YES to Venison


Hunting for the Best Mentors

Sunday, January 29thVFW Owego – 4:00 to 7:00 PM

Official Rules

Official Rules

Each contestant is required to complete the Registration Form and return to:

Catholic Charities Tompkins/ Tioga
Youth Engagement Services
139 Roki Blvd.
PO Box 69
Nichols, NY 13812

Or complete Online Registration. Registration can be for an individual or team, and includes 2 event admission tickets.

You can register only ONE recipe per each category. Categories include:

  • Steak and Fillet
  • Chili and Stew
  • Sausage and Jerky

Venison Requirements

Each entry should use a total of approximately 1-2 lbs. of meat. Bring your dish pre-made. Plan on serving in bite-size samples. There will be outlets on site to plug in warming dishes and crockpots to keep the dish warm. Please arrive at 3:30 PM for set up.

Judges and Awards

There will be five judges critiquing each category. There will be one prize for each category, an overall prize, and a “People’s Choice” prize. *It’s important to note that if you enter as a team, there will still only be one prize distributed.

Follow the event Facebook page for more information about prizes and auction items.

Judging Rules

Judges are not required to swallow the samples. All samples can be expectorated at the time that they would normally swallow the sample.

Water and crackers will be used to cleanse judges’ palates between samples.

Steak/Fillet category will be judged first, followed by Stew/Chili, and ending with Sausage/Jerky. All winners, including People’s choice, will be announced at 6:45 p.m.

Judging Criteria


Overall Impression (200 pts)

Appearance (250 pts)

Consistency (100 pts)

Flavor (400 pts)

Aftertaste (50 pts)


Overall Impression (200 pts)

Internal/External Appearance (200 points):  External appearance: Eye appeal consisting of size and shape; for sausage, lack of defects (i.e. air pockets, wrinkles, fat caps) (100 pts); Internal appearance: Uniformity of color and texture, lack of obvious defects (100 points)

Flavor (400 pts): A pleasant aftertaste is necessary (75 points). For jerky, a desirable, intense flavor is appropriate.  Flavor may be slightly salty, peppered, sweet or spicy (325 points).  For sausage, flavor, moisture content, and fat/lean ratio (325 points).

Texture/Mouth Feel (100 pts)

Edibility (100 pts): For sausage, flavors such as rancidity, bacterial spoilage, etc. shall severely downgrade the sample. For jerky, chew ability and lack of residue will upgrade the sample.


Overall Impression (200 pts)

Appearance (100 pts)

Doneness (100 pts): Must be cooked medium (warm, pink center); over or under cooked steaks will lose points. 

Flavor (400 pts): Overall flavor (200 pts); sustained flavor (100 pts); finish flavor (100 pts)

Texture (200 pts): Initial & sustained juiciness (100 pts); Tenderness (100 pts.)


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A Program of Catholic Charities of Tompkins/Tioga

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