Bear Hunting / Meat

Violent Hippie

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Jan 17, 2014
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Truckee
I have been battling with committing to archery bear hunting over the last few years due to the vast amount of bears I encounter in my home region and am having a mental obstacle preventing me from doing so. It is well known that bears are infested with parasites in the actual muscle / meat . I listened to Rinella I believe mention 1 cubic inch of meat he sent to a MT lab had I think 100's or 1000's of parasites . So. Are you actually eating more bear or more parasite when you consume the meat ? I encounter bears literally weekly in Spring and summer here and observe them often giving me a good chance of taking one down if I commit to the hunt but I am just turned off bye the idea of max parasites. I didnt post this under the bear forum to reach more Roksliders who maybe dont hunt bear for the same reason as well as guys who are committed to bear hunting that can offer insight. Thanks
 

charvey9

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Jan 26, 2014
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Florence, MT
Trichinosis is the same parasite found in pork, or other predators. They are literally microscopic and you can't see them. If you have been eating pork your whole life, no doubt you have eaten the parasites. Nowadays it is much less common in commercial pork operations because of feeding standards, but predators get it from consuming other infected animals. Its a given that just about any mature bear will have trichinosis. Rest assured, you don't actually see parasites or any sign of them when you butcher or eat the meat.

Just like pork, all you need to do is cook it to 160 degrees to be safe. I've eaten or served up a couple hundred pounds of bear meat to my family without any issues. I have a friend who is an outfitter, and they eat bear and serve it to hunters all the time without any problems.

Just like any wild game it tastes great if prepared properly. Since it has be cooked to 160 degrees (well), roasts, hams, etc. are usually good options but I've had it in stir fry, spaghetti, burgers, and straight up grilled loin. The fat can also be rendered for cooking oil. Very good stuff!

I wouldn't hesitate to pick up a tag.
 

hodgeman

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Mar 4, 2012
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Delta Junction, AK
If you apply that rationale to any other type of animal food, you wouldn't eat any of it- beef, pork, chicken, fish... heck, fish are littered with parasites and worms.
 

elkguide

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Jan 26, 2016
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Vermont
Bear meat is very good meat. As has been said, cooked properly and you will have no problems.

The one thing that I have noticed about bear meat is that it does taste like what they have been eating....... garbage eating bear - tastes like garbage.... fish eating bear - tastes like fish. The last one that I shot came out of a corn field and it was some of the best meat that I have ever eaten. My daughter-in-law thought that it was better than either the whitetail or elk meat that we had.

And, they are lots of fun to hunt!!!!!
 

hodgeman

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Mar 4, 2012
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Delta Junction, AK
Bear meat is very good meat. As has been said, cooked properly and you will have no problems.

The one thing that I have noticed about bear meat is that it does taste like what they have been eating....... garbage eating bear - tastes like garbage.... fish eating bear - tastes like fish. The last one that I shot came out of a corn field and it was some of the best meat that I have ever eaten. My daughter-in-law thought that it was better than either the whitetail or elk meat that we had.

And, they are lots of fun to hunt!!!!!
Completely true- bears are some of the most variable meat out there. A buddy shot a real toad up in the alpine a few years back- had been scarfing nothing but berries for 6 wks by that point. Some of the finest game you'd ever eat.
 

COSA

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Apr 29, 2012
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Montana
Shot my first bear last year and was pleasantly surprised. It's not a good steak, but in a crop pot soup, it has a really awesome flavor.
 
OP
V

Violent Hippie

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Truckee
I appreciate the feedback guys. I figured I was overthinking it but am just used to eating the local deer pretty rare and havent had to deal with known parasite issues . I am used to cooking other meats such as chicken well due to E-coli bacteria etc but just wanted some other opinions in reference to bears. Thanks.
 

BuckSnort

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Mar 5, 2012
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Central CA
It's easy to just say, cook it right and don't worry about it.... Until you get it and it almost kills you...I have a hard time wanting to eat it again even if it's cooked to a well done and dry leather..

This happened to me back in 2011...

4 of us ate it and all 4 of us got Trichinosis.. I had it bad and didn't know what it was felt like the flu until I couldn't breathe and had to call 911...

Here's my story if you got a few minutes.. Keep in mine I wrote this right when it took place so the dates are off..

" I have felt like crap for about 3 weeks now, well a week ago I was driving in town and felt short of breath and tightening of the chest. I pulled off the road thinking it would just go away, it didn't and got worse and worse until I felt like I was gasping for air so I called 911 and went for an ambulance ride to the ER..

At the ER they gave me oxygen and ran tests and x rays, nothing wrong on the x rays and blood work confirmed I was not having a heart attack (I'm 35) So they release me... The EKG did however raise some concern so they advised that I should have a heart stress test done (after they release me)to make sure all is good...

The next few days I was worried something was wrong with my heart.. I got sick of worrying so I went camping for the weekend (this last weekend) to clear my head and relax.. Well on the way home I get a text from a guy I met during a previous backpacking trip in Sept, it says...

"Hey Jason, just wondering if you and your brother got sick after eating that bear we killed, me and &^%&* did Doc thinks we have worms takes 4-6 weeks to start feeling bad"

DING!.. Light goes on..

Rewind to Sept 18th... Me and my bro backpacked into the high country where we met 2 guys that had killed a bear, we joined them at their camp for dinner where we had bear ribs and backstraps.. And looking back some of it was undercooked..

So I called him up and he asked me my symptoms (muscle fatigue,shortness of breath)and they are the same.. Now I figure I better get a hold of my bro since I have not heard from him in a while.. he probably has them too..Turns out he has been sick for 3 weeks with the same symptoms..

They can enter your central nervous system and cause respiratory paralysis ... This is what was happening to me...Scary

Sorry for the long post I'll shorten it up... All 4 of us got sick from the meat.. When the blood work comes back it will confirm that we all have Trichinosis which is very rare, only 12-20 cases in the USA a year.."
 

skaldugwas

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Jul 31, 2016
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Location
Washington
Its the parasites in their guts that will curl your toes and make you swear off bear meat forever. They look like rice noodles trying to crawl away.


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Flashmo

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Nov 30, 2016
Messages
48
Location
Midway, UT
Shot my first bear last year and was pleasantly surprised. It's not a good steak, but in a crop pot soup, it has a really awesome flavor.
I agree, as steaks they suck bad.

We cook roasts(crock pot on small elevated rack so the bear fat collects in the bottom with a few strips of bacon over the meat. Pork fat tastes better than bear fat). Or chunked up in stews, chilli or fajitas.
 

Scott/IL

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Jan 1, 2014
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186
Any butcher tips for in the field or certain cuts that are a must save (as opposed to putting it towards sausage)?

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Muledeerfanatic

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Feb 4, 2015
Messages
567
Location
Western Wyoming
I love hunting bears and the meat is very good. It's like deer/pork. I disagree with the steaks being bad. Totally depends on the animal.
As far as field prep I always bring rubber gloves to deal with them. They are very greasy. No reason not to hunt them if you have an abundance.
 

tipsntails7

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Jul 30, 2013
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Humboldt county
Any butcher tips for in the field or certain cuts that are a must save (as opposed to putting it towards sausage)?

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For me they are all pepperoni, summer sausage and ground. I've cubed up a couple different cuts and thrown them in chili as well, but I really dig pep sticks, and they are easy to give away as gifts or offer some to people who don't normally eat game.


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