Lori Rice is a food and beverage writer and photographer. Her work can be found in CiderCraft Magazine, King Arthur Flour’s SIFT Magazine, The Coastal Table, and Plate Magazine, as well as at CraftBeer.c
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Not long ago, the only way you could get wild game meat was to either be a hunter or to know one. Now, exotic game meats are more accessible than ever, giving you the chance to try proteins that you won’t find on your typical grocery store’s shelves. So how do you choose amongst all the different producers in the market? Typically, the best places to buy wild game meat are farms and ranches that emphasize product quality and animal welfare. Stress on the animal negatively impacts the texture and flavor of their meat, so the best tasting and healthiest wild game meat will come from animals that are harvested and processed in a more humane way.
While many sources offer better-known options, such as bison and elk, there are others that provide more exotic fare such as antelope, ostrich, wild boar, and even kangaroo. Whether you need large cuts such as steaks and roasts, ground meat for burgers and chili, or snacks like jerky and wild game summer sausage, we’ve found the top companies to buy wild game meat online.
•Delivery Area: 48 states •Free Shipping: Yes •Products Arrive: Frozen
Why You Should Try It
With Wild Fork, you can choose from 16 available wild game meats that range from alligator to venison with the opportunity for same day delivery and a 90-day return policy if you are unhappy with your purchase.
Common and rare meats to choose from
Free shipping available
Full refund if not satisfied
No subscription option
Wild Fork is our pick for the best place to buy wild game meat due to the impressive variety of products, making it a one-stop shop for all types of meat. You can choose from bison, elk, and ostrich and add on chicken, turkey, and grass-fed beef, too. Each cut is blast frozen at the peak of freshness and packed in dry ice to ensure that your delivery arrives fully frozen. Wild Fork even includes instructions for quick defrosting (or notes which cuts can be cooked straight from the freezer) to ensure that prepping dinner isn’t an hours-long process.
If you are new to cooking wild game, the recipes and tips provided by the company’s in-house chefs will help you build your skill set so you can create delicious meals. Wild Fork also offers a membership option: $29 per year gets you free shipping on orders over $35 for both same-day delivery (check availability for your region) and national shipping. If you are not satisfied with your order for any reason, you can return it for a full refund.
•Delivery Area: 50 states •Free Shipping: Yes •Products Arrive: Frozen
Why You Should Try It
Fossil Farms lets you shop a long list of rarer game meats from independent producers committed to sustainability and responsible harvesting.
Rarer game meats available
Focus on animal health and sustainability
Meats from independently-owned farms and ranches
No subscription option
Free shipping only on orders over $175
The variety of farm-raised and wild game meats from Fossil Farms meets the needs of anyone searching for both the familiar and the rare. Whether you need bison and elk or you’re on the hunt for antelope, wild boar, and kangaroo, you can find it here. Multiple cuts for each type of game meat are available, from options such as ground, tenderloin, ribs, and steaks. Fossil Farms sources from independently-owned farms and ranches, so you know that the meat you purchase has been sustainably produced and harvested with the welfare of the animals in mind.
Fossil Farms’ meat is packaged for freshness then flash-frozen for delivery. If you want fresh meat, the company invites customers to inquire via phone for options. For the best deal, plan to place a large order for all your meat needs at once. Orders over $175 receive free UPS ground or UPS 2nd day air shipping.
•Delivery Area 50 states •Free Shipping: No •Products Arrive: Frozen
Why You Should Try It
Mountain Primal Meat Co. specializes in high-quality, grass-fed bison that is raised and harvested locally, giving consumers a choice variety of high-quality bison products (including bratwurst and sausages).
Specializes in four types of meat
Animal welfare and sustainability a priority
Offers environmentally-friendly packages for shipping
No free shipping
When you want specific game meat, it’s best to go straight to a source that specializes in it. Instead of focusing on a large variety of animals, Mountain Primal Meat Co. specializes in four things, and one of those is Bison Union Bison. You can take advantage of their specialty cuts of bison such as short ribs or add a pack of bison sausage to your order. The meat is 100% grass-fed and locally sourced. Additionally, the company sells elk, American Highland Beef, and American Berkshire Pork.
Your order is frozen before shipping and most often arrives frozen. If it thaws a bit during longer transits, the company assures you that it is safe to refreeze until you are ready to use it.
Sustainability efforts and welfare are a priority and this extends from the products they raise and sell all the way down to the packaging used for shipping. Your order will arrive with 100% recyclable and compostable insulating material that meets the certification standards of the Fibre Box Association and the American Forest & Paper Association.
•Delivery Area: 50 states •Free Shipping: No •Products Arrive: Frozen
Why You Should Try It
Special care is taken to field-harvest Broken Arrow Ranch’s venison and process it on site, reducing stress to the animals and resulting in a higher-quality product for consumers.
Practices humane harvesting of wild game
Provides support for local ranchers
Multiple game meats to choose from
Not eligible for free shipping
Securing wild game meat is challenging when the goal is to use humane practices that also result in quality, great-tasting protein. Broken Arrow Ranch uses an innovative process through their fully government-inspected mobile unit. This allows them to harvest their venison in wild conditions and process the game on-site in their mobile facility. It reduces animal stress that results from entrapment and transport, creating a more flavorful and humanely-sourced meat.
Their venison comes from South Texas Antelope, Axis Deer, and Fallow Deer, and can be purchased in a number of cuts from chops, loins, and shanks to ground and stew cubes. They also offer wild boar, quail, and wild game sausages. There is a minimum order of $50; the product is shipped out Monday through Thursday each week and shipments arrive frozen.
•Delivery Area: 50 states •Free Shipping: No •Products Arrive: Fresh
Why You Should Try It
Cavendish Game Birds specializes in quail, offering a variety of cuts and variety packs that make meal planning around this small bird easy.
Offers cuts beyond the whole bird
Convenient package options with cooking tips
Animal welfare and reduced stress priorities
High shipping costs
Cavendish Game Birds focuses on the flavor and consistent size of their quail while making the welfare of their birds a top priority. The quail are raised in roomy, ventilated barns with a processing facility on-site to reduce animal stress.
The birds can be purchased as the whole bird, semi-boneless, butterflied, as legs, or breasts. They also offer quail eggs and when the holidays roll around, stuffed quail is available. Cooking this delicate bird can be tricky, so they’ve outlined a step-by-step process on their website for optimal results. Cavendish’s online store offers a variety of packages designed for beginners new to quail, more adventurous home cooks, and those cooking for a group.
The birds arrive fresh, but they can be frozen for later use. All of Cavendish’s quail are raised and processed in Vermont, which means air delivery is required for many orders, so budget for higher shipping costs than when buying other wild game meats.
•Delivery Area: 50 states •Free Shipping: Yes •Products Arrive: Fresh and frozen
Why You Should Try It
When you want to buy a variety of wild game meats and meat products in one convenient pack, you will have plenty of options to choose from.
Sampler packs include a variety of meats
Packs with meat cuts and snacks available
Choose from four types of wild game meats
Free shipping only on orders over $50
If you aren’t quite sure what type of wild game you would enjoy most, Cabela’s offers a number of sampler packs so you can taste your way to a favorite. The summer sausage sampler includes bison, elk, venison, and wild boar and some have traditional beef and cheeses added. Many of their sampler packs are smoked so the meats arrive ready to serve, and they go way beyond sausages. Elk roasts, bison roasts, and wild boar hams can be found in some packs. There are also gift packs that contain fresh-frozen cuts such as sirloin steaks and stew meat along with smoked meats that come in one type of wild game such as elk, bison, or venison.
These packs make ideal gifts for meat lovers or they can provide nearly everything you need for party planning or a unique cocktail hour gathering. With the variety and shelf-life of smoked meats, you might also order these packs to keep your own kitchen stocked with wild game protein. There’s no minimum order and purchases over $50 ship for free.
The best place to buy wild game meats overall is Wild Fork. Their wide selection of types and cuts to choose from allows you to conveniently find the game meat you seek all in one place. Their option for membership is also beneficial for repeat customers, and their satisfaction guarantee with a full-refund promise ensures that you won’t be stuck with a product you are unhappy with.
Farmers and ranchers who use harvesting and processing practices that reduce animal stress produce the best tasting wild game meat. When an animal experiences stress through entrapment and transport, this can result in an unfavorable texture and flavor once the meat is processed. Learn more about the farms and producers you are purchasing from to glean information about their practices and the attention they give to the quality of the meat they sell.
Why Is Deer Meat Not Sold in Stores?
The Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) mandates that any meat sold commercially, such as in supermarkets, must be inspected and passed by the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). The FSIS is required to inspect cattle, sheep, swine, and goats. Because deer meat, or venison, does not fall into the category of meats that the FSIS inspects, it cannot gain the approval necessary to be sold commercially in stores.
Which Wild Meat Is the Healthiest?
Wild game typically feed on natural plant life and they are always on the move, so their meat is often healthier than the meat from many domestic animals. Wild meat has fewer calories and is lower in saturated fat than other meats. Bison, deer, and elk are some of the healthiest wild game meats in terms of the calories, fat, and cholesterol they provide per serving.
What Are the Dangers of Eating Wild Game?
It is possible for game to carry parasites, and wild game meat can be contaminated with bacteria and viruses which can all cause illness in humans. Additionally, there has been evidence of man-made chemicals present in the game meat of some animals, depending on their food and water source. It’s important to know where your game meat comes from and that it has been processed by a knowledgeable professional. While the USDA does not inspect game meat, many online stores do have their own internal inspections and practices to ensure that the meats are safe to consume when cooked properly, so it is important to review websites and ask questions before purchasing.
We evaluated over 30 companies when researching the best places to buy wild game meat online. Some companies specialize in a few wild game meats, while others offer a long list of both familiar and rare options. We evaluated options based on the variety of game meats offered and the types of cuts available. Animal welfare, sustainable practices, and experience in the industry were all taken into consideration to ensure the highest quality products.
We searched for companies that provide free shipping with minimum orders for the best value and prioritized those with flexible shipping dates and return policies. Some stores offer single packs of meat cuts for consumers who want to cook fewer meals, while others combine larger sampler packs for those interested in entertaining and gift-giving.
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.