hunters carrying dead turkeys on their backs

Big Green Blog


10.16.2023 | By Remington Contributor

hunter sitting behind dead deer

Make room in your freezer with this smoked mule deer shoulder recipe. Hunting season is approaching quickly! Is your freezer still holding those odd pieces of deer or elk meat that you need to use before restocking it? Bone-in shoulders take up a lot of space in the freezer but are a great portion of meat that often get turned into burgers because folks aren’t sure how to use them. Here is a great way to prepare it that is sure to impress the whole family.

Difficulty: 2/10

Equipment Needs Rating: Medium


  • Bone-in Deer or Elk Shoulder (Mule Deer was used in the making of this recipe)
  • Olive Oil
  • Stick of Butter
  • Barbecue Rub (Suggested: Killer Hogs, The BBQ Rub)



  1. Trim fat off shoulder to your liking, remember more fat equals more flavor. Coat shoulder with a healthy amount of olive oil, then pat in BBQ rub. We used Killer Hogs: The BBQ rub, but this recipe will work with any kind of rub.
  2. Set smoker to high smoke, or 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Place shoulder directly onto rack of smoker. Prep sheets of tin foil and cut pads of butter. When the internal temperature of the shoulder reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit, pull the shoulder off then spread pads of butter evenly across the top. Wrap in tin foil and place back on the smoker.
  3. When the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit, take the shoulder out of the smoker, and let rest for 1 hour. Slice into desired size pieces for finger food or sandwich meat and enjoy!

bone-in shoulder sitting in tin foil