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Author Topic: Never met an elk I didnít like.  (Read 3450 times)

Offline sjhgraysage

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Re: Never met an elk I didnít like.
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2019, 08:17:19 AM »
2 bull elk both 6x6's, and a cow all killed in late october to near the 1st of November.  Taste was good , steaks were chewy on all three. To warm to let the meat hang for a week, so we cut em up and put them in the freezers.

Offline blackveltbowhunter

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Re: Never met an elk I didnít like.
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2019, 07:11:12 AM »
The only truly bad I have ever eaten was Montana deer a friend had processed at a shop over there. He normally does all his own. It was so bad he ended up feeding it to his dogs. Unknown if it was the animal or the processing plant, but it was cut with a bandsaw and I have heard that's not generally favorable to game meat.

  However its certainly been a sliding scale and some are better than others. Meat care is priority number one and the only truly controllable factor IMO.  I hang game unless circumstances prevent it. And think a few days in a cooler definitely helps. I also vacuum pack in roast form and cut steak when ready. Good meat prep from freezer to pan is almost as important as the field to freezer care.

 Aside from that I think its kind of a crap shoot.

 If I had to nail down preferred table fare options it would probably look like this. Velvet spike elk, any deer killed in September, if close to agriculture even better. Females are more stable across the board, though not always the very best. If killing in rut... Elk, Whitetail, Blacktail, Mule deer.

Online Stein

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Re: Never met an elk I didnít like.
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2019, 07:22:18 AM »
I may be proven wrong, but I still think that 95% or more of the problems comes from meat care. Everyone thinks they do a great job and sometimes the conditions just make that impossible.  During cold weather, if the meat freezes within 24 hours it will be very tough.

I have had meat with a ton of taste to it but never something I shot that tasted bad or was incredibly tough.  The last antelope I shot was an old dude, the taxidermist even commented he hasn't seen one of that vintage in a while and it ate just fine.

For the meat processed, it's not a fair discussion because you don't know whose animal you are eating.

Offline Bullkllr

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Re: Never met an elk I didnít like.
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2019, 07:30:53 AM »
I have had a couple elk that were tough as a boot, but the taste wasnít bad. Older bulls, even the ones shot in Late September can be tough.
:yeah:
 A couple rutted-out bulls from early October stand out, IME.
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Offline dilleytech

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Re: Never met an elk I didnít like.
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2019, 08:52:54 AM »
I have never eaten any wild game from any critter that was ďbadĒ I could rank my favorites but nothing was not worth eating. It bothers me when someone said they ate the tender loin right away when the meat is absolutely as chewy as itís going to be and they burger the whole animal. I canít recall ever eating something the day it was killed and not had it be very tough.

The only tough meat I have eaten was a really old bear and a cougar. But like others meat care is crucial. If Iím getting an animal out whole I except to get the hide off in a matter of hours. Also I donít age meat hanging because I donít have a walk in cooler or think paying for the use of one worth the benefit. If I want crazy tender aged meat I use wet aging. I have done this technique up to 6 weeks and it does wonders to any cut.

Offline Eric M

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Re: Never met an elk I didnít like.
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2019, 09:46:54 AM »
Ive seen that many people who complain of gamey meat or "funny" tastes get their animals done at a butcher shop. My brother in law and his family have the Mennonites butcher their animals. Although hes never had any issues, i have a hard time believing that with 200 deer hanging in the barns he is getting back the same animal.

Offline cavemann

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Re: Never met an elk I didnít like.
« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2019, 10:05:48 AM »
Luckily, never had a bad elk.   However, had two deer in last 4 years that just were edible.    Too many parasites, liver flukes, and open wounds on both of them, dry heaved 20+ times field processing them, and decided I couldn't feed it to my family it was so bad.
  🤮🤮🤮 blacktail?  I've heard of fish and game issuing new tags in instances of an animal not being edible due to those kinds of issues.

Come on Karl, we've discussed this.  Blacktails sip soy lattes and the finest organic browse.  they are tender, marinated and aged on the hoof.  you don't know what you are missing!!

Offline Karl Blanchard

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Re: Never met an elk I didnít like.
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2019, 10:26:18 AM »
Luckily, never had a bad elk.   However, had two deer in last 4 years that just were edible.    Too many parasites, liver flukes, and open wounds on both of them, dry heaved 20+ times field processing them, and decided I couldn't feed it to my family it was so bad.
  🤮🤮🤮 blacktail?  I've heard of fish and game issuing new tags in instances of an animal not being edible due to those kinds of issues.

Come on Karl, we've discussed this.  Blacktails sip soy lattes and the finest organic browse.  they are tender, marinated and aged on the hoof.  you don't know what you are missing!!
  :chuckle: :chuckle: :chuckle: that's a good point. Plus they don't put any nutrients into antler growth so that probably helps too  :peep:
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Offline cavemann

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Re: Never met an elk I didnít like.
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2019, 11:20:23 AM »
hey, hey, hey...  mass vs length, same difference.  at least thats what I tell myself.

Offline DOUBLELUNG

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Re: Never met an elk I didnít like.
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2019, 11:20:47 AM »
I have had 2 pronghorn of about 60 that had a strong, unpleasant flavor.  An old Wyoming Range mule deer doe my ex shot smelled terrible while cooking but was ok to eat (I labeled every package "Methusela").  The biggest headscratcher was a raghorn bull elk my best friend at the time shot - mid-September, cold and clear, that bull had no clue anyone was around and went from feeding to DRT after Scott shot it in the heart.  Skinned, quartered, hung to chill ... that elk was so tough we ate the entire thing out of a crock pot.  No explanation for that one. 

My favorite game is probably alfalfa whitetail, least favorite Wyoming mountain mule deer that winter on big sagebrush.  However, nonmigratory mule deer that live in silver sage year round are excellent.  East Cascades mule deer are excellent. 
As long as we have the habitat, we can argue forever about who gets to kill what and when.  No habitat = no game.

Offline NOCK NOCK

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Re: Never met an elk I didnít like.
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2019, 02:04:11 PM »
One big factor to toughness I havenít seen mentioned yet..... How the meat is actually cut. 
If whoever is doing the butchering doesnít Make Cut in the proper places  you will end up with a steak that chews more like jerky.
Always steak by cutting cross grain.
I have killed, processed, and ate well over 100 big game animals. None have tasted bad and only one was tough, the moose.
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Offline dilleytech

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Re: Never met an elk I didnít like.
« Reply #41 on: December 06, 2019, 04:52:15 PM »
I have had 2 pronghorn of about 60 that had a strong, unpleasant flavor.  An old Wyoming Range mule deer doe my ex shot smelled terrible while cooking but was ok to eat (I labeled every package "Methusela").  The biggest headscratcher was a raghorn bull elk my best friend at the time shot - mid-September, cold and clear, that bull had no clue anyone was around and went from feeding to DRT after Scott shot it in the heart.  Skinned, quartered, hung to chill ... that elk was so tough we ate the entire thing out of a crock pot.  No explanation for that one. 

My favorite game is probably alfalfa whitetail, least favorite Wyoming mountain mule deer that winter on big sagebrush.  However, nonmigratory mule deer that live in silver sage year round are excellent.  East Cascades mule deer are excellent.

My Wyoming butcher friend has Said the reason people have bad experience with pronghorns is because they didnít cool the meat fast enough. Itís absolutely critical with them that you skin them and get the meat down in temp right away. Antelope would be top of my list for flavor and quality.

How fast or how stressful the death of an animal is doesnít seem to matter for meat quality in my experience.

On blacktails the two I have eaten in my location both had tons of worms under the skin below the knees but have been absolutely great eating.

Online Stein

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Re: Never met an elk I didnít like.
« Reply #42 on: December 06, 2019, 04:59:25 PM »
I have had two variety of antelope and it was the biggest animal to animal change in taste I have had.  Antelope 1 was a doe I shot as she stepped foot off the alfalfa field.  Antelope 2 was the old buck in sageville WY.  If I didn't know better I would have bet a paycheck it wasn't the same species.

There is difference in all animals, but for those two the difference was remarkable.  The doe was the most mild tasting meat I can imagine, borderline too bland.  The buck, well I ate about 40% of it before I started to appreciate the taste.  The family never did come around to that one but I ended up enjoying it and would like to shoot another one next year.

Offline Buckjunkie

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Re: Never met an elk I didnít like.
« Reply #43 on: December 06, 2019, 05:11:41 PM »
I have had two variety of antelope and it was the biggest animal to animal change in taste I have had.  Antelope 1 was a doe I shot as she stepped foot off the alfalfa field.  Antelope 2 was the old buck in sageville WY.  If I didn't know better I would have bet a paycheck it wasn't the same species.

There is difference in all animals, but for those two the difference was remarkable.  The doe was the most mild tasting meat I can imagine, borderline too bland.  The buck, well I ate about 40% of it before I started to appreciate the taste.  The family never did come around to that one but I ended up enjoying it and would like to shoot another one next year.

I only have three buck antelope to compare, but a friend told me to get the hide off quick and carry a cooler with ice. Throw the quarters in and get them cool as fast as possible.

The first two were shot, gutted and thrown in the bed of the truck to go hunt some more. They were terrible. The last on we got it on ice within 45 minutes and it was very good eating.


Online Stein

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Re: Never met an elk I didnít like.
« Reply #44 on: December 06, 2019, 05:46:40 PM »
Yeah, I have an ice maker in the garage so I always carry 40-100# in the truck when hunting.  The buck was hanging off a hitch hoist within the hour and on ice a few minutes later.  It wasn't "gamy" or bad smelling, it just had an antelope taste that was unique.  A fairly strong antelope taste.

It's kind of like how salmon tastes very different than tuna, that one was just different compared to the doe.  A strong different, but not unpleasant once I got used to it.

 


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