What causes an excessive "gamey" flavour ?

paul k

Well-Known Member
If you look at the way that the best beef is handled there are a couple of critical points. Firstly, the animals are treated in such a way as to avoid any stress and consequent adrenalin in the meat. Secondly, for beef the absolute minimum hanging time is 3 weeks and much better 4 to 5 weeks in a chilled storeroom.

Hanging tenderises meat by allowing enzymes to help break down the muscle tissue, it also helps to develop flavour, and serves no other purpose

With venison any animals involved in rutting or being hunted are going to have a level of stress which must impact on the quality and although hanging aids the tenderising of the meat it also increases the gamey flavour. Also, hanging should not be at room or ambient temperature it should be in a chiller.

The length of time that a deer carcass should be hung depends on the animal. The younger the animal the shorter the hanging time and the less gamey the result will be as basically what is happening during hanging is slow and controlled decomposition of the meat.

Having the carcass in the back of a hot vehicle, and worse in a bin liner will not help the quality of the meat either, the transit from dressing out to being in the chiller needs to be as short as possible.


Well-Known Member
Strong Venison

Gents-This issue is an interesting one & is dependent of many variable factors & due to the fact that I now process about 600 deer a year all of which enter the food chain I would hope to be able to shed more light.

We process mainly Roe,Fallow & sika together with a few munties & the odd red here & there due to our location on the South Coast.

I would say that in pretty much all cases the longer you hang it the stronger it will be, we hang our deer at 4 degrees in a chilled larder, the bigger beasts can go up to 3 weeks before use with smaller Roe & Munties about 7/10 days.

As long as they are lardered correctly & properly clean prior to being chilled with all tracts & debris removed they tend to be fine, the only gray area tends to be shot damage caused by the round draging fur into the wound channel which can cause a big nasty green contaminated area, we tend to now cut a window around this before lardering if it has happened when the deer are graded.

With respect to strong taste I would fall in line with the other posts that its probably been shot in the rut or had a 2nd shot after being wounded & was pumped full of adrenalin from the 1st shot or been hanging around for ages.

Reds do taste stronger than the other species & with respect to my ground I just do not allow any of the stalkers to take larger species males during their rut as the meat is tainted or high & I just cant get behind just trophy shooting & ditching the carcas in the field which is still happening in some areas I understand.

Regs Lee