North of 64 Deer Camp Chili


There is a certain camaraderie that accompanies fall hunting season, when friends and relatives join together at “deer camp” for a hearty meal. In the spirit of the traditions that accompany a successful hunt, this recipe submitted by Paul Nesbitt of DeForest, Wisc. is a tried and true venison chili recipe that begs to be topped with a handful of cheese, sour cream, chopped onions, and diced black olives. Paul says that some of the guys at camp also like to toss in a handful of corn chips or nacho chips for a little extra crunch.

Photo by iStock






North of 64 Deer Camp Chili by Paul Nesbitt of DeForest, Wisconsin

2 lbs. ground venison

1lb ground beef (or pork)

1 large yellow onion (chopped)

6 jalapeno peppers (diced)

2 Hungarian wax or banana peppers (diced)

6 cloves of garlic (minced)

5 Tbsp. chili powder

1 Tbsp. oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)

3 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. cocoa powder or hot chocolate powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. beef soup base granules (or one beef bouillon cube)

1 tsp. Louisiana hot sauce

1 shot of whiskey (we prefer Jack Daniels)

2- 29 oz. cans diced tomatoes (undrained)

1- 15 oz. can dark red kidney beans (drained)


  1. Prepare the onion, peppers, and garlic.
  2. In a large soup kettle – add meat, onion, peppers, and garlic. Cook until the meat is browned and the onions are clear. Drain approximately half of the liquid.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes, chili powder, oregano, cocoa powder, cumin, hot sauce, salt, and beef soup base.
  4. Stir ingredients and mix well. Simmer for approximately one hour.
  5. Then add the shot of whiskey and the beans. Simmer for an additional 20 to 30 minutes.


Paul submitted this recipe to the Outdoor News Taste of the Wild Recipes and More Contest that ended Oct. 27. For his winning submission, Paul received the cookbook by Hank Shaw titled Buck, Buck, Moose: Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Deer, Elk, Moose, Antelope and Other Antlered Things. It is the most comprehensive, lushly photographed book on cooking venison ever produced. Visit Hank Shaw’s blog,, for more details and to purchase a copy for yourself.


Categories: Big Game, Featured

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