During the twelve years that I’ve spent writing professionally about wild game and the hunting lifestyle, I’ve received hundreds of inquiries from hunters and hunters’ families asking how to keep wild game from tasting gamey. For the most part I’ve played along with these requests. I’ve stressed the importance of harvesting animals with an eye toward flavor and tenderness instead of just trophy quality. I’ve urged guys to promptly gut their animals and keep the meat cool and dry. And I’ve instructed people on how to properly wrap meat for the freezer.
While all of the above things are certainly helpful when it comes to putting up quality wild game, there’s one culprit for off-tasting game meat that I’ve always been afraid (or too polite) to mention: Us.
That’s right, us. More than any other factor—more than rutting hormones, more than heat, more than old age, more than poor field care—Americans are to blame for the fact that some of our wild game is off-putting.