Legendary Tailgating Tips: Not Just for the Gamegoers

AJ Gall

There’s only one feasible reason God packed the two greatest activities – hunting and football – into the same season . . . so we could have the best and freshest cuts of wild game meat to tailgate with every Saturday and Sunday this fall!

If you think you’re going to become a LEGENDARY tailgater by picking up some frozen ¼ pound beef patties from the local KwikTrip before pulling into the parking lot, think again.  Tailgating is not for the hasty, it’s a sacred meal before kickoff and thus demands preparation.  From the treestand to the table, Legendary Whitetails has the tips you need to succeed at both.  After all, we come from not only the greatest deer hunting state in the nation, but also the greatest tailgating state. Coincidence? I think not.

From the folks here in the land of beer, deer, brats and cheese – we give you the ultimate tailgating guidelines to elevate your game day dishes to LEGENDARY status.

It starts in the field

The only way you’re going to be able to serve up some Legendary wild game dishes is if you are successful in the field.  You can read up on all the latest whitetail hunting tips and strategies here.  What you do immediately following your harvest will greatly impact the future flavor of the venison, turkey, or any other wild game you harvest this fall.  From field dressing an animal to slicing specific cuts of meat, you’ll learn everything you need to know about processing your own game in this Q & A blog with coauthor of Gut it. Cut it. Cook it. – Al Cambrone.

How to Process Your Own Deer

It’s prepped the day before             

Now that it’s off the hanger it’s time to choose a piece of meat and a killer recipe.  Good cooking takes time and preparation, so don’t try to squeeze a grocery store run in on your way to the stadium.  Get all of your ingredients ready to rock and roll the day before.  By all, we mean charcoal, marinades, food, plates, napkins, coolers, grilling utensils, games, chairs, tables, team flags, game day apparel, etc., anything you need for game day.  Whether you need to marinate your meat, slap some ground venison patties together, or mix up a chili chip dip, do it the night before.

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It’s game time!

Game time in the tailgating sense is the holy grail of meals which takes place approximately one hour before kickoff.  If you’re “tailgating” from your living room, then you basically have unlimited recipe options, but if you’re actually tailgating, then the grill is going to be your primary cooking tool.  Thus, you must know how to use it – charcoal or propane.  Seriously though, who tailgates with a propane grill?  All those savory smells of goodness that fill the stadium surrounding atmosphere are coming from charcoal grills, not propane.  Nonetheless, use if you must, just don’t blow yourself up.

Now back to charcoal, just like the game itself, practice makes perfect.  If you’re a rookie, practice with your family before you show up to cook for your friends.  You’re ready to grill that bacon wrapped backstrap when the charcoal is gray and glowing.  Be sure to use a thermometer to monitor the heat depending on what you are grilling up.  Several grills may be needed to accommodate the multitudes of meat and roasted veggies needed to feed a rowdy game day crowd.

Nothing is beats a bacon wrapped backstrap before the game!

It’s halftime!

While game time is the shining moment for the true tailgaters, halftime is a stay-at-homer’s time to shine.  For those gathered around a 60+ inch HDTV, halftime munchies are critical for a solid second half performance.  Just a few feet away from the living room stadium sits a dining room table packed full of delicious appetizers and other quick grab-and-go bites.  For many, this is where wildgame can shine, especially for the unsuspecting “I don’t eat deer” saying person at your party.  Wrap it in bacon, stuff it with cheese, put it in a dip, smoke it as jerky, or cure it as sausage, however you like your meat, we’ve got the best wild game appetizer recipes for you.  We’ll share our recipes, you share your food.

Wild game appetizersChips and venison zip dip are a great halftime snack!  Click the photo for wild game appetizers!

It’s a victory party!

There ain’t no party like the after party!  Sitting in traffic is no fun, especially after a big win, so be the wise tailgater and pack some cuts for after the game.  No doubt you’ll have a crowd of fellow fans wishing they were as smart as you.

Pulled Venison SandwichA pulled venison sandwich is the perfect meal for before and after the game.  Simply make it the day before, bring it in a tupperware container and heat it up using a cast iron skillet or some foil over the grill. Fast, easy, and delicious!

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About The Author
From Woods to Table

AJ Gall

AJ Gall's prior hunting and wildlife experiences began long ago and make him the perfect contributing deer hunting guru.  As a habitat consultant under Dr. Grant Woods, AJ has worked on properties in 13 different states, amassing over 25,000 acres of quality deer management. He now uses that knowledge to help clients find their dream hunting properties as a licensed real estate agent in Wisconsin.  


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