Looking out from my stand Every year I try to get up to north west Minnesota to do a deer hunt with some old family friends. The Obergs had a cabin next to my grandparents on Leech lake and had kids my age. The Obergs have a lot of land that they have allowed me to hunt and have been very generous to allow me to bring some friends along year after year. In recent years hunt has been really good and everyone usually gets a deer, and sometimes two or even three apiece. this year it was designated a management zone so each hunter could shoot two deer if they chose to. A few of my buddies went up a couple of days earlier than I did and had already bagged an eight point buck by the time I got up there. Another friend of mine brought along his 12 year old daughter for her first deer hunt and on the second day we were up there Audrey shot her first deer. It was a beautiful 150 yards shot with a .243 that hit the animal perfectly and dropped it where it stood.
Audrey and her deer
The rest of us didn't fair as well this year of the seven of us that went only four got deer. I had several opportunities but was being very selective in what I was going to shoot this year. I had already shot two deer this year with a bow so I didn't feel any urgency to shoot another. I would have happily shot a nice doe and did take a shot at a running doe but missed. I had a couple of other opportunities but just didn't want to shoot a 4 or 6 point buck. I still have plenty of season left with the archery and muzzle loader seasons and should be able to get one or two more deer before the end of the year.
Last night we all gathered at my house and spent about six hours butchering deer and got all four cut up and packaged for the freezer. Audrey was very excited to help and cut and ground meat from her deer and was very interested in cooking venison. So in honor of Audrey's first deer Here is a recipe for a coffee spice rub that works really well with venison.
Coffee Spice Rub
1 tablespoon freshly ground coffee
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar (preferably Crystal brand to make Scott happy)
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1 pound pieces of venison backstrap
rub the loins with olive oil and then sprinkle half the rub on each loin. let stand in the fridge for an hour then roast in the oven at 375 for 20 -25 minutes or until the venison reaches 145 degrees internally for medium rare 155 for more well done. The key is to not over cook it because it can dry out very quickly.
Our hunting weekend wasn't as successful as it has been in the past but we still had a good time and got a new hunter her first deer. It was really fun seeing how excited Andy got when Audrey shot that deer. The day after Audrey got her deer, Andy shot a nice 9 point buck that ran right at him. I heard the shot and then an immediate "woohoo", that's the most excited I have seen that man. Andy's son Tyler was with us as well and shot a nice doe the last evening we were there.
As for the venison loin I served it up with some whipped sweet potatoes and balsamic glazed brussel sprouts. It was amazing.