Black Bear

Black bear meat is often received by mixed reactions. Some people assume that the meat is less nutritious, unpalatable, and potentially harmful. But, those who’ve tried this exotic meat can agree that black bear meat is in a league of its own

Actually, man has hunted the black bear since time immemorial. Russian, European, and North American natives hunted it for meat, while American settlers hunted it for fat which they used as cooking oil.

The meat has an underlying sweetness that anyone can fall in love with, and it’s loaded with proteins, vitamins, and other essential nutrients. So, if you have thought that consuming black bear meat is unethical, you ought to change your perception right now.

What Does Black Bear Meat Taste Like?

The taste of black bear meat depends on the animal’s diet, as well as the season it was hunted down.

– The bear’s diet:

Black bears that feed on wild berries, fruits, and other kinds of succulent vegetation taste the best. Their meat has minty texture, and autumnal flavors that you can hardly find in beef. It tastes more like venison.

On the other hand, black bears that feed on salmon taste like a fresh oyster. However, their meat leaves behind a fishy aftertaste which many people dislike. Thus, you will need plenty of spices to mask the fishy aftertaste.

Whatever your preferences might be, we can all agree that no one wants to consume the meat of dumpster bears— those that scavenge for food in dumpsters. Why? Their meat might be toxic, weird tasting, and less nutritious.

– Season the black bear is slaughtered:

In spring, black bears can hardly find enough berries and fruits to help them regain the body fat, muscles, and nutrients they lost while hibernating. They primarily feed on young vegetation. As such, their meat has a mild taste with little or no fat.

Come fall, black bears will have plenty of berries, corn in countryside farms, and a variety of vegetation to feed on. Their meat will have a strong and pleasant flavor, loads of nutrients, and generous deposits of fat. Therefore, fall would be an ideal season to harvest this rare exotic meat.

Connoisseurs of bear meat recommend consuming it after one week as its flavor gets stronger with age. However, you should refrain from hanging the quarters to age since bear fat gets rancid quickly. Freeze or can your meat if you wish to enjoy its flavor after the said one week.

Is Black Bear Meat Healthy? The Nutritional Profile of Black Bear Meat:

In line with Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game, a 100-gram slab of Black Bear meat contains 20.1% proteins, 8.3% fat, and 163 calories. Additionally, black bear meat contains lots of vitamins, and essential minerals like iron, copper, manganese, selenium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, and fluoride.

Nutrition-wise, black bear meat is as nutritive as venison, boar, duck, and lean meat. It is packed with all the nutrients one would need to keep their health on top shape.

Unlike meat from domesticated animals, black bear meat is free of pesticides, herbicides, and growth hormones. Also, this nutritious exotic meat is free of growth hormones and antibiotics. It is 100% organic.

Is Black bear meat legal in the United States?

Yes, black bear meat is legal in the United States. However, each state has its unique restrictions on regards to the type of bear to hunt, and the number of bears one can kill in a year. For instance, in many states, it is illegal to shoot at cubs or a sow accompanied by cubs.

Before you start hunting these animals, you will need a license. And since game licensing laws vary from state to state, you will need to get a valid license for the specific state you wish to hunt down black bears.

About The Black Bear

The Black Bear is a native to North America. This exotic animal has a shaggy black coat. However, some black bears have a yellow-brown or dark brown coat. Today, they are estimated to be at 600,000 Black Bears in North America.

Fully grown females weigh up to 175 pounds, while their male counterparts weigh 400 pounds. When standing on all fours, adult black bears are 3 feet high, and 5–7 feet long from head to tail.

These exotic meat animals live in forested areas with an abundance of nuts, succulent vegetation, and fruits. During winter, they can hibernate for months without eating, excreting, and drinking.

Primarily, black bears feed on herbs, grass, shoots, berries, honey, nuts, insects, roots, fruits and seeds. Furthermore, the bears can eat salmon fish and other small animals. They are omnivorous.

Cooking Black Bear Meat

If you’re interested in how to cook Black Bear meat, fret not. Several online resources can walk you through the process of making a savory bear stew, kebabs, bear sausage, and bear pot roast.

Furthermore, the online resources can help you make Italian bear sausage breakfast burrito, tamales, breaded bear backstraps, tacos, Italian bear steak chunks, shredded bear, or bear burgers.

However, at the basic minimum, you should know that bear meat cooks just like pork—cook it slowly at 375°F for about 20-25 minutes or until your meat is well done.

It is worth noting that black bear meat might contain trichinella, a parasite that is commonly found in omnivorous animals like pigs and boars. If ingested, this nasty parasite causes diarrhea and vomiting. Unmanaged trichinosis can lead to life-threatening conditions like meningitis, myocarditis, encephalitis, and or pneumonia.

While trichinosis sounds like a health threat, it shouldn’t scare you from trying out this rare delicacy. You can easily eliminate the parasite by cooking your meat at the recommended 365 degrees Fahrenheit. A meat thermometer would be your savior here.

Where to buy Black Bear Meat

You don’t have to be a licensed bear hunter to enjoy the delicious and nutritious black bear meat. You can readily get fresh cuts from stores that sell exotic meats. In America, you can get your meat from our trusted partner, Steaks and Game, the number one supplier of exotic and non-exotic meats. You will get 10% off when you buy through our site!

Black Bear Meat- The complete FAQ guide.

How much does black bear meat cost?

According to Czimer’s published prices, centre-cut Black Bear steaks are priced around $18.9. The price tends to be high since the supply for this exotic delicacy is tight. Why? Bears aren’t tame.

How much meat can I get from a mature black bear?

According to experienced bear butchers, you will end up with about 40-50 pounds from a mature black bear weighing 200-250 pounds. The estimate is made after eliminating the bear’s skin, fat, innards, legs, bones, and head. Spring bears tend to yield more meat than fall bears since their meat is leaner.

What are the tastiest parts of a black bear?

Ideally, we would not point out one part as superior to others. But, there are specific parts of a black bear that are suitable for making various delicacies.

If you wish to make savory meatloaves or spaghetti sauces, the chuck (meat from the black bear’s neck) would be the best part to go for. The meat tends to be tough, but flavorful enough to let you make various ground meat delicacies.

Ribs, especially the short ones, are a great part for grilling. They have a surprising amount of lean meat. Grill them in steady temperatures to make incredibly luscious, deep golden brown cuts that everyone loves.

Backstraps and Back quarters:
A black bear’s backstraps and back quarters contain a generous amount of lean and tender meat, ideal for jerkies. However, since bear meat is prone to trichinosis, we suggest that you fry your jerkies instead of drying and salting them.

Upper portions of back quarters
Foodies who love oven roasts should go for the black bear’s upper portions of back quarters. The quarters have lots of tender meat which cooks slowly to form a delicious melt-in-your-mouth delicacy. The upper portions of back quarters have fewer tough connective tissues.

What is the best way to preserve bear meat?

Bear fat spoils quickly, thereby giving your precious exotic meat an unpleasant rancid taste. Given that, you should always preserve your meat in proper storage conditions, lest you end up dumping it all.

Seasoned bear meat connoisseurs recommend that you trim the fat deposits on your bear meat as soon as you skin it. Afterwards, cut the meat into sizeable slices, keep them in vacuum steal bags, and then freeze them.

Is black bear meat poisonous?

Well-cooked black bear meat isn’t poisonous. Actually, it is free of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, hormones, and other potentially harmful compounds associated with inorganic domesticated animals.

However, raw or under-cooked bear meat might have trichinella spirallis or Toxoplasma gondii, pathogenic parasites that cause life-threatening conditions. But, you shouldn’t dread consuming this meat as cooking in high temperatures destroys the parasites.

Besides cooking, you can destroy the trichinella larvae by freezing your meat at -10 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 30 days. Note that salting, smoking, and microwaving will not destroy the parasite.