Identifying and Cooking Cuts of Venison
By: Darron McDougal
Learn the right way to harvest a deer and feed your family for the season
Harvesting a deer secures a sizeable supply of delicious red meat. How that meat is handled and cooked, and by whom, depicts how well it will serve up as the main entrée next time you invite guests over for a wild-game dinner.
Of course, few hunters are experts at butchering and processing deer. So, most take the easy route – they drop harvested deer off at a meat-processing plant. In the past, I’ve done this myself, but these questions invariably linger: How is the meat handled? How sanitary are the tools and surfaces the meat contacts? Is the meat handled along with another hunters’ venison, or is each deer processed individually? For that matter, am I even getting my own deer meat back, or am I simply getting “venison?”
The thought of getting another hunter’s venison, or even a portion of it, repulses me. I handle deer meat as pridefully and carefully as possible because, again, how meat is handled determines its table quality.
If the questions I referenced above haunt you each time you take a deer to the butcher, perhaps you should consider butchering and processing your own deer from now on.
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