Wild animals, which are constantly on the move and never feed under
artificial conditions, have meat with a higher ratio of protein to
fat than that of domestic animals; for example, while you may see
venison with some distinct fat layering, you will never see it
marbled with fat. And, while it is not inconceivable that some wild
animals may ingest toxic substances, such as residual pesticides that
might have drifted into their feeding area, we can at least say with
some certainty that they have not been fed chemicals for water (i.e.,
weight) retention or to start the tenderization process while still
on the hoof, or hormones for quick growth, etc. In other words, we
can be reasonably sure that the meat from wild animals as nearly
approaches purity as is possible in a society where contamination —
even radioactive fallout — is pervasive. Apart from the favorable
ratio of protein to fat in the meat of game animals, it also contains
certain necessary minerals, in fairly generous amounts. All the red
meats are good sources of phosphorus and iron (but not of calcium).
Of the fifteen different minerals required for human nutrition, most
game meat (notably venison) contains sodium potassium and magnesium,
as well as traces of calcium, cobalt, zinc, manganese and aluminum.
What the hunter does with the meat he has bagged is another question,
and not too infrequently the answer to that question creates a bad
image for game meat. Immediate and proper handling of the kill is
most important in not only how the meat will taste, but also how the
non-hunters of the family will react to it. Aside from proper
techniques of handling, cleanliness is important, from both the
practical and psychological viewpoint. A perennial complaint from the
female non-hunter, who is ultimately asked to prepare the meat, is
about the careless manner in which the animal is handled, transported
and processed. Once you understand this attitude, it is not difficult
to understand why so much excellent food has gone to waste, just
because the cook was unwilling to work with it. Finally, the cook
should understand that the meat from all species of wild animals does
not taste the same. Some animals, such as deer, caribou, elk and
moose, are somewhatsimilar to beef in their taste, texture and
cooking requirements. Others, such as beaver and bear, are somewhat
similar to pork. The flavor of game meat can even vary within a
species, depending upon the age of the animals, the type of diet it
lived on, and — to perhaps belabor a point – how it was handled
after being killed. A good, taste-satisfying meal of game meat is the
result of a well-planned hunting trip. Hunting isn’t — or shouldn’t
be — a haphazard process, in which by some fortuitous circumstance
you bag your game, then somehow manage to get it home, where you look
it over and decide what to do next. On the contrary, the successful
hunting trip that ends up with a great eating experience is no
unplanned accident. Most expert hunters believe that a satisfying
meal of wild game actually begins with the way the animal is killed.
Next in the process is field dressing the animal; then, transporting
it home — and finally, processing the meat. After that, it’s up to
the cook.


  1. Hi there,
    Interesting Blog. I just came across it and I’m already a dedicated reader.

    With kind regards,

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