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#7247140 - 08/06/18 02:37 PM Since we are talking alot about eating Wild Game....
txtrophy85 Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 23868
Question for discussion.

I enjoy eating all types of game; dove, quail, duck, Various types of 4 legged game, fish, frog, etc.

Field care is always of importance but fact is, when you are out in the boonies its not always possible to get an animal on ice or in a cooler within 1 hours time, heat, dirt, dust, etc. all are factors and situations can range from ideal to "man, you think we should eat that"?

This is my opinion, but I think in modern times we place too much emphasis on meat handling, like its gonna spoil immediately if we don't get it into a walk in freezer within 15 min of killing it. I've left deer hanging outside in 60 degree weather hide on/hide off for days and it was fine. as long as the animal was cleanly killed, do the best you can and don't fret on it. Doves and Quail are routinely left for hours in a hot bird bag with no thought of cleaning and icing them till the hunt is over.

Now on to the next question: Wild game has a wide diet which can affect quality of meat and flavor. Also, age of animal, time of year, etc. all comes into play concerning flavor. So, its common that many sportsmen use marinade to take some of the "gamey" taste away from the meat. An elk I bagged last year, is almost unedible. Was handled very well IMO and temps were good, but he was an old rutty bull. Meat is bloody compared to other meats, so to prepare it I've been draining the blood, soaking it in greek dressing, using liberal amounts of seasoning and for the most part its good (I will still cut into a backstrap or tender piece where the meat makes me go sick) but I don't want to throw away elk meat. But, i'm doctoring it up so heavy that I feel its kinda a mis-representation to call it "wild game" when I've gone to such great lengths to subdue the "natural " flavor of this elk.

Sika I killed last year had a very mild flavor and minimal amounts of seasoning were used. Chicken fried game meat......I've eaten enough of it to last two lifetimes and don't prepare it like that anymore.

and yes, i'm aware that a lot of steaks are dry aged for weeks to months on end, so its not like its straight from pasture to plate.

So, question you doctor your meat up using marinades and spices or do you like it au natural?

And, what other meat preps do you do for your game once its home?
Originally Posted By: Nogalus Prairie
I think the deer hunting shows and "Bro' Country" are going to be the downfall of this once-great nation.

#7247153 - 08/06/18 02:50 PM Re: Since we are talking alot about eating Wild Game.... [Re: txtrophy85]
fouzman Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/09/10
Posts: 1954
Loc: Houston, TX
Minimal doctoring for me. Olive oil, sea salt and coarse ground black pepper on a hot, mesquite fire for most cuts. Some I tenderize and chicken fry. Other cuts go into hamburger and sausage.

#7247243 - 08/06/18 04:16 PM Re: Since we are talking alot about eating Wild Game.... [Re: txtrophy85]
Gulfgoose Offline

Registered: 01/10/18
Posts: 53
Mainly depends on the audience. The guys out on a trip- it's S&P for me. Cooking for the old lady- doctored up, but she's new to game meat.
We do tenderize most of our steak though.

#7247987 - 08/07/18 09:20 AM Re: Since we are talking alot about eating Wild Game.... [Re: txtrophy85]
PMK Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/10/12
Posts: 7635
Loc: Central TX (Gtown/Austin)
most WT is generally S&P and a little Garlic/Onion powder on the grill, seasoned (S/P/G/O) flour thru an egg wash back into seasoned flour, hot skillet for CFS. Rarely have I had WT that was not fit to eat with minimal seasoning. We have grown very fond of taking tenderized steaks, marinading in zesty Italian dressing with S/P/O/G and smoking for 20-30 minutes, then flash onto hot grill for fajitas. Occasionally, an older rutted up buck will have a twang that can be smelled when gutting/skinning, those usually get the straps/tenders pulled and the rest goes into hamburger or sausage. I have dressed out/processed hundreds (if not thousands) of game animals and always handle with great care, likewise I 99.8% of the time make a clean shot where there isn't any suffering or stress added to the animal that could also cause more damage to flavor of the meat. I also love various types of sausage which is a different type of seasoning but not due to trying to remove the natural flavor of the wild game. Same goes for feral hogs ...

To that same point, I have killed a number of rocky mountain mule deer (along with my dad, FIL and BIL), and I have yet to find a way to keep that meat from having an awful taste to my palette, even the smell of it cooking doesn't appeal to me in any shape or form. Yes, these were also handled with proper care from the time the shot was placed, all the way to the freezer. I don't know if it might have been their diet or rutted up or what, just a God awful smell and taste to me. I don't know if the cousin desert mule deer we have here in Texas are similar or not since I haven't taken one of those, but I gave up on the rocky mountain MD 20+ years ago due to if I can't eat it, no need to kill it.
"everyone that lives dies but not everyone who dies lived..."


#7248110 - 08/07/18 10:59 AM Re: Since we are talking alot about eating Wild Game.... [Re: txtrophy85]
Jgraider Online   content
Pro Tracker

Registered: 06/13/15
Posts: 1175
Loc: West Texas
I would personally never start off by leaving field dressed game hanging with skin on, in 60* weather very long. Even though I've heard from people they don't like rutty mule deer or antelope, I've probably killed not much less than 60 of them and can't say I've had a bad one yet. I cool everything down ASAP though.

As far as seasoning, I occasionally will marinate overnight in Zesty Italian dressing, but mostly just use course ground pepper and sea salt. I also love to pan sear steaks in garlic butter in a cast iron skillet.

Edited by Jgraider (08/07/18 11:05 AM)

#7248286 - 08/07/18 01:00 PM Re: Since we are talking alot about eating Wild Game.... [Re: txtrophy85]
DirtNapTET Online   content

Registered: 11/08/13
Posts: 634
Loc: America
For BS, once thawed, I put in a freezer bag and hammer the ends of the meat that were cut a few times (to mold it to be a bit thicker, not to flatten it. Also makes it a bit more tender).

olive oil, coarse salt, cracked pepper, garlic powder.

Put it in the oven @ 250 for 20 min (depending on size). Take it out and let cool for a minute.

Heat up the cast iron as hot as it can get with some bacon grease (want to get this started while its in the oven). Sear each side for 1 minute.

Like something straight out of Bob's Chophouse.

#7248292 - 08/07/18 01:04 PM Re: Since we are talking alot about eating Wild Game.... [Re: txtrophy85]
mattyg06 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 04/22/14
Posts: 1846
I have started using the reverse sear method paired with either a low heat pre-smoke or a sous vide water bath for almost all of my game meat and will never go back. This is a much larger margin for error.

I have also started to dry age all of our ducks for a week before eating/freezing and it really does helps out with the flavor and tenderness.

This year I have a few recipes that I am looking forward to trying. Once being a salt cured duck prosciutto.

#7248670 - 08/07/18 07:23 PM Re: Since we are talking alot about eating Wild Game.... [Re: txtrophy85]
jakebunch Online   content
Bird Dog

Registered: 04/08/10
Posts: 396
Several years ago I saw the results of a study that was done at A&M, as I recall, in regard to the taste of venison. They tested bucks and does, aged and not aged, stressed and unstressed. Stress was if the animal ran after it was shot. The winner in a blind test taste was doe that had been aged and was not stressed.

#7248938 - 08/08/18 06:28 AM Re: Since we are talking alot about eating Wild Game.... [Re: txtrophy85]
snake oil Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 01/10/16
Posts: 2151
Loc: Graham
Don't have to doctor anything we eat. After 50+ years of hunting and cleaning wild game I've pretty much figured it out...

#7248964 - 08/08/18 07:11 AM Re: Since we are talking alot about eating Wild Game.... [Re: txtrophy85]
don k Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/27/08
Posts: 11040
Loc: Bandera, Tx
I actually don't like any wild game unless it is made into sausage. I shoot an Axis or maybe a spike or WT does and make sausage. Breakfast and ring.

#7249080 - 08/08/18 08:42 AM Re: Since we are talking alot about eating Wild Game.... [Re: txtrophy85]
stxranchman Online   content
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 53437
I can eat most venison with just seasonings on it however I prepare it. I also do like to use marinades if I am grilling it to keep it from getting to dry. I have found that if I age it in the marinade it really gets tender and the flavor is much better. I have found some mule deer to taste a bit more gamey than others off the same ranch depending on their diet that year. Most WT I kill have access to protein and corn all their life, so they do taste really good. I can tell you I have always gutted, then skinned the animal quick as I can. I then wash it completely and let it hang to "cool" down slowly not matter what the temps are. I also have found that putting in a cooler for an hour and filling the cooler with tap water allows it to cool down slower than putting the carcass directly into ice/cooler or a walkin cooler. After an hour I drain it and then put get it into a cooler of some type. I would guess that since the mid 80's the vast majority of my meals have been with venison as the meat. Like posted above I have also started using the Sous-Vide method when cooking venison steaks. I also have found that using salt tenderizing the cuts first really helps on older/mature animals also.


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