Onward and Upward!
Floored. Astonished. Gobsmacked. In less than 13 hours, we made our initial goal - the one that determines whether Buck, Buck, Moose will live or die. I am not an emotional man, but I gotta say I am genuinely choked up at the outpouring of support.
Your efforts are a loud and forceful message to anyone who cares to listen about where the real priorities of North American hunters lie: Our trophies are at the table. Food is why we hunt, and your support of this book can be no better affirmation of that fact. I salute you.
The initial $30,000 goal we've met means that Buck, Buck, Moose will become a reality. Every dollar spent beyond that goal helps us print more books, pay our subcontractors, save money for a second print run and to market the book when it comes out - without a big-name publisher to do that, we're on our own. And PR ain't cheap.
Finally, if we do really well, I'll squirrel away some cash to fund my book tour, which will start around Labor Day 2016. Every dollar chipped in now allows me to come to your town when the book is released next year. Visiting you was the highlight of my tour for Duck, Duck, Goose. Let me do it one more time!
So keep pre-ordering the book. And I am betting you know someone who wants that cool t-shirt (check out the design below!). But most importantly, keep spreading the word. There are more than 14 million deer hunters in the US and Canada. We have a long road ahead of us to reach them. But it all starts with you telling your friends about Buck, Buck, Moose.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Now, let's keep this party rolling!
A hardcover, full-color venison cookbook loaded with nose-to-tail recipes from around the world, printed right here in America? What's not to love?
Buck, Buck, Moose: Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Deer, Elk, Antelope, Moose and Other Antlered Things celebrates a food so important to humankind that many scientists believe it is one of the reasons we are who we are as a species today. We have hunted deer, in one form or another, since before we were fully human, and every culture in the world has a living venison tradition - from whitetail deer, elk and moose in North America, to red and fallow deer in Europe, axis deer in Asia, sitka deer in Japan, to the myriad forms of antelope and gazelle in Africa. Heck, even the native Australians hunted kangaroo, which has a flavor very much like venison.
Buck, Buck, Moose embraces that global heritage - and its modern expression - with more than 100 recipes ranging from American classics like country-fried steak to Southeast Asian curries, African favorites like bobotie, Chinese stir-fries, traditional European standards - as well as a host of completely original dishes I've created just for this book.
Americans and Canadians are eating more venison now than at any time in a century, and many are eager to expand their skills with one of the most free-range and organic of all meats. Wrapping your venison in bacon or dousing it in canned cream of mushroom soup just won't cut it anymore.
Even non-hunters are starting to look at venison as a healthy alternative. Farmed venison can be bought in fancier supermarkets, and its high protein content, leanness, flavor - as well as the fact that deer cannot be intensively farmed like cattle or pigs - has boosted this market in recent years.
But the best news of all is that more and more people are taking up deer hunting as a way to take control over what they feed themselves and their families. No hormones, no antibiotics, no horrific farm practices.
Buck, Buck, Moose represents a guidebook for both the beginner and the lifelong hunter that will carry you from that moment in the woods all the way to the months of memorable meals that follow a successful hunt.
Who Am I?
I've been a restaurant cook, a scholar and a journalist. Now I am a cookbook author and outdoors writer. I've been lucky enough to win the coveted James Beard Award for my website Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, have been featured on many television shows including Steve Rinella's "Meat Eater" and Andrew Zimmern's "Bizarre Foods," and have written two successful cookbooks published with traditional publishers, Hunt, Gather, Cook and Duck, Duck, Goose.
I have years of experience working with venison, and decades of experience as a cook and a writer. This is not an amateur project.
What's in the Book?
Buck, Buck, Moose will take you from nose to tail, field to freezer, and around the world. We'll cover:
- All of the various species of deer and deer-like animals you are likely to see - as well as domesticated stand-ins for venison, like lamb, goat and bison - all from a cook's perspective.
- Field care starting from the first moment, all the way through butchery and storage.
- Notes on food safety, nutrition, troubleshooting common problems with your game, dry aging and even what to drink with your venison.
- Recipes broken down by parts of the animal, e.g., whole cuts like legs and shoulders, to roasts, steaks, flanks and shanks, ground meat, stews - as well as more unusual cuts and what I call the "wobbly bits," the heart, liver, tongue, kidneys - even tripe!
- Techniques that make you a better venison cook. It's more important to learn how to cook the various parts of a deer, elk or moose than it is to follow a specific recipe. You'll find sections throughout the book that break down how and why you cook cuts differently.
Throughout the book you'll find more than 100 tested and true recipes ranging from super-easy weeknight meals to challenging projects you can brag about when they're done
You'll also get an extensive section on curing venison and making venison sausages.
Gotta have a cool t-shirt, right? This shirt was designed by my friend Greg Berger of Pomegranate Design. We wanted it to convey two main things: First, that Buck, Buck, Moose isn't just about deer, it's about all antlered (or, in the case of antelope, horned) game animals. And, given that the deer and the antelope antler designs are both from animals I've actually shot - and are nice, but not "trophy" animals - we wanted to show that this is a book about food, not hardware.
So Why Kickstarter?
Fact is, venison isn't a topic that excites most mainstream publishers. Why? I don't know. There are nearly 13 million deer hunters in the United States - and millions more who benefit from those efforts by being given venison roasts, steaks and burger every fall and winter. A huge market eager for a book like this.
I'm part of that market. And I want to create the kind of venison cookbook I'd want to read - the kind of you deserve - so to do that we've decided to publish Buck, Buck, Moose in-house.
It's important to us to print and produce this book in America, not overseas as most mainstream publishers do. I'd rather support a US business than one in China, quite frankly. We're looking at a publisher in Wisconsin, where I went to college and where deer hunting is religion. It's a great fit.
My team for Buck, Buck, Moose is strong. My partner Holly A. Heyser, who photographed both of my first two cookbooks, is shooting all the photos for Buck, Buck, Moose. My sister, Laura Shaw-Feit, has been a professional book designer for most of her adult life. I am a trained researcher with nearly 20 years of newspaper experience, and have friends who can help edit the manuscript. This will be a team effort.
And that team extends to you. I wrote this book for everyone who wants to get the most out of their hard work in the field, and to answer the thousands of questions I get about cooking your venison in ways simple to complex. But this project won't succeed without your participation.
So Why $30,000?
Well, printing is expensive. And since we want to keep our business in the United States, this costs a more than going with an Asian printer, but like I mentioned, I'd rather keep our money here. It will cost a minimum of $25,000 just to do the first print run. The remaining money will be used to pay for distribution services, lawyers, editors, design, Kickstarter's fee, etc.
Just so you know, I get paid last, if at all.
Should we raise more than our $30,000 goal, that will let us expand the initial print run, do some marketing and print more copies when the first run sells out.
How Can I Get a Book?
We want to have Buck, Buck, Moose in your hands when deer seasons start opening in late summer 2016, and the best way you can make that happen is to pre-order your copy of the book now.
You can also help us by sharing the link to this campaign to anyone and everyone you think might be interested in owning a copy of Buck, Buck, Moose - the more people who know about this book, the better!
Risks and challenges
Every project has its risks, but I am happy to report that much of the work on this book is already done: About 75% of the photography, recipes, and preliminary design is set. We'll still need to do final edits and flesh out the book here and there, but the bulk of what remains is getting the book polished, actually printed and distributed to you.
There are always possibilities of delays with printing, but we are working to have Buck, Buck, Moose printed and distributed by August 2016. Once we hand over the book's electronic files to the printer hopefully by January 2016, we will have more than enough time to adjust to unforeseen delays and still get the book out by late summer.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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