Recipe: Deer Camp Venison Chili from Hunting Magazine
Recipe: Deer Camp Venison Chili from Hunting Magazine | Venison Chili Shown here with Kidney Beans and optional toppings

A deer camp meal essential is a hot savory bowl of venison chili!

This thick, hearty, slow-cooked wild game venison chili makes for a great deer camp traditional staple food or you when the hunting season is over. Just cook up a big pot of this flavorful venison chili for a great, healthy family meal idea.

Recipe: Deer Camp Venison Chili


2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 pounds ground venison
6 – 8 slices of hickory smoked bacon, chop into medium sized pieces
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
4 carrots, minced (optional – depending upon if you like carrots)
2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon oregano (Fresh is optional – depending upon if you can find any locally)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3–4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28-ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1 14-ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14-ounce can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups beef or chicken broth (Your choice of this broth to use. You only need to use it if you wish to thin your chili mixture. So, use as needed)

Optional Toppings: avocado, cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, red onion, scallions, cilantro

Optional Ingredient Substitutions

Beans: depending upon your preference. You can substitute kidney beans
Tomatoes: If you have access to home-grown tomatoes, fresh or canned stewed tomatoes, please feel free to use them. I love using home-grown or fresh ingredient whenever possible.

Cooking Instructions

  1. Mix salt with ground venison. Set mixture aside while you prep the other recipe ingredients.
  2. In a large Dutch oven over medium / high heat, fry your bacon pieces until crispy. When fully cooked, place bacon pieces on paper towel lined plates to soak up excess bacon fat. Pour off most of the bacon fat, leaving about 1-2 tablespoons for sauteing of other ingredients.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, and carrots (if you opted to use them.) Sauté this mixture until soft and fragrant. (Cooking Tip: Your onions will start to become translucent)
  4. Add your ground venison and cooking spices. Brown until venison meat is fully cooked.
  5. Add the tomato paste. Sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes, beans, broth, and bacon. Bring this entire mixture to a low simmer. Cover mixture and let it simmer over this low heat for at least 45 – 60 minutes. Ideally, if you have the time. Its best to let the mixture simmer for at-least 2 hours (cooking it this way over an extend period of time allows your ingredients and flavors develop fully).

Cooking Tip: Check your chili from time to time while it’s simmering, as the venison chili mixture will thicken up as the moisture evaporates, so use extra water or (beef or chicken broth to thin it out to your desired consistency.

There Ya Go a great wild game recipe – Deer Camp Venison Chili! All that’s left to do is top the venison chili with your favorite toppings, tell deer hunting stories and enjoy it with friends or family.

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