Do You Like The Taste Of Wild Game?

For some reason, hunting has been on my mind this morning (I’ve written three GQ threads about the topic in the past half hour). Maybe it’s because the leaves are changing and it will be deer hunting season soon.

The only wild game I’ve ever had is deer and wild turkey, hunted by friends/relatives.

I find deer disgusting. Just awful. The texture of the bottom of my shoe, with a taste redolent of blood and liquefied trash.

People keep telling me that it’s all in how you prepare it. Well, I’ve eaten it, prepared by the same people who keep telling me that. Still disgusting. I’ve also heard that corn-fed Illinois deer is better than acorn-fed Missouri deer. I’ve had both Illinois deer and Missouri deer, both are equally disgusting.

As for wild turkey, I was only able to eat a chunk roughly the size of my thumb. It was… OK, I guess?

So what’s your take on wild game?

Poll to follow.

Venison: it varies, I’ve eaten it on and off all my life. Depends on the recipe (and requires a pre-soaking in vinegar and water before cooking.) . I’ve cooked thin steaks in beer, an onion ring, a green pepper ring, and some peppercorns, and made sandwiches on hard rolls, with A-1 - delicious! Other things, venison is too darn game-y no matter what you put it in.

We were gifted a long, skinny wild turkey, long ago. I didn’t know any better and just bunged it in the oven like any other turkey. Mistake! It was too dry and very TOUGH. But it tasted like turkey all right.

I made a stew from some collops of … mule deer? antelope? that was from Arizona, that lived on things like sage? (memory is dim) - but the stew was just delectable! The meat was tender and delicious, not gamey at all. We look back on that meal fondly.

I had pheasant, also delectable, not unlike chicken, but mild and very fine-grained. Delicious! They raised pheasants at the prison out in the country and released the birds into the fields , I don’t know if they still do that.

Once a year a sportsmans lounge had a wild game dinner with several choices, elk, moose, venison, bison…I can buy ground up frozen farm-raised game meat at the grocery store here. Since the countryside is being razed for strip malls and McMansions, there isn’t so much hunting here, and those who do go hunting have to make a trip of it.

My vote would have been: Don’t particularly like it, but if it’s all that was available…

I had venison once. I wasn’t impressed. To be fair, tho, it was the first time my mother had ever prepared it, and way back in those days, she wasn’t the cook she eventually became. So maybe I’d like it now. But I’m not going to go out of my way to try it.

Does gator tail count as wild game? That was excellent!!!

I’ve had game meat gifted to me once or twice, but I probably don’t have enough experience to really judge. I love the pheasant a friend gave me.

The venison I’ve had in restaurants (which is raised in captivity) was okay. Not my favorite meat. I far preferred the elk and antelope I’ve tried at restaurants.

Sometimes it’s good, sometimes not. A lot of that depends on what the game has been eating.

I’ve taken my own deer and generally like venison. My experience is it’s similar in taste to lamb, but a bit stronger. but it depends on the specific deer’s diet and age. oh, and get rid of the fat. Deer fat is rank.

Generally don’t care much for it. OTOH, we ate off a moose my roommate bagged for quite a long time. It made great chili and amazing BBQ ribs!

Sorry for screaming.
I have skinned, butchered and cooked every manner of beasties you can think of. Mr.Wrekker drags in all kinda crap.
I ain’t eating none of it.
I want my food to be clean and government inspected. A nice purple stamp makes my mouth water.

Its OK, but I really have to know where the game was ‘taken’. Some sites on the east coast that have been contaminated with toxic chemicals (but not cleaned up)
have small herds of deer that run across them.

I know that it’s rude to look a gift horse on the mouth, but it’s your life and ingesting toxic chemicals can shorten it.

I used to really like venison. Then one time I ended up with 10 pounds of it. My wife cooked it twice a week for a long time and now I absolutely cannot stand the smell or taste of it.

Small doses are a probably a better idea.

I like venison a lot. Had it a few times. Wild duck is pretty good, and alligator is good as long as they don’t overcook it.

I have been expressly forbidden to cook/eat any of the squirrels I have killed as part of pest control around the house (they kept getting in the attic). My darlin’ tells me that even if I take it to someone else’s house and cook it there, we’re getting divorced. I thought about asking if that included a campfire, but already felt like I was pushing my luck. It doesn’t seem to make any difference that the recipe is in one of her cookbooks. That girl hates the entire rodentia order.

I voted “I love it and eat whatever my hunter friends/ family bring to me.” but that also includes “…and whenever I find it in the shops”, because game meat (antelope, mostly) isn’t hard to get here.

Yep. Squirrels are rats with a better wardrobe. My kids and Mr.Wrekker love my squirrel dumplings. They beg me to cook it. Yuk!!
But, man I’m hungry. Tacos sound good. Corndogs even better.

Elk, boar, pheasant, rabbit (wild and raised), venison, squirrel, grouse, and turtle.

I’ve had venison, hare, pheasant, buffalo. I was also supposedly served bear once, but I’ve always wondered if they were telling the truth.

They were all good, but I was expecting pheasant to be much more flavorful than it was.

I’d have venison, hare, and buffalo meat more often, but I have to scour the butcher shops in the GTA to find them.

Best so far: wild grouse

Good: venison, squirrel, antelope

Don’t much care for: rabbit

I’ve had good venison, and bad venison.

Didn’t care for elk, the one time I had it.

The one time my dad bagged an oryx, the steaks were rather rank, but the sausage was good.

The one time I had bison, it tasted just like beef to me.

Didn’t care for the rabbit, but I don’t think it was cooked properly.

Dipped in batter and deep-fried, the rattlesnake tasted just like chicken.

My wife and I were in Ogden, UT, this summer and stopped in a restaurant we were walking past because it offered grilled elk, so we gave it a try. Delicious.

This was a very high end restaurant, which probably could have made the napkins edible, but a few weeks later we were in Buffalo and had lunch in a pub. They had elk burgers, so we had to give them a try. Again, delicious.

They were even better than the Water Buffalo burgers we had in Rochester, and we went back for more of those.

We get venison steaks from Wegmans all the time.

We’ve also tried ostrich, bison, rabbit, and goat with good results.

Venison is probably the one I like the least even though it’s the only one I hunt. I grind the whole deer into sausage with a box of bacon ends and trimmings. I love the sausage and found that if I froze steaks or roasts I’d never get around to eating them. I’d rather have yummy sausage than freezer burnt back strap.

Brown bear, black bear, Dall sheep, mountain goat, bobcat, caribou, elk, beaver, goose, duck, crane, pheasant… I like all of them a ton more than venison.

It’s not only how the cook prepares it: it’s also how it was dressed out, and how long and under what conditions it was hung.

If you’ve had wild game that tasted terrible, it’s possible that you just don’t like game (which usually has a more distinct flavor than domestic species meat, especially than domestic species that have been confinement raised and generally are pretty close to tasteless). And it’s possible that the animals had been eating someting that gave the meat a bad flavor. And you do need recipes that work with what’s usually tougher and leaner meat. But it’s also possible that whoever did the hunting didn’t handle the carcass properly.

I voted that I like it and eat whatever my hunting friends bring me – but if there had been an option, I’d have voted that I like it if it’s been handled right.