Here at YES Program HQ, we are firm believers in giving out prizes. Lots of prizes. Which is why we have FIVE incredible prizes for the winners of the YES to Venison Cook-Off. Check it out:
1. An Engraved Grill Set. The winner of the Steak/Fillet category will go home with an engraved grill set that will let everyone know who the venison steak champion is!
2. A Gift Certificate to The Cellar Restaurant. Steaks and fillets not your favorite way to eat venison? No worries! The winner of the Stews/Chilis category will get a gift certificate to The Cellar Restaurant in Owego. After all that hard work making the best venison stew in the county, it will be a well-deserved night out.
3. Couples Membership at the Tioga County Sportsmen’s Association. Maybe you’re more of a venison sausage/jerky person… Perfect! We have the category for you! Win in this category, and you get a one year couple’s membership to the Tioga County Sportsmen’s Association!
4. A Tanned Deer Skin. Is your best venison dish sure to be a crowd pleaser? The People’s Choice Award is a Native-Tanned Deer Skin, donated by one of our YES Mentors.
And now… for the Grand Prize…
5. A Gift Certificate for Mountain Man Taxidermy. If our panel of judges decide that your venison dish tops them all, you get a gift certificate to Mountain Man Taxidermy!
With so many great prizes, don’t you think it’s time to fill out the Registration Form?
YES to Venison will have prizes for each of three categories: Stews/Chilis, Steaks/Fillets, and Sausage/Jerky. There will also be a Grand Prize and a People’s Choice Prize. Jim Pratt, one of our mentors, donated a native tanned deer skin as the People’s Choice Prize. Jim provided a summary of the tanning process, which can be read below.
Annie, Catholic Charities’ SNAP Outreach and Education Specialist, holding the deer skin
Native Tanned Deer Skin
Raw deer skin is fleshed:
The fat and connective tissue is scraped off. The hair side of the skin is then covered with wood ashes and water and worked into the hair. This combination produces potassium hydroxide which is lye. The skin is rolled up, placed in a plastic bag, and stored in a warm area for a few days. The skin must be checked every few days to verify that the hair has slipped (fallen off). If left with the solution too long, the skin will begin to get holes in it. The skin is rinsed to remove the wood ash mixture. The hair side of the skin is then “grained” – scraped to remove the hair and outer layer of skin. The skin is then rinsed well to remove the lye and wrung out to remove as much water as possible. This is done twice. An adequately wrung skin can be held in the palm of one hand. Deer brains are then mixed thoroughly with warm water.
Stretch the skin out:
Immediately put it in the brain mixture and work the skin, stretching it until it will not soak up any more mixture. Wring out the skin and stretch on the frame. The skin must be scraped with a blunt piece of wood as it dries to keep it soft. This process may take 5-6 hours, depending on the drying time of the skin. The tanned skin is then smoked to provide some water resistance and resistance to insect damage.
This skin has not been smoked.
To register to compete in the YES to Venison Cook-Off and win this great prize, see Rules and Registration.