Game meat. I’m not trying to talk you into it. Really.

I was wondering today why more people don’t eat game meat.   For background:

  • We eat a lot of game meat: antelope, deer, elk, and pheasant.  I don’t think I’ve left anything out.  Oh, we traded for some wild hog too.  And we had some moose.  And dove.  The duck and geese always go to somebody else.  And we always have freshly caught fish in the summer. (Fish tacos, yumm.)
  • I’m not a picky eater and I’ve never had any issues with eating game meat.  I didn’t realize what a big deal it was that Frank cooked moose steaks the first time I came over for dinner until much later.  (One exception: I think it’s really sad how little food you get out of a dove.  Maybe a dove isn’t as big or as smart as a deer but I guess I’m a little hung up on a life is a life and it’s kind of sad that 2-3 doves give their lives so you can have an appetizer.  So I tried to enjoy it as much as possible!)
  • I would never try to talk anyone into eating game meat.  Why?  Why bother?
  • I would vehemently argue that eating game meat is not bad.
    • Not bad for the environment. The Division of Wildlife carefully controls animal population numbers and doles out hunting licenses accordingly.  Anyone who has ever been to Estes Park knows we have too many elk! Plus hunting license fees go to pay for all sorts of good wildlife and nature type things.
    • Not bad for you.  Game meat is very low in fat and free of hormones.  (I have to admit that after reading Fast Food Nation, I’m more than a little afraid of the hormones in my beef, chicken and pork.  They really do put them in.  You can ask my dad.)
    • Not bad for your tastebuds.  Just cook it right.  Ask Frank for advice or follow this blog.  Our favorite cookbook is Amazing Venison Recipes.

I think the main reasons people don’t eat game meat are these but let me know if I’ve missed yours!

  • "It doesn’t taste good."  Then it wasn’t cooked right or it was a bad piece of meat.  In the past five years I’ve only had one or two meals that I didn’t like because of the game meat.  I’d invite you over to dinner but I’d have to ask Frank first … People at work keep oohing and aahing over my leftovers for lunch and Frank says there are fights over his leftovers if he decides to go out to lunch.  I’ve been trying to talk him into going into the hot lunch catering business … In the meantime, you can get a copy of our favorite cookbook, Amazing Venison Recipes.
  • "It’s bambi!"  Have you ever seen a baby calf?  Or piglet?  Or chick?  They are pretty darn cute too! (If you’re a vegetarian, I understand.  Otherwise, I don’t get it.)
  • "It was free."  Let’s see – you are ok with keeping a calf in a small crowded space for a year and then killing it but not with letting a deer roam free for a couple of years and then killing it?
  • "It’s expensive."  If you don’t hunt, it’s definitely expensive.

One reason often given to eat game meat that is not really true is "it’s cheaper."  If we added up all of Frank’s hunting costs and the cost of processing meat, it’s not cheaper for us.  Maybe if we processed it ourselves it would be but then you’d have to figure in the time and days off work to process it.

So why don’t you eat game meat?  Or if you do, what’s the most common reason you hear from those that don’t?

6 Comments

  1. Jenn says:

    Why do the ducks and geese go to someone else? They are easy to cook and very good!

  2. Stormy says:

    You know … I don’t know why – Frank doesn’t like them. He says the geese around here don’t eat very good things so they don’t taste good. He’s the hunter and the cook so I didn’t argue with him …

  3. Moose says:

    Hi just stumbled across your blog and it looks interesting. On the issue of geese I use to think that until I found a way to cook them.
    My recipe for Apple Hickory BBQ Goose can be found here
    http://skinnymoose.com/moosedroppings/2007/12/21/alls-i-want-for-christmas-is-a-christmas-goose/
    I’ve served this and people swear its beef roast or deer roast. No one guesses its Canadian goose. I swear it is good and you’ll want to eat geese after trying this.
    Good Blog when I get a chance I’ll add your link to my blog.
    -Moose-

  4. Stormy says:

    Thanks, Jenn and Moose, for suggesting we try different ways of cooking geese.
    Thanks, Moose for the recipe!

  5. dlyn says:

    Ran across a comment of yours on another blog, so I am here checking you out. We eat game – live out in the country and though my husband doesn’t hunt as much as he would like, we do eat whatever he gets. I agree it is a ll in the cooking – and people aren’t used to a lot of flavor anymore, so game meat tastes strange to some. Nice blog – I will be back to check you again!

  6. I love game meat, but I have really bad eyesight, so I never even considered picking up a gun and hunt. Besides — I live in the Netherlands and this country is really small, Our game supply is limited: we can get nice ducks, pheasants, venison, wild rabbit and hare. Geese, which I love, are nearly impossible to get.

    But it’s still cheaper to buy a brace of ducks than it is to buy a decent free-range chicken!

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