Author Hank Shaw has piece for North American Whitetail called What Every Hunter Needs to Know About Venison Nutrition. Of particular interest two paragraphs dealing with fat:
I know, you’ve been taught to trim every bit of fat off your venison. I’m sorry to inform you, for the most part you’ve been taught wrong. In my experience, venison fat typically tastes a lot like lamb or beef fat, which is rather delicious when crisped up on the grill or in the oven. The exception is deer from truly wild areas where there is a lot of sagebrush or desert food sources. Fat from these deer can certainly be off-tasting.
But there’s a simple way to determine whether or not you need to trim or keep your venison fat. Start by cutting off a few ounces and then chop it up. Put a little water in a small frying pan and set the fat in it. Heat the water until it boils. This will render the fat. Smell it. If the fat smells OK—either lamb-like or beefy—you are good to go. If it smells awful, trim it. Your nose will not fail you.
Taste experiments that we have performed come to similar conclusions. We have sampled pure venison fat raw off the animal, cooked, rendered, repurposed and even used in mincemeat pies. Even though many hunters will swear that venison fat taste “bad”, many from this camp could not tell you the last time that they actually tried it, assuming they ever have in the first place. Read the full article.