Venison vs. Beef:The controversy ends


    From the U.S. Venison Council
    Controversy has long raged about the relative quality and taste of venison and beef as gourmet foods. Some people say venison is tough,with a strong “wild”taste,others insist venison’s flavor is delicate. An independent food research group was retained by the Venison Council to conduct a taste test to determine the truth of these conflicting assertions once and for all.

    First,a Grade A Choice Holstein steer was chased into a swamp a mile and a half from a road and shot several times. After some of the entrails were removed,the carcass was dragged back over rocks and logs and through mud and dust to the road. It was then thrown into the back of a pickup truck and driven through rain and snow for 100 miles before being hung out in the sun for a day.

    It was then lugged into a garage where it was skinned and rolled around on the floor for a while. Strict sanitary precautions were observed throughout the test,within the limitations of the butchering environment. For instance,dogs and cats were allowed to sniff and lick the steer carcass,but most of the time they were chased away when they attempted to bite chunks out of it.

    Next,a sheet of plywood left from last year’s butchering was set up in the basement on two saw horses. The pieces of dried blood,hair and fat left from last year were scraped off with a wire brush last used to clean out the grass stuck under the lawn mower.

    The skinned carcass was then dragged down the steps into the basement where a half dozen inexperienced but enthusiastic and intoxicated men worked on it with meat saws,cleavers,hammers and dull knives. The result was 375 pounds of soup bones,four bushel baskets of meat scraps,and a couple of steaks that were an eighth of an inch thick on one edge and an inch and a half thick on the other edge.

    The steaks were seared on a glowing red hot cast iron skillet to lock in the flavor. When the smoke cleared,rancid bacon grease was added,along with three pounds of onions,and the whole conglomeration was fried for two hours.

    The meat was gently teased from the frying pan and served to three intoxicated and blindfolded taste panel volunteers. Every member of the panel thought it was venison. One volunteer even said it tasted exactly like the venison he has eaten in hunting camps for the past 27 years.

    The results of this scientific test conclusively show that there is no difference between the taste of beef and venison…

    Autumn in the Deer Woods

    Well the time is here again. In Arkansas deer season begins in Oct and will continue until the end of February. Five months for archers,a bit over two months for most of the rest of us. I don’t normally participate in archery hunts,but now it is right in the middle of muzzle loader season and that is my favorite time of the whole year. True to form I am now down at deer camp enjoying a fine repast of Twinkies,hot dogs,beans,and pizza while pursuing the wily bucks.

    I love spending this time with the special kind of manly men that like to stuff their bullets down the barrel instead of from the other end. Why,anybody can hunt with a dozen backup bullets,but with our muzzleloaders you only have one shot,no backups. Kind of like the old westerns we watched as kids.

    Got a nice buck on Sunday and after safely storing it in the freezer I am now looking for others to fill out our liberal Arkansas quota of five deer. Apparently the state has decided this year that it is better to offer more deer tags for hunters shooting guns,arrows,and muzzleloaders than for those killing deer with the much higher caliber Fords,Chevys,and Toyotas.

    Of course I could remain at home instead of going to deer camp and chase the same deer that eat our flowers and shrubs and poop on our patio,but what kind of fun is that? After all who wants to shoot the same deer that you gave names to all summer? Bambi,Tootsie,and Franklin are safe this week while I share with the buddies down at the camp. Besides,missing all the camaraderie around the campfire where tall tales and lies abound unabated until late in the evening would eliminate at least half the fun! Not to mention the ability to release bodily gasses without having to account to anyone! The ultimate “no pressure”environment.

    Curious Deer

    What about the joy of just being in the out-of-doors and viewing the local fauna in their natural habitat. As I write this in the early evening I am sitting outside listening to a doe calling her fawn(s) in the woods outside the camp. A wise old owl is “who whooing”down the road while the coyotes in the distance are sounding the assembly call for their nightly hunt. The sky is clear with more stars than ever show up at home and the air is crisp and cool. Soon I will retire to visions of furry critters dancing through my head prior to my rising before dawn to go finish my nightly nap in the deer stand. Unless of course I just throw a shoe and the alarm clock and go back to sleep.

    My DSW (Dear Sweet Wife) thinks it is strange that I would want to sit at deer camp when I could be in the comfort of home attending to all the chores she has lined up,but that is totally beside the point. A wise man told me years ago “dust will keep”. It doesn’t spoil,it doesn’t rust,rot,or smell and will wait right there until you return from a much more profitable experience. Same thing with those other long overdue chores. The door with the hanging hinge,the vines that have overgrown the fence down the lane,and the pile of stuff in that overflowing closet that has been on my list to clean out for the last three years will patiently wait until I return from deer camp to find another excuse to not do them “right now.”

    Oh the good life. Going for days without having to shave,wearing those old well worn and torn jeans that DSW refuses to let you wear in public at home,using an outhouse,and scratching where it itches. It’s what every outdoors loving man dreams about all summer! That is the couple months of the fun ahead of us during this magic time in Autumn called “deer season”.

    Truly God is good!

    February 2018