Robert St. John column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 12, 2008

St. John: I am not a deer hunter yet I have a freezer full of deer sausage

Recently I wrote a column about the so-called Obese Bill (HB 282). In it I offered several pieces of alternative legislation to the Mississippi House of Representatives bill that proposes to ban fat people from eating in restaurants.

In my haste to meet an editor’s deadline, I forgot an alternative bill that should placed in the hopper with the rest: The Deer Sausage Law.

The Deer Sausage Law, HB 282G states: Licensed Mississippi deer hunters, or any of their relatives or assigns, are not allowed to give away any deer meat to anyone, ever, period.

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I have a theory: I believe that most people don’t like to eat deer meat. Proof: I have a freezer full of deer sausage and I’m not a deer hunter. People shoot deer because they like to shoot deer. I’m OK with that. I have no objection to people shooting animals for food or for sport.

That said, the point still remains, deer meat is not good. If deer sausage was good— if it tasted like a filet mignon or a ribeye steak, or a hamburger, even— deer hunters would hoard it in their own freezers. Even if deer sausage tasted like pork sausage they wouldn’t be trying to pawn it off on me.

My deer-hunting friends— and I have many— purchase secondary freezers to store the deer sausage that accumulates each deer season. Most of them empty these freezers at the beginning of deer season, throwing out all of the leftover deer sausage from the previous hunting season (read: 90%), and prepare to fill it with a new batch of deer sausage that, again, won’t be eaten.

As I write, I have just thought of an amendment to HB 282G: All of the leftover deer sausage from the previous deer season must be donated to the state penal system. You say you want to crack down on crime? Make inmates eat deer sausage in our state prisons. The crime rate will drop immediately.

I like steak. My friends never try to fill my freezer with steak. Therefore, I also propose a statewide cow-hunting season. During cow-hunting season, my friends who like to shoot things can go out and hunt a few steer. Then they can bring all of the ribeyes, strips, prime ribs, and even hamburger that won’t fit into their freezers to me. I will welcome them with open arms, and a baked potato.

Cow hunting will save money, too. No one would need camouflage or long-distance rifles. Tree stands will be rendered useless, high-powered scopes won’t be needed, and there’ll be no need to soak one’s clothes in urine. Just park the truck by the side of a field, walk out into the field. Shoot a cow. Presto! Roast beef for everyone!

And what about pig season? Pork sausage tastes a lot better than deer sausage. I would love to see one of my hunting friends arrive at my front door with a few slabs of ribs and bacon after a successful week hunting at the deer, oops make that, pig camp. I’ll even purchase a supplemental deep freeze for that hunting season.

Chicken season might be a good idea, too. We can release the chickens from all of the state’s chicken houses and let them assimilate into the wild. The countryside will smell a lot better and you’ll never get stuck behind one of those big chicken-hauling trucks, ever again.

The problem of wildlife walking out in front of your car won’t be so bad during chicken season. A full-sized deer can total an automobile. What harm can be done by a rooster?

My friend Marshall Ramsey says that being on the Natchez Trace after dark is like driving through a petting zoo at night. Actually it might be fun to drive down the Trace at night while chickens are crossing the road. We could implement a statewide points system: 10 points for a Bantam Rooster, 15 points for a Rhode Island Red, and for a Black Breasted Red Cubalaya, 25 points and a new upright freezer.

Question: Why did the chicken cross the road?

Answer: Because everyone was sick of deer sausage.

For this week’s recipe, Three-Meat Meatloaf, go to the blog on <> .

Robert St.John is an author, chef, restaurateur, and world-class eater. He is the author of six books including the newly released Southern Seasons. He can be reached at <> .

Tomato Glaze

1 tsp.                Bacon fat
1 Tbl.               Garlic, minced
1 Tbl.               Onion, minced
1 tsp                 salt
1/2 tsp              dry basil
1/4 tsp              fresh ground black pepper
3 Tbl                Brown sugar
2Tbl                 Tomato paste
1/2 cup             Chicken Broth   
2 Tbl.               Yellow mustard
1 Tbl.               Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup                Ketchup
Heat the bacon fat in a small skillet over a low heat. Cook the onions, garlic and salt for 2-3 minutes. Add the basil, black pepper and brown sugar cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir constantly tp prevent the sugar from burning. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.