Hey Spiker: I've been smoking all kinds of stuff for 30 some years, but never had much luck with deer. It's just too lean. After a good 24 hours of brining I totally wrapped the piece in bacon to try to keep any moisture in the meat, pin the bacon strips on with toothpicks. It still comes out kind of dry. The only cut I really cook is the backstrap, and of course burger, I use the crock pot for the rest(roasts, round steaks, etc.) Besides that, I make my own summer sausage, slim jims, jerky, brats, breakfast sausage, on and on, about 100 lbs. of that stuff every year. Sorry I couldn't be more help.