For most hunters, spring means chasing gobblers or snow geese. But there’s another hunt that will get you back outside and get your adrenaline going – bear hunting. There are a handful of western states that offer over-the-counter tags with strong and growing bear populations. A spot and stalk hunt will allow you to chase these big animals just out of their winter dens roaming food sources to put the weight back on they lost during hibernation.
After receiving some bear steaks from a friend who hunts in Minnesota, I created this recipe, and was hooked on bear meat. Because I live in North Dakota, I have a few years before I will be able to draw a non-resident tag for a fall bear hunt in Minnesota. So I’ve decided to pull the trigger and apply for an over-the-counter (OTC) spring tag in Montana. I plan to take the train from Fargo to Troy, Montana where my wife’s uncle lives. He’s agreed to drive me up into the Kootenai National Forest and drop me off where I can set up a base camp. My plan is to walk old logging roads and clearcuts at dawn and dusk. If I time it just right, these will be one of the first spots to green up and attract bears who are looking for a quick and easy meal on the fresh grass. The thought of spending my day walking old logging roads looking for fresh bear scat is also much more appealing than sitting and glassing for hours on end until my eyes bleed.
Boneless bear chops have a tendency to dry out when we cook them to the recommended 165 degrees F. The reason for cooking them to such a high internal temperature is to ensure we don’t get trichinosis, a disease people can get by eating raw or undercooked bear meat. I developed this rich and flavorful pan sauce to help keep the bear meat nice and moist. The tangy Dijon and Worcestershire is balanced out by the heavy cream. This goes really well served over rice, but I used my 7-year-old daughter’s favorite egg noodles.
Serving Size: 4
Time to make: 45 minutes
Also works with: Wild pork
Serve with: Rice or egg noodles
Try our Delicious Wild Fish and Game Spice Blends!