Big Buck Prize Package Now Worth $3,000: December Newsletter

Big Buck Contest Prize Now Worth $3,000

Alabama Black Belt vendors have joined in our effort to bring attention to hunting in the region by contributing to our Big Buck Photo Contest prize package, which brings its total value to more than $3,000!

The new prize package for the contest, which started with the opening of bow season in October and runs until February 14, 2018, a week after this season’s close:

Also, the winner – determined by the photo that receives the most “likes” on the ALBBAA Facebook page ( – will receive a Lifetime Alabama Wildlife Heritage License, valued at more than $200.

To be eligible, the deer must be taken in the Black Belt during the 2017-2018 season and the photo must be emailed to Photos uploaded to Facebook are not eligible and Big Buck Photo Contest winners from 2015-16 and 2016-17 are ineligible this year. Please include the name of the hunter and the county where the deer was taken with the email.

The Black Belt includes the following counties: Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa and Wilcox.

Stacy Lyn Harris Spotlights Black Belt Traditions

The holidays are a festive time of year, especially in Alabama’s Black Belt region. Coming home for Christmas and enjoying the tradition of hunting for a nice buck is always at the top of the wish list of those born and raised here. And, for those that are fortunate enough to visit, it’s the ultimate gift!

Sharing the game that is taken with friends and family is as much a part of the ritual as the time-honored hunt. So, we have compiled a few of our favorite easy venison recipes from Black Belt native Stacy Lyn Harris’ newest Stacy Lyn’s Harvest Cookbook. We’ve included a couple of her tips on game preparation (along with the link to all 10 of her ideas) and two of her pie recipes that will be found on every Southerner’s table this holiday. We’re sure they’ll become your family’s favorites, too!

Preparation of venison begins in the field. From the moment a deer is harvested, you should have a plan as to getting the deer dressed (removing the intestines and other inedible internal tissue) as soon as possible to remove any possibility of tainting the meat. Make hast to arrive at your processor’s door as soon if possible – if using a processor.

Aging the deer. Many people forget this most important step in creating succulent tender meat. This is one of the most crucial steps in developing the final tender texture of venison. If using a processor, this step will be done for you. If you are processing your own deer, this step can be done before or after thawing your meat. There are also two methods of aging meat: dry aging or wet aging.

Read the entire article on venison prep here.

Here are the recipes we promised, thanks to Stacy Lyn!


Servings: 8


  • 3 lbs. venison or beef stew meat or hindquarter cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 8 oz. good bacon diced
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large Vidalia onions
  • 4 carrots sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic 2 cloves
  • 2 1/2 cups canned beef broth
  • 2 cups good red wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons 1/2 stick unsalted butter at room temperature divided
  • 1 lb. mushrooms thickly sliced


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon.
  2. Salt and pepper venison. In very hot skillet add a single layer of venison, brown it on all sides working in batches. Do not crowd the pan or the meat will steam instead of brown. Set aside.
  3. Place onions, and carrots into the stockpot. Cook over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes or until the onions are lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for one minute longer. Add the wine and broth into pot. Add the venison, bacon, tomato paste and broth into pot.
  4. Add the venison, bacon, tomato paste, and thyme. Bring to a boil. When it reaches a boil turn it to low and simmer for about 2 hours.
  5. Sauté mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter until lightly browned. Add to stew.
  6. Thicken the stew by mixing 1/4 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of flour, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Pour mixture into pot. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  7. Garnish with parsley and serve with crusty bread and butter.



  • 2½ pounds collard greens
  • 2 pounds Conecuh Sausage (original)
  • 1 quart (or 28-oz crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 small bunch fresh oregano 18 to 20 leaves
  • 8 cloves garlic peeled and sliced
  • Olive oil for sautéing and drizzling
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 2 quarts (or 2 32-oz container) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 cups cooked or canned cannellini beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 10 slices sourdough bread
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 10 leaves fresh sage
  • Tabasco sauce optional


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Thoroughly wash and dry collards. In batches, stack collards then roll them lengthwise and cut them across the width into 1/2 inch ribbons.
  3. Slice sausage on the bias into one-inch pieces and place in a 10×13 casserole dish along with tomatoes, oregano, and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until sausage is cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, drizzle olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add half the collard greens, half the stock the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until collards wilt a bit (making room for more). Add remaining collards and stock, and continue to cook until the collards are wilted and tender, about 15 minutes. Add beans, salt, and pepper, then cook uncovered until heated through (about 2 minutes).
  5. Pour sausage, tomato, and garlic mixture into the collards mixture and gently stir to combine. Cook another 10 minutes over low heat. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  6. To make the sage butter, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, removing any foam from the butter with a spoon. Turn the heat up to medium-high and place the sage leaves in the butter for about 2 minutes or until crisp. Remove leaves and place on a paper towel.
  7. Toast bread and rub garlic over the top. Ladle soup into bowls, top with toast and parmesan cheese, then drizzle with sage butter. Serve with a sage leaf and a few drops of Tabasco sauce (if desired).



  • Pre-baked 10 inch pie crust

Meringue Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites keep the egg yolks for the pie filling
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup superfine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Chocolate Pie Filling Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 rounded tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 rounded tablespoons flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup good semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. For the meringue, separate the egg whites from the egg yolks. Set aside the egg yolks. The egg whites should be room temperature before beginning to prepare the meringue. Beat egg whites in a stand mixer or by hand if you prefer until soft peaks form (the meringue will stand, but will still look a little frothy). Add the cream of tartar, sugar, and vanilla to the egg whites while continuing to beat the egg whites. Continue to beating until stiff peaks form.
  3. For the filling, mix cocoa, flour, and sugar in a medium-sized sauce pan. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks, salt, and milk. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients in the saucepan. Cook at medium heat until thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chocolate chips, vanilla, and butter. Pour into pre-baked pie crust.
  4. Gently mound the meringue over hot filling being careful not to leave any gaps between the meringue and crust. Bake the pie in the 375-degree oven until meringue is golden brown. Be careful not to overcook the meringue. If your oven doesn’t brown very well, remove the meringue and use a torch to brown the peaks or increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees for one to two minutes to ensure browning, but not overcooking.
  5. Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool. Once the pie is cool, tent tin foil over the top of the pie and place in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours. Make sure that the pie is cool before placing in the refrigerator or condensation will form on the meringue.



  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup Alaga Cane Syrup
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter plus extra for brushing
  • 2 Tablespoons Bourbon whiskey
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups pecans 1 1/4 cup chopped, 3/4 cup whole
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 9-inch pie shell


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix eggs, brown sugar, Alaga Syrup, butter, Bourbon, flour, and salt. Incorporate chopped pecans and chocolate chips. Pour into pie shell and arrange whole pecans in a circular pattern on top of filling. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.
  3. Serve slightly warm with whipped cream.

From all of us here at Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HUNTING!

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<p>Counties included are Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Wilcox. Counties included are Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa, Wilcox.

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