Do you think that venison is sold in the correct way and why do the shops sell all deer as just venison. My aunt likes red deer from the north and when she went down to Norfolk she bought venison from a butchers. She said it tasted disgusting and was definitely off. I tried to say that she has expected it to taste like highland red deer when in fact it will have been something quite different.
It has put her off buying any more venison .When a label to say what type of deer it was would have been enough to let here decide .
I am for correct labeling and think it will encourage more people to try different venison .It will also in my opinion let them choose one they like and buy that instead of rejecting it all together just in case they get the type they dislike.
What do you lot think.?

paul k

Well-Known Member
Like most meat the care of the meat after slaughter and the choice of beast culled has more bearing that any other factor including geographical source.

A rutted out red stag is not going to compare to a pricket taken off the stubble. A beast not cooled after gralloching, maybe wrapped in plastic and not properly stored is going to be ruined.

There are differences in taste between the species and the length of hanging time also influences the flavour.

The venison in Norfolk had a good chance of being red although there are obviously several other options and I agree that labelling that indicated source and species would be very helpful. Of course you can always ask the butcher, a good one usually knows which farms and breeds their meat comes from and the venison should be no exception.


Well-Known Member

As Paul K says , A GOOD butcher if your lucky yes,
but from the supermarket or one of the larger farm shops
i dont think so , so perhaps labeling is the way to go?


I know one thing that a nice young munty has a totally different taste to a young red from the hill and some will not know what there getting and some will not ask thinking all venison is the same.


Well-Known Member
the butcher i supply venison to
he asks which area, each beast were shot at and how long they hav been hung and how much more hanging that each beast may need, before cutting it up and packaging it, this info he passes on to his customers along with a few recipe suggestions, venison trade has never been so good for his little shop in the city, looks like his approach of telling his customers as much as he can about it certainly works well for him , plus the fact he charges less than the local supermarket might hav a bearing on this :)


Well-Known Member
If you guys recall the programme Dangerous Jobs for Girls the guy culling the animals there said it was going to be sold in Europe as venison
soo think it could be a very generic label and wouldn't hold your breath when asking what it is or where its from :eek:


Well-Known Member
he really actually wants to know what species of deer it is , wether it is a buck or doe, how old puts it down on the packaging with appropiate recipes for that pacticular species of deer, does the same with the game i also supply him, and god forbid if in turn up and he has a shop full of customers, i end up having to give a little talk about the beast myself, straight from the horse's mouth :p


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It seems that all species of deer taste good.

If it tasted bad it may just have been left to mature too long :(

I think I only just butchered the Roe I got in August in time. It was definately 'gamey', another few hours and it would have been too far gone.


Well-Known Member
Supermarkets don't label their standard meat properly, "lamb" is definitely a bit too tough for that label all too often for a start, so what hope have we for venison?
If you want good venison, shoot it yourself or find a reputable game dealer and they are getting to be as rare as a meaningful food lable.
Good luck!


Well-Known Member
Its definately down to the way the carcass / meat is looked after. Been dropping some big red stags during the rut thinking the venison might be a bit tough / unsaleable. The venison we've sold so far, everybody has commented on how good it has been. Can only be because it has been looked after.


Site Staff
We never buy venison from anywhere simply for the reason that 6.5 has stated. The label only ever says that it is venison and that is not enough information for me.

We never eat stag be it red or sika, unless it is a young beast early in the season, our preference being a yearling hind or doe. Having said that not everyone is lucky enough to be in a position to shoot their own venison and know what they are eating. It should be better labeled in the shops, after all the hoops that a stalker has to jump through in order to put a beast into the food chain you would think that something could be done, even if it just indicated what sex it was.

It looks as if small family butchers such as stone sells his beasts to are in a position to outdo the supermarkets here. Selling properly, hung, prepared and labeled meat along with an appropriate recipe and cheaper :eek: has got to be a good thing. Raising the profile of venison and public appreciation of it can be nothing but good, must be better than the rows of sorry looking meat on sale in supermarkets.



Well-Known Member
snowstorm said:
It seems that all species of deer taste good.

If it tasted bad it may just have been left to mature too long :(

I think I only just butchered the Roe I got in August in time. It was definately 'gamey', another few hours and it would have been too far gone.

Snowstorm, it could have been due to the rut.

Andy L

Well-Known Member
I am convinced that the flavour of the meat is determined before the beast is shot. Age, sex, species, time of year (rut etc.) and probably its diet. From my experience of hanging deer in a chiller, the longer they are hung, the more tender the meat is. I tend to hang my fallow for 4 weeks and they are all tender without exception but the flavour seems to match the different animals that were shot. I have yet to have a gamey doe or pricket and the bucks are always of varying degrees of gameyness due to age and time of year.
In answer to the original question, it would be good to see the correct information on a nice piece of venison at the butchers/supermarket. However, would this benefit sales to the average member of the public, or would it make more people visualise Bambi eating buttercups and put them off eating it??

Pete E

Well-Known Member
If ever I am eating out somewhere and "venison" is on the menu, I always make a point of asking the waiter/waitress what type..

Its amazing some of the responses I get...Usually its "I'll have to ask" and then very often it seems that the chef has no clue either...When that happens, I usually give the venison a miss..

On the other hand, I've had the chef or owner come over and describe exactly what it or two have been stalkers themselves and appreciate the interest...


Well-Known Member
I agree that sex, age, time of year etc all effect the flavour of the venison.... which leaves the question, would there be a market for rutting stags and bucks or very old deer????
Check out the price difference in the price of prime beef or old cow, lamb or mutton,just a thought


Well-Known Member

Many of these questions are answered on your labels.

I also will tell the butcher what i think of each animal, i e "it's an old hind" they can normally tell by the look of the meat anyway.

the venison i keep is labelled by species in my freezer.


Well-Known Member
I have three reds to bring down to York next week for christmas orders for butchers they will be a bit fresh for my taste,look out for Perthshire venison in a couple of butchers there. we always try to stalk in close and cause as little stress as possible I believe stress can make meat taste different.

Roe Hunter

Well-Known Member
Before I started stalking, we used to buy venison at what seemed to be a good, small, local game butcher.

The guy who got me started at stalking, and God bless him, was a great source of help to me in my early forays, said 'If you haven't shot your own deer, and roasted your own venison, then you just haven't tasted venison at all'.

How right he was! I could not believe the difference in the taste and tenderness when I shot my first Roe.

But as he said, that's because I am 100% in control of the end product. I choose the beast; it's up to me whether I can get within range without it spotting me and getting adrenaline surging through its veins. The accuracy of the shot is up to me. The time from shot to gralloch and cleanliness of gralloch is up to me. And hanging time is up to me.

I'm sure most of us have heard horror stories of beasts that have been stalked very badly, and gralloched equally badly, but the venison still been sold to the game dealer, with the full certification!

By the way, IMHO if you can get within range without the deer having the slightest clue that you are there, and drop the beast on the spot, the resulting venison does seem better to me than if the deer has seen you, and is charged full of adrenaline, ready to take flight. No doubt others will disagree on this.....

It seems to be a fact that venison is not really prized very much by Joe Public in the UK. I have been told that the best stuff is exported to Germany, Austria etc, where it is much more highly valued, but can't say whether this is fact or not.

As my wife frequently tells me I tend to be a perfectionist. But to me the result is worth it, and she agrees on that! Since I started stalking, I have only once had venison in a restaurant that I was really pleased with, and that was in a small village inn in Scotland, where talking to the chef, he got his Roe venison from a local stalker in the village who was a good friend.

So although labelling will definitely be a step forward for Joe public, whether it will really improve things greatly I'm not certain - as others have commented, I too believe there are other factors that influence the real quality of the end product, that we wouldn't want to put on labels!