Unlike backstraps, which require only salt and pepper to make a person sigh with sensory bliss, some wild-game cuts need more love. Even elk, if not shot cleanly or taken care of properly in field, can lose its luster. To ensure maximum delight at the dinner table, pick up a copy of Townsend resident Eileen Clarke’s book Tenderize the Wild (Rifles & Recipes, $28.50). Clarke starts with the basics—field care, kitchen skills, seasoning fundamentals—before moving on to the meat of the book, which is actual recipes and cooking methods. With dozens of rubs, marinades, and brines for venison, upland birds, waterfowl, and even bear, this book will help you maximize the flavor of every animal, making mediocre game meat a thing of the past. Available at riflesandrecipes.com.