Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Deer Hunting => Topic started by: TikkaRounds on October 03, 2017, 12:37:40 PM

Title: Best way to the best
Post by: TikkaRounds on October 03, 2017, 12:37:40 PM
This is my first year hunting and I am very excited.  It took a long time to get to this point and for me, it comes down to the opportunity to bring wonderful meat to our home.  I've enjoyed it many times and am ready to have it readily available in our home.

My question is what should I be looking for?  I know that the care of the meat after the kill and the shot its self will make a world of difference.

It might seem like a silly question but I am coming from the mind of a gardener who knows that my morning harvested vegetables a fruit provide a better tasting product.  I know that rabbit tastes better when harvested after the heat has passed...  see my mindset?

What behavior, environment, climate, and other variables naturally change the flavor of the meat I'll be stocking my freezer with?....hopefully!
Title: Re: Best way to the best
Post by: Tinmaniac on October 03, 2017, 01:06:49 PM
Quick,clean kill on a relaxed animal.Head shots are best for less meat damage.Get the meat cooled quickly.
Title: Re: Best way to the best
Post by: elkonastick on October 03, 2017, 01:20:48 PM
bucks and bulls can take on a strong flavor during and after the rut. they switch from a summer pattern focused on eating and packing on weight to a main focus of breeding where chasing does or cows and fighting to keep them is more important than anything. I've had some strong rut meat and I've also had rut meat that was fantastic. mule deer have a change of diet when they shed their velvet, they will eat more bitter brush and sage which can give them a stronger game taste. i am not sure but I believe an animal that is killed quick and clean tastes better than an animal that died on an adrenaline death sprint, that's not always possible but I think it makes a difference. animals from an ag area can taste different than a mountain buck or a desert buck just because of the primary food source. like you said, how the meat is handled is going to make the biggest difference
Title: Re: Best way to the best
Post by: Stein on October 03, 2017, 01:27:26 PM
I just listened to a Steven Rinella podcast where he was talking with a three star Michelin chef.  He went through aging, butchering, and even eating parts you would never think of. 

Take a good shot, get it out of the skin and away from the guts as quickly as possible and cooled below 40 degrees.  It ain't rocket surgery.
Title: Re: Best way to the best
Post by: boneaddict on October 03, 2017, 01:34:15 PM
Pre rut, young legal buck, thats been eating goldendale wheat or methow alfalfa or chelan apples, will taste the best.   A quick kill makes a huge difference.   Get the guts out fast, opened up and cooling.  Get the hide off, keep the dirt and bugs off and dont trasnport the critter strapped to your engine block.   From there I think the opinions sill differ.   Some cut em up fast, some age them.   
Title: Re: Best way to the best
Post by: Magnum_Willys on October 03, 2017, 01:36:51 PM
Western WA Blacktail in late Oct/November has a strong rut taste that is less palatable to more people than most others. 

Younger is generally better.  Sometimes by far. 

Iowa Whitetail is fabulous, but many Idaho timber whitetail not nearly as tender - in fact I find the Muleys in Idaho more tender than the timber whitetails.  This will change if you are hunting the grain field whitetails.

Aging can work wonders.  I have a buddy that ages for 45 days  :o  .   His steaks are awesome.

One of these helps marinade and tenderize. (
Title: Re: Best way to the best
Post by: Seabass on October 03, 2017, 03:05:01 PM
This question reminds me a little bit of something I witnessed last week at football practice. One of my  player's was working on his TD celebration. He nailed it....his only problem is that he has yet to score a TD.

The best meat is the meat you have. Take it when you can because there is no guarantee you will have another opportunity.
Title: Re: Best way to the best
Post by: ghosthunter on October 03, 2017, 03:09:55 PM
Enough can not be said for good game care after the shot. If I am above a road and I can get the deer to the road in about 15 minutes , I drag the whole deer down closer to the road before I field dress.

As soon as I get it to camp the hide comes off and I do what ever it takes to cool it down. Even as far as hanging blocks of ice in the chest area.
When I am transporting home or to butcher I put the animal on a clean tarp in my truck and pack ice bags around it.

When you get the butcher they will give you high fives for good game care. They like to get them clean and cool. 

I have seen many folks mis-treat wild meat and seen the butcher reject poorly cared for animals at the door.
Title: Re: Best way to the best
Post by: yakimanoob on October 03, 2017, 05:33:43 PM
I know I may be abnormal, but I like sage-fed deer just fine.  It adds some interesting complexity to the meat. 

My deer from Mt Clemens and my elk from Bethel unit both tasted fantastic.  Both taken during general rifle.
Title: Re: Best way to the best
Post by: DoubleJ on October 03, 2017, 06:04:28 PM
Some agree and some disagree but I personally prefer to wait until rigor sets and then releases before breaking down a deer, when I can afford to do it.  Some situations call for the animal to be broken down before that but I have always had the best meat when I can afford to wait.  The meat seems to get tougher when broken down before then.  Might just be my perception but, if I have the ability, I'll wait
Title: Re: Best way to the best
Post by: fishnfur on October 03, 2017, 10:30:14 PM
I agree with that belief.  I'm not sure that it is correct, but I've heard enough stories of chewy game meat from animals butchered while still in rigor that it makes sense to wait, if possible.
Title: Re: Best way to the best
Post by: Stein on October 04, 2017, 09:35:59 AM
 :yeah:Fact for sure.  That is one of the arguments about boning out meat at the kill site.  The bigger the chunks you can leave it in, the better.  Also, don't let it freeze before rigor.

Or, get one of these:
Title: Re: Best way to the best
Post by: jagermiester on October 04, 2017, 11:48:39 AM
My advice. Butcher your own game. You will further understand how important it is to keep your meat clean and cool. I hang my meat in a fridge allowing air to reach every square inch if possible. I will not cut until the muscles start to separate, identifying themselves. Does that make sense?
When you go at a hind quarter you should be able to separate each muscle with your hand only cutting it free from the bone on either end.
Title: Re: Best way to the best
Post by: TikkaRounds on October 04, 2017, 12:53:31 PM
Lots of very helpful answers here.  I have a good crew around me to walk me through processing my first (hopefully) harvest.  Not so worried about that as I have gone through numerous "quizes" on keeping the meat top quality.  But I wanna start with best I can, so thanks for the pointers.