What’s the Worst-Tasting Wild Game?

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?

9 thoughts on “What’s the Worst-Tasting Wild Game?”

  1. So from my experience…
    -Cormorant tastes awful
    -Badger is tasty but you really really have to remove all fat, as it has a seaty “gym room” smell
    -Raccoon is excellent. Keep half. Day in water with cooking wine. Put in a large pressure cooker with some water and pressure boil until the meat is super soft. Take out meat, remove water and cook the meat together with spices, potatoes and the like.

  2. The Bow Bully,
    I have not yet ever tried black bear meat; but I did dine often on wild hogs, while living in Florida. And friends to whom I served it were quite surprised by the pinkish color (more so than ordinary pork) and the great taste. As you mentioned, the diet of the animal in question is important to the taste of the meat; and the wild hogs I shot in Florida were basically all acorn fed…with the meat being quite yummy. 🙂
    Keep up the good work,

  3. I just added bear meat to my list of meat I won’t eat.
    Once was enough for me.
    My list and reason:
    -Possum because they look like a giant rat and probably would taste like one.
    The one time I skinned one still gives me the dry heaves even today.
    -Armadillo because they are known carriers of leprosy and they smell like an old rotting log.
    -Seagulls because they are a dump-duck. Amazing they don’t come down with every known form of cancer.
    Seagulls are scavengers and feed on garbage, roadkill, and other leftovers from humans.
    -Crows and Ravens because their diet is very much like a seagull.
    Most everything else is ‘fair-game’ especially if you are a Cajun living in the swamps of La.

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