Do you find mature and young deer taste differently?

By Grant Woods,

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← Grant's AnswersVenison Processing
Dr. Woods, good afternoon. I messaged you on Facebook about 3 years ago when I was doing mission work. You messaged back, and it meant a lot to me!! I have watched all of your videos, but have been re-watching some of them. I recently rewatched when you harvested split brow. What a great hunt, by the way!! My question is in regards to eating venison in relationship to the age of the deer. Do you ever take into consideration the age of the deer and the impact it will have on the level of “gaminess” when you eat the deer? Obviously, there are ways to prepare venison to mask some of this. My daughter harvested a 2 and a half or three and a half old back last year with a cross bow. I harvested a 18 month doe. It seems there was a distinct difference in taste, based on gaminess level. I imagine split brow tasted differently then say, a year and a half old doe. When you harvest a deer, do you think about what the deer will taste like based on its age? I have been curious about this for a while and have wanted to ask. Also, what are your thoughts on aging a harvested deer by hanging it and it’s impact on taste? Thank you so much for your time!!

PS: I’ve attached the picture of my daughter for your enjoyment. It was her first year ever hunting (remember we were in Ethiopia for 3 years) and her second time ever going!! Madison, 10 years old. She harvested her second deer this year, a mature doe, during our youth hunt in September. Madison 11 years old. I am obviously a very proud father!!


Congratulations to Madison and you!  I’m also thankful you have listened to the Creator and your ministry is focused on sharing the gospel!  

Tracy (my wife) and I can’t taste any difference between a mature and immature deer.  We process the venison we tag by deboning and then filleting out each muscle.  There’s no connective tissue, lymph glands, etc., left to consume.  This process will make even mature bucks like Splitbrow fine table fare!  

We label each package we vacuum seal with the date and deer but don’t select packages based on this information. Tracy simply grabs the package with the size roast, etc., she wants and cooks without regard to which deer the venison was from.

Enjoy creation,


January 12, 2016