Old buck vs young buck - meat differences

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muddy
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Old buck vs young buck - meat differences

Unread postby muddy » Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:56 am

Any one who processes their own deer meat notice taste/smell differences between younger and older bucks? I just got my buck processed and man, it sure smelled A LOT different. The inner loins and heart also tasted different. I am comparing it to the 3 younger bucks my kids shot. I even got complaints from 2 of my kids saying it tasted weird. Got me to thinking is all. My buck might get used primarily for jerky where I can salt/marinate the funk out.


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Re: Old buck vs young buck - meat differences

Unread postby gsquared23 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:06 am

It’s not just a wives tale, the older bucks just don’t taste very good, even the backstraps can be hard to choke down. Whereas I can cut the rounds into steaks out of does and especially fawns.

Hindquarters out of a mature buck either get sliced for jerky or go to the grind pile. Normally won’t even keep the tip roast.
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Re: Old buck vs young buck - meat differences

Unread postby muddy » Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:16 am

gsquared23 wrote:It’s not just a wives tale, the older bucks just don’t taste very good, even the backstraps can be hard to choke down. Whereas I can cut the rounds into steaks out of does and especially fawns.

Hindquarters out of a mature buck either get sliced for jerky or go to the grind pile. Normally won’t even keep the tip roast.


I noticed the difference in taste last night but waved it off from bourbon exposure.
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Re: Old buck vs young buck - meat differences

Unread postby hunting_dad » Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:26 am

I know some people brine in Apple cider vinegar to tenderize but it also changes the flavor a little bit. May try that and see what you think.
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Re: Old buck vs young buck - meat differences

Unread postby Arrowbender » Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:35 am

Not sure how old you are thinking The One is.
I guess 4 as it looks to be pretty big jump year over year, but I surely don’t know.

I have noticed very little difference in actual taste in same cuts. But “toughness” for sure.

The inner loins can certainly take on some “flavor” if the paunch was compromised. Shouldn’t notice that on the rest of the cuts!

I’ve been smoking most venny lately as larger “roasts” to 100 ish internal temp then “finish” searing to 125-130 ish prior to 5-10 minute rest.
These have been turning out Fantastic on all age bucks!

I would be lying if I said that they were as good as young doe cuts though prepped the same way!!!
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Re: Old buck vs young buck - meat differences

Unread postby muddy » Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:55 am

Arrowbender wrote:Not sure how old you are thinking The One is.
I guess 4 as it looks to be pretty big jump year over year, but I surely don’t know.

I have noticed very little difference in actual taste in same cuts. But “toughness” for sure.

The inner loins can certainly take on some “flavor” if the paunch was compromised. Shouldn’t notice that on the rest of the cuts!

I’ve been smoking most venny lately as larger “roasts” to 100 ish internal temp then “finish” searing to 125-130 ish prior to 5-10 minute rest.
These have been turning out Fantastic on all age bucks!

I would be lying if I said that they were as good as young doe cuts though prepped the same way!!!


I would normally agree with you but there is a noticeable difference between the 3 bucks my kids shot and this guy I shot. Probably why I gave most of my buck away to people who are going to grind it into burger
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Re: Old buck vs young buck - meat differences

Unread postby muddy » Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:01 am

I will also say that my buck stunk worse on the outside than any other buck I've ever shot. It would be very feasible that I got tarsal/back leg urine smell on my hands and contaminated the meat? I dunno but The One will look much better on the wall vs the stew pot.
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Re: Old buck vs young buck - meat differences

Unread postby Bowtech1 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:01 am

We process all our own deer and I have yet to taste a difference in age class of deer. A big thing is being sure to get rid of all silver skin and also getting the deer cooled down ASAP. Another thing is with taking deer somewhere to get processed you never truly know if you are getting all your own meat back. If you feel the need to you can also age your deer meat and it will help with the flavor some and making it more tender than what it already is. I have heard from some folks saying that the stress level of the deer when shot can alter the flavor of the meat. I haven't noticed this personally but whose to say it's not true.
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Re: Old buck vs young buck - meat differences

Unread postby PK_ » Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:18 am

No. Not age specific per say from what I have seen. But older bucks have more of a chance of wounds, bad health and stress that would cause a bad taste. But it can happen with a young deer as well.

I have killed a bunch of old bucks that tasted fantastic. The last one I killed last year tho was terrible. Tough, chewy and had to marinade the heck out of it for it to taste good. And that was aging it out like I do all my deer. But he also had buckshot in his rump from about a month or two before I killed him.

I would only eat the heart out of a mature buck, not the liver. Liver is a filter and from what I have noticed there is a huge difference in quality from a young to an old deer.

But in most cases, I would bet my bottom dollar nobody could tell the difference between a 2 year old and a 5 year old steak or backstrap when I am done with it.
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Re: Old buck vs young buck - meat differences

Unread postby brancher147 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:20 am

I have never noticed any difference with age and always process my own. Are you sure you got your same meat back from the processor? Only difference I have seen is gut shot or improperly processed or deer that don’t die quickly can be tougher. Mountain deer vs ag deer are different also.
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Re: Old buck vs young buck - meat differences

Unread postby muddy » Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:23 am

brancher147 wrote:I have never noticed any difference with age and always process my own 5 or 6 a year or more. Are you sure you got your same meat back from the processor? Only difference I have seen is gut shot or improperly processed or deer that don’t die quickly can be tougher. Mountain deer vs ag deer are different also.


I do all my own processing. Just block em into steaks and roasts and whatnot. This buck was dead within 60 seconds and gutted within 2 hours in cool temps. I dunno what I have going on here.
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Re: Old buck vs young buck - meat differences

Unread postby treeroot » Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:28 am

When I switched from getting my deer processed to doing it all myself the bad game taste went away. I spend 3-4 hours trimming all the silver skin and fat. I probably lose 2-3 pounds of meat, but it makes a big difference.
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Re: Old buck vs young buck - meat differences

Unread postby A5BLASTER » Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:33 am

We process everything ourselves.

Never noticed a taste difference with any of the old bucks I have killed, but we do soak out the blood on ice for a min of 3 days and sometimes as many as 5 days before deboning it.

But honestly 95% of the meat gets turned into burger anyways.

I have heard horror stories of the meat people have gotten back from a processor shop, so that's just one more reason to know how to do it myself.
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Re: Old buck vs young buck - meat differences

Unread postby Rich M » Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:34 am

I've been processing deer for about 40 years and never had a bad one that we have killed - young, old, in between. Have had bad meat given to us from friends & family...

There is a regional difference in flavor. Rutting bucks may have a diff flavor but IMO, it is mostly from improperly handled meat - and that's not you.

They do say a 1.5 yr old or less deer is the best eating. I've just not noticed a lotta difference in the deer we've shot & eaten over the years.

Chalk it up as an odd deer and do the jerky or grind it for spaghetti sauce.
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Re: Old buck vs young buck - meat differences

Unread postby Grizzlyadam » Mon Nov 16, 2020 4:35 am

Several years ago I killed a buck that was tooth aged at 9.5 years old. That was the only buck I ever ate that had an "off" taste to it. The best way I could describe it was that it tasted like an old folks home. The meat was no different than any other as far as tenderness.


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