Bear Advice

Southern

Eight Pointer
I have had a large bear population for decades but never had the desire to shoot one personally. I now have a big old boy causing me some problems so he may have to turn into a rug.
My question is, what do I do with the meat? Good or bad? How to best butcher?
 

nccatfisher

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Lot of people love it. I personally am not crazy about it. First and foremost have a plan to get that big joker out. Either a support team or a piece of equipment with a loader. They are a handfull if they are big.

Then skin and process in pretty much the same cuts you would as a deer except you do have more roasts on a bear than a deer.
 

Southern

Eight Pointer
I have people and multiple pieces of equipment, I would not consider even trying to move 500 pounds without a loader! I am too old for that!
 

nccatfisher

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
I have people and multiple pieces of equipment, I would not consider even trying to move 500 pounds without a loader! I am too old for that!
Please don't let my comment about my lack of enthusiasm about eating them taint your mind about trying them. As I said many folks love them. And for the most part I am a wild game lover. Bear just isn't high on my list, thus why I have only killed two.
 

Aaron H

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
I really like bear meat and it makes fine sausage. I render the fat to bear oil and fill up old yogurt containers, store in the freezer. Bear oil makes awesome cornbread. Bear stews and barbecue are wonderful ways to cook bear.
 

YanceyGreenhorn

Ten Pointer
This was a thread I started that might help.

we’ve been fortunate. We’ve eaten meat from 4 so far this season and it’s been great. My wife has also been obsessed with the preparation and done a lot of recipes that turned out awesome. We had a half dozen guys at the farm tell us that smoked bear prob wouldn’t turn out too well. So naturally we had to give it a shot. By far the best way we’ve made it yet. Wife made chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing for one guys bday yesterday...she used bear oil instead of vegetable oil...still came out delicious. Like Dobber said, render some down and give it a shot.
 

Moose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
Bear is great table fare but I bet it depends on what all it has been eating. If you got one that has a daily diet of dead hogs I suspect it would not be as good as one feeding on nuts berries and grain. At the get together at MIkes every year people probably think that Pickles banana pudding is the highlight for me and you'd be wrong..... its the bbq bear ribs hands down.... if Mike's wife said she was serving bear ribs for lunch I'd climb down out of this stand and head that direction :D
 

41magnum

Twelve Pointer
In my Idaho days we made a lot of 4.5” diameter bologna and some sausage. Baked roasts on a broiling pan so the grease would drain out.
 

timber

Twelve Pointer
Have tried bear several different ways cooked. Haven’t had any yet that was good. If had choice between Vienna sausage and bear meat would take the Vienna 10 to 1 and that ranks low in my food selection
 

Woods and water

Eight Pointer
From these comments I'd say a lot of people don't know how to process a bear which is understandable if you kill one in a lifetime or have a commercial processor do it . It takes me a 10 hour day to process a 300 pound bear after it is cleaned, quartered and chilled. I have tried it at different camps over several states and I have had some I couldn't eat . If handled properly it is a very good meat .
 

timekiller13

Twelve Pointer
My uncle killed a bear a few weeks ago and I happily took all the meat he would give me. I have about 30lbs of bear burger and roast in the freezer now, probably will get more in a couple months when he realizes he isn't going to eat it.

I really like it slow cooked. I do a dry rub on it and put in a crock pot with little stock for 8 hours on low. Comes out nice and tender.

Burger can be utilized for anything. I see a bear chili coming real soon at my house.
 

JoeR

Six Pointer
From these comments I'd say a lot of people don't know how to process a bear which is understandable if you kill one in a lifetime or have a commercial processor do it . It takes me a 10 hour day to process a 300 pound bear after it is cleaned, quartered and chilled. I have tried it at different camps over several states and I have had some I couldn't eat . If handled properly it is a very good meat .
While I've never had it, a buddy of mine kills one every year. Loves the meat. Processes it all himself for the same reason. If I remember right he said you needed to get all the fat off the meat or it changes the taste dramatically.
Joe
 

Southern

Eight Pointer
If it’s above me up on the mountain , call me and I can help...or take the meat.
The one I am after is up the mountain. I will definitely call you, I appreciate it. I would love to try it but not sure I can handle that much meat myself and I dont want to waste it. It is a fat one with all the acorns, 450 +\~
 

Billy

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
From these comments I'd say a lot of people don't know how to process a bear which is understandable if you kill one in a lifetime or have a commercial processor do it . It takes me a 10 hour day to process a 300 pound bear after it is cleaned, quartered and chilled. I have tried it at different camps over several states and I have had some I couldn't eat . If handled properly it is a very good meat .
Would you elaborate on what a lot of people are doing wrong? I have never killed one and have never eaten any, but would like to change that if I get the opportunity and would like to know how to NOT screw up the meat.
 

Moose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
Bear meat will sour quicker then almost any other meat. Cool it quick and get it from harvest to freezer as fast as you can.
 

Woods and water

Eight Pointer
Would you elaborate on what a lot of people are doing wrong? I have never killed one and have never eaten any, but would like to change that if I get the opportunity and would like to know how to NOT screw up the meat.
As moose just stated it will spoil quickly. I have seen it go bad overnight in a cooler with ice . Chilling it through quickly is very important. Removing all fat including between each muscle.and removing all scent glands is next . Washing knives and saws between each process helps. When I'm finished breaking one down the only silver tendon or fat seen will be on the ribs. I think it all helps but getting it cleaned and cold as quick as possible is number one.
 

Woods and water

Eight Pointer
As moose just stated it will spoil quickly. I have seen it go bad overnight in a cooler with ice . Chilling it through quickly is very important. Removing all fat including between each muscle.and removing all scent glands is next . Washing knives and saws between each process helps. When I'm finished breaking one down the only silver tendon or fat seen will be on the ribs. I think it all helps but getting it cleaned and cold as quick as possible is number one.
I understand people like to show off a nice bear and get pictures and such . I am fine with that but if you ride it six hours and it's six more before it is chilling that's not the one I'm processing for my freezer. If you add the time it takes to get it to a processor I feel that is where most people have bad experience with bear meat .
 

Billy

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
I understand people like to show off a nice bear and get pictures and such . I am fine with that but if you ride it six hours and it's six more before it is chilling that's not the one I'm processing for my freezer. If you add the time it takes to get it to a processor I feel that is where most people have bad experience with bear meat .
All very good advice. Thank you.
 
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