Black Bear [moved from Outer Boroughs board]
Here are what you need to know about Black Bears. They do not eat berries in the spring..they eat grasses, garbage, rodents and whatever else will not eat them first. They are virtually inedible at that time of year since they have lost all of their body fat and about 25 percent of their muscles. They are at their prime for the table in mid November and no matter what they have found to eat during the year they taste the same..a Bear that eats berries tastes no different than a Bear that eats fish or apples..the only thing that affects the taste is how stressed the animal was when it was killed..i.e shot and dropped or run with hounds and poorly shot so that it had to be tracked for some distance, or poorly cared for in the field after dressing. The meat is excellent in stews or braised with root vegetables..the haunches can be roasted with whole peppercorns and juniper berries and a sauce can be made with the drippings and a simple roux. The most important thing to know is that ALL fat that can be trimmed must be before cooking..Bear Fat is exceedingly strong and will basically ruin any meat is is cooked with..but it makes an excellent mosquito repellent.
I know this because I live in Maine and shoot one every year.
But, on the whole, I would much rather have a DiFara's pie.