Do Rut­ted Bucks Taste Dif­fer­ent?

Modern Pioneer - - Venison -

Hunters of­ten rea­son that their veni­son tastes gamy be­cause it came from a rut­ting buck. Is that re­ally true, though? I don’t think so.

In the beef in­dus­try, a poor-tast­ing deer would be clas­si­fied as a “dark cut­ter.” Dark cut­ters are rare, with less than 1% of cows get­ting this la­bel. Dark cut­ters achieve that sta­tus by un­der­go­ing hours of ex­treme stress, and stud­ies show that in­ter­ac­tions with strange an­i­mals are the most prom­i­nent stres­sors for cat­tle.

For deer, it’s im­pos­si­ble to say what counts as a stres­sor to them, but it doesn’t seem like the month-long rut is one of them. The more likely rea­son that your veni­son tastes badly is that it’s an old deer, was cared for poorly or cooked in­cor­rectly.

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