By Drew Granthum

For Verbena’s Jody Scott, no gathering is complete without his “venison poppers.”

The consummate country appetizer, the poppers take a wide range of flavors, along with some wild game, and put them together for a small snack that has become a hit. He said they were discovered when he and his brother “were playing around” about four years ago.

“We came upon it on our own,” he said. “I don’t know what cream cheese [does], but you put it on there and it makes [all the difference.]”

While this style of appetizers can be found at various wild game suppers and parties, Scott prepares his venison differently than most.


“Some do the whole backstrap,” he said. “I do a butterfly cut. I cut it across the grain. Depending on how big the deer is, it can be a 10- to 20-inch cut.”

He also said it provides a great introduction to deer meat, or a different spin on those who have tried it before.

“If you don’t want just regular deer meat,” he said, “It adds a few more flavors.”


2 fresh chopped jalapenos (deseeded)

1 8-ounce package cream cheese

Dale’s steak seasoning

Bacon Deer tenderloin butterfly backstrap

Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning (optional)

Pound deer steak with meat tenderizing hammer or top of jar. Marinate deer in Dale’s sauce at least one hour. Mix well cream cheese and jalapenos (and optional Cajun seasoning). Butterfly tenderloins and spread cream cheese mix wrap in bacon. Grill until desired wellness. Secure bacon with toothpicks. Prepare grill just as you would for grilling, and cook to desired wellness. Cooked too long, the deer will get too tough. Medium well is the longest suggested level of cooking.