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Graham enjoys hunting and tries to get out into the woods several times a year. Since we live in the woods, he doesn’t have far to travel.
Bear season in the Cariboo is April and May and then again from September to November. The season for deer is from September to November. And there is a lot of wildlife here.
Each Fall, we have many hunters come to our Valley and the mountains around us. Some are moose hunting, lots are deer hunting and some are hunting for bears.
Since we try to use as much of the animal as we can, we like to take the fat from the bear. We turn it into lard and then use it in baking and frying. Here’s how we make our own lard.
A couple of years ago, Graham got a nice sized bear. He got it skinned and then starting cutting.
After removing the ribs, backstrap and several roasts, we started cutting up the rest to be canned for our dog.We often grind up a lot of burger from bear meat too, but this time we didn’t.
Here’s our go-to book when doing any kind of wild game or livestock butchering. We got this as a gift when we moved and we couldn’t have done the butchering without it. So much information on all kinds of animals.
We set the pressure canner up on the porch and packed quart jars with the raw trimmings, added some liquid and then canned them for 90 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure.
Here’s how to pressure can any meat or fish – it doesn’t matter which kind, this is the way to can them.
How to make your own Lard
While the pressure canner was going, we got started on making bear lard, so we can make some pies.
We cut (largely diced) the bear fat and then rendered it down in a low oven set at 250 degrees.
It takes a long time to melt down, but it will be worth it. Bear fat makes the absolute best pie crusts!
The bears have a really thick layer of fat on them at this time of year. With late Fall coming, these bears are ready for hibernation.
They have been eating as much as they can, for months now, preparing for a long winter nap.
After the fat has melted, we poured it through a small sieve. Take your time; it takes awhile.
Straining the Bear Fat
Then Graham put some cheesecloth double layered into our canning funnel. He slowly poured the liquid through the cheesecloth. You will want to be sure to filter out any bits of meat or gristle. You want completely clear fat.
Mason jars work great for storing the lard. Just put a sealer lid and ring on them and set them on the counter overnight. They will firm up nicely and there you have your bear lard.
We ended up with 2 1/2 quarts, which we put in the fridge. We’re looking forward to using this for pastries and tarts! Make bear lard if you are have a successful bear hunt.
We try hard to use every part of the bear, letting nothing go to waste. We wrap up all the bones from the bear and put them in the freezer for the dog to enjoy over the year.
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