I spent some time yesterday breaking down this late season mature buck. Check out the size of that bottom round! These dry aged cuts all have prearranged marriages with the dutch oven for all kinds of dishes from Venison Bayou Blue (Mardi Gras tradition) to Corned Venison and Hash (St Patrick’s Day tradition) and everything between.
Some hunters are dismissive of the meat of mature deer. I have found that is a rather unfortunate conclusion. While there is no doubt that the meat from yearling deer tends to lack excessive silverskin, the butchering process on big deer tends to produce the least amount of waste since it is more straightforward to butcher. These large roasts will break down over time in the dutch oven or Crock Pot, they just take a little longer. The idea that a “swollen neck” means a “rutty” tasting buck is misinformation. In fact, the necks of bucks don’t actually “swell.” As their testosterone increases during the breeding season, bucks actually bulk up with muscle, particularly in their necks due to the growth hormone’s associated with testosterone. Its similar to the growth hormones that help humans increase muscle mass and density. Sure, the meat is older and tougher, but there is also much more of it. Looking for a reason to combine trophy aspects of hunting with meat hunting? There you have it. Big neck = more meat.
Looking for a guide to breaking down a hindquarter? Venison Leg Takedown.
Have Sirloin Tip or Bottom Round from a big buck? Try a Venison Pastrami.
Dry Aging? Here you go.