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“The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game: Volume 1: Big Game” is a comprehensive guidebook that provides information and techniques for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.

Written by Steven Rinella, an avid hunter and host of the television show “MeatEater,” this book covers various aspects of hunting, butchering, and cooking big game animals.

The guidebook offers valuable insights into the world of hunting, including detailed instructions on scouting, tracking, and selecting the right equipment for a successful hunt. It provides essential knowledge on hunting strategies, understanding animal behavior, and ethical considerations in the field.

The book begins by diving into the essential gear and equipment needed for a successful big game hunt. It covers everything from selecting the right firearms and ammunition to choosing proper clothing and gear suitable for different terrains and weather conditions.

In addition to hunting techniques, the book delves into the process of butchering wild game animals. It covers step-by-step instructions for field dressing, skinning, and quartering the harvested animal. Rinella shares his expertise on handling and preserving meat, including proper aging, storage, and techniques for processing different cuts.

Throughout the guidebook, Steven Rinella shares his vast knowledge and experiences, providing valuable insights on hunting strategies for specific big game animals such as elk, deer, moose, and bears. Readers will learn about animal behavior, habitat selection, tracking techniques, and effective hunting methods.

Once the hunt is successful, the book transitions into the crucial aspect of butchering the game. Rinella provides detailed, step-by-step instructions on field dressing, skinning, quartering, and processing the harvested animal. The guide includes illustrations and diagrams to help readers understand proper techniques and ensure the meat is handled with care to maintain its quality.

Furthermore, “The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game” explores various cooking methods and recipes for preparing big game meat. It offers a range of delicious and diverse recipes, providing readers with inspiration for making the most of their harvested game. Rinella emphasizes the importance of utilizing the entire animal, sharing recipes for different cuts, organs, and even bone broth.

In the cooking section, Rinella also shares his passion for creating delicious meals from the wild game meat. The book features an array of mouth-watering recipes, ranging from simple and classic preparations to more adventurous dishes. Readers will find recipes for steaks, roasts, stews, sausages, burgers, and even jerky. Rinella provides tips on seasoning, marinating, and cooking wild game to perfection, ensuring that the flavors shine through.

In addition to the practical aspects of hunting and butchering, Rinella offers guidance on understanding and respecting the animals being pursued. He stresses the significance of knowing the animal’s anatomy, behavior, and habitat to make ethical shots and ensure a clean harvest.

Moreover, the book addresses the importance of utilizing the entire animal. Rinella shares techniques for utilizing offal (organ meats) and bones, minimizing waste and maximizing the resources provided by the game. He provides instructions for making stocks, bone broths, and utilizing organs in creative and delicious ways.

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If you want more information on this book, we have broken it down into 10 parts, namely he covers:

1. Seasonal Considerations

The book covers the importance of understanding the seasonal behaviors and patterns of big game animals. It provides insights into how changing seasons impact their movements, feeding habits, and mating behaviors, helping hunters strategize their hunts accordingly.

2. Field-to-Table Philosophy

Steven Rinella emphasizes the concept of “field-to-table,” highlighting the importance of taking responsibility for the entire hunting process. He encourages readers to appreciate the value of ethically sourced, sustainable, and locally harvested food.

3. Safety and Wilderness Skills

The guidebook includes sections on wilderness safety, survival techniques, and navigation skills. It provides tips on packing essential survival gear, handling emergencies, and staying safe in the outdoors.

4. Conservation and Land Stewardship

Rinella emphasizes the role of hunters as stewards of the land and conservation advocates. He explores the importance of conservation efforts in maintaining healthy ecosystems, preserving wildlife habitats, and supporting sustainable populations of big game animals.

5. Hunting Ethics and Respect

The book delves into the ethical considerations of hunting, such as fair chase, respect for the animal, and ethical shot placement. Rinella encourages hunters to approach their pursuits with humility, respect for wildlife, and gratitude for the opportunity to harvest game.

6. Cultural and Historical Context

Rinella weaves in cultural and historical references related to hunting throughout the book. He shares stories and insights from his own experiences as well as those of hunters who have come before him, enriching the narrative and providing a deeper understanding of hunting as a time-honored tradition.

7. Species-Specific Information

Steven Rinella provides species-specific information on various big game animals. Readers will find detailed insights into the behavior, habitat, and habits of specific species, helping them understand the unique characteristics and challenges associated with hunting each type of game.

8. Gear Selection and Maintenance

The guidebook offers guidance on selecting and maintaining hunting gear and equipment. It covers topics such as choosing the right firearms, ammunition, optics, and clothing for different hunting situations. Rinella also provides tips on gear maintenance, cleaning, and storage to ensure optimal performance.

9. Public Land Hunting

Rinella discusses the ethics of hunting on public lands and provides guidance on navigating the complexities of hunting regulations and permits. He emphasizes the importance of respecting public land and understanding the rules and regulations governing hunting in different regions.

10. Personal Reflections and Stories

Throughout the book, Rinella shares personal stories, experiences, and insights gained from his years of hunting and outdoor adventures. These anecdotes provide readers with a deeper connection to the author and offer valuable lessons and perspectives on the hunting lifestyle.


Whether you are an experienced hunter, or someone interested in learning about sustainable hunting practices and exploring the world of wild game cuisine, this book offers a wealth of knowledge, practical advice, and a deeper understanding of the hunting experience. It combines practical advice, personal anecdotes, and flavorful recipes, making it a go-to guide for anyone interested in the pursuit of wild game and the journey from field to table.

There is also a second addition to this book which you can check out called:

The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game: Vol 2: Small Game and Fowl