Livers and Hearts.

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by whughett, Nov 19, 2020.

  1. whughett

    whughett Member

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    No longer hunt but back in the day supper at the camp was often fresh deer liver, onions, bacon and brown gravy.Just hours out of the field it was a treat.
    Often the camp had five hunters so we would enjoy that several times during the week in a good year. Not all those there would eat it, but my hunting buddy and I would make up for it.
    Never shot any thing but whitetail but assuming Elk, Moose and Antelope would be as tasty.

    These days have to settle for calves liver once a month or so

    Hearts just never took the time to learn how to prepare.
     
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  2. zdc1775

    zdc1775 Member

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    I always bring both home whenever I kill a deer. Almost always make the liver just like you described with some mashed potatoes.

    The heart is a bit of a pain to clean and prep but worth it in my opinion. I usually end up dusting it lightly with salt, pepper, and flour then frying it in bacon grease. My grandfather used to pressure fry deer and cow hearts. They were so tender and juicy that way.
     
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  3. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    Last year I made up pickled deer heart.
    I like deer liver fried with green & jalapeno peppers & onions.
    Both are good eating.
     
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  4. Barbaroja

    Barbaroja Member

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    I’m more of a heart guy. Not big on liver, but I still bring it home with me as I’ll use it as bait for fishing or trapping or give it away to someone who does enjoy it.
    I find heart very easy to prep I just cut the top off where the arteries are trim the fat off and just slice it into steaks. Best eaten mid rare!
     
  5. zdc1775

    zdc1775 Member

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    To expand on this topic, I am a big fan of haggis and have had it made from venison several times over the years so I am now considering trying to make some for the first time this year. I just happen to have an area in the back yard where I try to take a deer or two every year from where all shots are made to the neck or head so I could actually use the lungs for a traditional recipe.
     
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  6. Patocazador

    Patocazador Member

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    Deer heart was and is my kids favorite. Everyone at our hunt camp would eat fried sliced deer heart while waiting for supper to be ready.

    I like calf's liver a lot but deer liver is milder and a bit chewier so I use it for catfish bait on a trot line. It is the best for catfish because it stays on the hooks better and doesn't get torn off on the first bite like pork liver.
     
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  7. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Well I’m a fan of pickled lambs tongues and pork hocks or feet so I’d give the pickled heart a shot.
     
  8. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    I don't like liver, but the heart is usually the first thing I eat when I kill one.
    Usually gets fried the same evening.
     
  9. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    I've heard a lot of hunters say, "If you like deer liver, you'll love elk liver." And that's certainly not true. Mule deer liver has been a favorite in my family as far back as I can remember, but how we feel about elk liver varies from "tolerable" to flat out "don't like." For me personally, elk liver is "tolerable."
    I've never tried moose or antelope liver. They might be okay, but not even all of the mule deer we've killed had good livers. I'd guess about 90% of them did, but not all of them did. Many, many years ago my mom taught me how to tell whether or not a deer liver is worth carrying back to camp - you just push your thumb and index finger inside the liver, and pinch a piece of it. If it feels "grainy," just leave it behind with the rest of the gut pile.
    I've also heard hunters say they've actually seen liver flukes in deer and elk livers. They said liver flukes look like little, white ray fish swimming around in the blood. I've never seen them myself.
    I tried deer heart once. It was okay, but to me, it wasn't worth the effort of carrying it back to camp. Besides, deer rifle bullets often make messes of deer hearts.;)
     
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  10. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Heart is a big muscle, totally different texture than liver Id guess.
     
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  11. Barbaroja

    Barbaroja Member

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    You guessed right. The heart is quite “ meaty” compared to the texture of any other organ
     
  12. Highland Lofts

    Highland Lofts Member

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    Last deer season i looked up a reciepe for picked heart and made a few of them up for something to.munch on while out hunting and for night time.
     
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  13. Orcon

    Orcon Member

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    I've yet to develop a taste for liver, something about the taste and texture is off-putting to me. Heart, however, is a lovely treat. Gotta trim the fat and ventricles as well as clean the chambers of any congealed blood. I usually slice it thin and season it with Montreal seasoning and fry it up for breakfast sandwiches with egg and cheese. Very tasty, even according to people who were less than excited about the prospect of eating it.
     
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  14. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    For sure.
    It's a dense muscle.
    What I do to it is make sure to trim all of the white membrane off and get it clean where it's just lean meat.
    Then slice it and soak in salt water for a few hours. That helps to pull some of the blood out.
    Then I just fry it up like I do backstrap. It's good. A little stronger tasting than other meat, but not bad at all.
    Definitely worth saving to me.
     
  15. whughett

    whughett Member

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    :rofl: Spoils of the hunt, fried food and organ meat, does it get any better. Cholesterol city. For any that follow YouTuber Forgotten Weapons, Field to Table episode. Haggis, boar lungs and meat. Yummy. :what:
     
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  16. grampster
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    grampster Member

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    We made heart sandwiches in deer camp. Soak the heart in salt water for a day or so and then slice it and fry quickly in butter, medium rare. Good with hot mustard with a bit of horseradish mixed in.
     
  17. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    We had calf's liver often when I was young because dad liked it. I never learned to like it. But one year dad shot a bull elk and I brought the liver down in a plastic sack. I put it in a little stream near camp where cold water could run through it and left it for a couple of hours. Dad fried it up with onions that night and that was the best liver I had ever eaten.

    Dad also used to boil elk heart and pickle it for lunch meat. It was pretty good.
     
  18. Daveboone

    Daveboone Member

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    I love to pickle the heart...I usually try to wait until I have two to do...just quicker. I have never been a big liver fan, but my wife likes it. If I get a nice fresh liver back home quickly, I will give it to her. A number of years ago I was cleaning a liver for her and it was loaded with flukes....very harmless to humans, but totally grossed me out and I havent touched a liver since.
    I would have loved to save my two mooses hearts. Needless to say they were massive, but they got lost in the mix at the butcher.
     
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  19. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    I'll bet! As I said in my post (#9), I've never seen liver flukes, but they sound "totally" gross to me too.:eek:
     
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  20. Daveboone

    Daveboone Member

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    The flukes I found were shaped and about the size of the pad of your thumb, and about as thick as a necco wafer. they had two what appeared to be eyes, and were liver colored. You could see the off colored spots thier size on the liver.Still gross.
     
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  21. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    Heart is very good.
    Liver stays with the gut pile.
     
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  22. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    That story reminds me of my wife's first deer hunting trip. She was born and raised in a non-hunting family, but once her dad raised a pig and had it butchered. He loved pork liver, and I guess he went on and on about how good it was going to be to my future bride. Well, my future bride took one bite of it and almost threw up! Her dad was very angry, but he ate the rest of that pork liver himself.;)
    Fast forward about 15 years: my wife went deer hunting with my folks and me. I shot a large, 4-point mule deer opening day. After dragging it out to the road and getting it back to camp, Dad and I went about skinning it while Mom was showing my wife how to skin and clean the liver, cut it up, and fry it with onions - all the while telling my wife how much she was going to like it.
    My wife said it was deja vu all over again. She figured she was going to hate it, and I was going to be mad. Was my wife ever in for a surprise though! She still says (48 years later) that first bite of venison liver was the best thing she had ever tasted in her life. And after Mom, Dad and I had had enough, my wife was still eating. Mom actually had to tell my wife, "You're going to make yourself sick if you don't stop."
    Anyway, as I said, my whole family likes venison liver. Even our grandchildren (all boys) like it. But I think my pork liver hating wife likes it the most - she even likes cold, venison liver sandwiches the next day.:D
     
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  23. Rubone

    Rubone Member

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    Elk Heart is a big treat to my wife. We bake it stuffed and have it with extra stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Can't beat it!
     
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  24. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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    I’m with 308Norma, elk liver is alright. Antelope liver we had this year was about like elk: tolerable

    I think it helps to soak in milk before cooking

    Deer is the clear winner in the liver department in my opinion

    Heart rocks
     
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  25. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Slice it sectioned vertically. Horizontal cuts across, about 1/2" - 3/4" thick.

    Moose heart is fantastic! You can slice that about 1" thick. The hearts from my deer were missing the top half (except for one), the aorta is my target on a deer.

    Alas, my deer organ meat consumption days are probably done, as wild game organ meats are the biggest no-no on the gout list. Scallops are actually the worst for me, I miss them.
     
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