While you may be an avid carnivore, bear may be meat that has eluded you. Popular with hunters, bear meat hasn’t quite made it to the average dinner table yet. That said, you might still be curious about how it tastes.
Overall, bear meat tastes similar to venison although it has more sweetness to it. However, depending on the season the bear was hunted it can have different tastes and textures. In addition, the diet of the bear can also alter its taste.
Venison generally refers to elk or deer and has a gamey, rich, earthy flavor. It often tastes of things like acorns and herbs that the animal ate prior to being hunted. It’s less juicy and more lean than beef.
It’s illegal for hunters to sell bear meat from kills, but it’s legal to trade, barter, or give it away. If you’re interested in trying bear meat, it might be best to make friends with some woodsmen.
Season of Bear
Generally speaking, there are two seasons for bears, spring, and fall.
Bears that are hunted in the spring tend to produce a milder flavor. It’s less gamey and sweeter. Spring bears have very little fat on them which leads to a less flavorful meat.
In the spring, bears come out of hibernation and mostly feed on plants and vegetation.
However, in the fall, after the bear has been eating all summer, it’s much more flavorful. It’s developed an impressive amount of fat leading to a rich tasty meat.
In the spring, bears tend to eat only plants. However, during the summer months, it’s common for them to feed on other things. Often they eat blueberries, fish, corn, and small mammals.
The diet of the bear will change the way it tastes.
The Diet of A Bear
Typically, bears are opportunistic feeders. They are as likely to eat berries and leaves as dead fish or out of a dumpster. A bear that’s been eating dead fish will taste, and smell, differently than one that’s been eating berries and acorns.
Although you probably won’t get the choice, eating bears that have a diet that is berries and corn is superior. If you can avoid eating bears who eat mostly fish, you’ll be better for it. Fish-eating bears typically taste overly fishy, and not in a good way.
Others Things That Alter the Flavor of Bear
The season the bear was hunted, and what it’s been eating will affect the taste of the bear. However, other things such as age and fat removal, affect the taste of bears as well.
Generally speaking, younger bears have a milder flavor while older bears tend to be more flavorful and gamey.
Often, bear meat tends to be greasy due to the amount of fat. This affects both the flavor and the consistency. However, if the person preparing the bear removes much of its fat, it will have a much less greasy taste.
The texture of bear can vary, but overall it’s somewhat tough and chewy. It’s fibrous and does not make for a tender dish.
Since bear has a fairly tough texture, it’s often cooked in ways that help to tenderize it. Popular ways to cook include a stew, braised, or a long roast in the oven.
Overall, bear meat tastes fairly gamey like venison or duck, with some sweetness to it. However, the real taste of the bear will come from its diet.
If the bear has been eating berries and leaves, it will be milder tasting but pleasant. However, if the bear has been eating fish, it will taste fishy and not nearly as good.