Michigan Deer Camp Chili in a Crockpot

Picture this: it’s a cold November afternoon, and you can see your breath as you trek in from the deer stand. You get back to camp, and the smell of chili greets you. You warm up with a great bowl of venison chili, ready to roll in the crockpot. Sound like a great way to celebrate Opening Day? Use the recipe below!

Easy Crockpot Venison Deer Camp Chili


  • 6 slices bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 lb ground venison (can be replaced with beef or bison
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon canned tomato paste
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound dried beans (most varieties will work well) 
  • 1 hot pepper (or red chili flake), according to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 4 cups beef stock 

Suggested toppings/pairings: 


Optionally, presoak your beans overnight. 

Starting with a cold pan, start to render the bacon. When the bacon is beginning to become translucent, and there is some fat in the pan, add the venison and cook until the bacon is rendered completely, and the venison is browned. 

Remove, adding to the crockpot bowl, reserving a tablespoon or two of the fat in the pan. 

Add the onion and celery, and cook until translucent. Add the tomato paste and garlic, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Deglaze with Worcestershire, and add everything to the crockpot.

Add all remaining ingredients to the crockpot, crushing the tomatoes with your hands as you remove them from the can, into the pot. Cook on low for 8 hours, or 6 if the beans have been pre-soaked. 

When ready to serve, add toppings of choice and enjoy!