The Great Outdoors


There is a part of the deer that is sometimes neglected, trashed, given to the neighbors, or to the dogs. I consider it one of the better parts of a deer and I hate to see anyone just throw it away. No, it isn’t the tongue, the kidneys, the liver, or the testicles; it’s the rib cage.

I salvage the ribs by breaking them away from the backbone and then divide them into smaller parts by breaking the ribs in half and packaging them in Ziploc bags in a size that will fit in my freezer.

Later on I use this recipe to make, what I call:


(I doubt if you’ll ever discard the ribs again.)

About 5 lbs. of deer ribs

1 cup chopped onion

1 large bottle of French dressing (I have been known to use BBQ sauce)

Liquid smoke to taste

Mix onion, liquid smoke, and French dressing together. Put the ribs in a container (Ziploc bag will do), pour the marinade over the ribs, cover, and let them set overnight in the refrigerator. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes or until done in a covered glass Pyrex container or roasting pan in a conventional kitchen oven or in a #12 foil lined Dutch oven in Deer Camp – (the foil makes for easier cleanup).

To maintain a 350-degree temperature in a covered Dutch oven, I put 9 – 10 hot charcoal briquets under the Dutch oven and 15 – 16 on top. Make sure you use a windscreen to maintain the heat longer.



(Another ‘simply the best’ recipe.)

I’ve published this recipe before but got a call requesting it again and they asked if they could use regular hamburger. The answer is yes and here it is.

1-envelope Onion soup mix

2 lbs. deer burger (or regular hamburger)

2 eggs (beaten)

1/4-cup water

2/3-cup ketchup

3/4-cup breadcrumbs

Combine all ingredients, mix well, shape into a loaf, and bake in a bread loaf pan for one hour at 350 degrees. It’s as simple as that. When baking a meatloaf in Deer Camp, I put the bread loaf pan inside a Dutch oven and put on the lid. Put 9 hot briquets under the Dutch oven and 15 hot briquets on top. If you can’t time the baking, just let the briquets burn themselves out which should take just about one hour – cool; slice; enjoy.

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Ray McCune

He has lived in Waynedale for over 45 years. He has taken to his lifelong dream of being a full time Outdoor Freelance Writer and author. Ray has authored one book and has written Kampfire Kookin' as well as other outdoors articles for the newspaper. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer