While properly prepared elk and moose meat can rival premium cuts at the fanciest steakhouse, just the thought of some wild game can turn your stomach.

A lot of hunters won’t shoot vermin, geese, and small game for this very reason. But if you do kill it, you better eat it.

You can get creative with your recipes to offset gaminess and chewy texture — cut ground game with store-bought fat, add it to stews, and use complimentary seasonings to balance it out.

But no matter what you do, some meat can be tough to choke down. And black bear meat can rank up there with the worst of them — in fact, some hunters say it’s not even safe to eat.

The thing with bear meat is the flavor is largely dependent upon the specific bear’s diet before you shoot it and to a lesser degree the time of year you’re hunting. Bears feeding on berries in the springtime are considered to have an almost sweet taste, while those living off salmon in the fall can have a fishy flavor. And if the bear’s been dumpster diving and feasting on garbage? Well, you can imagine.

So even though not all black bear meat will be bad, the bears that have certain diets will be about as unappealing as it gets. If you’ve got a weak stomach, try sticking to bear populations with optimal diets for more palatable meat.

Have you tried black bear meat? Do you think it’s the worst wild game out there?