A DEER MANAGER’S DIARY – August 2021
As the cereal crops begin to ripen and our farmers start preparing for harvest, our deer management year starts again on or about the 1st of August. Our alarm clocks are set very early indeed! An 04:30 start is required to catch first light, however it is worth it to take in the stunning Devon countryside in its finest fettle.
Our thoughts once again turn to venison and management of the wild deer population to protect the woodland and farmland habitats and increase their biodiversity. The wild venison we have available at the start of the season is from male Fallow and Red deer. Adult male Fallow Deer are called “Bucks” and juvenile males are called “Prickets.” On the other hand, adult Red Deer are called “Stags” and the juvenile males are called “Spikers.”
Summer and autumn venison is beautifully flavoured as a result of all the lush summer vegetation and cereals that the deer have been feasting on. In a few cases our summer venison can be described in a similar way to corn fed chicken as some deer pretty much live in woodland adjacent to the wheat and barley fields all summer and visit them usually under cover of darkness.
Our wild venison is completely free range and when managed sustainably it is probably the most ethical red meat it is possible to buy. If you would like to try our new season wild venison order one of our venison boxes or family packs online. Our nationwide delivery service provides you with the opportunity to try our wild venison anywhere in the UK delivered in eco-safe packaging from Dartmoor straight to your door.
Our venison steaks and BBQ packs are firm favourites for summer for fire pit or BBQ sessions. Keep any eye on our wild venison blog where we will provide recipes and advice on how to cook and prepare your Wild Hart Venison.
Venison – It’s Good For you.
Not so many years ago, we were not overly concerned about what we ate in the way of meat. We perhaps knew that processed meats were not so good for us, but the relative qualities of beef, pork, lamb, chicken and venison were not of great concern.
Today all that has changed. The majority of us try to “eat well.” We limit the amount of processed food we eat, we try to balance our diets, we eat more fresh food and we look at the relative benefits of a varied diet. We know that certain things are good for us, and we are probably aware of things that might not be so good if we over indulge.
So, the question is, “Where does venison come in the tables of good or not so good?” Can it benefit our health? Is it good for us?
Although it is not as common as traditional meat like beef, chicken, and pork, sales have been growing in the Western world over the past few years. Among the reasons for venison’s increasing popularity are the meat’s nutritional value and the fact it is more environmentally friendly than factory-farmed meat.
The following data is sourced from the USDA Food Composite Database and shows the nutritional value of 100grams of minced venison.
To summarise the table; venison is low in both overall calories and fat than many other meats. However, it is slightly higher in calories and has a closer ratio of Omega-6 to 3.
Calories / Macronutrient
Kcal / grams Raw
Kcal / grams Cooked
So, let’s take a look at vitamins. We know that we receive a lot of our daily requirement of vitamins from plants and vegetables, but a significant number are provided by meat. Here’s how venison stacks up:
This tells us that venison is an excellent source of B vita- mins.
Thiamin (vitamin B1) helps the body break down and re- lease energy from food and keeps the nervous system healthy.
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) helps keep skin, eyes and the nerv- ous system healthy and helps the body release energy from food.
Niacin (vitamin B3) helps the body release energy from food and keeps the nervous system and skin healthy.Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) helps the body to use and store energy from protein and carbohydrates in food. It also helps the body to form haemoglobin, the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body.
Vitamin B12 is involved in helping the body make red blood cells, keeping the nervous system healthy and re- leasing energyfromfood
Folate (vitamin B9) is found in many foods. The manmade form of folate is called folic acid. Folate helps the body form healthy red blood cells and reduces the risk of birth defects called neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, in unborn babies.
So, we have looked at calories, protein and vitamins, so we should now take a look at minerals. Minerals are the elements on the earth and in our food that our bodies need to develop and function normally.
This table tells us that venison is a particularly good source of zinc, and a good source of phosphorus and iron.
Zinc helps blood clot, helps make proteins and DNA, bol- sters the immune system, and helps with wound healing and cell division.
Phosphorus is a mineral found in many foods. It is also one of the most common substances in your everyday environ- ment and in your body. It plays an important role in the health of your kidneys, bones, muscles, and blood vessels, as well as each cell in your body.
Iron helps make haemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying chemi- cal in the body’s red blood cells) and myoglobin (a protein in muscle cells). Iron is essential for activating certain en- zymes and for making amino acids, collagen, neurotrans- mitters, and hormones.
% RDI Raw
% RDI Cooked
% RDI Raw
% RDI Cooked
So now you know how beneficial venison is to your diet. But how does it compare with your day – to – day beef, lamb, pork or chicken? Are there additional advantages to incorporating venison into your diet. Let’s have a look.
There are several benefits to eating venison, mostly revolving around the nutrients the meat offers.
For anyone wanting to increase their protein intake, venison is one of the best meats for this purpose. As shown in the nutritional values, cooked minced venison provides 26.5 grams of protein per 100 grams. Since venison is leaner meat than other options, it provides more protein too.
For example, the table below shows how a cooked half-pound (227g) minced venison compares to an equiva- lent from other minced meat varieties:
While the difference is only small, venison con- tains a slightly higher proportion of protein than other red meat.
Type of Minced Meat
Protein per cooked 227g portion
Venison is rich in Omega-3. The omega-3 con- tent of meat depends significantly on the ani- mal’s diet. Meat from animals that feed on cereals have much lower concentrations of the fatty acid than meat from animals raised on grass.
Since deer spend their life grazing on grass, venison typically contains a much higher amount of omega-3 than other meat, as well as a better omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.
Either way, venison is rich in omega-3, and it has one of the best ratios of omega-6 to ome- ga-3 out of all meat.
So there you have it. There are benefits to incorporating venison into your regular diet. And in addition to all these benefits there is the fact that venison tastes good, and venison from Dartmoor, supplied by Wild Hart Venison is delivered fresh direct to your door nationwide.
Go to our website at www.wildhartvenison.co.uk to see the succulent cuts of sustainably sourced venison that we supply.