Mathews Inc.
Bear meat
Bears
Contributors to this thread:
buckeye 07-Aug-23
Starfire 07-Aug-23
fuzzy 07-Aug-23
BoggsBowhunts 07-Aug-23
Nick Muche 07-Aug-23
Zbone 08-Aug-23
Foxwillkill 08-Aug-23
Nick Muche 08-Aug-23
Ace 08-Aug-23
smarba 08-Aug-23
buckeye 08-Aug-23
Corax_latrans 08-Aug-23
bluedog 08-Aug-23
EJG 08-Aug-23
bluedog 08-Aug-23
Corax_latrans 08-Aug-23
Ace 08-Aug-23
huntnmuleys 08-Aug-23
KsRancher 08-Aug-23
bluedog 08-Aug-23
IdyllwildArcher 08-Aug-23
Rgiesey 09-Aug-23
Corax_latrans 09-Aug-23
pav 09-Aug-23
grape 09-Aug-23
buckeye 09-Aug-23
carcus 09-Aug-23
fuzzy 09-Aug-23
EJG 09-Aug-23
ahunter76 09-Aug-23
Stix 09-Aug-23
APauls 09-Aug-23
arlone 09-Aug-23
Buffalo1 09-Aug-23
WV Mountaineer 09-Aug-23
Woodsnut 10-Aug-23
huntr4477 10-Aug-23
8point 10-Aug-23
carcus 10-Aug-23
shade mt 10-Aug-23
M.Pauls 17-Aug-23
Bohunr 19-Aug-23
Stix 21-Aug-23
fuzzy 21-Aug-23
Keith 21-Aug-23
Stix 21-Aug-23
Helgermite 22-Aug-23
Trial153 25-Aug-23
Twinetickler 29-Aug-23
Poppy 29-Aug-23
gutthooked 30-Aug-23
Juancho 31-Aug-23
Huntiam 31-Aug-23
longbowguy 31-Aug-23
From: buckeye
07-Aug-23
With the recent bear threads it's got me thinking about planning a bear hunt at some point in the next year or so...I've never had bear meat, how would you describe it's flavor? And is a spring bear any different than a fall bear in regards to flavor? I'd imagine it would be just because of the difference in diet. I've had raccoon before and if bear taste similar, don't know that I'd care for it. They are both omnivores but different critters also. I know taste buds are subjective and if I do wind up with a bear one day, I will eat the whole thing whether I like it or not.

From: Starfire
07-Aug-23
My wife loves bear more than venison. It is a sweeter meat and some have described it as a cross between beef and pork. One problem with Bear is a lot of people over cook it. They are concerned about trichinosis and I get that. The trick is to use a thermometer because bear can retain a reddish color that makes it look under done. The CDC used to say 150 kills trichinosis and recommended cooking to 160 to account for differences in thermometers and variance throughout the meat. They now say 145 will kill trichinosis so 160 is plenty good.

What I like about bear is it is a great platform for spices. It make great burger for sloppy joes, chili and spaghetti. When my phone gets charged I will share a pic of a bear roast I did on the pellet grill that was absolutely fantastic.

One thing about bears is they got a bad rap because years ago they would visit local dumps and eat garbage. We used to go out to the town dump and watch bears when we vacation up northern Minnesota. Most dumps are now a thing of the past, replaced by transfer stations that take garbage to a landfill that requires a fence and daily cover. So a bears diet mostly consists of insect larvae and berry's not rotten garbage like most people think. There is not comparison to coon, I had it once and never again.

From: fuzzy
07-Aug-23
Dark and rich like beef, subcutaneous fat like pork. Cook low and slow.

07-Aug-23
I brought a roast to a church wild game dinner, just cooked it like a beef brisket in a smoker, I had old ladies coming up to me saying “I would have never thought I’d have ever ate a bear and especially enjoy it, but that was GREAT!”

Unfortunately I ground a lot of mine up, wish I would’ve roasted everything

From: Nick Muche
07-Aug-23

Nick Muche's embedded Photo
Nick Muche's embedded Photo
I make brats, breakfast sausage, and summer sausage out of the bulk of it and carnitas with the backstraps.

From: Zbone
08-Aug-23
Best meatloaf I ever ate was bearloaf prepared by an outfitters wife in Montana...

From: Foxwillkill
08-Aug-23
There is a reason Alaska only considers bear edible before June 1st. Once they start eat root fish and so on the taste goes down hill in a hurry. When offered bear meat, my first question is when was it taken. In the fall , I say no thanks. In the spring it is great.

From: Nick Muche
08-Aug-23
Fox, that makes zero sense. Fall bears have incredible meat. Nice try though.

From: Ace
08-Aug-23
After Moose it's my favorite* game meat. *Edit (just got back from RSA) My favorite North American game meat.

I have heard the part about fish eating bears being inedible, but have never tried one. I have had both spring AND fall bears, they all taste the same to me.

Also, The rendered fat makes a great cooking oil, and incredible soap, so you're able to use more of the animal than most other game if that matter to you.

Nick, do grizzlies taste different that Black Bears?

From: smarba
08-Aug-23
I think Fox is referring to bears eating rotten salmon along rivers, which I've also heard can make bear meat nearly inedible. However, the vast majority of black bears aren't feeding on rotted salmon, so fall bear meat should be no different, perhaps even better than spring bear, given the variety of berries, nuts, acorns, crops, etc. available in the fall.

From: buckeye
08-Aug-23
You fellers are making me hungry!

08-Aug-23
So is there anything to be concerned about beyond trichinosis?

My curiosity extends only to CO Black bears at this point, so please indicate if you are speaking to something else.

I don’t mind learning, but definitely need to know what I NEED to know….

From: bluedog
08-Aug-23
In Arizona late summer the bears come down to lower ground to feast on prickly pear fruit. Had meat from 2 of these bears and rate it extremely high.

I've had meat from a couple Minnesota bears, the fall killed one was decent. The one from spring was inedible almost.... took near a bottle of ketchup to choke down a piece. Suspect maybe the brothers that killed it may have hauled it around showing it off too long however.

It had been early spring raiding the bee hives on a farm and the boys went out and killed it for the farmer.

From: EJG
08-Aug-23
when i was in NB it seemed like there was not much love for bear meat? Does something about the bear meat in that region make it less edible ?

Can people vouch for the bear meat from NB being good and on par with other regions.

Doesn't make any sense to me it wouldn't be just as good as other places?

From: bluedog
08-Aug-23
Maybe kinda interesting to you guys... back around the time, or a few years before, when the bee hive raiding bear was killed... Minnesota had a bounty on them. Think it was $50 on bears and $15 on wolves (Maybe the other way around)

08-Aug-23
I guess it’s the bounties and the resulting very low populations that gave them such a rep for elusiveness…. Because that’s not so much a problem with them around here. They’re turning into park-pond ducks…

From: Ace
08-Aug-23
New Brunswick bears are delicious, I have eaten a bunch of it. Perhaps you are referring to how the locals react to it? ... maybe one of our Northern neighbors can chime in on why so many Canadians seem to hate bear meat, and why in some places almost no locals hunt for them themselves.

From: huntnmuleys
08-Aug-23
Slow cooked bear roast is absolutely one of my faves!

From: KsRancher
08-Aug-23
Hopefully get to try bear this year. My son has a 1st season rifle elk. If he tags out in good time then he wants to buy a bear tag a try for one. My dad has a 4th season rifle elk. I might grab a bear tag and take the .44mag Ruger Blackhawk and give it a whirl

From: bluedog
08-Aug-23
My brother thinks the bounty on bears in Minnesota was repealed in 1965. Seems about right to my memory.

08-Aug-23
I posted this on the other thread, then saw this thread about bear meat so I'll post it here too:

One great way to cook them is to cut the meat into 3 inch cubes then slow cook in chicken broth in the crock pot for 5 hours, then deep fry the cooked meat in lard till its crispy on the outside, but still moist on the inside. This is one of the traditional ways to make "carnitas" and it does wonders for bear meat and is an amazing recipe for bear tacos.

From: Rgiesey
09-Aug-23
Our family likes bear meat. Have had some I didn’t like.

09-Aug-23
Not sure I could get my GP to sign off on the deep-fried, but does sound tempting.

And 5 hours oughtta kill about ANYTHING…..

From: pav
09-Aug-23
I've only arrowed one black bear in my life...spot and stalk on an Alaskan salmon stream in late August. While Alaska is very strict when it comes to wanton waste, the state does not require removal of black bear meat from salmon stream units after June 1st.

We did bring out the meat on that hunt...and attempted to eat some of it while on the boat. That was a BAD idea! Ended up donating the meat to a local man that processed the meat into some type of edible sausage and then donated the sausage to homeless shelters.

To be clear, I have eaten some very good bear meat at wild game cookouts...but bear meat taken from summer/fall salmon streams should definitely be avoided IMO.

From: grape
09-Aug-23
I’ve eaten some terrible beef, chicken, fish, pork, venison, and whatever else. There is usually a reason why…..The point being, all these foods need to be taken care of properly from the time of kill until consumption. Bear meat is no different. When it is done right, it is awesome.

From: buckeye
09-Aug-23
Well the yays definitely outweigh the nays on this survey.. I once shot some long nose gar and asked the locals standing nearby if they were any good to eat,, "aw no thems trash fish" they said , so I reluctantly hauled them back and filleted them anyway despite the bad news... Apparently them folks had never eaten a gar, best freshwater fish I'd ever had, moral of the story is, try it for yourself before leaving it for the coyote... That said, don't think opossum or carp will ever find their way across my dinner table.

Thanks for all the replies gents Dan

From: carcus
09-Aug-23
I had 2 bears out of the last 20 that didn't taste great, both were ancient, no teeth left, but both were shot in crazy hot weather and and last light so I left both overnight, I'm not sure if it was age or the meat was starting to spoil?

From: fuzzy
09-Aug-23
Buckeye I had the same experience with bowfin

From: EJG
09-Aug-23
when i was in NB it seemed like there was not much love for bear meat? Does something about the bear meat in that region make it less edible ?

Can people vouch for the bear meat from NB being good and on par with other regions.

Doesn't make any sense to me it wouldn't be just as good as other places?

From: ahunter76
09-Aug-23
I've taken Spring & fall Bears & large Boars. All were delicious. I use it the same as beef. Fall Bear was a "lot" of fat trimming. Canada & Minnesota Bears.

From: Stix
09-Aug-23
Rich, Dark, Thick. I cut my roast into cubes, season with olive oil, seasoned salt, pepper. Than perforate it with a tenderized to sink seasoning into meat. Then into the crockpot. Comes out like filet mignon

From: APauls
09-Aug-23
The rumour mill is that bear is so bad you can’t eat it. Manitoba laws don’t even require you to take the meat. Old habits

From: arlone
09-Aug-23
My experience is limited to a fall bear that was only two and a half years old. I used most of it in soup and pot roasts. Did not care for "steak", but probably didn't know how to fix it. My soups and roasts were delicious. I think maybe age might have something to do with bear meat? As for Minnesota, I do not ever remember a bounty on bears. They were considered varmints with no protection. Maybe some counties offered a bounty as they do for pocket gophers?

From: Buffalo1
09-Aug-23
I found the texture to be a lot like goat meat. Definitely greasy. The meat stinks to me while cooking.

Taste depends on the bear’s diet- if it has been eating fish it is not really good. If it has been feeding on berries and mast it is good flavor.

I’m basing my experiences on bears I have killed.

09-Aug-23
It’s excellent meat.

I used to think I knew how to cook it. Until I learned how to cook it.

It makes excellent sausages and roasts. Just get it cooled as quickly as possible.

From: Woodsnut
10-Aug-23
I am going bear hunting in September. Only got few packages of last years bear- I like it just as good as or better than deer

From: huntr4477
10-Aug-23
I've had meat from several Quebec spring bears and it's definitely near the top of my list of favorite game meats. It makes the best stew.

10-Aug-23

Ricky The Cabel Guy's Link

From: 8point
10-Aug-23
Nothing like a fat mountain bear feeding on blue berries. A friend claimed you can't beat bare fat for cooking, especially for frying donuts.

From: carcus
10-Aug-23
"The rumour mill is that bear is so bad you can’t eat it. Manitoba laws don’t even require you to take the meat. Old habits" They need to change that, so wrong

From: shade mt
10-Aug-23
WV mountaineer , nailed it...."Just get it cooled as quickly as possible."

we really like it, but my dad shot one that was just under 600lbs (he's shot 2 over 500) that thing had so much fat, and it was warm, till they got it out of the mt, and to a check station it got pretty timely.....that thing wasn't fit to eat.

His second big bear, was terrific......all the other ones we have got were smaller average size bears, and also all terrific eating.

From: M.Pauls
17-Aug-23
Bear is a favourite in our house. Elk is still first and moose second but bear is up there. My wife treats that fat like gold. We render it down, I’ve even deep fried fish in it. So good. Couple months ago when hosting men’s ministry here at our house, I smoked a beef brisket and a whole bear hind. Briskets have pretty well always gone well for me, but this one just wasn’t 100% for some reason. I’d say a solid 90%. The bear got hit harder than the brisket and was the talk of the town. These were all non-hunting men eating bear for the first time.

From: Bohunr
19-Aug-23
First bear I ever killed I had the hams and loins smoked. Took one of the hams to our family Christmas dinner. Glazed it in honey. When everybody got done with it there was only a femur bone left and I swear there were tooth marks on that.

From: Stix
21-Aug-23
You didnt ask but since I always seem to have alot of ground wild game burger, here is a recipe that works for bear and all other ground as well. It's been in the family for at least 3 generations:

RECIPE Wild Game Meatloaf

Works well with ground elk, deer, bear, pronghorn. Haven't tried it on any other game. A delicious way to use up all your ground. Recipe is for 2lbs ground, adjust for lower/higher amounts.

Break up 2lbs of ground wild game in a large mixing bowl. Add each of the following ingedients individually, mixing each thoroughly before adding next.

1 tbsp seasoned salt, 2 tbsp ground pepper, 2 tbsp oregano, 1 tbsp olive oil, HALF cup italian breadcrumbs, HALF jar of chunky pasta sauce, 1.5 cups of chopped fresh mushrooms.

After mixing concoction thouroughly, place in appropriate sized meatloaf (pyrex) pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 375° for 70 minutes. After 60 minutes uncover pan and cook uncovered for remaining 10 minutes. Optional add 2 slices of pepperjack cheese for final uncovered 10 minutes.

It will be the best meatloaf you've ever tasted. Even those who 'don't like wild game' will leave satisfied.

From: fuzzy
21-Aug-23
Stix that sounds great. Bear meat makes the best chili ever too.

From: Keith
21-Aug-23
What's the 1/2 jar of chunky pasta sauce? Is that about 1 cup?

From: Stix
21-Aug-23
Approx 12oz. The jars I buy are typically 24oz.

From: Helgermite
22-Aug-23
Just finished the best bear roast ever. Browned both sides in a skillet with olive oil. Removed roast and deglazed the pan with onions, carrots, mushrooms, hidden valley ranch seasoning, McCormick Au Ju seasoning, McCormick Hearty beef seasoning, and 15 oz can of tomato sauce plus 1/2 can of water (rinsed sides of can). Simmered for 5 minutes. Then put the roast with all the contents from the skillet poured on top in the crockpot for 8 hrs. Turned a less than choice cut into "melt in your mouth" meal! Served over rice but could also use mashed potatoes.

From: Trial153
25-Aug-23
I have never had a bad black bear yet, spring or fall.

From: Twinetickler
29-Aug-23

Twinetickler's embedded Photo
Twinetickler's embedded Photo
One of our favorites. It doesn't get much better imo.

From: Poppy
29-Aug-23
Buckeye, I’m from Ohio to. Had the chance to bear hunt up in Canada and was able to harvest a nice 300lb bear. At Christmas Eve that year made a venison roast and bear roast in crockpot and the bear was easily the favorite. The gar like you said is excellent, but don’t underestimate carp! If cleaned and cooked properly, it’s very good. Don’t know about raccoon, only raised them as pets .

From: gutthooked
30-Aug-23
That bear I got 2 years ago had so many worms in it, I'll never eat another bite of bear meat. When I gutted it it had several hundred worms around as a pencil and 3-10" long crawling all over inside of it.

From: Juancho
31-Aug-23
Very good eating meat. Is like a sweet kind of beef . My friends like it more than venison in general. Racoon , would be my last ditch resource in a true survival situation. I think I'll try coyote first. A favorite at home is porcupine. We love it

From: Huntiam
31-Aug-23
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From: longbowguy
31-Aug-23
If your meat has big fat worms in it, don't eat it, even if it is prime beef. If not, most game meat is cleaner than commercial meat, and all organic. With any meat from any source give it a good look and a sniff check. Even from Safeway may not be as safe as you like. Read the lable for the chemical additives.

We have to check things out and be smart about it. I recommend smart. - lbg

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