Bull meat quality/taste

darcytribe

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Next question for you veterans:

My one and only bull was a raghorn. The meat tasted so great, to me very close to beef. Now I'd love to kill a herd bull and am working toward that goal BUT The other day I was told that the taste of the meat of an older elk is nasty. Since I've never eaten one I don't know whether to believe this or not. What has been your experience.

If killing a herd bull meant I'd have inedible meat I might just go for another young one.

Thanks!
 

123 4/8 P&Y

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My buddy shared some of his herd bull with me last weekend. It was the best elk I'd ever eaten. The seasoning had something to do with it, but the flavor of the meat was unbeatable. I think the biggest factors are how quickly they die and how well you take care of the meat. Whitetails are a different story.
 

dryflyguy

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I've had herd bull, raghorn, spike, and cow. They all tasted great. Don't worry about it at all. Just take good care of the meat and you will be fine.
 

Dinkshooter

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Total BS, meat care over age of bull, anyday.

PS this is based on the herd bull meat that others have given me..................
 

Ross

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I personally have never eaten a bad elk, whether it be a cow, spike or big ole bull. As noted do it justice in the field and it will serve you well on the table:)
 

Ray

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Outside of caribou most meat taste issues are the result of how the meat was cared for in the field and then to the table/freezer.
 

justin davis

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Big bulls are Horrible. Make sure to pass on them and leave all the big bulls for me. I will take one for the team in regards to eating them.
haha just kidding.




I have killed a few mature bulls in my day and have always experienced great eating. I have this theory that guys started saying that they taste bad out of jealousy of their buddys who killed bigger animals.

I often hear "Well not the biggest one but it will taste better than a big old bull". This is b.s.

Im not bashing anyone who shoots a small bull or a cow for that matter. But to say they taste better than a big bull is false in my opinion. I think it comes down to how guys prepare wild game and how they take care of them in the field. If you over cook an elk steak it will be tuff and chewy. You cook it right and it will rival any beef steak out there.

Not a monster but a mature bull I took with my dad. Fun hunt! Year ago since I lost this guy!
 

dryflyguy

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Justin,

Putting up a picture of a raghorn doesn't help make your point. ;)

Fine bull!
 

cnelk

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I have eaten calf elk that tasted like crap.
Field care is everything, no matter what elk you shoot.
 
OP
D

darcytribe

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ok you guys convinced me that there is nothing to fear of a big herd bull when it comes to tale fare. So other than cooling the meat quickly and keeping it as cool as possible, what else would be on the list for proper field care for the meat?
 

cnelk

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Meat care continues once you get back to camp or back home.
Keeping it moisture free is paramount.

I like to let meat hang a bit before processing it.
But I have also processed it right away due to time constraints. Thats up to you.
 

justin davis

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cnelk- is correct about moisture. Remove skin as fast as possible. And this goes without saying. But keeping them cool. Usually not too tough when elk hunting, but recent years seems like it can get pretty dang hot. I have seen guys carrying elk in the back of their pickups. 90 degrees out skin still on the animal driving for 8 hours. And they are probably the guys saying wild game has a "gamey" taste to it.

Although some guys hang the meat for a while I get it to the butcher as soon as I can. I personally feel that aging doesn't really matter much with elk and antelope. maybe deer could benefit from aging. But I know guys who will age elk
 

ScottR_EHJ

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The only difference that I have noticed is that bulls can be a little tougher. It's not much, but I have noticed it.

I have also noticed a difference if you take the time to let it thaw, rather than defrost in the microwave. Better if you plan ahead and let it thaw out.
 

Rizzy

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The herd Bull I harvested season before last was delicious!
They all eat the same forage, so there is no difference in taste there. The Bulls like to piss on themselves and roll around in it, but your not eating the pelt.
Field care is everything as everyone else has said.
Only thing I can add is if you make a marginal shot, on any animal for that matter, and it runs around all jacked up on adrenaline then it might affect the taste. This also heats the meat up internally real fast.
 

wapitibob

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Skin it, quarter it, open the muscles on the hind quarter if leaving bone in, hang in the shade. All my Elk have been shot in August and Sept and you have to try pretty hard to ruin Elk meat.
 

Swede

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A good healthy bull should be great eating regardless of age if it has been properly cared for. I have never had a bad elk, but a bull that has just lost a lot of weight going through the rut and is in poor shape is not as good as a slick fat one.
 

fencesitter

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I've taken large herd bulls over the years, as well as spike bulls, and the only difference between the herd bulls and the spikes is the toughness of the meat. They all taste the same, from my experience. To say herd bulls are "nasty", does not align with my experience. Do you have to chew more, yes, but I wouldn't go so far as to say they are "nasty" tasting. Just my $.02.
 
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