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Corn feed deer
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
KsRancher 08-Nov-21
wildwilderness 08-Nov-21
LBshooter 08-Nov-21
Pat Lefemine 08-Nov-21
sitO 08-Nov-21
Shuteye 08-Nov-21
ND String Puller 08-Nov-21
tinecounter 09-Nov-21
Bowfreak 09-Nov-21
WV Mountaineer 09-Nov-21
Grey Ghost 09-Nov-21
cnelk 09-Nov-21
KsRancher 09-Nov-21
Grey Ghost 09-Nov-21
timex 09-Nov-21
Shuteye 09-Nov-21
drycreek 09-Nov-21
LINK 09-Nov-21
smarba 09-Nov-21
LINK 09-Nov-21
timex 09-Nov-21
WV Mountaineer 09-Nov-21
carcus 09-Nov-21
Lost Arra 10-Nov-21
KsRancher 10-Nov-21
Shuteye 12-Nov-21
12yards 12-Nov-21
From: KsRancher
08-Nov-21
Wondering what people's opinion on corn fed vs non corn deer as far as the taste goes? When I was growing up I really didn't care for deer meat that much. But the deer we were hunting hadn't ever seen corn. Wheat, grass and feed was it. Now days I like deer meat really well, thinking it might be all the corn. I will use beef as an example. I have tried grass fed beef. And man, I DO NOT like it. Absolutely love corn fed beef. Am still hunting in the same area but there is a corn pile or feeder all over the place.

Last year when I took my wife out it was on a half section with nothing more than a few plum bushes for bedding. But there were corn feeders on 3 sides of neighboring property. Upon clearing her deer, it was full of corn. And got me to wondering if corn feeders and piles have made the meat taste better. Thoughts?

08-Nov-21
Yes. Ask any butcher and they can tell what the animal has been eating. Of course taste is a personal preference but to most corn fed animals taste “better”

From: LBshooter
08-Nov-21
Big difference between a big northwoods deer vs a corn/soybean fed deer.

From: Pat Lefemine
08-Nov-21
Yup

From: sitO
08-Nov-21
lol

From: Shuteye
08-Nov-21
Right now our deer are soybean and acorn fed. There is plenty of corn around but they prefer acorns over beans or corn but that doesn't last long so I guess they are corn fed mostly.

08-Nov-21
Yes we “finish” our deer on corn. LOL only kidding but I think time of year plays a part also.

From: tinecounter
09-Nov-21
Yes, wild game and domestic livestock diet effects and affects meat taste. My opinion is based on growing up (2nd grade thru HS graduation) working in my parent's locker plant. We processed livestock from slaughter to consumer sales. Grass fed cattle were only purchased for processing into hamburger. Grass fed cattle are leaner (grazing muscle development), tougher (grazing exercise vs feedlot confinement) and taste more "gamey" (less intramuscular fat). Suet (excess fat) from corn fed cattle was added during grinding of hamburger. Additionial suet reduced "gamey" flavor making hamburger more palatable.

Currently, grass fed cattle production is being promoted as being more consumer healthy and enviornmentlly friendly. No arguement, but grass fed beef has its downside. Grass fed beef is more expensive (land requirement production cost), tougher (grazing muscle development) and "gamey" tasting (less intramuscular fat). Simply put, animal fat effects and affects meat taste.

From: Bowfreak
09-Nov-21
I believe it makes a difference. I always wondered what a Nebraska elk would taste like? As good as a wilderness elk from say WY or MT tastes I could only imagine what they would taste like on a steady diet of corn.

09-Nov-21
To me, the better tasting deer come from the big woods. Zero corn diet.

09-Nov-21
Probably why MO allows baiting except during hunting season. Get the deer ready for slaughter and have the meat as tasty as possible while eliminating accusations of unethical practices during season?

From: Grey Ghost
09-Nov-21
Well, I guess this is one upside to baiting. The meat tastes better. SMH.

The smaller the game the more I notice what it's been eating in the taste of the meat. For example, I haven't noticed much difference in alfalfa fed elk versus completely wild feeding elk. However, I notice a big difference in the taste of antelope depending on if it lived in sage country or grass country.

IMO, properly aging meat makes the biggest difference in how it tastes.

Matt

From: cnelk
09-Nov-21
"I haven't noticed much difference in alfalfa fed elk versus completely wild feeding elk"

WTH is alfalfa fed elk? Where do you hunt?

From: KsRancher
09-Nov-21
And just so everyone knows I do not bait or I am not advocating for baiting deer. But in my area where I hunt even if you're not feeding the deer, they are still cornfed from the neighbors. And what got me to thinking about this is my elk from Colorado this year. I had envisioned it would be hands down better tasting than the deer I am used to. Don't get me wrong, it is good. But I like our local deer better

From: Grey Ghost
09-Nov-21
Cnelk, I've hunted in public areas where the elk routinely feed in private alfalfa fields, nearby. I've also hunted them where there is no ag fields for many miles. No difference in taste from my experience.

With mule deer bucks, I notice a huge difference in the taste of the meat depending on what time of the year I've killed them. The ones I've killed in the middle or end of the rut have had a distinct musky flavor. I don't mind it, but my wife won't eat it.

Matt

From: timex
09-Nov-21
Yes I believe it absolutely makes a difference. For example imo there's a huge difference in a wva mountain deer feeding on acorns & forest browse & a deer in a small grains producing area. Also I'll take it a step further & say I believe deer killed in the early part of the season have milder flavor than late season deer.

From: Shuteye
09-Nov-21
The old hunters in Maine used to tell me the best deer was a milking doe. Where I hunted there was no grain at all and the deer lived in the woods. They used to bait with heads of cabbage. They weren't baiting to shoot them. I found piles of cabbage with snares set up.

From: drycreek
09-Nov-21
I use feeders, but believe me when I say that what little corn “my” deer eat ain’t gonna affect their taste at all. I don’t do corn piles, my corn comes from a feeder that goes off twice a day at five seconds each times. There’s a hog panel pen around it to keep those stinking bastards from eating the corn. There are probably four to six deer eating that corn on a daily basis so the individual deer isn’t getting too much.

From: LINK
09-Nov-21
I imagine it helps the flavor some but not to the same extent it does in cattle. The flavor comes from intramuscular fat(marbling) or fat within a muscle. Corn gives that a better flavor. I think deer eating corn put on mostly intermuscular fat which is not the same and it’s the fat you trim off. Deer IMO don’t get very much intramuscular fat because,as someone mentioned, they are roaming and browsing. Where as a corn fed beef is standing still or laying all day in a pen and eating only the finishing ration. If you could pen a deer and feed it corn for 100-120 days I have no doubt it would taste just like beef.

From: smarba
09-Nov-21
Link: And if you chased a cow around the woods, shot it 5 times, dragged it through a swamp, paraded it through town on the hood of your truck and hung it in front yard for a week before butchering it, it would taste just like deer LOL!!!!! I jest, but meat care in the field makes a HUGE difference in taste. Keep it clean, get it cooled quickly, pretty much anything makes great table fare.

From: LINK
09-Nov-21
You’re absolutely right smarba. Beef is usually less than 2 years old too.

From: timex
09-Nov-21
I agree with proper care makes the biggest difference. I live on the eastern shore of va & the common practice here is to bring deer home to be gutted ??? This practice completely dumbfounds me. I see it all the time it's the norm around here. Deer in trucks swelled up ready to bust. I'm the opposite gut em asap & if it's the least bit warm which unfortunately usually is the norm than I stuff a couple bags of ice inside em to get em cooled down. There's also the fairly new gutless methods & to each their own but myself personally want the deer (field dressed ) asap...

09-Nov-21
Smarba for the win.

Link, I’ve never thought about making deer taste like beef by caging and feeding it corn for 4-5 months. But, I have tasted many a grass fed beef that tasted like venison. So, I guess that’s possible.

Timex, my experience on deer killed in a fall/early winter season is the later the better. Early season deer are stronger. Not sure if it’s because there is no weather to let them hang. Or, that they are just not as good.

From: carcus
09-Nov-21
My corn fed bears are delicious

From: Lost Arra
10-Nov-21
Ksrancher: are the neighbor's deer feeders working all year? Expensive venison and a recipe for hog problems.

Given the choice, deer around here prefer acorns to corn. Hunters who sit on feeders suffer during years with big acorn crops.

From: KsRancher
10-Nov-21
Most people start feeding around mid August. And a big majority use piles around here. 200-300lbs freshened up every week. No hogs in our area

From: Shuteye
12-Nov-21
I agree with field dressing right away. I even hang them from my front end loader and wash them out real good with a water hose. Now that I am retired I don't start hunting until cold weather and get them to a walk in cooler ASAP. When I was younger and hunting away from home in warmer weather I would pack the gutted deer with ice bags. My grandfather taught me to gut rabbits as soon as they were killed also.

From: 12yards
12-Nov-21
In my experience, young deer/antlerless deer taste good from wherever I've shot them. The only deer I couldn't eat were a couple big bucks full of the rut. Otherwise I haven't noticed a huge difference in taste. I will say some of the best venny I've eaten have been does from IA.

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