All Springer/NP/PCP Air Gun Discussion General > Wild Game Preparation and Recipes Gate

Not much heart for Deer Liver...or heart

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My son told me that you can tell the health of a deer by looking at its liver.  I was skeptical at first but then again most deer are not doing so well health-wise when you ARE looking at their liver. ;D

I always try to take the two organs out but don't usually fool with livers or hearts (cutting or eating).  However they are the most vitamins rich meats in a deer.  I love chicken livers but I don't process those and maybe that is the point. I cut up 2 livers today because my wife was busy.  The liver of the older (2-3 yr old) doe was smelly but the younger button buck was not as smelly.  They both cut up nice and looked good inside. These organs were taken out by me along with the inner loins in a timely manner and no gut shots or gastric juices touched them -fyi.  I try to soak them right away.

1. what do you do to prepare" the smelly liver"?
2. Is the smell of the liver an indicator of anything?
3. Can you tell the health of the deer (disease) by looking at the liver?

We always took the heart and liver on deer.  Don't remember ever smelling an odd odor???  The only livers we didn't use had white spots all over them.  IDK, but always heard they had "worms", probably an old wives tale, but I know we didn't use them.  I only recall a couple from probably close to 100 that I helped butcher over the years.  I know there's a small green sac on the side of the liver that if you puncture it, anything it touches you might as well discard.  I was always told it was the "bile sac"???

I regularly watch MeatEater on TV. Seven Rinella is the man for all things pertaining to cooking game, He loves both heart and liver. Below is a link that will show what he can do. Please check him out.

I've never eviscerated a deer, but I have done several heritage chickens. We sent a sick chicken out to a lab for an autopsy once to see why it died, ended up having no bone marrow. I say this because all of the birds I process are very healthy and they have dark red and robust livers, no weird smells. These are farm birds that free range, so no struggles and little exposure to illness. Wild deer are a different story, so I can't speak to what it "should" smell like. Maybe smelly is ok? I know color is a big indicator of health. Darker is usually better as light spots are due to fatty deposits and damage. I use our edible chicken organs, carcasses, necks, heads, feet, etc. to make broth, which I then turn the remaining solids into dog food. I've heard of liver recipes from old timers, but I think it's a Depression Era and/or WWII rationing thing.

Thanks.  I appreciate the link and info.  I asked my wife and she said it did smell like liver smells like.  I am not an expert at preparing.  My wife did not want to process the bag of meat yesterday and I was determined to make sure it got done.  Usually I take the historical hunter gatherer stance and let my woman do that as I have completed the exhausting hunter gathering activity.

I try to dissect the deer like a biological specimen and I try to only get the main parts but Next time I will look for the gall bladder and be aware of it more. Good information.  Thanks


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