Steve Beckwith - Maine Hunter

Friday, December 12, 2014

Using a new fallen snow to your advantage on rural or suburban public land!

Here's a tip about using a new fallen snow to your advantage when you can't track them without pushing them out of hunt-able areas like in a suburban hunt on public land! If the morning sit doesn't produce investigate a little in the open hardwoods and trails for late and early morning activity locate where they headed for bedding without pushing them out of their secure hiding place and use that knowledge for tomorrows early morning setup!
This knowledge not only works the next day, but can help you with that early morning setup next year too! Deer are creatures of habit, and follow ancestral instincts handed down from past survival methods in any woods this holds true on rural hunts as well! Many hunters find opportunity, where they have found it before! 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Corned Venison Brisket - A Crock Pot Delight!

Corned Venison Brisket Brine Recipe & Crock Pot Cooking Instructions
This recipe is my own twist compiled from several reviewed corned beef recipes, tried and tested to be excellent dinning by my friends and family!
The meat cut: Bone out about 4-5 lbs of  venison. (Front shoulder, neck, rump all work great.)

The Brine Recipe:
  • 2 quarts cold well or bottled water (avoid Chlorinated water)
  • 1 cup Sea salt or Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick of cinnamon (or 1/2 teaspoon powdered cinnamon in a pinch)
  • 2 tablespoons of whole black peppercorns 
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered clove or 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice powder
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary
  • 3 bay leaves crushed
  • 5-8 garlic cloves crushed (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder in a pinch)
Instructions for preparing Brine and Brine time

Step 1- Place all the above ingredients into a large kettle and heat on medium heat stirring constantly until the salt and sugars dissolve thoroughly when the liquid just starts to boil /steam remove from heat. Allow to cool completely to refrigerator temperature COLD!  Do not use hot or warm brine on fresh meat. (Cooked meat will spoil during brine process if you add hot liquid onto fresh meat!)

Step 2 -I find using a vacuum sealer with large bags works best for this, but you can use large zip lock bags or even a ceramic type bowl and cover. But what ever choice you use, the brine must engulf the entire cut of meat during this process. I make a vacuum sealed bag place the meat inside and fill the bag with the COLD brine solution, then using the bag sealer, I remove as much as I can without sucking up fluid into my sealer machine and seal the bag top. I then massage the brine into the meat through the sealed bag and place the bag into a large mixing bowl (In case it leaks) in the refrigerator for 4-7 days, the longer it sits in the brine the more flavor in the end result! But even a 4 day brine is excellent! Remove brisket daily and repeat the bag massage and flip over. If you used the bowl method simply flip the roast daily in the bowl.

Step 3 - Remove meat from brine and discard brine. Thoroughly rinse the meat removing all spices, and herbs and place back into the refrigerator in Ziploc bag or other suitable container. You can cook it right away or wait up to 3 days before cooking.

Slow Cooking your Corned Venison Brisket 9-10 Hours
  • Serves 4 - (Increase vegetables for large portion and if your crock pot size allows! )
  • 4-5lbs Corned Venison Brisket
  • 4- carrots halved
  • 1-2 medium onions cut into wedges
  • 4-6 red potatoes quartered
  • 2-3 celery stalks cut into halves
  • 1 head of cabbage, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 tablespoon (your favorite spices) Pickling Spice, Corned Beef Spice, or be creative!
  • 12-20 OZ bottle of dark beer (Guinness Stout works great)
Using a large crock!

1- Place all vegetables except the cabbage into the bottom of crock pot.
2- Rinse meat again
3- Place on top of vegetables
4- Add the bottle of stout beer, spices and add water to cover the meat.
5-Cover and cook on LOW heat setting for 9 hours
6- Remove meat and vegetables from crock pot and cover with foil to keep warm
7 - Turn crock pot to HIGH and cook cabbage about 30 minutes
To Serve:
Slice your corned venison brisket across the grain and serve with vegetables.
Place a small container of the cooking juices broth for added flavor on your table and enjoy!  

Copyright Steven E.F. Beckwith - 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cooking Wild Game in New England

 Corned Venison Roast

There's a great group on Facebook for all you interested in sharing and learning more about cooking wild game! Share your favorite recipe or tempt us with your recent wild game home cooked dinner delight!

My recent post in this group!

Corned "Venison" I marinated the boned out front shoulder of a deer, about 5 Lbs. in a brine with herbs, spices, sea salt for 4-6 days and then slow cooked in a crock pot with onions,carrots,potatoes for 9 hours and then topped it off with cabbage for the final hour. I eliminated the the "salt Peter" (The gun powder element!) from most the recipes found online that gives it the traditional red, corned beef "look", it makes for a healthier roast and it tasted excellent and has the same texture of any typical corned beef roast, except that it was a Corned Venison roast! This is a definite Do-Over!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Much deserved plug for two great products!

Antler Ice used in combination with Buck Cage make for easy application and storage of scents.

In 2014 here in Maine I took on two new product sponsors for my Maine Hunters TV show and I set out to put them to work. Honestly folks, if I am sponsored and the product doesn't cut the mustard?  I simply will not promote it.  In the case of both of these products I stand behind them as top notch tools for your bag of tricks hunting here in New England!

This video speaks for itself and these products, because it was self filmed on location before this deer was field dressed and at the height of my excitement of harvesting this nice Maine buck using these two products jointly!

The Antler Ice scent product,  Doe In Heat,  is doe estrus captured and delivered to my door via US mail. It arrived packed in ice packs frozen solid and it was kept in my freezer until the night before hunted!  Antler Ice also has their own ghost wicks for their product usage, but because I had Buck Cages, I preferred to use these over a standard wick material.

 I used two Buck Cages and placed the Antler Ice - Doe In Heat inside them, Buck Cages have "polymer beads" that absorb and hold scent longer, they don't air dry as fast as a typical felt type wick material does, giving stronger and longer scent application to your hunting area. I placed the Buck Cages one at 18 inches off the ground and the other about 3 feet off the ground, spread about 10 ft each side of me so that the scent would mask my odor even with a wind direction change after I set up! The other beauty of the Buck Cages is they come with a nice way to hang them built into the cage, and they each have their own plastic capped vial to keep them in and makes it simple to handle the scent and to make quick moves to a new location, the Buck Cages hold 1/2 once of scent that last for a couple days or more!

The other fact you will hear in this video is that I used my Apple Iphone 5s and a hunting call AP which I downloaded, called HuntPro and used the Estrus Bleat call in conjunction with these products. I did not use an amplifier with my phone, it was a very calm foggy morning and sound traveled very well. This buck heard the call, smelled the scents and came running right in on a trot directly to wards the sound and smell, the deer was harvested at 20 yards, as I let him come right on in close! Check your State laws for electronic calls before using cell phone aps in your State, but Maine allows the use of electronic calls for deer hunting.  Happy Hunting!

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Lil' Can used two ways for added volume on windy days!

The Lil' Can is an awesome tool to have in your pocket during the deer season, rut typically starts about the 11th of November plus or minus few days and runs right through mid December, depending upon the activity in your area you hunt. Bucks once they go into rut often can be tricked by an estrus or in late season December hunts the doe grunt call is my staple.

In this video you will see that I blow into the can call, and the trick is to not blow to hard into the hole, actually allow some of your air to escape outside the hole when you blow, and make sure the slide in the can is not tipped all the way towards the vent holes of the can, keep the slide allows your air to flow around it and out the exit sound holes. A little practice before you hit the woods and you'll have a louder estrus bleat call for windy days!