Side Effects of Eating Deer Meat (Venison): Gas, Poop + More

Deer meat is favored by many people because its meat is considered healthy due to the deer’s plant-based diet. However, are there any side effects that you should worry about when consuming it? Deer meat …

Raw venison meat

Deer meat is favored by many people because its meat is considered healthy due to the deer’s plant-based diet. However, are there any side effects that you should worry about when consuming it?

Deer meat or venison is a delicious and safe meat to eat and doesn’t really have negative side effects if it’s been handled, stored, and prepared properly. The only time it’s not safe is if it has been contaminated and if the meat has been caught in the wild using lead bullets.

So, will deer meat cause gas, and is it harder to digest than other types of meat? Discover the answers below!

Does Deer Meat Give You Gas?

There is no current literature on deer meat or venison causing gas. This might be experienced by some people who have gastrointestinal issues or because protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates, as also discussed below. 

Why Does Eating Deer Meat Make Me Poop?

You might have heard that some people who ate deer meat or venison had an upset stomach, diarrhea, or frequent trips to the toilet. This made others think twice before buying one. 

Most of the time, this shouldn’t be the case when you buy venison from grocery stores or supermarkets. They have undergone strict handling and storage to ensure food safety. What gets a bad reputation for possibly causing gastrointestinal irritation is deer meat that’s been field-dressed or field-processed.

Wild game meat, as it’s popularly called, has a higher risk of getting contaminated because it is handled right after being caught in the wild. And in the wild, factors like the surface of a table, cutting tools, dirt, and fecal material from gutting the deer can contaminate the carcass (source: Spectrum Health).

Also, when cooking, the deer meat should reach the minimum internal temperature of 145 °F (62.8 °C). If cooked as stews, soups, stews, casseroles, and leftovers, it should reach 165 °F (73.9 °C) (source: University of Minnesota Extension: Cooking venison for flavor and safety).

But what about eating venison raw or pink? Safety is a crucial factor to consider when consuming venison in its raw or undercooked state.

grilled deer meat pink

Proper handling and storage of deer meat will help prevent contamination, and therefore prevent diseases.

Is Venison Hard to Digest? 

The reason why venison can be hard to digest is that, apart from purine, it is also high in protein. Protein takes more time to be digested than carbohydrates. 

Another reason is that a person might have trouble digesting venison. It can be because of some health issues in the gastrointestinal tract or the production of compounds that help digest protein.

Can Venison Give You Gout? 

The association with gout and venison or deer meat may likely stem from venison being red meat. Red meats are high in purine (source: CDC). Purine can trigger gout attacks.

Eating a large amount of venison meat can increase the chances of gout attacks recurring in people with gouts. Minimizing or avoiding food high in purine, especially red meat and in this case meat from deer, can help lower the risk of a gout attack (source: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases).

Venison alone won’t give you gout, but it will increase the risk of gout recurring. 

Other Side Effects of Eating Venison 

If you have deer meat or venison that’s been caught in the wild by shooting, it might contain lead. You have to ask first if the bullet or bullets used contained lead. 

Research shows that 30 White Tail Deer carcasses shot by hunters using lead bullets were revealed to have a broad dispersion of the metal fragment. 

The meat from the carcasses was made into ground meat and observed through fluoroscopy. It revealed that only 20% did not contain lead. 

Raw venison meat

Another experiment was done by feeding the meat to pigs, for which their blood tests showed bioavailable lead (source: Lead Bullet Fragments in Venison from Rifle-Killed Deer: Potential for Human Dietary Exposure). 

Ingestion of too much lead can lead to hypertension and problems in the brain, kidney, and reproductive system. The symptoms you will experience in lead poisoning are stomach cramps, constipation, headache, joint/muscle pain, fatigue, irritability, and diminished sex drive (source: NYC Health). 

We recommend asking if the wild deer meat has been shot using a lead bullet. If it has, we recommend not purchasing it, especially if you have kids and plan on preparing the meat for the whole family. 

If it has and you’ve already ingested it without knowing it, the best thing to do is to call for professional help. 

Apart from this, food poisoning can also be the cause of the aforementioned mild symptoms, such as headache and stomach upset.

Venison can be made into many delicious dishes, but you have to make sure it has been handled, processed, and stored well, as well as it shouldn’t be shot with a lead bullet if it has been caught in the wild. 

We hope you found this article helpful!