Book Review: Stalking the Wild Jerky

After most hunting seasons, I make a batch or two of jerky, typically with elk (if I’m lucky enough to get one) and almost always flying by the seat of my pants. I’ve ground it, cut strips, dehydrated, and cooked it in the oven, but never have I felt like I’ve had a foolproof system. That is, until I got my hands on Stalking the Wild Jerky (Deep Creek Press, $22) by Eileen Clarke. Clarke delivers a highly detailed, wide-variety, easy-to-follow rundown on jerky recipes for just about every wild-game species in Montana. From tips on the butchering process, to advice after the meat’s on the plate, this book walks you through a culinary maze of jerky avenues. The array of options, condensed in 167 small pages, is astonishing. We’re not just talking your normal big-game species here, either. Clarke provides in-depth recipes and cooking methods for bear, waterfowl, upland birds, pig, and turkey. Let’s just say that if I get lucky on my next goose hunt, I’m going to peruse Stalking the Wild Jerky before automatically tossing the meat in the chili pot.