Lake Sam Rayburn

Because Life is Better at the Lake

A Big Mac Made From Wild Game


"Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame-seed bun."

This jingle about the famous McDonald's "Big Mac" hamburger first graced the airwaves in 1974, and continues to be a cultural phenomenon to this day. Since hitting the market over 60 years ago (at a staggering 45 cents per burger), the classic American fast food chain makes an estimated 550 million Big Macs every single year. 

Who doesn’t love a good ol’ Big Mac from McDonald’s? Whether you’re driving back home from the lake or the backcountry, nothing quite hits the spot like some tasty fast food. But wouldn’t it be great if you could make a Big Mac at home, and better yet, with meat you harvested yourself? Hunt to Eat ambassador Michael Cravens attempted to do just that.

Hunt to Eat is a hunting and fishing apparel company based in Denver, Colorado. The company is built on three pillars: community, real food, and conservation. Michael took these pillars to heart when he decided to recreate a Big Mac with ground elk. He participated in Arizona’s wildlife conservation efforts when he decided to go elk hunting and a successful hunt meant he had pounds and pounds of ground meat to experiment with in the kitchen. Let’s just say all of this effort greatly paid off.

With this excess of ground meat, Cravens decided he wanted to have a competition with the national fast food chain. He went to McDonald’s, got a Big Mac, and paid attention to how it had been assembled. Then, he got to work making elk Big Macs at home for a panel made of distinguished guests: his kids. Which is better, the homemade wild game version, or the classic fast food burger? Watch his YouTube video to find out!

Unsurprisingly, the ground elk was the winner. It’s hard to beat some fresh wild game that you harvested yourself when you compare it to something that had been frozen for weeks, origins unknown.

Do you harvest your own meat? If so, check out Hunt to Eat’s recipes for meal ideas for elk, venison, catfish, trout, and so much more. Subscribe to the Hunt to Eat YouTube channel and get more wild game cooking updates from ambassador Michael Cravens as well as how-to videos, hunting and fishing tips, and more. Most importantly, good luck out in the woods and on the water this fall.

Hunt to Eat
Gabby works as the Community Manager for Hunt to Eat, a Denver-based hunting apparel company built on community, real food, and conservation.

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Lake Sam Rayburn Current Weather Alerts

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Lake Sam Rayburn Weather Forecast


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 65

Wednesday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 35


Partly Sunny

Hi: 55

Thursday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 35


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 63

Friday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 49


Rain Showers Likely

Hi: 71

Saturday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 45

Lake Sam Rayburn Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 1/27: 162.94 (-1.46)

Lake Sam Rayburn Fishing Report from TPWD (Jan. 20)

GOOD. Water stained; 55 degrees; 1.92’ low. Largemouth bass are good working vegetation hard and then points when vegetation isn’t on. Crankbait, spinners, and Carolina rigged weighted worms are working best. White bass are fair on drops with sporadic activity. Crappie are good in creeks with jigs. Catfish are good on live and stinkbait.