By Carl Hanson

Oh hello, adventurous eater. So you've eaten your way through the pork, chicken, and beef recipes? Now dig into something wilder. Yes, if you're wild about game meats, these recipes are for you.

Are You Adventurous Enough To Eat These Wild Game Recipes?

1. Snails

Want to eat local? Sometimes a tasty protein source is as close as our own backyard. The common brown garden snail (Helix aspersa), the plague of many American gardens, is actually the same animal that, when served on a plate in a fancy restaurant, we call escargot. But before scooping up snails in your backyard, make sure the snails in your area are in fact Helix aspersa. There are other snails that aren't so good for eating.

Escargot Mushrooms

Does this es-car-go? Hell yes! And it runs on scrumptious melted butter.

Photo by catherine.drew

2. Turtle

The very name "snapping turtle" is a cautionary tale. They'll get you! The Encyclopedia of Country Living includes two fail-safe methods for catching the tasty but testy snapping turtle: grip the shell behind its head or coax it into biting the business end of a stick...and then chop off its head with an axe! News you can use.

Mike's Bait Shop's Turtle Stew

Photo by abiyah79

3. Wild Pig (Boar)

The Spanish brought pigs to California back in the 16th century and let them go wild in order to hunt them later. Today, the wild pigs of California are often considered pests. Tender, delicious pests when slowly cooked. Bonus: Compared to farm-raised pork, the meat of a wild pig is very lean.

Braised Wild Boar with Sauerkraut

Photo by Meredith

4. Rattlesnake

In good conscience we cannot recommend rattlesnake wrangling. Because...

Don't mess with me.

But if you somehow find yourself grasping a rattler in your mitts, The Encyclopedia of Country Living recommends chopping off its head while being mindful not to touch the fangs -- poison can enter the bloodstream through small cuts and scratches. The fangs might be unfriendly, but the white meat of the rattler is tender and mild.

5. Bear

There are only a handful of states where hunting bears is actually legal. Even fewer where it's a good idea. But if you live in one of the legal states, here's a recipe for you.

Big Bear Stew

Photo by Meredith

6. Alligator

These recipes call for the tender white meat of farmed alligators, which can often be found in the relatively safe preserve of your local market's frozen food section. That's good news, because alligators in the wild are shockingly quick and agile. They're also protected animals. They cannot be hunted or trapped without a special permit.

Image by Meredith

7. Squirrel

We have quite a few recipes for squirrel -- plus others, like Brunswick Stew that are easily converted. The Encyclopedia of Country Living includes a few rules for folks who eat small wild animals. Among them, never eat animals that appear lethargic, look to be in bad health...or are already dead.

Slow Cooker Squirrel and Liver

Photo by Soup Loving Nicole

8. Rabbit

Rule #1. Never make delicious braised rabbit for Easter dinner if the nieces might be dropping by unannounced. That's personal experience talking.

Rabbit Stew with Coconut Cream

Photo by sopenia

9. Frog's Legs

Never had tender, succulent frog's legs? Better hop to it. The legs, both front and back, are the edible parts of bullfrogs, leopard frogs, and green marsh frogs.

Fried Frog's Legs

Photo by Seeker

10. Elk

Elk are big creatures. Not easy to take down, and even harder to carry out. You'll need to section your elk even if you pack it out on a horse. Luckily, you will work up a hearty appetite.

Elk Shepherd's Pie

Photo by Meredith

11. Moose

Looking for something larger? Consider the moose. True story: In 2008, moose hunting enjoyed a sudden surge in, if not popularity, then curiosity certainly, thanks to a presidential campaign that featured a moose-hunting candidate from Alaska.

Canadian Moose Lasagna

Photo by Meredith

12. Venison

Included below is possibly the most popular venison recipe around. So nice it's marinated twice. And then, for good measure, it's wrapped in thick bacon and grilled. If you like filet mignon, you'll love grilled backstrap. But don't miss out on the other venison recipes, including...

Braised Venison with Rosemary and Shiitake

Photo by LeslieD


Check out our collection of Game Meat Recipes.


Featured tips were taken from The Encyclopedia of Country Living, by Carla Emery, a comprehensive guide to living off the land.

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