Hunting season has come to a close for our home and this year, it was my oldest son, Jared, who was provider for our family bringing down his first deer, a doe, during the youth gun season.
It’s a welcome addition to our freezer and will do it’s part to supplement the remainder of the beef in the freezer from last December helping to stretch the meat until next December when we have plans to butcher our steer calf.
I bit into my first piece of venison a few years ago after having heard horror stories about how terrible it tasted. Never having had game before, I was afraid of gamey meat. I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t too bad at all, in fact, I rather enjoyed it. I could especially justify substituting it for beef in my diet considering how lean venison is. We were given a second deer that same year. This time the Lord plopped one down in our ditch and we were able to salvage most of it and although I was eating roadkill (I just watched the last ounce of respect you had for me get swept away in a blustery winter breeze… and now it’s gone), it was even better than the first! When my husband killed his second deer the following year, my growing fondness for the meat waned. I learned all about gamey and I must confess that it sat in the freezer for an entire year until it was disposed of to make room for this year’s kill.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out why those first two deer were so excellent and the third, so awful. I had some odd notion that it had to do with the method in which the deer was taken and that a deer taken in archery was superior to that taken during gun season as that was the only appreciable difference that I could discern. Age wasn’t a factor since my husband has a proclivity to harvest “button-bucks.” (Or as we like to tease him, Bambi.) I speculated that perhaps there was typically more blood getting in the meat when the deer was shot with a gun as the nasty one was. While searching for recipes to expand our miniscule collection of venison recipes, I came across some interesting information that was found while I was scrolling through an Amazon preview for the LL Bean Game and Fish Cookbook.