Throughout the ages men have hunted wild game. It is a popular sport here in the Pacific Northwest where the vast majority of people plan all year where they will hunt for game such as elk, deer, antelope, and various fowl. Everyone puts in for tags which are drawn and designated hunting area’s assigned each year. Then the woods alight with hunters hoping to bring down an animal to fill the freezer for the winter. This practice often seems barbaric to city dwellers on the East coast but it is very popular in a wide majority of the nation. Many hunters swear to the health benefits of wild game.
Wild game offers many benefits that cannot be obtained from store bought meats. One of these is the fact that wild game meat is hormone and antibiotic free. The animal was born and lived its life in the woods were it thrived on natural foods. This means that the meats are natural and free of harmful substances.
The vast majority of hunters will kill, clean, skin, and even butcher their own meat. This is knowledge that is passed down from generation to generation. By doing all the procedures yourself the meat tends to be far safer from infection with substances such as e coli because the animal is not slaughtered and butchered in a filthy slaughter yard.
Many wild meats are substantially healthier then beef. Elk meat is extremely lean and lower in fat then fish or poultry. Wild game meat also tends to be far higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates then store bought meats. This is due to the natural food sources of the wild game.
There are a few precautions that everyone who handles wild game needs to keep in mind. Some area’s of the United States are positive for a disease called Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) The Center For Disease Control alerts residents when this disease is found in the region. They strongly suggest that anyone that harvests game from a region known to harbor infections should have the meat tested before consumption. You can find information concerning testing from your state wildlife department.
CWD is quite similar to mad cow disease. If you are harvesting game from a region known to carry infections please always wear gloves and do not handle the brain or spinal cord. You should also observe the animal for a short time before killing it. Make sure that the animal appears to be healthy. If the animal does not appear to be healthy or is severely skinny do not kill it.
You should always kill your game with non lead containing ammunition. If you do use ammunition that contains lead then discard the meat where the bullet or fragments penetrated the meat.
Please also be sure to cook all the meat throughly. You should not eat a rare game steak.
Always try to keep cleanliness in mind when field dressing game and also when butchering the meat. Everything should be sanitary and disinfected to prevent the meat from being exposed to anything.
Wild game meat is the natural meat of choice. People will continue to hunt and consume it as long as hunting is allowed in our forests. It is a healthy way to enjoy meat. It is ultimately far healthier then any meats you can buy in your local supermarket and in my personal opinion it also tasts better.