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#174097 - 07/16/09 04:35 PM Venison Verses Beef
n8ly Offline
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Registered: 04/10/06
Posts: 2505
Loc: peoria
"Controversy has long raged about the relative quality and taste of
venison and beef as gourmet foods. Some people say that venison is
tough, with a strong "wild" taste. Others insist that venison's flavor
is delicate. An independent food research group was retained by the
Venison Council to conduct a taste test to determine the truth of these
conflicting assertions once and for all.

First a Grade A Choice Holstein steer was chased into a swamp a mile and
a half from a road and shot several times. After some of the entrails
were removed, the carcass was dragged back over rocks and logs, and
through mud and dust to the road. It was then thrown into the back of a
pickup truck and driven through rain and snow for 100 miles before being
hung out in the sun for 10 days.

After that it was lugged into a garage, where it was skinned and rolled
around on the floor for a while. Strict sanitary precautions were
observed throughout the test, within the limitations of the butchering
en vironment.
For instance, dogs and cats were allowed to sniff and lick the steer
carcass, but were chased away when they attempted to bite chunks out of
it.

Next a sheet of plywood left from last year's butchering was set up in
the basement on two saw horses. The pieces of dried blood, hair and fat
left from last year were scraped off with a wire brush last used to
clean out the grass stuck under the lawn mower.

The skinned carcass was then dragged down the steps into the basement
where a half dozen inexperienced but enthusiastic and intoxicated men
worked on it with meat saws, cleavers and dull knives. The result was
375 pounds of soup bones, four bushel baskets of meat scraps, and a
couple of steaks that were an eighth of an inch thick on one edge and an
inch and a half thick on the other.

The steaks were seared on a glowing red hot cast iron skillet to lock in
the flavor. When the smoke cleared, rancid bacon grease was added along
with three pounds of onions, and the whole conglomeration was fried for
two hours.

The meat was gently teased from the frying pan and served to three
blindfolded taste panel volunteers. Every one of the members of the
panel thought it was venison. One of the volunteers even said it tasted
exactly like the venison he had eaten in hunting camps for the past 27
years. The results of this scientific test show conclusively that there
is no difference between the taste of beef and venison."
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#174106 - 07/16/09 04:54 PM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: n8ly]
davatsa Offline
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Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 1256
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Now that's funny.

We sometimes take deer to get processed at one of the local joints, but the above is exactly why I like doing it myself.

I know the shot was good, it was field dressed immediately, and it was quartered and put on ice as soon as possible. I also cook it myself, and it's slap-yo-mama good.
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#174107 - 07/16/09 04:56 PM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: davatsa]
Theo Gallus Offline
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Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12414
Loc: Central Ohio
I have my deer processed by the same butchers who do our steers. We also buy a half a hog, processed, off them once a year or so.

They all taste good, but they sure don't taste alike.
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#174112 - 07/16/09 05:00 PM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: davatsa]
Greg Grimes Offline
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Registered: 05/03/02
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Loc: Ball Ground, GA
good timing nate. I finally got to use the new meat slicer (from Christmas). I know the meat was done right b/c I do it all myself like davasta. ANyway I coated iwth the jerky marinade last night and tonight plan to stick on dehyradator. So hopefully my jerky will indeed taste diff than beef and so much better for you. If you guys are nice I might bring some to PB.
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#174114 - 07/16/09 05:02 PM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: Theo Gallus]
TOM G Offline
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Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 2086
Loc: Dawson Tx
I think I saw Sunil in that deer camp. \:D \:D \:D
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#174119 - 07/16/09 05:18 PM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: TOM G]
n8ly Offline
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Registered: 04/10/06
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Loc: peoria
Grimes,
put me down for a lb of your jerky at the conference!! If anyone else thinks they can beat grimes stuff, bring it on!
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#174179 - 07/16/09 11:24 PM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: n8ly]
CJBS2003 Offline
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Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 10457
Loc: northern VA
Beef is beef and deer is deer... Either you like one, both or none but they sure don't taste the same!
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#174205 - 07/17/09 07:50 AM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: CJBS2003]
Greg Grimes Offline
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Registered: 05/03/02
Posts: 3973
Loc: Ball Ground, GA
Nate you don't want to know this price. With my labor charges... I figure time I shot, field dress it, drag it, quarter it, cooler it, ice it for 5 days, freeze it, then slice it, marinade it, dehydrate it about $50/lb is about right.

Cj I disagree 100% I bet in a taste test most would not know my deer from beef. And many would prefer it. Nates story was hilarious and somewhat believable unfortunately. I have had awful deer that if that is all I ever tried I would never try again, gamey and tough mine and sure many others is not this way. Many city folk have came to the house and said this is the best, chili, beef stew, or steak wrapped in bacon ever to later find out it was venison.
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Greg Grimes
www.lakework.com

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#174216 - 07/17/09 08:55 AM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: Greg Grimes]
Theo Gallus Offline
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Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12414
Loc: Central Ohio
If used as ground meat, at least 9 out of 10 people can't tell the difference.

I used to use ground deer only for certain recipes, all mixed with ground beef. Last year we ran out of ground beef 3 months before we would have a steer ready to butcher, and we used nothing but ground deer for that whole period for everything. Nobody could tell the difference. Other than being leaner and having basically no fat to drain, it pretty much cooks identically to ground beef as well.
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"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling

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#174218 - 07/17/09 09:06 AM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: Greg Grimes]
catmandoo Offline
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Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 5691
Loc: Hampshire Co., WV
We eat a fair amount venison. Usually two to three deer give us 60 to 75 lbs. of boneless meat.

My buddies make fun of me for blasting the spots off the deer I take in the fall. They tell me they've got dogs bigger than the deer I take. I only take small, young deer, and only when it is cool outside. They get bled and immediately chilled with ice. I've got a cold room in the barn where I hang them for a week or so. I usually quarter them while they are hanging. Then I do the final butchering in the kitchen where I can keep everything real clean. From there they get vacuum packed, dated, and frozen. The meat is delicious. When we make pastrami, my friends can go through a couple of pounds in a few minutes.

Every once in a while somebody will give us a gift of venison roasts or ground venison that they had professionally processed. Most of the time I cook it up for the cats, or just throw it out. It almost always has a smell that we don't like. I'm afraid most of it was handled like the steer mentioned above.
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#174221 - 07/17/09 09:20 AM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: catmandoo]
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4283
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
I shoot big ones and small ones. Gut and rough butcher them within 24 hours and freeze. Pull them out later and thaw in the fridge, finish the butchering and refreeze. The thaw in the fridge ages the meat perfectly. Even the big bucks taste fine. I should mention that by "I", I mean my wife. She also drove me to my stand when I had a broken foot, and picked me and the deer up after dark. Some day she may butcher me...

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#174224 - 07/17/09 09:42 AM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: RAH]
Brettski Offline
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Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 6922
Loc: Illinois
Isn't it true that the deer's diet has a significant effect on the taste of the meat? Corn fed trumps deer confined to forest land.
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#174227 - 07/17/09 09:52 AM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: Brettski]
davatsa Offline
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Registered: 04/14/03
Posts: 1256
Loc: San Antonio, TX
I think it does, Bski. I've done most of my hunting in two different parts of Texas, and the deer have a slightly different flavor that I attribute to diet.

I've heard that midwestern cropland deer have a better flavor than, say, mule deer out west that browse on whatever they can find.

But shot placement, field dressing/gutting, and getting the meat chilled right away (or a lack of any of the above) will change the flavor much more than diet.
_________________________
"Only after sorrow's hand has bowed your head will life become truly real to you; then you will acquire the noble spirituality which intensifies the reality of life. I go to an all-powerful God. Beyond that I have no knowledge--no fear--only faith."

Top
#174232 - 07/17/09 10:04 AM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: davatsa]
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4283
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
Mine are grain fed which helps a lot with flavor and size. Adding the pond (and 3 wetlands) has helped bring a lot more quality deer in.

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#174237 - 07/17/09 10:30 AM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: catmandoo]
csteffen Offline
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Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 167
Loc: KS & IA
 Originally Posted By: catmandoo

My buddies make fun of me for blasting the spots off the deer I take in the fall.


The small ones are the best. The other day I was mowing the walking path around my dad's property and there was a really spotted up one that darn near charged the tractor to keep it away from "his foodplot". I think I'll eat him this fall.
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#174245 - 07/17/09 10:58 AM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: davatsa]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24032
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
 Originally Posted By: davatsa
But shot placement, field dressing/gutting, and getting the meat chilled right away (or a lack of any of the above) will change the flavor much more than diet.


I see you've never tasted a deer that was living on browsing jumipers and hemlock for a month before it was shot. Up there agriculture means managing your woodlot for timber production, and the only places that deer have stuff to eat is the swamps and clearcut areas that start growing. We hunt a 1700 acre parcel that is 90% mature Maple trees, with cedar swamps in the other 10%. Between the habitat, wolves and bad winter the past 2 years, we only cut 7 deer tracks in 5 days of hunting in 2" - 7" snow.

I will normally hunt in the Northern reaches of WI for a week, and also here in Indiana. The difference between the deer is night and day. I use the deer from up there for sausage and deer sticks, here they get wrapped for table fare.
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#174248 - 07/17/09 11:16 AM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: Brettski]
Theo Gallus Offline
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Registered: 05/14/04
Posts: 12414
Loc: Central Ohio
 Originally Posted By: Brettski
Isn't it true that the deer's diet has a significant effect on the taste of the meat? Corn fed trumps deer confined to forest land.

MY FIL claimed that deer from where his family used to hunt in PA always tasted like pine needles.

I usually check stomach contents after cleaning for curiousity's sake. There have been some wild variations over the years (corn, soybeans, forbs & grass, even turnips once), which have never correpsonded to a change in taste. But wrt overall diet, all the deer I've taken here pretty much eat the same things - their last meal doesn't make any difference compared to what they've eaten all year long. That overall diet is pretty constant, I believe.
_________________________
"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling

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#174261 - 07/17/09 12:05 PM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: Greg Grimes]
n8ly Offline
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Registered: 04/10/06
Posts: 2505
Loc: peoria
 Originally Posted By: Greg Grimes
Nate you don't want to know this price. With my labor charges... I figure time I shot, field dress it, drag it, quarter it, cooler it, ice it for 5 days, freeze it, then slice it, marinade it, dehydrate it about $50/lb is about right.


You forgot to add in all of the research you have had to do over the last several years and equipment necessary to kill the deer, and all the equipment upgrades needed to kill the deer quicker. We are probably talking an additional $22.39 for every pound of deer meat that you produce here.....Tell you what, just change my order from one pound to one piece and we will go out for a steak dinner Wed night. Even though deer obviously tastes better than cows, it would be cheaper and more convenient for us just to have a chef fix us up and serve us a big juicy steak.


Edited by n8ly (07/17/09 12:07 PM)
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#174262 - 07/17/09 12:13 PM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: n8ly]
Greg Grimes Offline
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Registered: 05/03/02
Posts: 3973
Loc: Ball Ground, GA
Yep much cheaper to just go buy the steaks cooked but don't let the wife know that. Jeff Foxworthy I think had the price for the deer meat at $200/lb time he figured cost of bullets from missing so much. I will try to hookup whoever I can with some prime jerky pieces. I like to take it on roadtrips anyways, good protein source.

I think I have noticed a little better taste from the deer taken in midwest but agree much more about proper care and most butchers don't care as much as you do.
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#174266 - 07/17/09 01:04 PM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: Greg Grimes]
RAH Offline
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Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4283
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
I don't hunt for food. I eat venison because I hunt. I love bow hunting!

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#174306 - 07/17/09 04:09 PM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: RAH]
CJBS2003 Offline
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Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 10457
Loc: northern VA
Yeah, if I was hunting to get cheap deer meat I'd be wasting a lot of money! Greg, I agree ground meat and many other prep ways, you cannot tell the difference. However, when eating a nice back strap steak, I can tell the difference. As others have posted, I can tell the difference between deer in PA who eat mostly woody browse and wild forbes, those in VA who eat people's backyard gardens and those from Kansas who eat corn and soybeans. When I make deer chili, I love having non hunters eat it who would die if they knew they were eating venison. I never let them know. I am not sure why people are so worried that deer and cows taste different. Goats, sheep, pigs etc all taste different! Each person may like one more than another.

In PA on our hunting land, my dad and I only harvest adult does because that is biologically best for the deer herd and the occasional mature buck which is rather rare in those parts. In Virginia, I mostly hunt in the suburban areas outside Washington, DC. There if it's brown, it's down... The land owners who have so graciously given me permission to hunt on their properties want all the deer removed. The county biologist who works for the county I work in said most areas of the county have deer populations in the 300+ deer per acre range. At least 10 times the healthy number. They taste worse than any other deer I have eaten. Consequently, they are given to hunters for the hungry program. Last year I donated 18 deer to the program. There was a very high demand with the downturn in the economy...
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#174307 - 07/17/09 04:22 PM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: CJBS2003]
Bullhead Offline

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Registered: 03/16/09
Posts: 804
Loc: Cornhusker state
300+ per acre? That's a deer for ever 140 square foot! You sure it was 300 per square mile?

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#174309 - 07/17/09 04:30 PM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: Bullhead]
csteffen Offline
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Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 167
Loc: KS & IA
No aiming required. The 18 donated deer were taken in one shot.
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#174312 - 07/17/09 04:54 PM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: csteffen]
n8ly Offline
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Registered: 04/10/06
Posts: 2505
Loc: peoria
I put two does down last year with one shot! It was so perfectly lined up 60 yards from my stand. I couldnt believe I got them both. They both dropped 15 yards apart!

H and R single shot slug gun with a hornady slug. I hunt for meat cause I like to eat!
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#174315 - 07/17/09 05:02 PM Re: Venison Verses Beef [Re: n8ly]
csteffen Offline
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Registered: 04/23/07
Posts: 167
Loc: KS & IA
Hunting an old railroad track I shot a pheasant as it crossed low over the track. The dog ran out there to get it and came back with an almost dead rabbit. Then I sent the dog back for the pheasant. If it hadn't been for the dog I would have never known. Don't think I could possibly pull that one off again!
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