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Venison Sausage

Each year, thousands of Kentuckians head into woodlands and fields, and onto lakes and streams to enjoy hunting and fishing, and, with luck, their tasty results. 

One of 17 healthy game recipes from UK team

Jann Knappage, a Clark Energy consumer-member, was never one of those Kentuckians. “At the David School, all of my male students were hunters,” she recalls of her time teaching in Floyd County. Though she was a vegetarian at the time, she says, “If you harvest it, I’ll eat it.” 

On one occasion, she tasted squirrel. That was the total of her game-eating experience—until 2018. 

A food systems specialist with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, she was put on a team to assemble a guide to healthy game recipes that would be published online and in print. Since then, “I’ve eaten venison, elk, rabbit, dove, duck, frog legs, turtle, squirrel and fish,” she says. Except for an extended leave from work, she would also have tasted beaver and raccoon. 

The recipe team wanted to develop recipes that were healthy and tasted good, that went beyond the normal chili and meatloaf. They’ve developed 17 so far and are continuing to expand the selection. 

One of Knappage’s favorites is the venison sausage. “It has a lot of different herbs in it and lots of different flavors, in one little patty—it creates this great taste in something so small, so it’s a really satisfying thing to eat. And it’s really simple.” 

Game recipes and photos can be found at, pull down Browse by Category, then click “Cook Wild Kentucky.” 

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