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HomeOutdoorThe Finest Methods to Use Bear Fats

The Finest Methods to Use Bear Fats

On a black bear hunt a number of years in the past, I noticed the unmistakable body of a giant boar as he emerged from cowl on the far finish of an unlimited grainfield. My coronary heart skipped a beat, and I headed to the adjoining farmhouse to ask for permission to hunt. A weathered Canadian farmer met me on the door. He should have been watching from the window as a result of he requested me if I used to be a bear hunter.

I instructed him, that in actual fact I used to be, and that I’d hoped to place a stalk on the big bruin in his subject. Sadly for me, the farmer had been watching that bear for 2 weeks and hoped to reap it himself.

The farmer defined that he was the third era to farm this piece of land and that he tried to place a black bear within the freezer each fall, similar to his father and grandfather had. From there, we launched into a dialogue about black bears and the way necessary they have been to early settlers in North America.

We talked in regards to the worth of fats and proteins and the way very important the bear had been within the days earlier than grocery shops. We expounded on the virtues of the mature bear feasting on barley in his subject. It will have a thick layer of white fats underneath its cover, storing up reserves with each chew.

I didn’t get an opportunity to tag a bear that day, however I’m glad the farmer who did knew all about the advantages of bear fats for hunters. You must, too. We will begin by trying again at how the early settlers of North America used bear fats and what number of of these makes use of stay related in the present day.

Why Bear Is So Versatile

In some ways, black bear meat, fats, and bones are undervalued. Bones, for instance, make a wealthy broth and will maintain therapeutic energy. A examine of bear bones in Alberta is making an attempt to unlock secrets and techniques that might result in a remedy for osteoporosis (as a result of black bears keep bone mass by means of hibernation).

The black bear is a powerhouse of nutrient-rich meals. Bear meat is very nutritious, with 155 energy in 100 grams. The identical portion provides 20 grams of protein, 8.3 grams of fats, and 40 p.c of day by day iron wants at 7.2 milligrams. (For reference, beef has 2.6 milligrams of iron per 100 grams).

Then there’s bear fats, which has traditionally been an important a part of the human weight-reduction plan. It additionally has medicinal worth, can be utilized for gear upkeep, and rather more.

Bear fat
A thick layer of fats on a black bear. Brad Fenson

Bear fats is available in two varieties: white fats and brown fats. Brown fats is useful to cardiovascular well being and might scale back the chance of illnesses like diabetes. The white fats saved on a bear is loaded with vitality and is the gasoline for the bear to make it by means of six months of hibernation. Right here’s learn how to put bear fats to work.  

Bear Fats as Lard, Grease, or Oil

Bear oil
Bear oil prepared for frying. Brad Fenson

Bear lard is opulent, wealthy, and has quite a lot of qualities and makes use of. It’s usually known as “bear grease” or “bear oil” but it surely’s actually all the identical factor. How do you course of bear lard? First, you accumulate fats from a bear after which dice it or grind it to assist in the rendering course of. Then you definitely render it down; cook dinner it low and sluggish for the perfect outcomes and clear oil. Extra warmth will create darker oil. Pressure the new oil by means of cheesecloth and into jars for storage.

Traditionally, First Nations folks saved bear grease in deer bladders that have been scraped and dried. Settlers used jars or refilled lard tins to guard the valuable useful resource. Bear oil has a superb shelf life and doesn’t go rancid as shortly as pork lard.

Cooking with Bear Grease

Again within the day, bears have been an important meals supply. Bear lard was a staple that will assist produce meals for a whole yr.

Bear lard was used as frying oil to sear lean imply, cook dinner fish, and fry greens, potatoes, and oatmeal truffles. Oil provides the magical style to the Maillard Response, higher often called browning. Most of us can’t think about a weight-reduction plan of bland meals if we couldn’t fry.

Frying with bear oil
Bear oil is good for frying in a cast-iron skillet. Brad Fenson

The lard was usually used rather than butter. Many elderly trappers stirred some bear fats into their espresso to tackle further energy to remain heat through the winter. It was an important ingredient in making biscuits and as a topping earlier than including preserves. We could have non-stick pans in the present day, however think about making an attempt to make pancakes in an iron pan with out some type of grease.

Pastry cooks regale the advantages of bear lard for making wealthy and flaky pastry. It’s thought-about liquid gold by cooks eager to make the very best dishes for particular meals or competitions.

Bear Grease for Upkeep

First Nations folks used bear grease to situation leather-based. Clothes and drums have been made and maintained using bear fats. Trendy sportsmen and ladies can use bear grease to waterproof boots and leather-based gloves. Moreover stopping moisture from getting by means of the leather-based, it additionally situations it for longer life and sturdiness. Merely apply with a fabric and work it into the leather-based to the perimeters. Use a hairdryer to warmth the grease for higher absorption.

Leather-based or canvas scabbards will be handled with bear grease to make them waterproof and lengthen their lifespan. Upland hunters who use leather-based chaps can use bear grease to maintain their leg protectors in tip-top form and not using a humorous odor.

The Lewis and Clark expedition went by means of gallons of bear grease and used it for gear upkeep (together with cooking). There was no gun oil or WD-40 in these days, and stopping corrosion on steel was important to long-term survival. They seasoned knives and firearms with bear grease. As we speak, bear grease continues to be a wonderful choice for shielding and seasoning gun barrels and shifting elements. Conventional muzzleloader fans use bear fats for shielding weapons, lubing a patch, or as unique bore butter or grease. You may work bear grease right into a knife blade to make sure it’ll keep rust-free and in excellent working order the subsequent time you seize it.

Use bear grease anyplace you employ dubbin, wax, or different waterproofing materials. It’s a reasonable various with superior qualities that confirmed over time.

Bear Fats for Well being and Wellness

Fats, grease, lard, or no matter you wish to name it, is a robust moisturizer. Most outdoorsmen carry lip balm to stop or deal with cracked, dry lips. What did folks do earlier than industrial lip balm was accessible? They used fats.

Using bear oil as an ingredient can improve moisture and therapeutic qualities. Black Bear Cures is a contemporary firm that gives well being and wellness merchandise made with bear oil. You may order on-line and have merchandise shipped anyplace in North America. Their lip balm is on the market with peppermint or espresso flavors.

The corporate additionally provides skincare merchandise with bear oil. Insect bites, eczema, rashes, and dry pores and skin have traditionally been handled or prevented with bear grease. Somewhat goes a great distance; rub on a dab to restore pores and skin issues and relieve the itch and sting of insect bites.

Bear salve
Bear fats can be utilized in a salve to cut back ache or itchiness. Brad Fenson

Making salve and ointment is one other good choice. There are many on-line recipes and instructions for creating pores and skin therapeutic merchandise. Herbs and medicinal vegetation have been utilized in distinctive concoctions for therapeutic pores and skin illnesses. The Boreal Herbalist is a superb e-book with data on native vegetation that can be utilized for medicinal or well being advantages. Search for vegetation that may assist with what ails you and make a salve with bear fats to heal it.

Some within the holistic drugs group consider that bear fats can relieves ache, reduces stiffness and swelling for Arthritis, again ache, carpal tunnel, Fibromyalgia, minor nerve injury and rather more. Utilized by itself or used at the side of natural concoctions, anybody affected by aches and pains has nothing to lose by making an attempt bear grease.

Bear Cleaning soap

Bear fats makes for luxurious cleaning soap. Saturated fat are recognized to extend a cleaning soap’s lather. Unsaturated fat ship moisturizing and nourishing properties. Use a crockpot (outdoors your private home) to make a batch of bear cleaning soap for your self. You’ll need to lookup recipes to search out the correct quantity of lye and the appropriate mixture of important oils for the aroma. Basil, mint, cloves, and different herbs can add medicinal or therapeutic worth to selfmade bear soaps.

Bear Wax for Beards

In case you haven’t observed, beards are in fashion as of late, making beard wax massive enterprise. Again within the outdated days, bear grease was one of many unique North American beard oils. Add cedar, mint, or different important oil that can assist you odor as manly as you’ll look.

Burning Bear Oil

In case you nonetheless aren’t offered on bear fats, let me illuminate another instance for you: Oil lamps will be fueled with any fats or grease. Positive vegetable oils can get the job achieved, however bear fats has lengthy been recognized within the backcountry as the brilliant gentle when the solar goes down. When you have an abundance of bear fats, oil lamps can be utilized to gentle up your looking camp.

Bear fats has confirmed its worth all through historical past. Trendy hunters can embrace the outdated methods with new whereas experimenting with new makes use of for this extremely versatile .

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