Quick Recipes and Easy

Preparing and Using Antelope Meat

Antelope is the probably the simplest huge game animal to hunt successfully, but it isn’t the nicest to eat. Many hunters in Wyoming won’t even bother to hunt antelope as a meat animal. Our family does, because they are relatively simple to get, so it is an simpler species to use to teach kids to hunt.

Many antelope have a “sagey” or “gamey” taste to them. There are several theories on this:

1 – Some of hunters say that it depends on where the antelope have been feeding. They say that antelope that have been feeding on wheat or corn fields taste better than those who have been feeding on native prairie grasses and sage.

2 – Some people say that you have to get them skinned as soon as you have shot and gutted one. These people say that the “off” flavor that the antelope tend to have is because of the drying process, once the animal is dead. If you get the skin off quickly, then your animal should taste fine. They also say that you can’t let any of the hair of the antelope get on the meat, while you are skinning it.

I can’t really say that is right, from my personal experience. With both my deer and my antelope, I gut the animal out in the field, as I should, but I haven’t skinned my animals until I have gotten them home. (One of the advantages to living out in the middle of nowhere, close to huntable areas.) My first buck, and the doe that I got two years ago had excellent “sweet” tasting meat. We even made a few small steaks from the doe.

3 – Others say that the animal tastes gamey because it was shot while it was up and active, even running. They say that the adrenaline gets into the meat, and causes it to have the characteristic off flavor. These folks say that you need to shoot your antelope while it is napping or grazing, and hasn’t been spooked, or alerted.

Antelope is very lean and has similar nutrient content to deer, or elk. It is most closely related to domestic goats. You can get about 35 to 40 pounds of meat from and adult antelope, or about 25 to 30 pounds of boneless meat.

Most people usually make only sausage and jerky out of antelope meat. Some folks soak their antelope meat in various liquids, including salt water or canned milk Generally, if you are going to marinate it in anything, do so for approximately a half hour.

We have also successfully place antelope “roast” in a crock pot, with some vegetables, and cooked it that way, and it came out just like any other beef roast. To take the sagey flavor out of ground antelope, break it up into a colander, and rinse it under cold water. Then cook it with a small soy sauce or beef boullion.

You can usually tell when you are cutting up your antelope, whether its going to have a gamey taste, or not, by the smell of the meat.

Antelope isn’t the best meat, but if you have the philosophy that you only hunt what you eat, or if someone gives you some antelope, at a time when you need it, it can be made palatable.

Written by Kevin R. Wheeler, assistant webmaster for the town of Medicine Bow, Wyoming – medicinebow.org medicinebow.org Kevin is a ten year resident of Medicine Bow.

Kevin can also be found a reluctantredneck.com

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