Most Complete Hunting, Butchering & Cooking Guide For Large & Small Game

The Complete Guide To Hunting, Butchering & Cooking Wild Game Series

Hunters, Survivalists & Doomsday Preppers will all appreciate this series that will teach you expert hunting techniques and strategies plus the skills you need to prepare and cook wild game.

This series of hunting guides are the best you will find. Steven Rinella, host of the popular hunting television show MeatEater, imparts strategies and tactics from many of the most experienced hunters in the United States.

These guides cover the entire hunting experience - from equipment selection, to finding land, stalking your prey and other specific hunting tactics & strategies, shot placement, skinning & butchering both in the field and at home, cooking and some really outstanding recipes. is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Why you might need it

Whether you are an experienced hunter or a beginner wanting to know how to get started in hunting, The Complete Guide To Hunting, Butchering & Cooking Wild Game Series of books is packed with information to become a successful hunter.

Steven Rinella is the single best hunting and cooking author in our opinion. In these guides he shares his own expertise plus many of the exceptional hunters he has corresponded and hunted with over the years. Hunters, preppers, and survivalists alike will appreciate these guides.

Steven Rinella was raised in a hunting family and has been pursuing wild game his entire life. Steven's show MeatEater is a fantastic hunting series that aired originally on the Travel Channel and still playing on Outdoors channels.

Steven knows all aspects of hunting as well as anyone as he has unparalleled access to collaborate with the best hunters around the world. Just check out the videos below, plus his YouTube channel where you can find hundreds of his hunting videos.

Steven has put his exceptional hunting expertise into the first two volumes of a series of hunting books called "The Complete Guide To Hunting, Butchering & Cooking Wild Game". It's worthy to note that Steven is very thorough with vitally important hunting information and opinions that have been missing from the greater body of hunting instructional guides.

No one becomes an exceptional hunter overnight after just reading guides alone. You need real world experience in the field to become a great hunter. However, after reading these guides and going into the woods and making mistakes, when you return to these books with an appreciation for the knowledge they convey, you'll be much more deadly on your next hunt.

The two existing volumes in the series are:

Common Information In Volumes 1 (Big Game) & Volume 2 (Small Game)

  • Recommendations on what equipment you will need—and what you can do without—from clothing to cutlery to camping gear to weapons.

  • How to find hunting locations, on both public and private land, and how to locate areas that other hunters aren’t using.

  • Cooking techniques and recipes, for both outdoor and indoor preparation of wild game.

Volume 1: Big Game

Steven Rinella was raised in a hunting family and has been pursuing wild game his entire life. This first guide is a comprehensive big-game hunting guide for hunters ranging from first-time novices to seasoned experts, with more than 400 full-color photographs, including work by renowned outdoor photographer John Hafner.

Volume 1 (Big Game) includes:

  • Basic and advanced hunting strategies, including spot-and-stalk hunting, ambush hunting, still hunting, drive hunting, and backpack hunting.

  • How to effectively use decoys and calling for big game.

  • How and when to scout hunting locations for maximum effectiveness.

  • Basic information on procuring hunting tags, including limited-entry “draw” tags.

  • A species-by-species description of fourteen big-game animals, from their mating rituals and preferred habitats to the best hunting techniques—both firearm and archery—for each species.

  • How to plan and pack for back country hunts.

  • Instructions on how to break down any big-game animal and transport it from your hunting site.

  • How to butcher your own big-game animals and select the proper cuts for sausages, roasts, and steaks, and how to utilize under appreciated cuts such as ribs and shanks.

Volume 2: Small Game

This second guide is the next guide in the series and is a comprehensive small game hunting guide for hunters ranging from first-time novices to seasoned experts, with more beautiful photography by renowned outdoor photographer John Hafner.

Volume 2 (Small Game) includes:

  • Basic and advanced hunting strategies for all North American small game, including drive techniques, solo and group hunting, ambush hunting, the use of hunting dogs, and techniques for decoying and calling.

  • How to make competition work in your favor.

  • Detailed sections on furred small game, upland birds, and waterfowl, covering the biology and best hunting methods for a total of thirty small game species.

  • Comprehensive information about hunting wild turkeys in both the spring and fall seasons.

  • How to master the arts of wingshooting and rifle marksmanship, and detailed information about shot placement, ammunition selection, and field maintenance of firearms and archery equipment.

  • Instructions on how to field dress and butcher your own small game animals for a variety of preparations .

About the Author

Steven Rinella is the author of Meat Eater: Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter, American Buffalo: In Search of a Lost Icon, and The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine. His articles have appeared in many publications, including Field and Stream, Men’s Journal, Outside, Men’s Health, The New York Times, Bowhunter, and the anthologies Best American Travel Writing and Best Food Writing. Born and raised in Twin Lake, Michigan, he now lives in Seattle, Washington.

YouTube Videos

The following video is an introduction to celebrated author and host of MeatEater TV Steven Rinella's first volume in a set of comprehensive guides for the American hunter.

Steven Rinella and his buddy Doug Duren do a little duck hunting at Doug's farm in Wisconsin so that Steve can prepare a big welcome feast for comedians Joe Rogan and Bryan Callen upon their arrival.

Up Close Encounter with a Spring Turkey on MeatEater with Steven Rinella

Steven Rinella uses a knife to kill a wild pig that is attacking two of his hunting dogs in Hawaii. Warning: Graphic and bloody video.

Sample Amazon Feedback (click to expand)

Volume 1: Big Game:

"I have always been a fan of Steven Rinella's books. Rinella writes with honesty and is down to earth. He does not portray the elitist attitude of some professional hunters/writers. This is a good guide for anyone interested in getting into big-game hunting/cooking. It is also good for someone who has been hunting wild game and preparing it for years. The recipes are good in the instructions are very easy to follow."

"Steve is excellent at clear and concise writing that keeps you locked in and makes it hard to put the book down. I read through this book in 3 days and just started reading it again. Highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to learn all aspects of hunting from beginner to seasoned hunter. Even someone who doesn't ever plan to hunt can benefit from this book..."

"This is an amazing guide to big game hunting whether you are a seasoned veteran or the new guy/gal in the woods. This book provides a ton of information along with detailed pictures describing what is being discussed. It gave me some new ideas of things to try both in hunting strategies as well as recommendations on upgrading some gear, even for inquiring about private property hunting opportunities. The book covers all gear that would be needed for different styles of hunting, game profiles and strategies for hunting particular types of game, multiple field dressing techniques, insights from other hunting professionals, and even a few tips on how to butcher and prepare the meat once you get it home. I would highly recommend this book for ANYONE who is interested in hunting big game."

"Looking for a comprehensive book about hunting that covers everything from preparing for a hunt to butchering your own trophy? Then I’d recommend you buy a copy of Steven Rinella’s new book The Complete Guide. I’ve enjoyed reading Rinella’s work over the years, so it was no surprise to me that the book is well written. What did surprise me is that it’s nearly 400 pages of excellent tips and techniques to turn the beginning hunter into a well-prepared outdoorsman. If you’re new to hunting, Rinella breaks down the basics of gear, scouting, and tactics. He not only covers rifle hunting, but also gets into the basics of archery as well. His advice is quite sound and he pulls from other hunters to strengthen the wealth of knowledge contained inside the covers. For more seasoned hunters, there is a whole chapter dedicated to the vast amount of North American big game species that the author has hunted over his life..."

Volume 2: Small Game:

"Rinella is my idol. He is the poet laureate of outdoorsmen. He and his posse are the real deal. His authoritative book is laced with tips which can benefit beginners and pros alike. I've never seen a better collection of hunting advice in a single volume. It might be considered the seminal text in the newly founded field of huntology (a field of study combining hunting, science, philosophy, and religion pioneered by The Reverend Steve and The Gang)."

"The most comprehensive small game book to date. Steven Rinella is the single best hunting and cooking author in the game. There are other writers who cover one topic extremely well (countless books exist about hunting, and many new wild-game recipe books are emerging, like those from the excellent Hank Shaw), but no book covers the entire experience - from equipment selection, to finding land, stalking your prey, and preparing it at home - as well as this one. This is an enjoyable read, a must-have for every hunter, and a boon to anyone who wants to prepare wild game with the respect that it deserves. I have 27 years of bird and rabbit hunting under my boots, yet I still learned a great deal from this series. This book is Volume 2, a companion to his first book, Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking: Volume 1 Big Game (which is also excellent). My hat is off to Mr. Rinella for such an ambitious and well done book. If you hunt small game, or would like to, this book is for you."

"This book is just one of two must haves for the hunter or outdoorsman.The guide that has all the big game in it is one of my all time favorites. Steven has written this book in an easy to understand yet still moderately sophisticated fashion. Some of the recipes are mouth watering and that's just reading about how to prepare them. I am happy with my purchase and there needs to be more books like this. Great reading and lots of information! I've had this book for a few weeks now and I look at a section of it almost daily. Outstanding book!"

"Especially for new hunters the value of this book can not be overstated. The animal sections will help you understand small game behavior and identify various species to stay out of trouble. The recipes are great and the gear discussion is top notch. Different perspectives are presented and the author goes out of his way to point out and explain his own bias rather than just presenting his opinions as fact."

Recommended DVD Instructional Game Processing Videos

Recommended Snares & How To Use Them

See this link for lots of information on Dakotaline Snares plus snaring animals including how to use snare support wires, staking, and "tangling" your critter, along with what size snare loops to set and how high to position them off the ground to catch specific animals.

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