Is freshly killed moose meat good to eat?


Our friend who lived up north and hunted and fished all his life told us that eating a fresh kill is not good for you. We never had a chance to ask him why since he passed away. But much like other things he told us (for example you must aim low whether you are shooting up hill or downhill), he knew what to do or what not to do, but did not know why.
So my question is … is it ok to eat the moose meat in the evening of the kill?

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Jul 03, 2021
by: Frank

Fresh Moose liver and heart are big at my house! Everybody gets in on that, even the mutts, no ones been sick yet.
Fresh Whitetail blackstrap goes straight onto the grill after the kill!

Jan 11, 2012
Thanks for the Warning
by: Mark - Site Owner

Thank you for your warning. It is most unfortunate that you contracted Toxoplasmosis.

According to a study by the University of Georgia Toxoplasma gondii is a microscopic protozoan parasite that is common in humans and many warmblooded animals. Although authorities estimate that 30 to 60% of adults in the U.S. have been infected,the organism rarely causes disease. [...] Adult cases usually are in immunocompromised patients, such as people who have cancer, have received an organ transplant, or have AIDS.
[...]the potential for contracting Toxoplasma by eating venison probably is equivalent to the risk from domestic meats.

Certainly eating fresh venison (not previously frozen) must be taken with a new view. Taking the precaution of freezing the meat for a few weeks to kill the organisms is good advice.

Similar to freezing bear meat to remove the risk of infection of Trichinosis.

Jan 09, 2012
You should never consume fresh venison/moose!
by: Brad

In 2010 I consumed fresh (pink, not rare) venison tenderloin & heart after a deer hunt in my home state of Minnesota, I came down with Acute Ocular Toxoplasmosis.

It took 3 weeks to diagnose and pinpoint the cause After undergoing anti-parasitic treatment for 4 or 5 months, weekly retinologist and infectious disease specialist appointments, I was still left with a scarred retina on my right eye that left me with a blind spot in the middle of my right eye vision (I cannot see the cross hairs in my rifle any more).

I have had to teach myself how to shoot left handed and it is extremely difficult for me to drive at night.

Although my case was rare, and most people that become infected only get flu like symptoms, I would never have risked it again had I known. Google "Toxoplasmosis in Moose" and lots of articles come up.

The only way to prevent it is to cook to 165 degrees (yuck) or to freeze the venison for at least 3-4 days. Both of these will kill the parasites.

Sep 22, 2011
Eat Fresh Moose Meat
by: Mark - Site Owner

Thanks for your question Altan,
I cannot say I have ever heard that freshly killed moose meat is not good for you.

I do know that freshly killed red meat animals will be tougher than that of an animal that has hung in a cooler and aged.

Maybe your friend had heard of this and mistaken though it was then not good for consumption.

I know of many hunters who eat some of their fresh kill every year when hunting... I do not believe any harm would be done.

As a matter of fact we eat some of our moose liver every year at moose camp. This is our most celebrated meal at hunting camp.

If anyone else has heard that there may be something wrong with freshly killed moose meat, we would all like to hear your point of view.

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