"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms...disarm only those who are
neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make
things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve
rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be
attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." -Thomas Jefferson,
quoting Cesare Beccaria.
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There are eight species of bear world wide.
Aging does not improve the flavor or tenderness of bear meat and actually tends
to dry and toughen it. The high fat content of the meat will also cause it to
spoil more quickly than other big game animals, so processing should be done
quickly. Proper cooking is necessary due to the
dangers of trichinosis.
Hope you enjoy these recipes - and that you will
share your favorites!
Species of Bear
- Asiatic Black Bears which are found only in Asia
- American Black Bears are found in 32 of the states and in Canada.
They are a medium size bear and despite their name, come in many color phases
from black, chocolate brown, cinnamon brown, pale blue (aka glacier bears) to
white (aka Kermode bears). A black bear will often have a brown muzzle and may
have a lighter color patch on its chest. They tend to avoid the larger Brown
- Brown Bears have a muscle hump over the shoulders, a "dished" profile and
longer claws on their front paws than on their rear paws. These include
the 'grizzly' and Kodiak. They are found in Idaho, Wyoming, Montana,
Washington, western Canada, Alaska, parts of Russia, and have small
scattered populations reaching as far as Spain.
- Giant Panda weigh around 275 pounds and are found only in western China.
- Polar Bears are the largest species, with some weighing over 1700 pounds.
They have black skin, but white fur. Although almost exclusively a
carnivore, they have been known to eat berries. Polar Bears are found in
Greenland, Norway, the former Soviet Union, Canada and Alaska.
- Sloth Bears are found found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal , Bhutan and Sri
Lanka. They are a small bear, weighing up to 310 pounds. Although
it does eat fruit, its diet is mostly comprised of termites. Its upper
incisors are missing, forming a gap, and its lips can extend to form a tube to
suck up the insects.
- Spectacled Bears are found in the Andes mountains above 500 feet.
Males may weigh 250 pounds. Although hunting is illegal, the illegal
Asian market for gall bladders is too much of a temptation for some poachers.
- Sun Bears are the smallest species, weighing between 60 to 145 pounds.
They are found in the tropical rain forests of southeast Asia; India, Burma,
southern China, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Trichinosis - there are several different parasites
which carry trichinosis. Some of these can be killed by freezing at -5˚,
others like Trichinella nativa, (found in bear and walrus) cannot be killed by
freezing. Microwaving the game meat may not kill it either, so is not
recommended. Don't take chances with your family's health! Cook the
meat to an internal temperature of 170˚.
The recommended cooking time is 375˚
F for 20-25 minutes per pound. For cuts of meat larger than three pounds, double
the cooking time. A good rule of thumb is to cook until there is no trace of
pink meat or fluid (if cooking with bone in, check the joints and close to the