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A Wild Twist on Thanksgiving: Delectable Wild Game Recipes

Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, reflection, and, of course, a hearty feast with the ones you love most. Many traditional dishes take center stage on this holiday, but you can elevate your Thanksgiving dinner to a whole new level by incorporating wild game into your menu. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced hunter or just looking to add a unique twist to your Thanksgiving meal, this guide will introduce you to mouthwatering wild game recipes that will leave your guests thankful for an unforgettable dining experience.

72Hour Food Kit

This Thanksgiving, surprise your guests with a delectable feast showcasing the unique flavors of wild game. From the rich and elegant venison Wellington to the zesty roast pheasant with cranberry-orange glaze, these wild game recipes will make your holiday dinner a memorable and delicious event. As you gather around the table with friends and family, you can celebrate not only the bounty of the season but also the connection between the hunter, the land, and the feast.

Wild Turkey Stuffed with Wild Rice

Homemade Roasted Thanksgiving Day Turkey

Let’s start with a Thanksgiving classic that pays homage to the holiday’s origins: wild turkey stuffed with wild rice. This combines the flavors you’ve come to expect on Thanksgiving while also providing a throwback to the very early days of the holiday. 

Ingredients

  • 1 wild turkey (about 12-14 pounds)
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Cook the wild rice in broth until tender. Drain any excess liquid.
  2. In a skillet, heat olive oil and sauté onions, celery, mushrooms, pecans, dried cranberries, garlic, and thyme until soft.
  3. Mix the sautéed ingredients with the cooked wild rice.
  4. Preheat your oven to 325°F (163°C).
  5. Stuff the wild turkey with the wild rice mixture.
  6. Rub the turkey with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Roast the turkey for about 3-4 hours, basting occasionally, until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).
  8. Let it rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving.

Venison Wellington

wellington venison tenderloin

You can give a wild twist to the classic dish beef Wellington by making it with hunted venison rather than farmed beef. This elegant dish can make your Thanksgiving dinner feel like a grand feast, even if you’re still in your gear from the hunt.

72Hour Food Kit

Ingredients

  • 1 pound venison loin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 package puff pastry (thawed)
  • 4-6 slices prosciutto
  • 1 cup mushroom duxelles (finely chopped mushrooms sautéed with onions and garlic)
  • 1 egg (beaten, for egg wash)

Instructions

  1. Season the venison loin with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan and sear the venison until browned on all sides.
  3. Brush the venison with Dijon mustard and let it cool.
  4. Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap and arrange prosciutto slices to form a rectangle.
  5. Spread the mushroom duxelles over the prosciutto.
  6. Place the seared venison in the center and wrap the prosciutto and duxelles around it.
  7. Roll out the puff pastry and wrap it around the venison parcel.
  8. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg to create a golden crust.
  9. Preheat your oven to 400°F (204°C) and bake the Wellington for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
  10. Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Roast Pheasant with Cranberry-Orange Glaze

Crispy roasted pheasant

Roast pheasant is a delightfully unusual addition to your Thanksgiving table. Our recipe incorporates a zesty cranberry-orange glaze to balance the flavors:

Ingredients

  • 2 whole pheasants (about 2-2.5 pounds each)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig thyme

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Season the pheasants with salt and pepper and set them aside.
  3. In a saucepan, combine orange zest, orange juice, cranberries, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar. Simmer until the cranberries burst and the mixture thickens into a glaze.
  4. Heat olive oil in an ovenproof skillet and sear the pheasants until they are golden brown.
  5. Add minced garlic and herbs to the skillet.
  6. Pour the cranberry-orange glaze over the pheasants.
  7. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and roast for about 25-30 minutes or until the pheasants are cooked through.
  8. Baste with the glaze while roasting.
  9. Serve with extra glaze on the side.

Wild Duck with Port Wine Reduction

Roasted duck breast

Wild duck is a rich and flavorful choice for a Thanksgiving entrée. This recipe incorporates a luscious port wine reduction for a touch of elegance:

Ingredients

  • 2 wild ducks (any species)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup port wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F (232°C).
  2. Season the ducks with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat olive oil in an ovenproof skillet and sear the ducks until browned on all sides.
  4. Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and roast for about 15-20 minutes or until the ducks are cooked to your desired level of doneness.
  5. Remove the ducks from the skillet and let them rest.
  6. In the same skillet, sauté the minced shallot until translucent.
  7. Add port wine and chicken broth, and simmer until the sauce is reduced by half.
  8. Stir in the butter and fresh thyme.
  9. Serve the wild ducks with the port wine reduction drizzled over the top.

72Hour Food Kit

Do you have any favorite recipes for wild game that would be good to have for Thanksgiving? Share them with your fellow sportsmen below in the comments. 

 

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Experience the Beauty of Nature at Wilderness Awareness Camp

Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Cascade Mountains, Wilderness Awareness Camp offers a unique and unforgettable experience for nature lovers of all ages. Whether you are a seasoned outdoor enthusiast or just beginning to explore the wonders of the natural world, this camp provides a setting for learning, growth, and connection with the environment.

At Wilderness Awareness Camp, participants have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the pristine beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Surrounded by towering trees, crystal-clear lakes, and snow-capped peaks, campers are able to experience the diversity and richness of the local ecosystem firsthand. From hiking through old-growth forests to paddling on tranquil waters, there are endless opportunities to explore and appreciate the natural world.

One of the hallmarks of Wilderness Awareness Camp is its focus on experiential learning. Through hands-on activities, games, and workshops, campers are encouraged to engage with their surroundings in a meaningful and transformative way. Whether tracking wildlife, building shelters, or learning traditional wilderness skills, participants are able to deepen their understanding of nature and develop a deep sense of connection with the world around them.

In addition to outdoor adventure and skill-building, Wilderness Awareness Camp also offers opportunities for personal growth and self-discovery. Through group discussions, reflective exercises, and guided meditations, campers are able to explore their relationship with nature and gain a deeper understanding of themselves. This holistic approach to learning fosters a sense of mindfulness, gratitude, and stewardship for the environment.

Campers at Wilderness Awareness Camp also have the chance to connect with like-minded individuals who share a passion for the outdoors. Whether making new friends around the campfire, collaborating on a team challenge, or sharing stories of their adventures, participants are able to build lasting relationships and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Overall, Wilderness Awareness Camp provides a unique and transformative experience for those looking to connect with nature and deepen their understanding of the natural world. By immersing themselves in the beauty of the Cascade Mountains, campers are able to cultivate a sense of wonder, appreciation, and respect for the environment. Whether you are a seasoned outdoor enthusiast or just beginning your journey into the wilderness, this camp offers an opportunity to experience the beauty of nature in a profound and meaningful way.

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Camping

Shelter Camping: A Great Way to Connect with Nature

Do you love being outside surrounded by nature but also enjoy the comforts of a warm bed and a roof over your head at night? Shelter camping may be the perfect compromise for you. Shelter camping allows you to experience the beauty of the great outdoors while still having a sheltered structure to sleep in at night.

Shelter camping involves staying in a structure such as a cabin, yurt, teepee, or even a treehouse while still immersing yourself in nature. These structures provide protection from the elements and a place to rest after a long day of hiking, fishing, or exploring the natural surroundings.

One of the great benefits of shelter camping is the opportunity to connect with nature in a more intimate and comfortable way. You can relax in a cozy cabin while listening to the sounds of the forest, or snuggle up in a teepee while gazing at the stars above. Shelter camping provides a unique and rejuvenating experience that allows you to truly unwind and escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Another advantage of shelter camping is the convenience and ease it offers. You don’t have to worry about setting up a tent or sleeping on the hard ground. Instead, you can simply arrive at your shelter, unpack your belongings, and begin enjoying your outdoor adventure right away. Many shelters also come equipped with amenities such as beds, heaters, and cooking facilities, making your camping experience more comfortable and enjoyable.

Shelter camping is also a great option for those who may be new to camping or not comfortable with more primitive forms of camping. With a shelter, you have the security and peace of mind knowing that you have a safe and secure place to sleep at night. It provides a great introduction to camping for those who may be hesitant to try traditional camping.

In addition to providing a comfortable and convenient camping experience, shelter camping also allows you to support and preserve the natural environment. Many shelter camping areas are located in eco-friendly and sustainable settings, promoting conservation and responsible outdoor recreation. By choosing shelter camping, you can enjoy the beauty of nature while also minimizing your impact on the environment.

So if you’re looking for a unique and rewarding way to connect with nature, consider trying shelter camping. Whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a longer outdoor adventure, shelter camping offers a comfortable and immersive experience that allows you to truly appreciate the beauty of the natural world. So pack your bags, leave your worries behind, and embrace the beauty of shelter camping.

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Connect with the Natural World at Wilderness Awareness Camp

If you’re looking for a way to deepen your connection with nature and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Wilderness Awareness Camp might be just the place for you. Located in Duvall, Washington, this camp offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural world and learn invaluable skills for living closer to the land.

Run by the non-profit organization Wilderness Awareness School, the camp offers a range of programs for all ages, from children to adults. Participants at the camp have the opportunity to learn a variety of skills, including wilderness survival techniques, tracking, plant identification, and nature awareness.

One of the key aspects of Wilderness Awareness Camp is its focus on building a deep connection with the natural world. Participants are encouraged to slow down, observe their surroundings, and develop a sense of reverence and respect for the earth. Through activities like sit-spotting, where campers spend time alone in nature, and tracking exercises, where they learn to read the signs left by animals, participants learn to tune into the natural rhythms of the forest and develop a sense of belonging to the land.

The camp also offers opportunities for participants to learn practical skills that can be applied in a wilderness setting. From fire-making and shelter-building to plant identification and wildlife tracking, campers gain a hands-on understanding of the natural world and how to live in harmony with it.

In addition to its focus on nature connection and wilderness skills, Wilderness Awareness Camp also offers a supportive and inclusive community where participants can feel supported and encouraged in their journey of self-discovery. The camp is staffed by experienced and knowledgeable instructors who are passionate about sharing their love of the natural world with others.

Whether you’re a seasoned outdoors enthusiast or a city-dweller looking to reconnect with nature, Wilderness Awareness Camp offers a unique and transformative experience. By immersing yourself in the beauty and wonder of the forest, you can learn valuable skills, deepen your connection with the earth, and experience a sense of peace and renewal that is hard to find in our fast-paced modern world. So why not unplug, step outside, and connect with the natural world at Wilderness Awareness Camp?

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