Top 10 North American Big Game Meats You Need To Try

For many hunters the thought of a fresh backstrap will top any store bought steak.

Wild game can be difficult to cook and some refer to it as having a “gamey” taste.

If prepared and cooked right these 10 meats are the cream of the crop.

10. Pronghorn

Pronghorn Antelope, Cabin Lake Road, Fort Rock, Oregon

Antelope is one of the hardest meats on this list to cook. Rich and lean, pronghorn is very easy to ruin. When it is cook right though, it has mild sweet flavor to die for.

9. Mountain Lion

A very unexpected meat to be on this list but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. The closest thing to compare it to is a cross between bear and pork loin. If you follow Ted Nugent then you know it his absolute favorite.

8. Wild Hog

Wild Hogs are difficult. If you kill an old boar your gonna have a rough time in the kitchen. Also a stench you have to experience to understand. Best part about wild hogs is you can do just about anything you can think of that can be done with farm raised pigs.

7. Bison

Bison meat is comparable to beef, but generally is lighter and sweeter. Bison meat also has the advantage of being lower in fat and calories. Bison were hunted almost to extinction but due to major conservation efforts bison populations are up around the half-million mark now.

6. Mountain Sheep

Mountain sheep such as bighorn or dall are among the hardest to obtain on this list. They are also some the most tasty. Make sure to read up before cooking it however. It may be your only chance to prepare that dish.


5. Moose

You may be surprised just how close moose tastes to grass-fed beef. Especially if the animal was recently on a leafy diet. As they get later into the year and switch over to a more woody diet, the meat becomes noticeably gamier, but is still pliable.

4. Caribou

Caribou has been described as a cross between beef and venison. When cooked correctly, caribou is mildly flavored and very nutritious.

3. Deer

If your reading this list it is probably a safe assumption you have eaten venison in your lifetime. Deer are the most popular and abundant big game species in north america. This includes whitetail and mule deer. There are a lot of factors to having a great piece of venison, and work begins right in the field. Poor field care or failure to cool quickly could affect the meat’s flavor, resulting in a tough, gamey backstrap.

2. Elk

One of the most popular choices on this list, elk is often less gamey than deer and sweeter than beef. The majority of hunters that have eaten Elk will tell you it is the best. Even Steve Rinella of MeatEater will tell you elk is his absolute favorite.

“Honestly, they don’t make a bad-tasting elk,” Rinella wrote on his blog. “Every one of those critters is as perfect as the next. If I had to pick one meat for the rest of my life, this would be it.”

1. Black Bear

While this may be a little biased opinion, black bear is by far my favorite meat. As with all predators, bears don’t get nearly enough love on the dinner table, but slow cooked till its tender and mouth watering. In my opinion black bear can’t be beat.

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