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Retail venison? Preferably not from overseas?

Got a big dinner this weekend, hoping to cook a venison leg, and I'm wondering--is there a reasonably local source? Or do we have to buy stuff that's been on trans-oceanic jet planes?

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  1. I don't know the origin, but Golden Gate Meats at the Ferry Building has excellent venison steaks that aren't frozen.

    If you are objecting to the high cost/environmental cost of overseas shipment that's one thing. If you are concerned about overall quality though, New Zealand venison is definitely to be preferred, at least from a mad-cow-type "disease-free" status.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Joan Kureczka

      I guess it's both: I'm hoping to find venison raised in a wholesome way and not too absurdly far away.

      1. re: Joan Kureczka

        When we got venison loins from Golden Gate Meats, they were from New Zealand. I haven't ever seen venison available in San Francisco that wasn't a New Zealand product.

      2. Los gatos Meats has what you are looking for.

        www.exoticmeats.com for on line purchases. They are based out of Seattle

        1. it's against federal law (unless there's been a change I don't know about) to sell any wild game in the US, so venison will be either imported or raised.

          5 Replies
            1. re: Kosmonaut

              Not at all. For one, it prevents excessive hunting/poaching for profit, as opposed to fairly well controlled hunting for individual use. Additionally, a certain amount of the wild population of deer and elk in the US carries a disease similar to mad cow. While I might wish that more of the meat was raised in this country, I know the NZ venison is disease-free. NZ as a whole has the "cleanest" status of any nation; a bit easier to attain than most places due to being an island nation. And they work very hard to keep it that way.

              I have heard of some red deer (ie. elk) being farmed here in the US.

              1. re: Joan Kureczka

                Thanks for the post, this makes sense. I ddin't realize that deer in the US carried diseases.

                1. re: Kosmonaut

                  Yes, Joan is right. Wild deer and elk can be infected with a disease called chronic wasting disease (CWD). CWD is a progressive, debilitating neurological disease that belongs to a family of diseases known as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) that includes "mad cow" and scrapie (found in sheep). Because the infectious agent is a prion (a type of protein), not a bacterium or virus, it isn't affected by cooking processes.

                2. re: Joan Kureczka

                  A couple of years ago I did a search and there was no country listed as without TSE, including NZ. There was one or two states--I believe Tenn. at least--still not affected at that time.

            2. I don't know where you're located, but you can buy Venison at Bud's Custom Meats in Penngrove (Sonoma County). I don't think they have a website, but you can reach them at:

              BUD'S CUSTOM MEATS
              7750 Petaluma Hill Rd.
              Penngrove, Ca.94951
              (707) 795-8402