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Maui venison reaches across the miles

  • NEW YORK TIMES
                                Maui Nui sells various cuts from Axis deer, and the harvest helps combat erosion that has affected the island’s coral reefs.

    NEW YORK TIMES

    Maui Nui sells various cuts from Axis deer, and the harvest helps combat erosion that has affected the island’s coral reefs.

Areas across the country, even some suburbs, have to deal with growing herds of often unwelcome deer. Count Maui among them. Axis deer, an Asian breed, were introduced for hunting in the mid-1900s, and they still attract the sharp-shooting crowd.

But as their numbers have grown to the tens of thousands, the deer are also considered an invasive menace, not just on the roads, but for the way they denude the landscape of vegetation, causing erosion and water runoff that can damage coral reefs.

Maui Nui turns them into dinner. Across the island, it harvests wild deer at night so the animals are supposedly less stressed, and uses a mobile slaughtering facility. Now various cuts of venison, frozen, in preset combinations that include succulent racks, medallions, strip loins, stew meat for a nice braise and ground venison can be shipped to customers across the United States.

The meat is mild-tasting, slightly beefy and tender. It’s also very lean, so add some slab bacon to your stew and plenty of olive oil to the ragu. The company’s bone broth is delicious.

Maui Nui venison is sold at Oahu farmers markets through Forage Hawaii, or order via mauinuivenison.com.

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