Sambar venison is a world away from what you might expect when you hear the word “game”. As a large and hardy species they deliver a high meat-to-bone ratio with remarkably consistent tenderness.
The mild, nutty flavour can be likened to prime beef yet distinctly complex, reflecting natural alpine grazing lands and the animals lifestyle.
Despite the incredibly lean, high protein, low fat profile, venison adapts well to many applications - from burgers, tacos, lasagne to BBQ’d prime cuts and long slow cooks.
Please see Our Recipes section for more info on how to get started.
Australia is unique in the sense that we have vast herds of undomesticated invasive ruminants - including wild deer, boar and goats. These non-native species cause significant damage to both the natural environment and agricultural production, and have been listed as key threatening processes by the NSW Department of Environment.
Vast sums of taxpayer money are spent annually to attempt to exterminate these animals, for example through helicopter culling or poison programs. Not only are these programs having limited impact on reducing populations, but none of the meat is harvested for human consumption and often simply increases feed levels for other invasive carnivores such as wild dogs or feral cats. Helicopter culls can also cause huge stress on the animals, while poison programs can accidentally kill native species or contribute to environmental contamination.
By contrast, hunting wild species like these is a prized activity in many countries overseas. For example in many American states, commercial harvesting of wild deer is prohibited and hunters must enter an annual lottery for a tag to claim a single deer or elk during the hunting season.
One of the most powerful lessons taught in permaculture is that we need to turn the problem into the solution. There are over a million wild deer in the border region of New South Wales and Victoria today – it’s a huge environmental threat to native species but it is also a huge resource and opportunity. By ethically harvesting these animals we can make wild game available to so many people who wouldn’t otherwise go hunting, we can protect our native habitats, and support rural communities at the same time.
That is true reverence for the animal, and true sustainability.
We partner with private landowners throughout Victoria & New South Wales to bring you the finest wild venison available. None of the deer we harvest are ever trapped, penned, farmed, subject to live transport or abattoirs. Instead they live a life as nature intended - truly free & genuinely wild.
“Organic” is a term that is often confused and misused. There are many aspects of organic farming - such as tilling - that still have a considerable degenerative impact on land. Whilst organic farming is a vast improvement from industrialised mono-culture agriculture, we have decided to focus the efforts of Discovered on harvesting resources which conserve and regenerate our environment.
Currently all of our venison is of the Sambar variety. Sambar are the largest wild deer species in Australia and one of the most difficult to hunt. They are not able to be farmed with commercial success. The high country regions of south east Australia feature the largest wild Sambar herd in the world, far greater than those found in their original home of India.
We are proud to work exclusively with Wild Game Resources Australia to provide all of our deer. Since 1952 Wild Game Resources has partnered with private landowners to provide professional game harvesters access to their properties. Harvesters use state-of-the-art infrared cameras and drones to identify the location of deer populations without alerting their attention. Healthy animals are selected at a distance and harvested with a single head-shot from a suppressed rifle. Harvested animals are inspected in the field to ensure that they are free from disease. The meat is then transported to our processing facility under full inspection.
Our harvest approach is designed around avoiding stress and coercion at all costs. Avoiding stress on the animal during harvest is fundamentally part of the respect we have for that animal’s sacrifice. It also plays a hugely important role in controlling meat quality - a stress free animal results in the highest quality possible. This is why we only work with the best in the business - our harvesters undergo rigorous accreditation by both State authorities and Wild Game Resources. They are expertly trained marksmen with a deep love for the wild outdoors, and possess further accreditations in food safety, animal health and game management.
Some people wrongly believe that it is illegal or dangerous to eat meat from wild animals. In reality, wild harvested meats are commonly eaten worldwide and often considered a rare delicacy. In Australia there is also a robust regime which regulates the commercial harvest of wild game. We are proud to be one of the only companies currently able to supply Australian wild harvested Sambar deer through our partnership with commercial harvester Wild Game Resources.
A common misconception is that the best cuts of meat are never frozen. In fact, freezing is common across the food industry and can also actually tenderise the meat by expanding the moisture within the cell walls. After thawing, this means the muscles become more tender. Plus you are able to extend the shelf life from just a fortnight fresh to up to two years frozen!
One of the beautiful chaotic things about nature is variation. Industrialised agriculture has removed variation from our food - only ever delivering you the apples, bananas or steaks that look perfect, and sit within the same perfect spec. All the animals we harvest have lived a truly wild & free life. This means they have not been subject to exactly the same feeding programs, the same weather conditions or topography. They are not always the same age, or the same gender. We also value our products by their quality and taste, not just their size.
We are currently sending limited quantities to a few select distributors. If you are interested in a sample or making an order please contact firstname.lastname@example.org