Wild Game Recipes for Labor Day Weekend

Summer, it’s been one helluva party. But farewell for now, cause hunting season is upon us. To celebrate, check out these wild game recipes for Labor Day weekend.

Wild Game Recipes for Labor Day Weekend

Whether you’re hosting a cookout, dinner party or tailgate (the opening weekend of college football season is just days away), we've curated some grill-friendly, lawn-party-perfect wild game recipes for Labor Day weekend.


Grilled Venison Meatballs

Photo: Camp Chef

Meatballs are one of the most versatile things you can make with ground venison for several reasons: They can serve as appetizers, the main course or as an addition to pasta.

Here’s a great recipe from Camp Chef for grilled venison meatballs stuffed with basil and mozarella.


  • Ground beef – 1 1/2 lbs
  • Sausage – 1/2 lb
  • Bread crumbs – 1/2 cup
  • Plain yogurt – 3/4 cup
  • Milk – 1/4 cup
  • Eggs – 2
  • Diced fire roasted tomatoes – 14 oz can
  • Chopped garlic – 2 Tablespoons
  • Parmesan cheese – 1/2 cup
  • Dried parsley – 1/2 Tablespoon
  • Dried oregano – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Kosher salt – 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • Black pepper – to taste
  • Camp Chef’s All Purpose Seasoning or your favorite rub  to taste
  • Fresh mozzarella, shredded – 1 cup
  • Fresh basil – chopped

For recipe instruction, go here.

— Alan Clemons

Wild Turkey Nuggets With Buttermilk Breading

Photo: Brad Fenson

As many months have passed since your last deer hunt, maybe you’re flat out of venison. If that’s the case, how about some wild turkey nuggets, fried up nice and crisp? It’s simple and frying wild turkey breasts fast at high heat locks in moisture.

  • 2 boneless, skinless turkey breasts
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 4 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • .5 tsp onion powder
  • .5 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 quart peanut oil (corn or canola oil can be used as well)

For recipe instructions, go here.

— Brad Fenson

Ballgame Venison Rolls With Maple-Bourbon Gravy


The three things people tend to like about this recipe are:

  1. It takes all of 10 minutes to prepare the venison.
  2. The concoction involves a gravy.
  3. The gravy involves bourbon.

Seared Venison Tenderloin or Backstrap


  • 2-4 pounds venison tenderloin or backstrap
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Bourbon-Maple Gravy

The bourbon-maple gravy used for the venison rolls is a recipe posted by the brilliant Hank Shaw. He adds Tabasco to his gravy, while I opted for horseradish (which I highly recommend). Either way, without some heat, the gravy is rich and sweet— arguably too rich (like, chocolate fudge-rich). The heat offsets the sweetness and makes things balanced in a way that really complements the rare venison meat.


  • Pan drippings (if there are any), about 3 tablespoons. If short, add butter.
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup beef stock or water
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish (I prefer a jar of the prepared horseradish like Reese’s)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For recipe instructions, click here.

— Amy Hatfield

Fat Venison Burgers With Italian Breadcrumbs

Photo: Amy Hatfield

Here’s a venison burger recipe that outsmarts the lean-meat patty problem. It involves an egg, flavored bread crumbs and two little twists on tradition.


  • 1½ pounds ground venison
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup Italian breadcrumbs (Any brand is fine. I just use the IGA-brand crumbs from my small town’s only grocery store.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ small yellow onion, chopped
  • Mushrooms (optional)
  • Cheese (optional)
  • Bacon, thick cut (optional)

For recipe instructions, click here.

— Amy Hatfield

Wild Game Shish Kebabs

Photo: Keith Sutton

Of course, nothing elaborate is necessary when cooking shish kebabs. If you prefer, you can just thread the food on the skewer and place it directly on the grill or on a cooking grid over a campfire. To prevent the meat from sticking, I like to first rub the cooking surface with olive oil or a piece of bacon. And though some prefer to cook meat and vegetables threaded alternately on each skewer, I prefer to keep meat and veggies separate so each can be cooked to the proper doneness.

Still, there is an art to tasty kebabs that involves the right ingredient combinations to enhance flavor and tenderness. If you're looking to ratchet up your kebab game, check out not one, but four — that’s right four! — shish kebab recipes here.

The four recipes include “Deer on a Spear,” “Quacker Brochettes,” “Shish Ke-Bunny” and “Gamebird Sates.”

— Keith Sutton 

For more wild-game recipes, visit our page featuring Wild Eats.


Featured Photo: Keith Sutton


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