Why is Deer Meat Called Venison?

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Our Associate portal can be found here

Introduction

The deer-hunting season is coming to a wrap, so your freezer should be filling up with venison. Many people ask why deer meat is called venison. Venison refers to the meat of antlered animals such as deer, caribou, moose, and elk. Do you know the difference between caribou and moose, or elk and deer, and can you tell how moose meat tastes compared to deer and elk? The unique flavor of venison is directly related to what the deer eats. Corn fed deer have a milder flavor than those that eat sage or acorns. 

Local venison according to most hunters, is a more sustainable source of protein that helps keep the deer populations under control and prevents damage to crops and woodlands. The growing popularity of venison is owed due to its well-documented health-giving properties, with many nutritional experts praising its low-fat content and richness in vitamins and minerals. But what venison is known for is its ultra-lean meat with a rich flavor, very distinct from beef and other red meats. 

What is the Name Given to Baby Deer Meat

A baby deer is called a fawn. I do not suppose there is a specific term for baby deer meat.  But people who have tasted fawn meat find the meat veal, similar to that of a calf. However, there are some hunters with a contrary opinion.

There is controversy in whether you should shoot fawns and people will ridicule you for shooting them. However, such young deer are a safe bet for good meat. By end-October, an average fawn will field-dress 40 to 60 pounds and can yield around 20 pounds of trimmed steaks. 

What Does Venison Taste Like?

The best way to describe venison, its taste, and texture is with words like rich and earthy. It is meat imbued with hints of sage, acorns, and herbs that the deer enjoyed during its life. Vension is succulent and juicier than beef, but most importantly it is like lamb in many ways. It lends itself to spicy, minty, and autumnal flavors in a way that beef usually doesn’t.

The “Gamey” Flavor

Another word typical of venison meat is gamey. Perhaps it is from the pungent, musky, flavor of an animal raised in the wilderness instead of a farm. The ‘gamey’ flavor is more noticeable in the fat. During processing to lessen the ‘gamey’ taste, you must remove the fat, silver skin, connective tissue, bone, and hair. Failure may lead to some strong undesirable flavors due to inadequate bleeding, failure to cool the carcass promptly or delay in field dressing.

Things that Will Ruin Your Deer Meat Flavor

Some things consistently make venison tasty. And some things will ruin the flavor, too. Here are the things that can ruin your flavor. 

Poor Field Care

In hunting, it is critical to have a proper shot placement. The longer it takes for the deer to die the farther it runs, and the more adrenaline and lactic acid build up in the animal’s muscles and system. The faster a deer hits the ground, it should be field-dressed, and the better the meat will be. If you kill the deer instantly, the meat is uncontaminated by blood and other entrails from the chest cavity. The lungs remain the best place to aim.

Failure to Cool Quickly

The first step of decomposition is when the internal bacteria takes over after death, expelling gases and causing the animal to bloat. The process is accelerated in warm weather. By learning to field dress a deer you will rid the venison of the bacteria and other organisms. Cooling the animal down is also helpful to preserve its taste. 

On a cold night, you can leave a deer hanging skin-on overnight. In especially cold weather, some hunters find this to be the best way to age a deer for several days. If you live in a warm climate, you will not have that luxury. The best method after successfully hunting a deer is to get it field-dressed, skin it, quarter it, and put it on ice within the hour.

Shot the Wrong Deer

Modern deer hunters follow the principles of deer herd management. There are lots of practices that you should do that contribute to the health of a herd, and it includes which deer to shoot. Given the chance, most hunters will always select the mature buck with big antlers.

Old bucks are edible, but rarely the best. As the buck ages, the muscles become stringy and tougher. An old buck has spent its years fighting, scraping, rubbing, and chasing does will be lean. Expect to have a chew steak. The same applies to mature old does that have spent many years burning calories producing milk to nurse fawns. 

For steaks, the best venison meat is a young buck or crop-fed does. A