Got Game?

Call them extreme locavores. Just in time for deer season, a group of hunting buddies is offering value-added abatement services: For the cost of butchering, they’ll not only take out the deer that’s been noshing on your hostas, but they’ll also bring the carcass to a certified butcher, producing about 40 pounds of venison. They even provide a recipe for a nice deer saltimbocca.

Waltham resident Dan Wolff—who works in healthcare sales and marketing by day—started MassDeerService in 1994 to deal with the exploding deer population in suburban eastern Massachusetts and its related risks of Lyme disease, car collisions, and decimated landscaping. Though managed hunting programs now help control the deer population, some homeowners in edge-of-the-woods towns like Dover still call in reinforcements from hunters like him.

Wolff’s team works from tree stands at dawn or dusk on weekdays and Saturdays. Sometimes they set up tracking cameras. Much of the time, they just sit and wait to break out the weapons: legal firearms and (Wolff’s favorite) bows and arrows.

“When you hear fffff-T,” he says, “you light the grill.”


Venison recipes
Courtesy of Dan Wolff, MassDeerService

Saltimbocca alla Romana
1 lb. venison, cut into eight cutlets or scallops
8 slices prosciutto (paper-thin)
4 fresh sage leaves, torn in half
Olive oil or butter
Juice of one lemon
1–3 tbsp. capers

Pound cutlets to 1/4-inch thick, and season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Melt butter or oil in a sauté pan, and sauté meat for a few minutes per side. Add prosciutto, and brown both sides. Add lemon juice and capers at the end, to warm them. Serve with the drippings.


Go on to the next page for two more recipes…