View Full Version : To expand on the proper care of killed deer thread...

September 10, 2009, 11:08 AM
Not trying to be an attention grabber, but figured I'd post also this as a separate thread to get the word out for anyone who might not be reading that thread anymore...

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned that no matter how gamey it may taste, cooking with lots of onions will completely kill any gaminess and make it an excellent tasting meat.

Shoot a rutting buck poorly, leapfrog it for 2 hours, shoot it again, drag it for miles, take pictures with it, don't age it, and don't worry about it, because onions will make it taste fine.

Obviously, onions won't improve your hunting skills or ethics, but they will improve your dinner.

This knowledge came to me from an old (1800's) trapping book that I read. I wish I had read it 20 years earlier, because I would have enjoyed a lot more venison meals than I did in all those years!

September 10, 2009, 01:09 PM
Onions do cover a multitude of sins. Mushrooms can also have a positive effect on indifferent meats.

A lot of gaminess is due to a build up of acids in the tissue. This is especially true of organ meat. Soaking in milk for about a half hour reduces the acidity.

September 10, 2009, 02:55 PM
It's good advice, but I haven't had to cover the taste of game meat in many years. Javalina aside, game meat is far preferable to me than beef.

For me, cooking game meat requires different methods, but I've gotten pretty good at it over the years.

Soaking in milk, using onions, and seasoning with black pepper and Lawry's seasoned salt/garlic salt before cooking will all enhance the flavor of game meats, and can help cover mistakes made in the field. Using bacon to add moisture, inserting pieces of garlic into slits made into a roast, and many other ideas will enhance the flavor as well.

All that said, it oft-times stuns me to see a torn up, uncared for animal that someone shot, seemingly with no thought or concern for processing the meat. I'll admit that some just don't know how to properly care for the proceeds from their hunt, but any of us can learn, and most who really know should be willing to teach those who are willing to learn.

I take a lot of care when hunting to insure that the meat I get is good; right down to the bullet used, and where it's put is intended towards that goal.


September 10, 2009, 04:49 PM
This is one of those subjects, the proper care of game, that ends up telling you a lot about a hunter.

Sure it's a bit more work to do it right. And I'll say too that many folks don't have access to truly good facilities for doing the work, so it can be even harder for them. But fact is that if a hunter puts even a small amount of planning into how he will take care of his game, as part of his overall hunting plans, then it's a lot easier.

We are very fortunate to live in a place with a lot of opportunity to hunt. We're also favored by a long season and a couple of hunting companions that have a fair idea of what they are doing in the woods. With that we manage to harvest a number of animals every season.

One of the real joys of hunting is, IMHO, the sharing of the success of the hunt. We've always got folks just waiting for the season to start, folks who don't hunt but who have over the years come to expect at least a meal or two of something special.

Seems to me that the satisfaction of sharing the meat with them is as good as showing off a rack. That in and of itself is enough reason to take good care of what you shoot..........

Hunting is about the totality of the experence, not just the pulling of the trigger. And cleaning and sharing and enjoying the meat should be a satisfying part of it.

September 10, 2009, 05:13 PM
Please don't get me wrong, fellas; I am all for proper care and respect, and encourage it by all means...

But for those times when it just tastes gamey, onions are your best friend, and allow the animal to be consumed instead of wasted and thrown away :)

September 10, 2009, 05:30 PM
A lot of gaminess is due to a build up of acids in the tissue. This is especially true of organ meat. Soaking in milk for about a half hour reduces the acidity

Buzz +1

i wanted to expand just a "little" bit, i cant stress the importance of good clean kills enough when hunting... if you make a bad shot and that animal goes into super "fight or flight" mode causing the survival adrenaline rush for anything more than 15 seconds before it drops, you can expect poor taste results from the meat because of the instant acid buildup...

just another thought....


September 10, 2009, 08:06 PM
+! Again on the soaking in the milk. I`ve also used a mixture of saltwater and vinegar in say an older buck for the soaking solution. Thaw your roast/steaks in fridge then the night before you cook meat, soak in mixture. Rinse then cook. Also FWIW, when fixing a roast in the crockpot, KEEP ROAST OUT OF LIQUID by placing roast on a rack. Let roast get about 2/3`rds. done, remove roast, discard liquid. Put roast back in pot with your fav. veggies and spices, couple cans cream of mushroom soup, one can celery soup and cook till veggies are done. Serve with fresh baked dinner rolls. Makes your gums beat your brains out. Damn I`m hungry!

September 11, 2009, 06:59 AM
Ok. Just a observation here but isn't that the whole point of hunting? I don't want it tasting like something that it isn't. Yes I understand using spices and such but i wouldn't want the meat to lose all of the taste. Just my thoughts.

September 11, 2009, 12:12 PM
Ok. Just a observation here but isn't that the whole point of hunting? I don't want it tasting like something that it isn't. Yes I understand using spices and such but i wouldn't want the meat to lose all of the taste. Just my thoughts.

If the meat is well cared for, then it's more a matter of "enhancing" the flavor. You won't have to cover it up.

On meat that isn't well cared for, it's not a matter of covering up or removing what it is. It's what it "isn't" that you'd be covering up or removing.

In the case of it not being cared for, you wouldn't want to enhance the nasty taste.



September 11, 2009, 12:42 PM
I think an important thing that no one has mentioned (or maybe I missed seeing it) is that you also have to take into account the region / area the animal comes from.

For example: Shoot a deer that lives in the forests of NY, who eats only red acorns and grass and twigs and suburbanites' flowers, and never any wheat or corn or apples or other sweet fruits and you will be very hard pressed to have it not taste gamey.

But take that same deer, relocate it to the farmlands of Wisconsin for a few weeks, and now you've got one VERY nice tasting deer.

I'll never forget how good the doe I arrowed in Wisconsin tasted, and yet she came in running & nervous as all heck, and then she ran 100 yards after the shot before dropping, so she was full of adrenaline.

Then again, she laid out a blood trail that Stevie Wonder could follow, and some would claim that is why; she bled it all out.

BUT, all the other deer harvested that week tasted just as succulent, too, so I don't think the "bleeding out" was the reason.

I think that a big part of it is that they just are what they eat...

September 11, 2009, 05:49 PM
Last deer i got in southern NY (woods) was the best one i've ever tasted! granted it was a small spike buck. clean heart shot, went down quick, not spooked when i shot. good field care ect ect. You'd be hard pressed to take a bite and instantly say 'venison' its that mild a flavor.

September 12, 2009, 09:09 AM
banditt007: I think you would like me as a hunting buddy (hint hint) lol

September 12, 2009, 10:43 PM
I've found that what the deer eats has very little to do with the flavor. The deer I shoot in the woods where I now live are just as good as the one's I used to shoot in the corn fields. I've never noticed a difference between those that perished quickley vs those that were tracked for a day.
What is very evident is the way they are handled after being shot. Getting them completely gutted, hanging and thoroughly rinsed, rerinsed, and rinsed agian, asap is criticaly important, the quicker the better. All is not lost in the first 24 hours, but not rinsing and waiting for days before butchering will add to the gameyness every time. Deboning rather than cutting bones in the butchering process also plays a big role in the flavor of your meat.
I now pretty much only hunt deer in the morning so when I do get one it's in the freezer that day. (Warm meat is easier to cut up because your hands don't get cold and you don't have to trim around all the dried out stuff - or throw it away.)

September 14, 2009, 12:11 PM
I dunno...the ones in Wisconsin layed down for hours without being gutted, and they were all pretty nervous when they came in. The ones here in NY are gutted within a half hour and butchered the same night, and the ones in WI tasted soooo much better. I miss that place...

September 14, 2009, 01:12 PM
ill add one thing i started doing to deer meat.....and that is pressure cooking it first and then proceeding to cook it however your recipe calls for ((for much less time of course) to finish it off. It will make the toughest deer soft as a filet mignon, and it also will kill off any possible nastys living in the meat (im told). I picked this up in a game recipe book years back and it works great.