From Big Game to Big Mac

A favorite hobby of big game hunters everywhere is to create their favorite dishes with harvested meat that would typically feature grocery store cuts of beef or pork. One big game hunter Michael Cravens did just that – but this time, with an American classic: the Big Mac.

"Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame-seed bun."

This jingle about the famous McDonald's "Big Mac" hamburger first graced the airwaves in 1974, and continues to be a cultural phenomenon to this day. Since hitting the market over 60 years ago (at a staggering 45 cents per burger), the classic American fast food chain makes an estimated 550 million Big Macs every single year. 

Despite the fact that hunters pursue free-range, organic wild meat, fast food is often a part of hunting. Road trips and odd hours often leave few options, and chains like McDonald's are a reliable stop for hunters everywhere. But if a hunter can replace fast food with DIY meat, they would. Why not have the best of both worlds? Michael Cravens of Hunt to Eat decided that it's not just possible, but as it turns out, it's incredibly delicious. 

Hunt to Eat is a hunting and fishing apparel company that is based on community, real food, and conservation. Michael took these values to heart when he decided to recreate a Big Mac with ground elk. He participated in Arizona’s wildlife conservation efforts when he decided to go elk hunting and a successful hunt meant he had pounds and pounds of ground meat to experiment with in the kitchen. His effort in the field and in the kitchen paid off.

With this excess of ground meat, Cravens decided he wanted to have a competition with the national fast food chain. He went to McDonald’s, got a Big Mac, and paid attention to how it had been assembled. Then, he got to work making elk Big Macs at home for a panel made of distinguished guests: his kids. Which is better, the homemade wild game version, or the classic fast food burger? Watch his YouTube video to find out!

Unsurprisingly, the ground elk was the winner. It’s hard to beat some fresh wild game that you harvested yourself when you compare it to something that had been frozen for weeks, origins unknown.

Do you harvest your own meat? If so, you'll love the many recipes and meal ideas that Hunt to Eat has, including venison, elk, catfish, trout, and so much more. Good luck out in the woods and on the water this fall!

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