Sitka Gear
Pronghorn Meat
Pronghorn
Contributors to this thread:
Bowfreak 05-Oct-22
KHNC 05-Oct-22
drycreek 05-Oct-22
Brotsky 05-Oct-22
Nick Muche 05-Oct-22
TD 05-Oct-22
Bowfreak 05-Oct-22
Ermine 05-Oct-22
Bowfreak 05-Oct-22
Dale06 05-Oct-22
drycreek 05-Oct-22
Kodiak 05-Oct-22
Missouribreaks 05-Oct-22
Grey Ghost 05-Oct-22
midwest 05-Oct-22
tm 05-Oct-22
Bowaddict 05-Oct-22
Bob H in NH 05-Oct-22
TD 06-Oct-22
Adventurewriter 06-Oct-22
Quinn @work 06-Oct-22
Bowfreak 06-Oct-22
Ucsdryder 06-Oct-22
RonP 06-Oct-22
Ben 06-Oct-22
TMac 06-Oct-22
DConcrete 06-Oct-22
Bowfreak 06-Oct-22
Thornton 06-Oct-22
Boreal 07-Oct-22
JL 07-Oct-22
Novembermadman 08-Oct-22
From: Bowfreak
05-Oct-22
My daughters shot a couple of bucks in Wyoming last week. Both bucks were broken down via the gutless method within 15 minutes of death. We walked up to them, snapped pictures then started breaking them down and had them on ice quickly. I state this simply to provide a little background. Last night I started to butcher them and I couldn't help but notice how mild this meat smelled and how tender it was to handle. I'm really excited for the finished product. Whitetails have a certain smell that I expect. Not bad to me, it is just what it is, but this had no smell. Many mention that their Pronghorn smelled or tasted like sage and when I compare that to these having no smell it makes sense that some people think Pronghorn meat is horrible and some think it is the best tasting game meat.

What causes this phenomenon? I heard Fred Eichler theorize something to the effect that due to the dry locales where you hunt them, if you don't skin them quickly, the meat will start drying out and absorb moisture from the hide. This is what makes some of them taste so bad. Thoughts?

From: KHNC
05-Oct-22
Usually if you kill one during the rut it will smell like a rotten A-hole. All of the early season bucks i have killed tasted awesome, no exceptions. Better than WT and even rivaled elk meat. During the rut its hard to even skin one due to the stank. Im sure the meat is still good then though.

From: drycreek
05-Oct-22
I have killed six or seven pronghorn and all of them rivaled axis deer in taste. All were bucks, some were rutting. They had that slightly sweet smell on the outside but without exception they all ate well. All but one were killed in Eastern Wyoming, I don’t know if that has any bearing but I suspect not. One was killed in SW Texas, my first, and it was good too. No sage for him to eat, in fact it was so dry I don’t know what they were eating. He was also my biggest, 78 2/8ths, and I didn’t even know that he was a respectable goat, that’s how big a novice I was on pronghorn. :-)

From: Brotsky
05-Oct-22
Mark, the secret for me other than exactly what you did (skinning and icing immediately), is to make darn sure no hair gets on the meat. That pronghorn hair seems to carry the scent and flavor to the meat if you get the hair on it. I've always been very careful of that and always had meat that resembles yours. Delicious and perfect in every way!

From: Nick Muche
05-Oct-22
Some of the best, tenderest meat there is in my opinion.

From: TD
05-Oct-22
Best game I've ever had. Hands down. A CO friend cooked up some for the camp a couple weeks ago and it was cut with a fork tender.

From: Bowfreak
05-Oct-22
This meat had more hair on it than I would have liked. I meticulously picked it all off. Hopefully that doesn't impact it negatively, but based on the smell I believe it will be fine. If I had it to do over I would have been prepared to hang and skin vs. gutless simply for ease. If I do gutless again I believe I would peel the hide up and over the backstrap vs. cutting a down the backbone and peeling down. The way you can pull antelope hair out in bunches makes it difficult to keep all the hair off of them. At least it was for me. Then again....I didn't have a whole lot of help.

From: Ermine
05-Oct-22
My favorite meat. Love it. Never had a bad one.

From: Bowfreak
05-Oct-22

Bowfreak's embedded Photo
Bowfreak's embedded Photo
Here is 50% of my help.

From: Dale06
05-Oct-22
I’ve arrowed a few and rifle shot a lot of antelope. I really won’t eat deer meat, but like antelope. It seems if they’re killed fast, instead of wounded and chased, and the meat is cooled fast, it’s a great tasting meat.

From: drycreek
05-Oct-22
I hate to disagree, but it’s damn near impossible to keep antelope hair off of the meat because of the way the skin wants to curl inside out when you skin it. The thing about antelope is when the carcass dries a little the hair will brush right off, unlike a deer. Deer hair seems to be glued to the raw meat when it does get on there. Regardless, I’ve never had hair spoil the taste of antelope.

From: Kodiak
05-Oct-22
Best wild game meat there is. Really like the stuff.

05-Oct-22
I have killed and eaten many antelope, from August to November. I prefer the meat to whitetail or mule deer.

From: Grey Ghost
05-Oct-22
I've noticed that pronghorns that lived in most;y grasslands taste great. Not so much if they lived in sage brush country.

Matt

From: midwest
05-Oct-22
All the lopes I've killed came from sage country. All were excellent table fare. My gf won't touch whitetail (all in her head, I think) but loves elk and antelope is a close second.

From: tm
05-Oct-22
Think like a butcher, get it cooled and clean it makes great table fair. Run a fat steer and it ain't gonna be good either.

From: Bowaddict
05-Oct-22
Killed all of mine in September, one well into the rut and most in mixed sage/grass. All were excellent and tender!! Some of the best game I’ve had. Get the meat taken care of quickly and don’t drive it around in the back of the truck all day.

From: Bob H in NH
05-Oct-22
We won't shoot one that's been running. Other than that we gutless asap.

Hair is just a fact of life with those things

From: TD
06-Oct-22
I've never broken down an antelope and they could be different, hair maybe different from what I read. But when doing gutless on other critters i carry an extra knife with a zipper blade just for the initial cut normally down the back and legs. One that gets under the hide and cuts from inside out so to push the hair out of the way rather than chopping through any hair from the surface. Really reduces the amount of loose/cut hair on the carcass. I've seen some cut from the surface down through the hair and it looks like a barbershop floor sometimes.

06-Oct-22
The only thing better is Bighorn and Oryx. Pronghorn is incredible. The key is BARELY cook it.... it will overcook in seconds. Just say the word 'heat" and its done

From: Quinn @work
06-Oct-22
I've had some good pronghorn and some bad ones. The good ones have come from ag land where they ate milo, wheat, corn, etc and no sage. Some of the sage ones were not good. We used to kill quite a few in southeastern WY that were only eating pasture grass and what the ranchers called cheek grass. They were terrible. You couldn't even cook them in the house. Smelled like dog food when we tried jerkying them. We stopped hunting there. All were skinned, quartered and on ice within an hour. Still none were better than elk.

From: Bowfreak
06-Oct-22
Speaking of hair….is there any biological reason for antelope hair to just pull out in gobs? I wonder if it has to do with everything wanting to stick you where they live. Instead of knotting up and twisting the hide, the hair just easily pulls out?

From: Ucsdryder
06-Oct-22
I’ve heard the hair is hollow? True?

Yes the hide likes to curl back over, hair side down. Keeping antelope hair off the meat seems nearly impossible.

From: RonP
06-Oct-22
i've killed two male antelope and both were skinned and on ice pretty quick.

they tasted different. one was really good the other not so good. it's been a while but what i remember is the one that did not taste good seemed to get worse over time. it was weird but tolerable within the first month or so but as we pulled the frozen packets out of the freezer and continued to eat it, it tasted worse.

From: Ben
06-Oct-22
Lope is the best eating we have ever had. I think skinning and cooling immediately is the key. We skin and quarter as soon as we can then we take a small freezer and generator with us and cool as fast as possible. My wife says " bring as many of those home as you can".

From: TMac
06-Oct-22
One of the best wild game meats I’ve eaten!

From: DConcrete
06-Oct-22
Mark, I have heard that the evolution reason for this is, when predators, in particular coyotes grab them, they get a mouthful of hair and slip right off.

From: Bowfreak
06-Oct-22
Makes sense Jeff.

From: Thornton
06-Oct-22
I've never had a bad pronghorn.

From: Boreal
07-Oct-22
I think ground meat is ok, but butterflied back straps are right up there with the best wild game cuts.

From: JL
07-Oct-22
No complaints from any of the ones I shot. I've had the hide off fairly quick once hanging up on the buck pole at the campground.....usually within 1.5 hours of being shot. Also...when hanging....never had much of a problem with the hair either. The weight of the hide coming off kept it clear.

08-Oct-22
My only complaint with pronghorn is you don't get enough meat! I've shot 6 and never ate a bad one. These were all in sage country (just north of Gillette). Only guy I ever talked to that said it tasted like shoe leather was a guy who wounded his and finished it off two miles later. Anything would taste like crap after going through that!

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