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It can be easy to get stuck in a protein rut, where you rely on the standard cuts of poultry, beef, and pork available in most grocery stores. But there’s so much more to explore in the world of animal protein when you add wild game, like venison, rabbit, and wild birds, to the mix.
Technically, wild game refers to animals that are hunted in the wild. If you’re not a hunter or don’t have access to hunted meat, it can be intimidating to know where or how to source alternative sources of protein.
Whether you’re looking to add diversity to your food intake, find healthier sources of animal protein, or are just feeling adventurous, these online retailers make it easy to expand your dietary horizons by delivering a wide variety of familiar and exotic animal proteins directly to your doorstep.
It can be easy to get stuck in a protein rut where you rely on the standard cuts of poultry, beef, and pork available in most grocery stores. But there’s so much more to explore in the world of animal protein when you add wild game to the mix. Technically, wild game refers to animals that are hunted in the wild.
D’Artagnan provides a wide variety of common meats and game meats to home chefs and restaurants around the country. These offerings are free of antibiotics and steroids and sourced from farms with free-range, humane practices.
Their poultry section features chicken, turkey, duck, capon, pheasant, quail, guinea hen, and squab. Their meat and game section features several types of beef, pork, lamb, rabbit, venison, bison, and wild boar. Many proteins are available as ground meat, premade burger patties or sausages, steaks, and loins. You can even find whole lamb, suckling pig, rabbit, and wild birds.
Their site is easy to navigate, with options to shop by cut and/or cooking method. They also offer an extensive collection of free how-to videos and recipes on their site that you can peruse by type of protein, occasion, or course.
Farm Foods partners with farms around the country to source sustainably raised meats. The farms all follow the same philosophy of free-roaming animals, grass or natural feed, and zero hormones, antibiotics, or steroids. Although the bulk of Farm Foods offerings center around beef, poultry, and pork, the company does offer some farmed game meats as well. You’ll find elk, lamb marrow bones, and whole pheasant and duck in its product catalog.
A key feature of the catalog is the ability to shop by farm. You can read about the farmers who raise your meat, watch videos directly from the farm, and have a better sense of where your food is coming from and how it’s produced.
If you’re planning to stock up on game meat, you’ll appreciate that Farm Foods offers free shipping on any order of 10 pounds of meat or more. The usual shipping schedule indicates orders placed by Sunday will most likely be delivered by mid-week.
Fossil Farms partners with over 200 small family farmers to offer a large assortment of animal proteins. The animals this company sources are either hunted in the wild or responsibly raised on farms and frozen for delivery to your doorstep. Fossil Farms promises farmed animals are never given antibiotics, steroids, or hormones.
Originally an ostrich farm, Fossil Farms offers a wide variety of products in its catalog, including bison, venison, and wild boar. If you’re not quite ready to branch out into trying uncommon meats, like alligator, ostrich, or kangaroo (yes, the site has all of those and then some), Fossil Farms also sells more familiar pasture-raised Angus beef, turkey, and chicken. Most proteins are available as whole birds, steaks, ground meats, tenderloins, stew meat, premade burger patties, and sausages to meet a variety of cooking needs.
Fossil Farms also sells sampler packs, which is a great way for newbies to try several new protein sources at once. The starter pack includes alligator tenderloin, squab, duck burgers, venison or bison steak, ostrich steaks, and elk or venison medallions.
If you’re hesitant to try alternative meat sources, bison is a great game meat starting point since its flavor and appearance are similar to equivalent cuts of beef. It’s leaner than traditional beef, though, so cooking times may need to be altered to prevent dry meat.
Omaha Steaks is known for sourcing high-end, grass-fed steaks. While bison is the only game meat currently on offer, it’s available in filet mignon, ribeye steaks, steak tips, or ground burgers. If you’re looking to prepare a special meal with little effort, the site also offers a complete bison filet mignon dinner with two sides and dessert for four people. As a bonus, you can sign up for a subscription to receive regular orders.
iGourmet offers raw game ground meats and steaks, including elk, venison, and rabbit. It also has an extensive selection of prepared jerky and sausages in an assortment of meats and flavors (and not to mention cheese for a one-stop-shop).
Jerky is available in wild boar, ostrich, venison, kangaroo, elk, and alligator, and sausages are available in buffalo, pheasant, rabbit, wild boar, and venison. If you’re new to cooking with game meats, choosing premade sausages can take some of the guesswork out of preparation and seasoning.
If you’re new to game meats, a sampler pack is a great way to try a few protein sources at once without breaking the bank. Cabela’s makes it easy to try and find your favorite flavors with its selection of game steak samplers.
A steak sampler is also a great idea if you’re cooking for people with different tastes, or you could consider throwing a game-tasting cookout. You can find steak cuts from wild boar, venison, elk, bison ribeye, and bison New York strip in one convenient package shipped frozen to your doorstep.
Hunter’s Reserve specializes in portable meats made from responsibly sourced unusual meats. These snacks are perfect for anyone with a busy, active lifestyle who needs individually portioned, high-protein snacks to take on the go.
The company's wild game trail sticks and jerky are lightly smoked, blended with either pork or beef, and available in duck, elk, venison, wild boar, alligator, bison, and pheasant. You can purchase the meat snack sticks in packs of six, and they’re also available in special gift sets—perfect for any hunters in your life.
Broken Arrow Ranch, based out of Texas, offers a variety of combination packages that provide enough game meat to prepare several family-sized meals. Game meat offerings include wild boar, wild and farmed venison, and quail.
You can select your preferred combination pack based on preferred protein (there’s one for venison lovers, for example) or cooking method (there’s a package for grilling). Broken Arrow Ranch also features a collection of free recipes by protein source to help you choose what to cook with all that meat.
Cavendish Game Birds supplies many high-end restaurants around the country with its specially bred quail and pheasant. The quail, in particular, has been bred to be larger and meatier than conventionally raised quail.
You can find the game birds available whole, butterflied, or as familiar poultry cuts, like breasts, legs, and thighs. The site even sells fresh quail eggs. Cavendish Game Birds also offers several tried-and-true recipes for preparing its game birds.
For gourmet venison, bison, and wild boar free of antibiotics and steroids, we recommend D'Artagnan. For fast and free delivery on 10 pounds of meat or more, Farm Foods Market has you covered.
What to Look For When Buying Wild Game Meat
Fat and Protein Content
Because animals in the wild eat a 100-percent natural diet and have active lifestyles, wild game tends to be quite lean. In general, wild game cuts are lower in fat and higher in protein than farm-raised meat. The lesser fat content can make wild game easy to overcook, so be sure to consult recipes specific for the type of meat you’re using.
Other Nutritional Facts
Besides being good sources of lean protein, wild game is also a good source of iron, zinc, and B vitamins.
Hunted or Farmed
Game meats that are farmed are still leaner and usually healthier than conventionally raised animals. These animals are often raised on small family farms, allowed to roam free, consume grass, and are never given antibiotics, hormones, or steroids.
You can consider wild game to be naturally organic since these animals do not consume grain feed and are not given antibiotics, hormones, steroids, or other medications. Most farmed game meat is raised the same way, ensuring a high quality, nutritious end product.
Sharon Lehman is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, author of this roundup, and always “game” to try something new in the kitchen. When it comes to food and nutrition, she advocates for high-quality, sustainably raised food sources, both plant- and animal-based.