I have not eaten elk but mule deer is the best eaten meat I've had to date vs white tail. Same complain of sage but I've noticed it and I live in Bama. To me if you age it a good 5-6 days on ice it's like eating beef. Rump roast and back straps seared on a iron skillet is off the chain good.Beautiful buck, congrats. I love hunting Mule deer. Did you get him spot and stalk or from a blind?