deer recipe

Blacktail Deer Soft Tacos

By Marcus Weiner

Recipe Yield: 8 Tacos

This recipe is a favorite in my house. My twin 8-year-old boys call them “Garden Tacos” which references the pico de gallo I make from the garden in the summer. I usually cook a couple pounds of taco meat at a time and keep it in the fridge. From there, I can make soft tacos, taco salad, and a taco meat bowl that includes brown rice, pico de gallo, some fresh vegetables and shredded cheese. I usually make brown rice in large batches in the rice cooker, which we eat in a number of preparations. With the elements cooked and in the fridge, it’s quick and easy to enjoy a delicious, nutritious meal, and this really helps during the week when spare time is short.


Taco Meat
  • 2 lbs ground blacktail deer
  • 1 large yellow onion, medium chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ c taco seasoning
  • 1½ c water
  • 1 can black beans
Taco Accessories
  • 8 medium flour tortillas
  • ½ c sour cream
  • 2 c pico de gallo
  • 4 c lettuce – I use romaine
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Pico de Gallo
  • 4 large tomatoes – I use Red Brandywine that I grow in the summer; choose one you like
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • ½ medium sweet onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt


To make the pico de gallo, coarsely chop all 4 solid ingredients and combine with lemon juice and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil and onion. Sauté about 5 minutes; add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add deer and cook until browned, approximately 10 minutes. Drain the can of black beans and add to the deer mixture. Combine water and taco seasoning—I typically use store-bought taco seasoning, but you could easily combine spices to make your own—then add to the browned deer mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce to low and simmer, about 5 minutes until most of the liquid has cooked off. Take off heat and set aside.

To assemble the taco, put tortilla in the microwave for about 20 seconds to soften. In the center of the tortilla, add ½ cup taco meat, ½ cup lettuce, ⅛ cup shredded cheddar cheese, 2 tbsp pico de gallo, and 1 tbsp sour cream. Fold tortilla over so that it covers the ingredients, then fold one end closed and complete rolling the tortilla. I usually wrap the closed end in a small piece of aluminum foil to help the soft taco stay closed. Enjoy!

If you enjoyed this blacktail deer recipe and are looking for more ideas to cook your game, check out the Hunt Alaska recipe archive.