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Thread: Bear Meat?

  1. Default Bear Meat?

    My grandfather, my father, and I have been thinking about doing a bear hunt. We are thinking about grabbing an over the counter tag. Pretty much all of this thinking to grab a tag or no, comes down to the meat. Has anybody eaten bear? Or what can you guys say about bear meat. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Just make sure you cook it well done. I've had some Black bear meat from a friend's bear. All I can say is that it's edible...not great or even good IMO...but edible. Your mileage may vary.

  3. #3

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    Bear meat is good if you know how to cook it, we do everything with it but most of it used for jerkey, everyone loves bear jerkey.

  4. #4
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    I've had steaks and one smoked roast off of a couple different bears and the meat was excellent! That smoked roasts was one of the best wild game meals I have ever had! I have heard that depending on what they have been eating it might be not so good too! Making sausage and jerky is one way to cover that for sure.

  5. #5

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    I have gotten a couple bears fro CO. Everything has to do with what they have eaten. If they have eaten a bunch of nuts, pinons and berries it will be good. If they are eating rotten meat then not as good. I get mine made into breakfast sausage, roast and pepperoni sticks. My whole family likes it. Be careful cooking it. In sausage no matter how long you cook it a patty will still be reddish in the middle, so you tend to overcook it at first. Check with meat thermometer.

  6. #6
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    I always heard never use bear for jerky because of trichanosis concerns. Or some sort of pathogen. Most people race about the roasts or sausage/balogna.
    Self proclaimed Founder, President, and Spiritual Leader of the I.S.V.F......Introduce Speedgoats to Virginia Foundation

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    YUK, Horrible

  8. #8

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    Bear meat is outstanding as long as you cook it in a way that tenderizes it. Stew, roast, burger and canned are my favorite uses. Trim away as much fat as you can and as mentioned don't eat it pink.

  9. #9
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    I talked with randy about this at the nra show. I shot one in nc and the only way I had to cook it was in roasts. It tasted just like beef to my wife and I but we like our steaks rare. Randy said he sends samples out to the local college for testing and if it comes back negative then he cooks it like everything else. Don't hesitate to go one the hunt. If your successful you'll have plenty of time to find good recipes for it

  10. #10

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    I shot a black bear in WI last fall. The meat was very good and I would describe it as somewhere between beef and pork. IMO it was better than venison.

    I had steaks, roasts, and breakfast sausage.

    I think you should buy a tag and go try to get a bear.

  11. #11

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    It's fantastic. One of my favorite meats. Anybody who says they don't like bear meat probably effed it up, either by not getting it cooled off quickly in the field (spring hunts make this challenging, but still very doable), or cooking it improperly.

  12. Default

    Like said it depends what they eat. Usually spring bears are more of a wildcard so they become sausage and smokies. Best bear I ever had was shot mid October just prior to them denning up and he had been feasting on oats and berries all fall. Delicious. Makes sure you get all the fat off.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poke 'Em View Post
    It's fantastic. One of my favorite meats. Anybody who says they don't like bear meat probably effed it up, either by not getting it cooled off quickly in the field (spring hunts make this challenging, but still very doable), or cooking it improperly.
    I've only eaten fall black bears...all of them have been chowing down on blueberries in the tundra.
    They all have been excellent.

    Do you find much of a difference between spring and fall bear meat?

  14. #14
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    We make pot roast bear, smoked bear roast, chorizo sausage, Italian sausage, and summer sausage with our bear meat. My favorite is salsa put in a crock pot with a bear roast cooking slow all day long for shredded bear burritos (bearittos)
    The Bears we have ate were spring bears. Good luck this fall.
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  15. #15

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    I've have had it a couple different ways, a roast slow cooked with an acidic base is the best. Sausage is a crap shoot and depends on who makes it. I definitely agree on what they have been eating comments. I shot one behind a city dump in Canada and it tasted like a dump. No matter what we tried it was inedible. Might as well of just eaten spoonfuls of grease out of the drain trap at Dairy Queen. That one became cat food and fermented trapline bait. The ones we have eaten from Northern MI where they had a natural diet were completely different. Good luck on your hunt

  16. #16
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    The secret to good bear meat is this- As soon as you kill it get is gutted, skinned and as much of the fat off of it as you can as quickly as you can, then get it cooled down fast! if you leave the hide and fat on it and it cools slow the fat does something to taint the meat. If you do that you should have some good eating, for the guys saying yuck they will probably see this and say oh ya, we hung our bear like a deer, thus tainting the meat.... Try this you have nothing to loose, you might find out bear meat is actually pretty good!!!!

  17. #17

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    We make sausage out of it and roasts. The roasts we make into pastrami or corn them like corn beef. The fat we render down for lard my wife cooks and bakes with it.

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    A good bear is delicious. But like others have said, their diet is super important. I've never had one that I would consider to taste bad and the last one my daughter shot was amont the best wild meat I have ever eaten.

  19. #19

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    To each his own, if you like bear meat good for you, I don't care for it, don't much care for goose either, all wild meat is not created equal in my opinion. Probably the worst I've ever ate was mountain goat, but I'll continue to hunt waterfowl, bear and mountain goat (if I ever draw another permit) and eat the meat.

  20. #20

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    Quality of game meat depends on how it was taken care of after harvesting, in my opinion it is the biggest thing how it is going to taste, and second, dont try to compare game meat with pork and chicken purchased at store.

  21. #21
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    I'll let you know... Shot my first bear this spring and haven't had a bite sadly. I got it home cut up and put in the freezer then life resumed. I saved the back hams for the rinella cured smoked ham. Looks and straps for steak and front shoulders for some kind of sauce like el unit showed.

  22. #22
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    There are still some good things you can do even with having to cook the meat well done, and still keeping it moist. Green chili tacos that Randy H did one year at bear camp were amazing. He cooked the meat, then simmered it in chili verde for a long time to tenderize the meat and cook it to temp. Gerald cooked a roast overnight on low heat in wine and beef stock with veggies and that was amazing and tender. I've done BBQ pulled bear roasts in the slow cooker and it was amazing. I've smoked a roast after brining it in apple cider. I've done stew a couple of times and the meat was tender after a long cook. I ground some and added pork and made red chili. Bear meatloaf was good, as were bear meatballs and sauce.

    There's all sorts of things you can do with bear meat...just be a little creative
    Last edited by JohnCushman; 08-13-2017 at 12:33 PM.
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  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossbowguy View Post
    The secret to good bear meat is this- As soon as you kill it get is gutted, skinned and as much of the fat off of it as you can as quickly as you can, then get it cooled down fast! if you leave the hide and fat on it and it cools slow the fat does something to taint the meat. If you do that you should have some good eating, for the guys saying yuck they will probably see this and say oh ya, we hung our bear like a deer, thus tainting the meat.... Try this you have nothing to loose, you might find out bear meat is actually pretty good!!!!
    That's why I couldn't figure out why that bear meat wasn't much good. We skinned it for a rug. Gutted it, quartered it and had the meat in a cooler with ice within an hour/hour and a half. It wasn't unseasonably warm. I guess after reading the comments that this bear had a less than wholesome diet.

  24. Default

    Bear meat has the tendency to be chewy compared to other wild games. I found out that when doing roasts, instead of cooking it for 2-3 hours to get it to a safe temperature it works best to cook 6-8 hours on lower heat. (@ 225-250 degrees) There is a lot of connective tissue that holds the muscle fibers together that melts and breaks down with longer cooking times and ensures that your roasts are tender instead of "bouncy" and chewy.
    Most of the bears I have eaten have been spring bears and haven't had a lot of fat. The one fall bear I had was quite fat and it was delicious. IMO, if you take good care of the meat and cool it quickly that's all you can do to ensure it tastes good. If it's been eating trash and dead carcasses it probably isn't going to taste good. I don't know that I've ever heard of anyone complaining about the taste of a bear that was fat from huckleberries.

  25. #25

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    we make Italian sausage every year out of ours its great and you would have no idea its bear meat. Make sure to cut off all fat and add pork fat and or pork meat. We usually buy pork butts or shoulders and mix in with it, as the meat itself is very lean. Way to may people confuse bear meat as being greasy, the fat on the outside is very greasy and it should never make it to your table. The meat itself once trimmed is not fatty or greasy.

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