- I like Simple
- We all Like Delicious
By Forrest Fisher
Across the country where black bear hunting is allowed, harvesting a black bear means more than just a fabulous rug. Bear meat is delicious and healthy when properly cared for in the field and during transport and storage. Generally, bear meat tastes similar to venison – it’s wild uncontaminated red meat, though it is often a little sweeter than meat from deer or elk. It has a dark red color, and in terms of texture, it’s close to pork, though with a slightly coarser grain.
Like deer, elk, or wild boar, one of the tastiest cuts of black bear is the back strap. Smoking is one of the most delicious ways to prepare a black bear back strap.
To make it easy, try using the new Smoked Bear Loin Roast Recipe from Hi Mountain Seasonings featuring their Rib-Rub. Reading the label’s contents, I savored the flavor just thinking about the ingredients in this proven blend of spices: paprika, black pepper, salt, mustard, cayenne pepper, soybean oil, honey granules (refinery syrup/honey) and dehydrated garlic/onion. All set to go, this packaging makes tough jobs so simple that all you have to do is set up your smoker.
The process is simple. You’ll need one trimmed black bear back strap, one can of coffee beer ( I use my favorite dark IPA), the Hi Mountain Rib-Rub, canning salt, fresh ground coffee, ½ cup maple syrup and your smoker or pellet grill. Again, make sure to trim any fat from the back strap. When done, place the back strap in a nonporous container like a clean kitchen mixing bowl or storage container large enough to hold the meat. Add the beer and marinate it in the refrigerator for a couple hours. Remove and pat dry with a paper towel. Next, apply yellow mustard to all sides of the meat. Mix some canning salt with the Hi Mountain Seasoning Rib-Rub mix and ground coffee in a separate bowl. Liberally apply this mix to all sides of the meat and place it in a nonporous container. Cover it with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. Remove from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for an hour. Preheat the smoker or the smoker pellet grill to 250 degrees toward the end of that hour.
Coat the smoker rack with olive oil and place the bear meat in the smoker/pellet grill. During the smoking process, use a kitchen brush to glaze the roast with maple syrup on the exposed sides of the roast. Smoke it until the internal temperature of the roast hits 160F. Use a digital thermometer.
Slice it thin. Enjoy!
I use the same process to smoke deer, boar and elk meat. Located in the heart of Wyoming, the cost of a 10-ounce shaker bottle of Hi Mountain Seasoning Rib-Rub is $10.99. You can find it at grocery stores and outdoor retailers nationwide, but I buy it online at www.himtnjerky.com or you can call toll-free 1-800-829-2285. They never have out-of-stock issues. While you’re online, check out the dozens of other free delicious wild game recipes and their unique types of spices, rubs, seasonings, sausage and jerky kits that are ready to go.
I like simplicity.
Note: This bear was taken by Dennis Ferraro in Belfast, NY, using a Browning BLR-81 lever-action .308 caliber rifle equipped with a Leupold 3-9X Vari-1 set at 6X. Ferraro favors the 150-grain Federal Fusion boat-tail bullets, adding, “They are accurate, affordable and have proven themselves on other big game for him many times before. I bought my gun and my ammo from a retailer in Hamburg.” The 265-pound black bear was downed with one shot from Ferraro’s rifle. The male bear claws measured about one and one-half inches in length, and the paws were about six to seven inches across. The most prominent teeth on the magnificent black bear were about the same length as the claws. (L to R below) Ferarro was hunting with the father/son tag team of Rob and Bob Ciszak, and Adam Wojnowski.