Great Taste!


We love venison sausage, and we also enjoy making it.

Besides the seasoning, the taste of the sausage depends on a few other factors, like where the deer was harvested, how it was dressed out, and the processor.

Location

We are in a nicely populated but rural area. The deer here are plentiful and graze on an assortment of soybeans and other crops. Like cattle that are fed grain in addition to grass/hay, the deer in our area aren’t as lean as the deer that relied on acorns and twigs. The venison cuts from our local deer tend to taste less gamey as well. Even with the best seasonings, gamey deer can result in a gamey tasting sausage.

Dressed Out

A deer that hadn’t been dressed out, cooled and cleaned properly, can produce meat that has an off taste. We always stress that a properly handled and cleaned deer will produce the best tasting meat. If you are not sure on how to field dress your deer, PennState Extension provides a detailed description of field dressing. Check out Proper Field Dressing and Handling of Wild Game and Fish.

Processor

We always hang the deer in our cooler for a few days. These properly tagged deer are processed one deer at a time. Any deer that shows signs of disease is rejected before it is brought into our building. We have heard of some processors who tell the hunters to just stack their deer with the others on a slab of cement outside the processing building. Not a good idea. You have no idea how those other deer were dressed out.

Now how about that sausage? Will your deer meat be mixed with that other deer meat when the magic number of 25 or 50 pounds is reached? Go back to the first element of good taste – what buffet did those other deer visit? The same as yours? Did the hunter take the same care that you did when you dressed out your deer?

We believe that your sausage you receive should come from your deer you brought in without any risk of contamination from another deer. Five pounds of meat provides a nice amount of sticks and if you want 10 pounds, you should be able to select 2 different flavors is you want.

If you are taking the time and skill to harvest a nice deer for your family, the venison you serve should be from the deer you bagged.

KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef, chicken, pork, and eggs, is located in Davisburg, Michigan. Check out our website to discover all of our products and services including deer processing.

Cool It


Proper field dressing – that includes getting ALL the organs out and the skin off – is critical to quickly cooling your meat down and preventing it from spoiling.

FACT:  The number of bacteria on your meat can double at temperatures over 40 degrees.

FACT: If the temperature is between 70 and 120 degrees, that bacteria will double EVERY 20 MINUTES.

FACT: If the air temperature is over 50 degrees, you need to find that deer quickly. The meat will start to go bad in 3 to 6 hours.

Bacteria

Bacteria will spoil your deer meat. It’s up to you to find that deer quickly, dress it out, and cool it before the bacteria has a chance to ruin in.

The internal temperature of a deer is around 100 degrees. A good shot means the deer will drop quickly, usually within 100 yards, and you will find it in 15 minutes or so.

Once it’s properly dressed out, get it on ice. The deer cavity needs to be cooled down as quickly as possible.

Ice Tip

The best way is to come prepared with milk jugs – 1 gallon or ½ gallon – filled with frozen water. 2-liter pop bottles work too. The advantage to using ice containers instead of packing loose ice into the cavity, is your meat does not get water-logged. Water-logged meat is not ruined, but it is harder to cut and vacuum seal.

Another advantage of using frozen water containers is the ice will stay frozen for several hours, giving you enough time to get the deer home or to the processor when it can be hung and skinned.

Act quickly

If you did not have a good hit and it takes a while to find the deer, be sure to check it, especially if you hit it in the liver or other organ that could contaminate the meat. This is especially true if you spent several hours or waited over night before finding the deer.

Deer meat doesn’t turn real fast, but if the organs are hit, the organs will, and that can ruin the entire deer. Good deer meat is dark red. If it looks tan, it’s beginning to turn, and it it’s green – leave it for the coyotes!

Most of this is hunting common sense. Field dress your deer as soon as possible, removing ALL the entrails. Cool it down quickly and keep it dry. Bad meat is bad meat and not worth keeping or serving to your friends and family.

If you are not sure about the correct way to field dress your deer, talk to your processor. Most are happy to give you some tips so you will bring in deer that isn’t questionable.

KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef, chicken, pork, and eggs, is located in Davisburg, Michigan. Check out our website to discover all of our products and services including deer processing.