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Steven Athay of Live Wild Eat Wild

Steven Athay of Live Wild Eat Wild

The Huntavore  / 

Posted on September 19, 2021

Show Notes

On this Episode of Huntavore, Nick is joined by Steven Athay, author of Live Wild Eat Wild. Self proclaimed good cook and terrible hunter, Steven writes about his hunts, and then follows up with recipes and write ups about the dishes he and his wife make from that animal. Steven has a true passion for being connected to his food and the process it takes. We go deep on a bare bones home butchery set up, contaminating wild ground with domestic fat, and an incredible story of a once in a lifetime Utah Bison hunt.

Steven Athay runs the blog, Live Wild Eat Wild. His whole mission with his platform is to be an educational tool for hunters and anglers who take pride in their harvest and want to celebrate the hunt and the animal through more ways than antlers on a wall. In fact, I had to ask for Steven’s name because its not written on his page. He told me that was purposeful, the focus here is the wild game, and the butchery. He was afraid of trending into the “instagram influencer” territory. I appreciate that mindset. Ironically, maybe more hunters and anglers should be influenced by Steven.

Living out in Utah has offered a bountiful amount of game for Steven along with a wealth of adventures to write about. We start with a bare bones home butchery set up: a utilitarian 6” boning knife, plastic wrap and butcher paper, and a hand grinder. Many decades, if not centuries of animals were processed this way. Recently home setups have expanded to near cut shop size and quality (including my own), but there is no need to drop a fortune on equipment to get into the home butchery game. Steve has taken animals to the processor, and knows that the professionals do a good job. His hang up was he was giving up why he wanted to hunt for food in the first place, the connection.

We take a deep tangent on ground meat. Our conclusion on grinders, a hand grinder is a great way to start. If you want to go electric, forget the cheapies, budget friendly, base models. This is one area where bigger is better. Stay away from plastic parts, cast and steel are essential. Mixing domestic fats into wild burger sparks opinions. Some are purists and want only lean wild. Others, including myself, cut in domestic fat for a number of reasons related to cooking. Steven goes for an “all around ground” of 80/20 with pork or beef fat. Sausage is more of a 70/30 with pork. For griddle-enthusiasts I challenge you to try a 60/40 round of smashburgers.

To finish out the episode, Steven takes us on an epic saga of his father’s journey to bag a Utah Bison. “20 years applying, tons of planning, and a successful hunt.” Be sure to follow Steven @livewildeatwild

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