Got a deer camp story? How about a venison recipe?

Forgive us for skipping a season, but let’s forget (for just a moment) that we’re in the middle of summer. Let’s forget that we’ve got months to go before we haul out our deer gear and head into the woods to try (again) to fill our tag.
Our crew is busily putting together our next edition of our stand-alone publication, BDN Maine Outdoors, which will hit newsstands in September. And since our past collaborative stories have been so popular with readers, we’re asking for your help again, for a pair of stories that are sure to be a hit.
Before you get all nervous, don’t worry: We’re not going to ask you for the location of your best tree stand. We’re not going to ask you for a few pounds of deer steak.
Nope. We wouldn’t do such a thing.
But we do know that BDN readers are an adventurous and inventive bunch. We know you get out there … and we know that when you return, you’ll have tales to tell.
So here’s what we’re looking for this time around:
Your best venison recipe (we’ll provide our own deer meat) … and your best deer camp story.
Of course, you might not have both; we’re not picky, we’ll happily accept either.
First, let’s talk about venison. Yum.
Many of the hunters I know think they’re pretty good venison cooks. Truth be told, many of their recipes are remarkably similar: Put butter in a pan. Salt and pepper your thin-sliced deer steak. Chuck ‘em in.
As I said before, “Yum.”
However, we know there’s more you can do with a nice piece of venison. We know you’ve experimented. And we hope you’ll be willing to share your delicacies (or at least the recipes) with us.
The BDN’s Natalie Feulner will be writing a mouth-watering feature about some great venison meals, and she’d love to hear from you. Send along your best, and feel free to tell her why the recipe is special to you. You can reach Natalie at
In another BDN Maine Outdoors feature, I’ll be talking about hunting camps. Many families and groups of friends have ‘em. And most love ‘em.
I know, I know. You all live by the “What happens at deer camp stays at deer camp” rule. I respect that.
Still, I think there are a few tales that can be told without violating the trust of your fellow hunters. Some ideas: Why is the camp special to you? Tell me about your first trip to hunting camp? Take me there: What’s it smell like … sound like … look like? Do you have special memories of time spent in camp?
Any of those writing prompts will work. As for length, aim for 300 words or so. We’ll select some of the most interesting submissions, cobble ‘em together, share a few tales of our own, and (here’s the cool part) some of you will be able to take a copy of BDN Maine Outdoors to hunting camp this fall and show your buddies what you wrote about ‘em.
As always, photos are welcome.
You can send your stories to me at And don’t wait: The deadline is approaching quickly, and we’ll have this issue’s editorial content completed long before bear season begins … not to mention deer season.

John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.