Mountain lions go by many names including cougar, puma, panther, and catamount. They have round heads, and erect ears, and are blessed with powerful jaws. While many people hunt mountain lions for sport, there are some who hunt mountain lions for food as well.
Many people may assume that the meat of mountain lions cannot be eaten. It is a common perception to think that mountain lion meat will have a bad odor or an unpleasant texture. But, in reality, it tastes just like any other meat. If you like eating pork loin, you’ll also like mountain lion meat. They taste quite similar!
Where Can You Find Mountain Lions?
Mountain lions are large cats that are quite popular in regions in the Western Hemisphere of Earth. You can easily find them in North and South America as well as in the Yukon Territory in Canada.
You may also find mountain lions in Southwest Florida. These creatures can be found in all types of forests, lowlands, and mountainous deserts. They are also able to live in areas with little vegetation. This indicates that mountain lions are highly adaptable animals.
How Big Are Mountain Lions?
The males are usually bigger than the females. If you measure them horizontally (from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail), you’ll see that most adult males are around 8 feet in length while adult females are around 7 feet in length. The adult males have a mass ranging from 53 to 100 kg while the adult females have a mass ranging from 29 to 64 kg.
What Do Mountain Lions Prey On?
Mountain lions are carnivores, which means that they only eat meat. Like all carnivores, mountain lions have large, sharp canines and incisors for shearing and tearing the meat. They usually prey on deer, elk, bighorn sheep, rabbits, turkeys, raccoons, porcupines, and even rodents.
Is It Easy To Hunt Mountain Lions?
Mountain lions are considered to be stealthy predators so mountain lion hunting can be very difficult. They are known to have excellent vision during the day as well as at night so they are highly likely to catch a glimpse of you at any time of the day.
Plus, mountain lions are considered to be solitary cats so they usually run away when they spot humans. This makes it quite challenging to capture them. Another factor that makes hunting mountain lions quite difficult is that they are fast runners. They have the ability to run at speeds as high as 43.5 miles per hour.
If you’re hunting mountain lions, it might be best to start at night rather than in broad daylight since mountain lions are nocturnal creatures, This means that they are most active at night.
If you plan on hunting at night, using a cover to camouflage yourself with the surrounding area may help. Most hunters tend to hunt mountain lions during winter as they can easily track their paw prints in the snow.While mountain lion hunting is strictly prohibited in California, there are a few states that allow it. The states where hunting mountain lions is legal are Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
Can You Eat Mountain Lions?
Mountain lion meat is completely safe for consumption, only if you cook it correctly. While it may be considered to be a food taboo by many, there are lots of people who actually enjoy eating it. Some people eat the meat after hunting while others buy mountain lion meat from certain marketplaces. Mountain lion meat is often referred to as “game meat”.
So, What Does Mountain Lion Meat Taste Like?
Mountain lion meat tastes exactly like lean pork. The flavor is mild and the texture is dense and meaty, which allows it to absorb seasonings well. Plus, mountain lion meat is considered to be quite healthy. It is high in protein and low in fat, which means that it is lower in calories than domestic meat such as chicken or beef.
Since the meat does not have a high-fat content, it dries out pretty quickly. So, in order to retain moisture, you might want to soak the meat in salt water overnight before cooking.
Moreover, since the meat is low in fat, cooking the meat in high heat may also drain out moisture and cause it to become rubbery. You might want to cook the meat in a slow cooker or use low cooking techniques such as broiling, grilling, roasting, and baking among others.
While cooking mountain lion meat, one thing that you must not do is boil the meat for more than 30 minutes. If you do so, the texture will be completely ruined! You might end up with dry and rubbery meat. Boiling may not be the best option as mountain lion meat is quite lean.
Possible Health Risks
Mountain lions are predatory animals, which means that they survive by preying on other animals. Since they live in the wild, they are likely to be hosts of certain diseases and parasites.
A study shows that the consumption of wild, meat-eating animals such as mountain lions may increase the risk of catching zootonic diseases in humans. There is also a risk of catching Trichinosis, which is a parasitic disease that is passed on to humans when raw or uncooked meat is consumed.
So, whichever cooking method you use, make sure to cook the meat at 165°F or higher so that all the bacteria and parasites are killed. Another thing you must do is wash the knives and utensils thoroughly after cutting, prepping, or cooking the mountain lion meat.
There is no harm in trying out different types of food. If you are an individual who loves to eat and explore different cuisines, you might want to try mountain lion meat. There is so much you can do with it. You can serve the meat as an appetizer or as a main course. You can make steaks or stews with it. You can roast it or even grill it.