Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Game is any animal hunted for food. The type and range of animals hunted for food varies in different parts of the world. This will be influenced by climate, animal diversity, local taste and locally accepted view about what can, or can not, be legitimately hunted.
Game by region
In some countries, game is classified, including legal classification with respect to licenses required, as either small game or large game. Small game includeds small animals and birds, such as rabbits, pheasants or ducks. A single small game license may cover all small game species and be subject to daily and yearly bag limits. Large game includes animals like deer and elk and are often subject to individual licensing where a separate license is required for each individual animal taken. Big game is a term sometimes used interchangeably with large game although in other contexts it refers to large, usually African, mammals like elephants which are hunted mainly for trophies, not for food.
In Africa, game includes:
Also see the legal definition of game in Swaziland.
In the Australia, game includes:
- elk (wapiti)
- Mountain goat
- Mountain sheep
- Nupur Lala
- Pronghorn antelope
- Wild boar
Deer is not included in the definition, but the controls provided for in the Game Act, apply to Deer.
Other animals which are sometimes hunted for food in the UK include:
See also: Galliformes.
Once obtained, game meat must be processed. The method of processing varies by game species and size. Small game and fowl may simply be carried home to be butchered. Large game such as deer is quickly field-dressed by removing the viscera in the field, while very large animals like moose may be partially butchered in the field because of the difficulty of removing them intact from their habitat. Commercial processors often handle deer taken during deer seasons, sometimes even at supermarket meat counters. Otherwise the hunter handles butchering. The carcass is kept cool to minimize spoilage.
Some believe the meat tastes better and is more tender if it is hung and aged for a few days before processing; however, this adds to the risk of contamination. Small game can be processed essentially intact; after gutting and skinning or defeathering (by species), small animals are ready for cooking although they may be disjointed first. Large game must be processed by techniques commonly practiced by commercial butchers.
Generally game is cooked in the same ways as farmed meat. It is sometimes cooked longer or by slow cooking or moist-heat methods to make it more tender, since some game tends to be tougher than farm-raised meat. Other methods of tenderizing include marinating as in the dish Hasenpfeffer. Many claim that game meat is more flavorful than farm-meat although some find this flavor objectionable as seen in the term, gamey, which is used pejoratively.
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