Last Tuesday the licensed hunting of brown bears started in Sweden. A quota of 319 bears, of which 40 in the county of Gävleborg, can be legally shot during the hunting season, which ends on the 15th of October or when the quota is filled. In addition, another eight animals are allowed to be shot in the three most bear tight communities in the county. And we live in one of them!
So far, already 32 bears have been shot, and three fairly close to where we live. In this area also two bear females have been seen walking around, one with four cubs and the other with three. Fortunately, they are protected in this year’s hunt.
And of course you watch out a little extra when walking the woods these days, and you talk and sing a little louder than usual. You don’t want to come between a female and her cubs. Every year a number of bears are shot at but not killed. Some escape unscathed, whilst others run away after having been hit, and a wounded bear is an obvious risk for people if it finds its way to settlements or a village. But I still think there is a greater risk being hit by a stray bullet from a hunter’s rifle than to bump into a bear.
I often think of our adventure in the Hamra National Park that beautiful and exciting night in July when me and Devoted Husband got to experience a bear in its natural habitat and I just hope he manages to avoid being shot at and may live for another year.
The picture is taken by Devoted Husband
Someone recently asked me what you do with the bear when it is shot. Can you eat the meat and who has a freezer big enough to house a bear?
A friend of ours shot a bear a few years ago. The skin was prepared (at a high cost) and nailed to the wall. The meat he tried to sell, first to slaughterhouses and then to restaurants, but no one was interested. Suddenly he got a call from the royal court who asked to buy the meat. I guess the royal chefs cooked something exciting and exclusive to serve visiting statesmen for dinner. Or maybe it was served to the guests at the Nobel Prize dinner, who knows.
And for you, who just so happen to have a bear steak stuck in the freezer, here is my suggestion what to do with it.
Roast of brown bear
- 1-2 kg of a steak
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 15 crushed juniper berries
- 1 liter of boiling broth
- 2 tablespoons capers
- Wash the roast, trim the fat and let the roast soak in milk for a couple of hours.
- Pat dry and fry all sides in a deep pan, browning well, salt and dust with crushed juniper.
- Cover the roast with boiling water and let cook in the oven (200-225° C) for 3-4 hours or until the inner temperature is at least 80° C .
- When ready, wrap the roast in foil and let rest while make a nice sauce of the skimmed broth, cream, Dijon mustard and capers.