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Thread: Why do people think venison is gamey?

  1. #21
    Boolit Grand Master


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    short version:
    if you WANT gamey taste in your venison keep all the deer fat with the meat

    if you DON'T WANT gamey taste, trim off ALL the deer fat from the meat and use cow fat or pork fat
    vmthtr@charter.net is NOT my paypal addy

  2. #22
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    We field dressed where we shot it, tagged it, bagged it and dragged it out to the truck then straight to a registration station. Then we took it home and processed it. Keep in mind we hunted in 20-30 degree weather so natural chilling. We made sure to prop the body cavity open with a stick so it cooled faster. And it got washed with a hose, skinned and washed again before butchering. 5-8 of us could break a deer down in about an hour...

  3. #23
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    yup a real old swamp buck can be subpar but up here in the UP anyway these days bucks like that are very rare and most have never shot one in there lifetime. Never was a fan of aging deer be it because you think it will make it taste better or because you want to show it off. Deer I killed last night is in the freezer by noon the next day. Bottom line is its reputation for being "Gamey" comes from the simple fact it isn't beef and tastes different. Many people claiming it are eating it for the first time or are kind of queasy about eating bambi in the first place. I do crop damage shooting and usually shoot butcher and eat the meat off of at least 50 deer a year. Ive ate the meat of of 100s!! of deer. Only once did I eat bad venison and that's when I was a teenager. My dad who grew up in the depression and would probably eat deer hoves shot a bit 12 pointer in a swamp by his house. he swears he could smell it before he saw it. Deer went 220 dressed and had but nubs left for teeth and in its prime was probably a 300 lb deer. Hung on the tree it was easily the longest deer I ever saw. Ma cooked the back straps that day and it stunk the house up so bad she threw them out to the dog. Dad took the rest of the meat and made sausage out of it and you couldn't even eat that. It was used for the whole year for dog snacks. Ive ate 10 point bucks shot in the rut that you couldn't tell in taste was a bit different then a 120 lb doe. Might be a bit tougher and used for slow cooked roasts, cube steaks and burger but It sure didn't taste gamey. It tasted like venison. Why some don't understand that a cow doesn't taste like a pig and neither taste like a deer is beyond me. Add to that what dbosman said. Would you go to the farm to get your beef for the year and gut shoot a cow, chase it around the pasture for a 1/2 hour, do a half ### job gutting it, strap it to the hood of your car or throw it in your pickup box ride around for 3 days to the bars showing it off then hang it in the back yard on a tree because you don't have time to butcher it. Let the flys lay eggs on it. A week later take it down from the tree and do a half ### skinning job leaving hair all over the carcus and do an amateur butchering job on it in your dirty garage and expect it to taste like prime beef??
    Quote Originally Posted by dbosman View Post
    Start with a Northern Michigan and Upper Peninsula swamp deer that's been chowing down on cedar. Gut it and strap it to a fender with the gut side facing traffic. Add leaded gas and burned motor oil from the past, drive home the two or three hundred miles. Now cut and freeze without a clue as to how to properly wrap meat.

    Yeah, for some reason the meat tastes a bit off.

    Lower Michigan corn fed deer, dressed quickly and properly, transported inside a truck, out of the elements. Cooked by someone who knows how to cook venison, and it's a wonder to enjoy.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  4. #24
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    I guess it never occurred to me that people would be so disrespectful of the animal and the meat it offers to treat it that poorly. I am a meat hunter, so I am as fastidious as I possibly can be with any animal I shoot. I want the meat in prime condition. Ah well. I just need to keep doing what I am doing. Ground up the bits and pieces today and set up 5 pounds of soon-to-be jerky in the cure.
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  5. #25
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    Controversy has long raged about the relative quality/taste of venison and beef as gourmet foods. Some people say venison is tough, with a strong “wild” taste. Others insist venison’s flavor is delicate. An independent food research group was retained by the Venison Council to conduct a taste test to determine the truth behind these conflicting assertions once and for all.

    First, a Grade A Choice Holstein steer was chased into a swamp a mile and a half from a road and shot several times. After some of the entrails were removed, the carcass was then dragged back over rocks, logs, and through mud and dust to the road. It was then thrown into the back of a pickup truck and driven through rain and snow for 100 miles before being hung out in the sun for a day.

    Next, it was then lugged into a garage where it was skinned and rolled around on the floor for awhile. Strict sanitary precautions were observed throughout the test, within the limitations of the butchering environment. For instance, dogs and cats were allowed to sniff and lick the steer carcass, but most of the time were chased away when they attempted to bite chunks out of it.

    Next, a sheet of plywood left from last year’s butchering was set up in the basement on two saw horses. The pieces of dried blood, hair and fat left from last year were scraped off with a wire brush last used to clean out the grass stuck under the lawn mower.

    The skinned beef carcass was then dragged down the steps into the basement where a half dozen inexperienced, yet enthusiastic and intoxicated men, worked on it with meat saws, cleavers, hammers and dull knives. The result was 375 pounds of soup bones, four bushel baskets of meat scraps, and a couple of steaks that were an eighth of an inch thick on one edge and an inch and a half thick on the other edge.

    The steaks were seared on a glowing red hot cast iron skillet to lock in the flavor. When the smoke cleared, rancid bacon grease was added, along with three pounds of onions, and the whole conglomeration was eventually fried for two hours.

    The meat was gently teased from the frying pan and served to three intoxicated and blindfolded taste panel volunteers. Each member of the panel thought it was venison. One volunteer even said it tasted exactly like the venison he has eaten in hunting camps for the past 27 years.

    The results of this scientific test conclusively show that there is no difference between the taste of beef and venison…

  6. #26
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    Seriously, I prefer the venison I shoot to store bought beef. I hunt public land, but there's some kind of deal with the state that people farm on it and have to leave a certain amount of rows when they harvest, so the deer I shoot are usually living on milo, soybeans and Winter wheat. Good eating. I used to hunt a lot during our muzzle loader season in September when it's still pretty warm, but haven't in a while. I try hard to field dress as quickly as possible and then get the deer out, skinned and quartered and in an ice chest, then I can take my time cutting it up. Always tastes great to me.

    I shot a couple in southern Oklahoma when I was stationed at Fort Sill years ago, no crops, probably lived on acorns. They were noticeably gamier than the deer I shoot up here.

  7. #27
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    And still, no one mentioned "celery". Celery is a "game" changer

    “To achieve victory we must mass our forces at the hub of all power and movement. The enemy’s "center of gravity”

    ― Karl Von Clausewitz

  8. #28
    Boolit Master brewer12345's Avatar
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    That is hilarious, Richhodg66!
    "I have learned from experience that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious." - the Baron von Munchausen

  9. #29
    Boolit Master Walkingwolf's Avatar
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    Rotten meat is not gamey, it is rotten. Outside that meat tastes like the food they eat, then each individual person has their own favorite flavors. I can cook an old rooster, and make it taste good(for me) others no matter what will not be able to swallow the old rooster. Acid does a lot to cut wild flavor from feed that is less than optimal, meat acids would be tomatoes, for fish lemon, or orange. I have also delighted on fish that others turn green when they are mentioned, it is all how they are cooked. As for as rotten, dispose of it in some fashion, don't eat it. Don't leave out smoking meats to change the flavors, smoked rooster is just like eating ribs done right.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dieselhorses View Post
    And still, no one mentioned "celery". Celery is a "game" changer
    Please explain.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master kens's Avatar
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    All the deer I ate in Indiana & Kentucky had a gamey taste. Mild, but present. didnt matter time of year, how fast it died, it was all the same gamey taste. albeit mild.
    All the deer I have eat from south Georgia are not gamey at all.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master MyFlatline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    Controversy has long raged about the relative quality/taste of venison and beef as gourmet foods. Some people say venison is tough, with a strong “wild” taste. Others insist venison’s flavor is delicate. An independent food research group was retained by the Venison Council to conduct a taste test to determine the truth behind these conflicting assertions once and for all.

    First, a Grade A Choice Holstein steer was chased into a swamp a mile and a half from a road and shot several times. After some of the entrails were removed, the carcass was then dragged back over rocks, logs, and through mud and dust to the road. It was then thrown into the back of a pickup truck and driven through rain and snow for 100 miles before being hung out in the sun for a day.

    Next, it was then lugged into a garage where it was skinned and rolled around on the floor for awhile. Strict sanitary precautions were observed throughout the test, within the limitations of the butchering environment. For instance, dogs and cats were allowed to sniff and lick the steer carcass, but most of the time were chased away when they attempted to bite chunks out of it.

    Next, a sheet of plywood left from last year’s butchering was set up in the basement on two saw horses. The pieces of dried blood, hair and fat left from last year were scraped off with a wire brush last used to clean out the grass stuck under the lawn mower.

    The skinned beef carcass was then dragged down the steps into the basement where a half dozen inexperienced, yet enthusiastic and intoxicated men, worked on it with meat saws, cleavers, hammers and dull knives. The result was 375 pounds of soup bones, four bushel baskets of meat scraps, and a couple of steaks that were an eighth of an inch thick on one edge and an inch and a half thick on the other edge.

    The steaks were seared on a glowing red hot cast iron skillet to lock in the flavor. When the smoke cleared, rancid bacon grease was added, along with three pounds of onions, and the whole conglomeration was eventually fried for two hours.

    The meat was gently teased from the frying pan and served to three intoxicated and blindfolded taste panel volunteers. Each member of the panel thought it was venison. One volunteer even said it tasted exactly like the venison he has eaten in hunting camps for the past 27 years.

    The results of this scientific test conclusively show that there is no difference between the taste of beef and venison…
    Thanks, I needed a chuckle..

  13. #33
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    Was the harvest cared for properly??
    Gut it ASAP. Let it linger, it starts to go bad.

    Shiloh
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  14. #34
    Boolit Master 1bluehorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
    I guess it never occurred to me that people would be so disrespectful of the animal and the meat it offers to treat it that poorly..

    Darn few do. One thing I do that I don't see mentioned (well I did see one where he would never use water) is completely wash the deer after skinning. Sometimes use vinegar and water but have used water from the hose with the nozzle. I wash the hell out of them. I know I don't have to mention clearing all the blood shot stuff away but I'll just throw it in there. I agree with pretty much all else said, trimming and de-boning then cut it up NOW. This is all done as quickly as I can get it home. Yes field dress before, (that's what field dressed means) I've even gone as far as skinning where they dropped but rarely. Depending on the deer (size, age, location) I sometimes will take the cut up pieces and soak them in a large container of salt water over night. I've never had "bad" venison doing these things. I'm with Lloyd also, I've never aged a deer even in a cooler. It still tastes like venison, but good venison. The best wild game I've ever eaten is Moose without a doubt. I like beef but I'd throw out the best beef steak for a Moose steak....yummy stuff.

  15. #35
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  16. #36
    Boolit Master Hannibal's Avatar
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    I prefer cold weather when I can hang a deer in the shade and let it age for 4 or 5 days. It makes a difference. Not always possible and if you quarter one up and let it age in a refrigerator it just isn't the same.

    The weather determines my course of action. As someone stated above, if you let the meat go rancid, nothing you can do following that is gonna make it taste like anything but rancid meat. Nasty.
    Missing the target is not the worst thing you can do.
    Not taking the shot is.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by richhodg66 View Post
    Please explain.
    My grandmother always used celery for rabbit, squirrel, deer etc. She said by adding a few stalks, it'd balance the wild taste but not disown the genuine flavor the game is supposed to have.

    “To achieve victory we must mass our forces at the hub of all power and movement. The enemy’s "center of gravity”

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  18. #38
    Boolit Master flyingmonkey35's Avatar
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    My wife and I split the cost of rasing a cow with her brother in southern Idaho. The farmer that raised it grass fed it right up to the end. And the butcher shop screwed it up..

    What we got was the worst tasting cow we have every tried. Tasted like the stories. Gamey and spololied. The Dogs wouldn't touch it.

    We complaind to the butcher but it went no where.

    We wound up chucking it all away. What a waste.

    My wife will not touch anything that isn't prefrozen from a large name brand Industry.





    Sent from my N9560 using Tapatalk

  19. #39
    Boolit Master

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    Yep. Poor handling


    - gut shooting doesn’t help, washing the cavity can help if your quick to it but food safety you are supposed to discard meat contacted by innard sauce.
    - not finding it soon enough, ie leaving it over night and finding the next day but I will say if you have an off smell from overnight bloat you may or may not salvage it by hanging it and letting it air out. Anecdote, lost a doe in the rain and dark ness hit. 44 degree night but temps dropping during the morning. Found around an hour after sun up bloated. Run it home and hung it up. Was marginally stinky just from bloat gas. I cooked up one (inner) tenderloin for lunch and it still had the taint. Tossed the lunch to the neighbors dog. That dog loves me. Let it hang now that temps were dropped into low thirties. Considering giving the rest to a buddy for dog food. About five days of hanging in thirty degree temps the gases were out of it. Cooked another sample and there was nothing off at all.
    - not getting the carcass cooled down when conditions demand it, you cannot always hang it.
    - hanging it in less favorable conditions, you will taint the meat.
    - not trimming all the stuff away that rot fast ( connective tissue, esophagus, wind pipes, testicular and plumbing, excess fat). That stuff will be the first to go off and taint the meat near it.
    - grinding waxy tallow into your meat, very little good fat on a deer.
    - poor wrapping, I go nuts over the top but I can get a year easily, two layers of plastic wrap, wrapped in butchers paper, tape the seam on the butchers paper, slip all that in a freezer zip lock bag. Cheap vac bags are not as good. Good Cabela’s bags fare better than cheap. Oh and your freezer is better off being on that is NOT frost free. Stripping that frost moisture out is also stealing it from your frozen food. Water will go through plastic at a miniscule rate but it is going. Ever see those little Chinese food packets of soy sauce or duck sauce that got stashed for two or three years. They are more than half dry, never having been opened.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Minerat View Post
    Ran across a guy and his daughter from Indiana this elk season that gut shot a big cow elk at about 400 yards. The sign showed she drug her guts out for over 300 yards thru oak brush before finally expiring. They then proceeded to field dress it and drag it with an ATV over a rocky mountain gravel/rock road for better then 4 miles. The carcass was still leaving long blood stained drag marks on the slick rock field they drug it over about 3 miles from where they cleaned it. What a crime, a waste of the finest game meat on the hoof. Bet they will complain about how bad it tastes if they got it home before it spoiled.

    If I am at the homestead I will gut the deer in the garage or driveway off the tractor bucket. No need to drag the opened carcass on the ground when it’s just a few extra minutes. Saves some risk of contamination. I started doing that when a host’s rules stipulated to not gut the deer in his food plots or near his stands but grab the atv and pull them closer to the vehicles. His concern was the coyotes but I also saw the benefit of not having leaves, dirt and sticks getting inside.


    ETA I will load the deer on the atv rack and not drag unless it’s a short drag across a hayfield. Banging a deer over rocks isn’t doing anything good.

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