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This recipe was inspired by the classic western novel “The Big Sky” by AB Guthrie.  Not only is burying a skinned-out deer head under a campfire fun and rugged, it’s also surprisingly effective.

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 Your actual food ingredients are simple.  You need:

  • •a skinned-out deer head
  • •salt

 In addition, you’ll need:

  • •a pile of wood for a fire
  • •a roll of tinfoil
  • •a gunnysack or large cotton game bag

First build a big fire and let it burn vigorously for a good 45-60 minutes in order to build up a strong bed of coals.  Really let it rip.  You can use about any wood but a dense, hard wood will produce hotter, longer lasting coals.  An ideal choice would be mesquite, but oak is also great. 

While the fire is burning, you can prep your head.  Salt it heavily and triple- or quadruple-wrap it in tin foil.  Take your gunnysack or game bag and soak it in a creek or with a hose until it’s fully saturated with water.  Wrap your tin-foiled head in it tightly to make a neat, wet package.

When a good crop of coals have collected, scrape out a trench or bowl in the center of your fire, deep enough and large enough around for your venison head.   Set your head in this trench (a spade is a nice tool for this and will come in handy later).  Cover the head with hot coals and proceed to build a big fire on top of it all.  The wet cotton will protect your skull and meat from direct dry heat and the tin foil will help as well.  Cooking time may vary, but it seems like 3 hours is a pretty good amount of time to let it cook.

There’s all kinds of good stuff on the head, particularly the tongue and the jowl meat, which tastes a bit like pulled pork.

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Join us for a 2-part special MeatEater series as Steven Rinella takes Joe Rogan and Bryan Callen on their first ever hunt in the badlands and the breaks of Montana!

The series airs April 28 and May 5 at 9pm ET/PT on The Sportsman Channel!

Find Sportsman Channel in your area here.

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