When man first started eating animal protein, all sources were wild game, but today, very little of our meats come from wild animals. Even meats thought to be from wild game are often farm raised, ensuring high quality, clean and tasty meals.
Most wild game in the United States is from deer, elk, moose, bear, antelope, bison and wild sheep. Wild birds are often served up as well; turkey, duck, geese, pheasant, partridge, quail and dove being the most common, but swans, cranes, rails and woodcock are also harvested and eaten.
Much of the truly wild game is harvested in the woods by seasonal hunters, particularly deer and elk, which provide the venison eaten by growing numbers of Americans. Both types of venison are very tasty when cooked properly. There is very little intramuscular fat on these creatures, and this should be taken into account when cooking. More frequently today, there are sources of farm raised deer and elk, that are able to supply venison to meat markets, stores and restaurants all year long, unaffected by hunting seasons.
European red deer are farm raised in New Zealand for shipment to all parts of the world. Red deer are akin to the American elk and their taste has much the same delicate flavor and friendliness to sauces.
Though there are still many wild buffalo in some of the Great Plains states, there is very limited hunting for free-range-bison, most bison meat coming from farms. Buffalo meat is very similar to beef since the bison is a bovine as is the beef steer, but it is much lower in fat and higher in usuable protein than beef. Also, buffalo fatten on grass, but much of the beef we eat is fattened on grains; corn, oats and wheat. Therefore, buffalo meat is healthier than beef, particularly for those on a restricted fat diet.
Wild boar hunting is available in many of the states, in fact, in some areas, wild boars are considered vermin because of the crop damage they cause and their competition with native game, like deer. Pork from wild boar is much leaner than domestic pork, but just as tasty and is prepared in much the same manner. Wild boar are farmed, but not in the same manner as domestic hogs. They are simply allowed to roam free on large tracts of swamps, wooded pastures and other less ariable farm land, then “harvested,” butchered and marketed.
Wild sheep are the least of all game meats found on U. S. tables. They are much more difficult to harvest and they are found mainly in hard to reach areas like high mountains and the Mojave Desert. Domestic lamb is similar in appearance and texure, but has a much milder taste and is readily available from better suppliers.