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#3005132 - 10/29/12 08:23 AM Gamey tasting meat in rutting deer?
FULLDRAWXX75
12 Point


Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 6265
Loc: Adirondack Mtns, NY

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As not to step all over the other thread with this topic, I stated this one................

The question was will a buck in rut taste gamey?

I say YES, why? Because several factors fall into play during the rut. The bucks are not sleeping/eating and just plan out running themselves into the ground, they are not in a relaxed state physically or mentally. The fat content of the muscle is pretty much depleted to a minimal, now add adrenaline into the picture and you have the perfect recipe for gamey meat. Hormones/adrenaline both have a huge effect on the quality of the meat.
Hence, the modern day traveling butcher/slaughter wagon. It is a proven fact that cattle that is slaughtered in/on its own familar farm/barn is much better than if it were hauled to the slaughter house, the cattle are much more relaxed in their natural environment, not stressed or fatigued, thus lowing the adrenaline levels in to the meat.

FDXX75
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“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”
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#3005240 - 10/29/12 09:11 AM Re: Gamey tasting meat in rutting deer? [Re: FULLDRAWXX75]
beechnut
12 Point


Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 5005
Loc: DRUMMONDS TN 38023

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If you dont like the gamey taste then you must not like deer....its not suppoesed to taste like beef.....I think if you surround it with candles and do some kind of chant, that is supposed to make it taste different..... \:D \:D \:D
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#3005302 - 10/29/12 09:51 AM Re: Gamey tasting meat in rutting deer? [Re: beechnut]
FULLDRAWXX75
12 Point


Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 6265
Loc: Adirondack Mtns, NY

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I don't have one single problem with the taste of venison, a deer tastes just like it is supposed to taste. I am talking about the one in hundred/thousand that tastes like sh--!!!!! and you can't even get it past your nose.

I have only had one deer out of 60-70 that I have taken over the yrs that was like that. It was not sick, deformed or anything else that I was able to tell, just plain horrible.

But a full blown rutting buck will taste different than other deer meat.

FDXX75
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“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”
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#3005310 - 10/29/12 09:57 AM Re: Gamey tasting meat in rutting deer? [Re: FULLDRAWXX75]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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I have yet to meet a deer that did not eat well. I know they are out there, but I suspect that is due to other reasons. If you think for a moment about all the mature bucks that are killed in the rut (we're talking thousands of bucks) and how many of those are eaten with nary a complaint. Proper handling, butchering and aging can address any of the problems of gameyness.
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#3005337 - 10/29/12 10:06 AM Re: Gamey tasting meat in rutting deer? [Re: Poser]
FULLDRAWXX75
12 Point


Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 6265
Loc: Adirondack Mtns, NY

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Ok, I think the problem with this discussion is the "term" gamey.

For the record...........deer tastes like deer, not beef, chicken, pork or anything else.......simply deer. That is not the "gamey" taste that I think most "hunters" complain about, non-hunting venison eaters that only have once or twice a yr., yes they complain because it tastes different, not "gamey"

To me................"gamey" is the crap you can't stand to cook, little lone eat in a normally prepared dish. That is the "gamey" I am referring too. You know, the entire deer goes into the grinder and becomes WELL seasoned jerky!!!!!!!

FDXX75
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“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”
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#3005356 - 10/29/12 10:13 AM Re: Gamey tasting meat in rutting deer? [Re: FULLDRAWXX75]
Poser
Mud Dauber
16 Point


Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 13547
Loc: Tennessee

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My experience with the term "gamey" is when I feed a non hunter venison and they tell me that the one time that they had venison before, it was a bad experience. I usually atribute this to improper butchering such as not trimming the fat and silverskin. However, this could also be attributed to the meat being tough because it was overcooked or not cooked properly. Often times, I observe hunters attempting all kinds of "trickery" to avoid this "gamey" taste. An example might be soaking in milk or salt water, for example. I've heard and seen all kinds of crazy practices, some of which actually are working against the hunter interms of tender meat. In the end, detailed butchering and straight forward treatment of the meat will win every time.
_________________________
It doesn't have to be fun to be fun.

Wild & crazy, can't be stopped. Only the strong will survive.

Keep your knife sharp and your skillet greasy.

http://www.GoCarnivore.com

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#3005360 - 10/29/12 10:15 AM Re: Gamey tasting meat in rutting deer? [Re: FULLDRAWXX75]
bigtex
8 Point


Registered: 06/06/04
Posts: 1994
Loc: Brush Creek

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IMO a rutting buck and a non rutting buck taste pretty much the same.
It's all in how they are taken care of in the field, etc. If you grab the tarsal glands of a rutting buck then smear all that crap all over the meat, or if you spill the bladder all over the hams then yes, the meat will indeed smell and taste "gamey" "rutty" or whatever you want to call it.
I've only had one deer that I killed that I couldn't eat and that was years ago. I could smell the meat as soon as I picked it up at the processors. Evidently it stayed out of the cooler for too long before it was butchered and it was spoiled.
From then on I always do my own processing and i've never had a problem since.
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#3005396 - 10/29/12 10:33 AM Re: Gamey tasting meat in rutting deer? [Re: bigtex]
WestTn Huntin'man
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Registered: 11/19/06
Posts: 12099
Loc: Benton Co.

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Full Draw I agree that sometimes you will get really Foul tasteing smelley deer around the Rut. IMO alot of things factor into this.The Buck to Doe ratio can have a direct effect on the quality of your meat.Also the weather.If you have a lot of bucks fighting and chasing after a few does and the weather is right for a intense fast Rut it is more likely you will get some Rank meat.Alot of Does and not many bucks and a long drawn out less intense Rut and your meat is more likely to be like most of us are accustomed to.I also agree with you TEX that taking care of your meat in the field makes a big difference in the quality of your meat.If you shoot a Big Boy and drive all over town with your tail gate down all day long it's gonna get Rank.
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#3005834 - 10/29/12 01:41 PM Re: Gamey tasting meat in rutting deer? [Re: WestTn Huntin'man]
FULLDRAWXX75
12 Point


Registered: 01/29/07
Posts: 6265
Loc: Adirondack Mtns, NY

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My procedure is such, see deer/shoot deer/recover deer/cut off tarsal glands and bag/clean knife/ gut deer on site/get deer home ASAP and cool down ASAP (if in warm weather/ice body cavity during transport/skin & qtr immediately upon getting home and place in cooler/'fridge) age 7-10 days/ debone and package/freezer. Never had a problem in 35 yrs.

I have never sent a deer to be processed and never plan to either. I agree with POSER about too many folks trying to remove a "natural" taste/flavor of the meat, because they think it is gamey. It's venison for Christ sake, not chicken.

FDXX75
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“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.”
― Albert Einstein


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#3005935 - 10/29/12 02:33 PM Re: Gamey tasting meat in rutting deer? [Re: FULLDRAWXX75]
Crosshairy
10 Point


Registered: 08/22/06
Posts: 2701
Loc: Bartlett, TN

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Since deer fat doesn't taste very good anyway, I can't see how a deer that's run itself lean could necessarily be a bad thing.

I've heard people suggest, as you have, that the adrenaline (or some other hormone) might alter the taste of the meat, but that seems unlikely to me.

If meat tasting worse was a bona fide effect of rutting behavior, it would be a more common complaint.

Instead, I suggest that there are lots of weekend warriors out there that shoot one deer a year during the rut, sometime after the gun opener. If they aren't practiced/knowledgeable about what they are doing, then it doesn't take much imagination to see that they could do a poor job at meat handling. Cleaning the meat and cooling it are key, but in the case of big bucks, most folks just want to fast forward to the "drive the deer around and show it off" part.

Since that type of thing is done more often with big bucks during the rut, it's not hard to imagine how rutting bucks could get the false label of being extra gamey tasting, or downright unfit to eat.

Next time you go hunting, keep a gallon of water at the truck to rinse off the exposed meat - especially if you are taking it to a processor and won't be able to account for its handling afterwards. That will help get any taste-killing residue off and improve flavor down the road.
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