BENEFITS OF EATING ELK MEAT – One of my favorite parts of hunting and harvesting animals is processing my own meat. There’s something about putting that meat in the freezer that completes the hunting experience for me. While I’m processing the meat, I like to take a few of the smaller steaks and cook them on the grill. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. As hunters, we are blessed to have the skills and abilities to harvest these wonderful animals. We’re also blessed to share them with our families at the table. Wild meat is one of the best foods for your family, and harvesting large animals, such as elk, provide even more benefits. In this article, I’ll share my top reasons for eating elk meat.
Health and Wellness
Elk meat is one of the leanest and healthiest meats for your diet. It’s clean, organic, and is packed full of the nutrients we expect to get from a good meat source. It’s also not full of the hormones and preservatives that you get from meat at the store.
I’ve been a CPR instructor for health professionals for almost 10 years now, and have been heavily involved with the American Heart Association. Being a member of the AHA team has been extremely educational, as they send out frequent data on how to live a heart healthy life.
For the most part, it’s the things you expect to hear, such as exercise more, eat healthy, and get plenty of sleep. However, sometimes they send out great data to help support the education given. Recently, they sent out information on the best types of meat to consume. The list had the common healthy meats such as fish and chicken. But it also had a list of healthy red meats. Atop that list was elk meat. They even went as far as to say that elk meat is the “heart smart red meat“. Below is a chart provided by Creeks Edge Elk Farm and Crum Creek CSA.
Whether you’re on a specific diet like keto or paleo, or you’re just trying to eat as clean as possible, elk meat checks all the boxes. In fact, elk is a great food source for weight loss. Due to it’s low amount of calories and high amount of protein, it is a wonderful food option to aid in weight loss.
Elk are large animals, and when it comes to hunting, you truly get your bang for your buck with these amazing creatures. A lot of hunters justify hunting by saying that they’re putting food on the table. Trust me, I’ve used that with my wife many of times. When in all reality, it is probably cheaper to run to the grocery store and buy some hormone filled beef. If you consider the cost of getting a license, paying for fuel to get to where you need to go, and purchasing all the gear necessary to harvest that animal, hunting is actually an expensive way to obtain meat. However, as stated in the previous section, you’re getting one of the best types of meat on the market.
When it comes to elk, you’re getting a large amount of that healthy meat. All elk are different sizes, but on average, a field dressed elk weighs anywhere from 175 pounds for a calf to around 550 pounds for a mature bull. Obviously you’re not going to eat every ounce of that 550 pounds due to bones and other non-edible portions of the animal. But you will be able to harvest about 70% of that total weight. That’s roughly 80 to 275 pounds of boneless meat.
Hunting isn’t cheap, and the meat it provides isn’t cheap, but it’s definitely worth it. Harvesting an elk not only provides one of the best tasting wild animals, but it also provides a large quantity of it.
There has been a long-standing argument in my family on whether deer meat or elk meat tastes better. There are also those that think another type of wild game is even better, such as bear, antelope, or moose. I love elk, so I may be biased, but I truly believe that elk has the least “gamey” taste of all the wild animals. Elk can be similar tasting to beef, but it will have just enough flavor to know it’s different. In fact, elk can replace beef in many recipes. With just a few minor changes, no one will ever know. I highly recommend substituting beef with elk in recipes such as spaghetti, tacos and hamburgers. If you want something really amazing, learn how to make elk sausage. There’s nothing better than waking up in the morning and making some eggs and elk sausage.
There are many benefits to eating elk, and these are just a few of them. Truly, there are so many benefits of hunting elk in general. You get the opportunity to be in the mountains with your best friends and family. You get to have up-close and personal encounters with these majestic creatures. And you get to bring them home for your family to enjoy. It truly is a win-win for everyone.
As I mentioned above, I’m biased about elk meat, and I’m also biased about elk hunting. Some of the best times of my life have come from hunting elk in the back country. Not only because of the items listed above, but because it’s hard. When I sit down to the table to have that steak, or when I’m grinding the meat to make jerky, it reminds me of the blood, sweat and tears that went into getting that animal. There are many people who do not appreciate the food that is on their table. But I know for a fact that most elk hunters appreciate that elk steak when they eat it.
What side are you on when it comes to elk vs deer meat? Is there another wild game meat that you prefer over both species?