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Taste of Coastal Black Bear


Well-known member
Jun 8, 2018
My wife and I drew Black Bear tags for SE Alaska and will be hunting in Mid-May out of Petersburg, AK. The main focus will be on getting her a bear, and whether or not I fill my tag is not a pressing matter. That said, I live in Florida and the logistics of getting two bears home doesn't excite me. We've never harvested a Black Bear, but I understand they can be quite tasty.

I'm interested to hear some perspective from those who are more versed in bear meat tasting as to what my expectations should be from a bear that is spending its time eating seafood and coastal grasses. Here where I live, you can shoot a red head on an inland lake and it can be quite delicious. Shoot a red head at the coast in the salt water and it's disgusting. Will the same principle apply for a South East Alasak Black Bear? Or, are their eating habits diverse enough that the meat is still quite good?

Our primary motivation to hunt is filling our freezer with quality wild game meat that feeds our family for the year. However, this bear hunt is a little different in that our primary motivation is to fulfill a lifelong dream to visit Alaska and to get a taste of what it's like to hunt there. Black Bear seemed like the "easiest" way to dip our toe into hunting Alaska and something cool we've never really hunted. I'm very much interested in the meat, but I'd just like to align my expectations and preliminarily plan my hunting accordingly (two bears or one). LOTS of fishing to be done too!


Well-known member
Jul 12, 2010
I think @wllm1313 is spot on. When I was in SE AK in 2019 I spoke with seafood dealer who expressed the same opinion. Those grass-eating spring bears are tasty, but they switch to fish in the summer and, according to this guy, the taste goes downhill fast. But I loved my spring bear from Kuiu. Really good.

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