Thursday, October 29, 2015

Antelope Tenderloin -- Recipe

12:56 AM
After butchering our antelope, I had the tenderloins ready to go. The tenderloins are arguably the best cut of the animal (I say "arguably" because I've had backstrap that has come close.) The sooner you eat them, the better, or maybe it just feels that way because you're ready for a reward for good food. 

This recipe works on just about any game meat, but the antelope made it taste like heaven. Note that the nutmeg is a must. I discovered this "secret" when reading older recipe books that talked about cooking game. There's something about nutmeg that improves the flavor. They also recommend mace, which I would use as well, if the nutmeg wasn't so damn good.

Antelope Tenderloins

  • 2 Antelope tenderloins
  • 1 lb bacon (get the good stuff)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp pepper (optional)
  1. Slice antelope tenderloins into 1 inch thick slices.
  2. Mix spices together and sprinkle on antelope until all sides are covered.
  3. Take a slice of bacon and wrap it around each antelope piece. Secure with toothpicks.
  4. Take extra bacon (if there are any) and put in frying pan. Cook on medium heat.
  5. Add antelope tenderloins to the bacon. Cook and be sure to turn over and cook each side.
  6. Put a lid on the frying pan and let cook until the meat is done to your liking and the bacon is done. If necessary, turn down the heat to prevent burning.
That's it.  Really.  Simple but oh so good.  Even cheap bacon works in a pinch but you may be using less salt because they really load up cheap bacon with salt.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Success at getting an Antelope

2:14 AM

Well we went hunting again for the third day since opening season. The first two days we saw mule deer (not hunt-able in the unit we were in), a pair of bobcats hunting rabbit (way cool),  and a huge beaver by his pond.

We hunt for food, not trophies, so if the critter has horns or antlers, it's just a bonus and not something we strive for.


That's when I spied the antelope, which were supposedly not in this particular area. My husband had drawn a very rare antelope tag for this unit (one of five for either sex; there were also five tags issued for does/fawns).  Antelope season for rifle starts two weeks earlier than deer and elk and runs four  weeks.  We had seen some antelope on a ranch we had permission to hunt on, but due to distance and other limiting factors, we didn't get one.  So, my husband stalked them and managed to get about 200 yards or so away. That's exceedingly tough. Antelope can see threats four miles away and have eyesight that ranges nearly 300 degrees. The wind was awful, gusting at 35 mph or so.  Even so, he managed to get a shot in before they bolted.

Where Did They Go?

When antelope bolt, there's no way you can hit them unless you're exceedingly good or exceedingly lucky.  Preferably both. These guys can hit 60 mph for short sprints and up to 40 for long ones. They took off and we couldn't find any blood where the shot happened.  So, we presumed a miss.  Suddenly a raven appeared and started looking, suggesting that maybe my husband hit something, but after looking for a while, we went on to look for more animals.  More on this later.

Waiting for Us

We drove away and went to look for deer and elk because the antelope were gone. I saw a big muley buck skylined some 400 yards away, but again because he wasn't legal for us to take in that area, we had to pass on him.  We decided to drive back down as it was getting toward the end of legal light and that's when we saw the antelope buck by the fence. It had been about an hour since we had given up looking for him

The buck was a big buck and he had moved to the fence line much closer to the road than where my husband had taken a shot at him earlier. The guy was standing wrong and we soon realized it was because he had a bullet wound. The herd had left him and he had traveled in the opposite direction: toward us. My husband got out of the car and got far enough from the road to shoot the antelope legally and finish the job. Like goats, antelope take forever to die. My husband actually hit the antelope in the heart and it ran and needed another two shots. The wind had been so fierce that even accounting for wind had caused the bullet to move more than two feet and hit him in the flank.

Always Listen to the Raven

The buck was about the size of a good sized whitetail doe. We did a quick quartering tonight and I'll be butchering the buck tomorrow. Despite all the hits, we have plenty of good meat available.

We thanked him for the food and apologized for giving up on him when he had no blood to track.  We have learned to always listen to the ravens.

Current Tally for Hunting

Thanks to the game damage hunts and now this successful hunt, we have two whitetail does and an antelope buck for our meals. We also have four blue grouse we got while hunting birds.