper [caption id="attachment_3503" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Slice the venison roast thinly, quarter-inch or less in thickness, across the grain of the muscle for tenderness.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3504" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Season the sliced venison evenly with salt, pepper and garlic powder.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3502" align="aligncenter" width="650"] In a medium saucepan, heat the butter and add the diced green onions. Sauté the green onions for three to four minutes or until soft.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3508" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Add the remaining sauce ingredients to the green onions. Stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Allow the sauce to simmer while you cook the venison.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3507" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned venison, a few slices at a time, taking care not to overcrowd the skillet. Sear the steaks for one to two minutes per side, just until well browned. Remove the browned venison from the skillet and repeat the process with the remaining slices.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3506" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Once the venison has been browned, return all of it to the skillet. Pour over the sauce and simmer for five to 10 minutes.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3505" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Pile the sauced venison on a bun, top with sauerkraut, and serve with chips or fries.[/caption]
Try Out More Recipes with NSSF’s Game Meat Cooking Series
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF4EE32869227CCE5Where hunter and classically trained chef Georgia Pellegrini shares recipes from her book, "Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time."
Ninety-Five Percent Boredom, Five-Percent Pure TerrorMy first Alaska hunting trip occurred in the mid-1980s. I had licenses for the majestic caribou, the regal Dall’s sheep and a mountain grizzly. All my friends envied my sheep license, but deep inside I was more excited by the chance to hunt the grizzly bear. I had read several historical accounts of grizzlies, including the Lewis and Clark journals, and was spellbound by the seemingly impossible things men had seen these great bears do. I took my first grizzly on that trip deep into the Wrangell Mountains, a large, dark-brown bear with long claws and a flawless hide. Legendary outfitter Terry Overly spotted the bear ambling up a drainage one September afternoon. The weather was postcard perfect, the tundra a brilliant kaleidoscope of colors set against a backdrop of cobalt sky and snow-capped peaks. We tied the horses off, climbed the 60-degree slope and fought through the alders, breathlessly coming into an open slide the same time the bear did, not 75 yards away. When he stood up on his hind legs, I calmly raised my rifle, took aim … and missed him by a mile. As he took off across the scree, I emptied the rifle, hitting him all three times through the chest as he raced into an alder thicket, where he expired. It took a week for the adrenaline rush to wear off. The memories never will. Hunting grizzly bears was once described to me as 95-percent boredom and five-percent pure terror. That's a pretty fair assessment. The boredom part comes with simply trying to locate a bear. This can take a lot of time or no time at all, depending on the turn of the cards. Unlike coastal brown bears, which concentrate on salmon streams in the fall and are relatively easy to find, interior bears are much more nomadic. A biologist once told me they can have a home range of as much as 50 square miles and may cover double-digit miles daily in search of food. This can make finding bears problematic. In years of a strong fall blueberry crop, grizzlies tend to congregate on mountains that have large expanses of berry bushes. They also dig roots. In spring, they tend to follow ungulate herds, preying heavily on newborn calves. Fresh grass shoots are a favored food in spring, too, on which the bears graze like cattle. At all times they'll expend hundreds of calories to excavate a low-calorie ground squirrel or marmot, which must taste like chocolate to them. But while they have their preferences, these omnivores will eat just about anything, including plastic cans filed with gasoline left on remote air strips by bush pilots, and even your tent. [caption id="attachment_3479" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Rain or shine, glassing is the name of the game. Here’s the author glassing a big river drainage in western Alaska.[/caption] That said, the name of the game in interior grizzly hunting is glassing. When the weather's good, it isn't so bad. The wild country in which grizzlies thrive is the continent's most stunning, and there's always something to look at. When the weather turns sour and cold and wind-driven rain, sleet or snow eats its way under all your clothes, it's hard to keep looking. And, yes, when there aren’t any bears to look at, boredom sets in. But stay at it long enough, and the chances are you'll be rewarded by the sight of a bear working along the mountainside. Seeing your first grizzly will never be forgotten, and it’s at that moment when the questions creep in. After all, a grizzly is a threatening animal, one that, together with the coastal brown bear and the polar bear, is the only really dangerous game animal in North America. Your palms become a little sweaty, your heart begins to race. You know that you've seen the bear and he hasn't spotted you. You have a high-powered rifle, are with an experienced guide for backup and the wind is right. It shouldn't be any different than moving in for a shot at a deer back home. [caption id="attachment_3478" align="aligncenter" width="650"] The biggest mountain grizzly the author ever shot had this fearsome front paw. How’d you like to be swatted with that?[/caption] And yet deep down inside you know that it is different. Even the best grizzly hunt can go wrong—and you've read all the stories about wounded bears in the alders, of bear attacks and maulings, of chance encounters won by a bear. Doubt creeps into your subconscious.
Spring Vs. Fall SeasonsGrizzlies can be hunted both spring and fall and there are advantages and disadvantages to each. In spring, if you catch a bear soon after he leaves the den, the hide is unbelievably lush and magnificent. The trouble with spring hunting is the weather. A freak snowstorm and you’re out of business. Also, in spring, the bears move a lot as they look for food. Because their food sources are scattered, you have to cover a lot of ground yourself, both physically and with your optics. [caption id="attachment_3476" align="aligncenter" width="650"] In fall, grizzlies will gorge on blueberries. Find the berries and the bears will be close.[/caption] In the fall, you try and find food sources and hang with them until you catch a roaming bear. Another advantage to fall seasons is that you can hunt grizzlies in combination with other species like Dall’s sheep, caribou and moose. Many bears are taken when the hunter is actually pursuing one of these other animals.
The Biggest Rifle is Not Necessarily the Best RifleIt’s important to shoot the largest caliber rifle you can shoot well. It is much better to use a bit less rifle you are comfortable with than a heavy caliber that makes you flinch, because placing that first shot where you want it is the best insurance there is against potential trouble. [caption id="attachment_3475" align="aligncenter" width="650"] The .300 Win. Mag. loaded with a premium 180-grain bullet is an excellent choice for mountain grizzly bear hunting.[/caption] I've cleanly taken two 600-pound interior bears with a .280 Remington loaded with 160-grain Nosler Partition bullets. Cartridges in the .30-06/7mm magnum class are good minimums, with the .300 magnums better and the .338 Win. Mag. outstanding. My preferred grizzly gun today is a .300 Win. Mag. topped with a 2.5-10X scope and loaded with 180-grain premium-quality bullets.
Do You Need A Guide?By law, nonresidents of both Alaska and Canada must hire a licensed outfitter to legally hunt grizzlies, the exception being that you can hunt with an Alaska resident who is a second-degree of kindred relative. That said, outfitted grizzly hunts are expensive, with costs running well into five figures depending on where and with whom you are hunting. [caption id="attachment_3477" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Mountain grizzlies live in some of North America’s most beautiful and challenging environments. Scooching across a raging river is part of the excitement for the author on a spring Alaska hunt.[/caption] What about Lower 48 hunting? When Lewis and Clark came through the neighborhood, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) estimates there was upwards of 60,000 grizzly bears living between the Pacific Ocean and Great Plains. Settlers shot them on sight, and in 1975, when it was estimated that only 180 to 220 of them were left in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), grizzlies were listed as a threatened species and given federal protection under the Endangered Species Act in all states except Alaska. Today, the recovery of the grizzly is easily one of the greatest wildlife conservation success stories of the last 100 years, so much so that the USFWS has maintained that, since 2007, the GYE grizzly population and its habitat have recovered enough that the bears could be placed under state management plans. Estimates show that the GYE grizzly population is over 700 today, a number well above agreed-upon recovery goals. They were removed from the endangered species list from 2007 to 2009, when rumblings of strictly limited hunting seasons began. Then, so did the lawsuits filed by animal rights activist groups, and so today no grizzly hunting is permitted in the Lower 48 states. The only grizzlies legally killed today are so-called “nuisance bears” killed by government sharpshooters or people—primarily deer and elk hunters—defending themselves against attacks. In 2019, for example, in Wyoming there were 22 grizzlies killed, and another 33 problem bears were trapped and moved. To date, I have taken a half-dozen true mountain grizzlies. In my mind, they are the most magnificent big-game animal in North America. If you’re looking for adventure, find a worthy outfitter and pay the price—it will almost without doubt be worth far more than you dreamed it would be.
You may also be interested in:https://www.nssf.org/bear-den-study-demonstrates-conservation-contributions-americas-firearms-industry/ https://www.letsgohunting.org/articles/staying-alive-out-there/
The Magnificent SevensBy Bob Robb If there’s one thing big-game hunters like to do, it’s to debate the relative merits of cartridges intended for hunting. When it’s all said and done, it is hard to argue with the 7mm cartridges for general all-around North American big-game hunting. My first “real” deer rifle was an old pre-’64Winchester Model 70 chambered in .270 that was my dad’s. But when I bought my first rifle—I wanted something I could hunt elk with and at the time, back in the late 1970s, and the .270 was considered quite marginal for the task—I purchased a Belgian-made Browning BAR chambered for the 7mm Rem. Mag. And I did, indeed, kill my first bull elk with it in 1978, as well as several mule deer, whitetails and pronghorn. Over the years, I’ve done a lot of hunting with the various 7mms and never been disappointed. These 10 “Magnificent Sevens” are my all-time favorites. 10) .284 Win.: Introduced by Winchester in 1963, the .284 Win. was designed to squeeze .270 performance from new autoloader and old-style lever-action rifles. The end result was a 7mm cartridge with about the same overall length as the .308 Win. but with a wider body that yields a powder capacity about the same as that of the .270 Winchester and .280 Remington. It’s a great little cartridge that never really got off the ground. 9) 7MM Remington SAUM: Introduced in 2001, the 7mm SAUM (Short Action Ultra Magnum), along with its sister cartridge, the .300 Rem. SAUM, was Remington’s entry into the then-new world of short magnums. Basically, this short cartridge can do anything the 7mm Rem. Mag. can do, but it does it in a lighter, shorter, fast-handling rifle while burning less powder. It is based on the same case as the .300 SAUM—the .300 Rem. Short Action Ultra Mag.—necked down to handle .284-inch bullets. It essentially uses less powder to achieve the same velocities as the standard 7mm Rem. Mag. and has slightly less recoil. However, it’s another cartridge that never developed a strong following. [caption id="attachment_3424" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Developed as a military round back in 1892, this short-action cartridge remains an excellent choice for whitetail hunters even today.[/caption] 8) 7mm Mauser (7x57): Developed as a military cartridge by Mauser and introduced way back in 1892, the cartridge first gained prominence after being adopted by the Spanish government and chambered in a limited number of bolt-action Mauser rifles. The “Spanish Mauser,” as it has since been known, was also adopted by Mexico and some South American countries for military use. In 1897, Remington chambered its old rolling block and Lee rifles for the cartridge, followed by its Model 30, and Winchester did likewise in its Models 54 and 70. Despite its virtues as a military round, the 7x57 proved itself early on as a superb big-game cartridge. Today, hunters can load the 7x57 with bullets ranging from 110- to 175-grains, though most choose the 140-grain as the best all-around hunting bullet. Ballistically, it ranks just slightly below the .270 Win., a cartridge many consider one of the best ever for deer-sized game. Recoil is modest, meaning most all people can shoot it well. With a muzzle velocity of just under 2,700 fps with the 140-grain bullet, the trajectory is excellent, making this fine little cartridge a superb deer/pronghorn round. 7) 7mm Remington Ultra Mag.: The 7mm RUM. was introduced in late 2000. All Remington Ultra Mag cartridges are necked-down versions of the .404 Jeffrey case, giving these beltless magnums a very large case diameter, which means increased powder capacity for increased velocity and energy over other cartridges using the same bullet diameter. Consider this: The .22-250 Rem. is known as one of the fastest, flattest-shooting varmint rounds of all time, yet the 7mm RUM with 140-grain bullet shoots flatter than the .22-250 with 55-grain bullet. Obviously, this is a cartridge that has been designed for long-range big-game hunting (though it will kick a bit!) 6) 7mm Shooting Times Westerner (STW): Back in 1979, noted gun writer Layne Simpson tried something new: necking down the then-new 8mm Rem. Mag. case to 7mm. He introduced the new cartridge to the world in the May 1989 issue of Shooting Times magazine, and the shooting and hunting public ate it up. The 7mm STW is a super long-range deer/elk round. Factory 140-grain loadings leave the barrel at about 3,325 fps, while the 160-grain factory load flies about 3,200 fps. The round has proven to be very accurate, doesn’t seem to kick a lot considering the velocity and energy delivered and has an extremely flat trajectory. 5) 7mm Weatherby Mag.: Developed in the 1940s by Roy Weatherby, nearly 20 years before the popular 7mm Rem. Mag., the 7mm Wby. Mag. did not get a lot of exposure until the early part of the 1950s when Weatherby rifles became more available. This cartridge gives non-handloaders “handloaded” 7mm Mag. performance, delivering about 400 fps more velocity than the 7mm Mauser. Though not as popular as several other Wby. Mag. cartridges, it’s well-suited for any North American game. [caption id="attachment_3428" align="aligncenter" width="650"] The 7mm Winchester Short Magnum (WSM) was designed in 2001 by Winchester Repeating Arms Company and Browning Arms Company. The case is based off a .300 WSM necked down to accept a .284-inch bullet.[/caption] 4) 7mm Winchester Short Magnum: The 7mm WSM was designed in 2001 by Winchester Repeating Arms Company and Browning Arms Company. The case is based off a .300 WSM necked down to accept a .284-inch bullet, and it delivers its best performances with bullets weighing 140 to 160 grains. However, it has failed to gain the same popularity as the other cartridges in the WSM family, notably the .300 WSM and .270 WSM. Still, it’s a fine hunting cartridge. [caption id="attachment_3427" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Developed in 1980, the 7mm-08 is now rightly recognized as one of the finest all-around cartridges ever developed for deer-sized game. It can be chambered in lightweight, short-action rifles, sports modest recoil and, when loaded with the standard 140-grain bullet, has plenty of “pop” to take the largest deer cleanly and quickly. It’s also quite accurate in most rifles.[/caption] 3) 7mm-08 Rem.: In an effort to combine the efficiency of the short .308 Win. case with the ballistic coefficient of a 7mm bullet, the 7mm-08 was introduced in 1980 by Remington, which somewhat falsely advertised it as “the first modern 7mm round designed for use in short-action rifles.” (The .284 Winchester, introduced in 1963, had come on the scene almost two decades earlier.) The 7mm-08 is also a direct copy of the wildcat 7mm/.308 that dates back to at least 1958 and was touted in P.O. Ackley’s Handbook for Shooters and Reloaders in 1962. Be that as it may, the 7mm-08 took a while to catch on with modern American hunters who for a decade or more went through a period of enthrallment with standard- and long-action rounds into which they could cram a high volume of powder in an attempt to break the sound barrier with muzzle velocity. But catch on it has and the 7mm-08 is now rightly recognized as one of the finest all-around cartridges ever developed for deer-sized game. The cartridge combines modest recoil with the ability to be chambered in lightweight, short-action rifles, and when loaded with the standard 140-grain bullet, there’s plenty of “pop” to take the largest deer cleanly and quickly. It’s also quite accurate in most rifles. [caption id="attachment_3425" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Introduced by Remington in 1962, the 7mm Rem. Mag. is a superb all-around long-range big-game cartridge with which one can confidently hunt all North American big game.[/caption] 2) 7mm Remington Magnum: The venerable “7 Mag.” has taken most all the world’s biggest, toughest game and it’s been used for decades by hunters seeking a combination of flat trajectory and downrange energy delivery. In its current design, the belted 7mm Rem. Mag. was introduced by Remington in 1962 at the same time the company replaced its Model 721, 722, and 725 bolt-action rifles with the new Model 700 series. Both have proven themselves to be timeless. The 7mm Rem. Mag. is a superb all-around, long-range big-game cartridge with which one can confidently hunt all North American big game. It is inherently accurate, and a wide range of bullet weights and styles can be used depending on the task at hand. The cartridge’s only downfall might be the fact that it can be somewhat of a kicker, which prevents many shooters from handling it as well as they might. [caption id="attachment_3426" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Introduced by Remington in 1962, the 7mm Rem. Mag. is a superb all-around long-range big-game cartridge with which one can confidently hunt all North American big game.[/caption] 1) .280 Remington: Introduced by Remington back in 1957, it was initially chambered not in the Model 700 bolt-action rifle but in the Model 740 autoloader. It later appeared in the Model 760 slide-action rifle and Model 721 and 725 bolt-actions. From 1979 to 1980, Remington called the cartridge the “7mm Express Remington,” hoping to spur sales by riding the wave of 7mm craze overtaking hunters at the time. Confusion reigned, though, so the next year the company returned to the .280 moniker. The .280 is, essentially, a .30-06 case necked down to 7mm, though it does have a slightly different shoulder location so that it can not (and should not) be chambered in either a .270 or .30-06. Generally speaking, the .280 Rem. can do anything and everything the .30-06 with 150- to 180-grain bullets can do when the .280 Rem. is loaded with bullets weighing between 140- and 160-grains. It is an inherently accurate cartridge that generates moderate recoil and is available in a huge array of production rifles. [caption id="attachment_3429" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Robb took this nice New Mexico bull elk with a handloaded 160-grain Nosler Partition in a .280 Rem.[/caption] The .280 is a cartridge I have lots of experience with. Back in the mid-1980s, I obtained one of the then-new Remington Model 700 KS Mountain Rifles chambered in .280, topped it with a Leupold Vari-X III 2.5-8X scope and went to work. While I shot some factory ammunition, I developed a load around IMR 4831 and the 160-grain Nosler Partition bullet that gave me a muzzle velocity of 2,820 fps and 100-yard three-shot accuracy of right at a half-inch. That rifle/load combination accounted for an almost embarrassing amount of big-game animals, including several bull elk and a pair of Alaskan interior grizzly bears. Neither of these big, tough animals noticed they weren’t hit with a big .338, dying quickly and cleanly when the Partition took out both lungs.
https://youtu.be/P4KzvssqOC0In this video, Top Shot Champion Chris Cheng explains for beginner shooters the various components that make up a rifle cartridge. Firearm instructors and experienced shooters are encouraged to watch and share this knowledge with newcomers to the shooting sports.