When you think of coyotes, what usually comes to mind? For most people, especially hunters, it's likely they think of coyotes as little more than annoying scavengers that might trail behind campsites or keep campers awake at night with their yipping and howling. Generally harmless, these wannabe wolves are usually regarded as pests. However, we think it's about time people started considering them as something else: dinner.
Is Coyote Meat Any Good?
For as long as we've known about coyotes, we've known that their flesh is typically a tough affair that gives little room for error during the cooking process. With a particularly strong flavor that's notoriously hit-or-miss, coyote meat is something that's a bit of a controversy, if for nothing else than its unfamiliarity. After all, when was the last time you went to a restaurant and saw coyote on the menu?
The important thing to remember when hunting coyote for their meat is that the time of year has a major impact on the overall flavor. This is because in the wintertime, coyotes will typically be eating fresh meat from new kills they've hunted down, or meat left after another predator's kill that hasn't spoiled due to the cold. However, coyotes aren't squeamish, and their scavenging ways mean they're not opposed to eating rotten carcasses and spoiled meat, which can make their meat taste less than ideal.
However, like most meat, when prepared correctly coyote can be as delicious as any beef or chicken you can get your hands on. In fact, since most cooking recipes recommend a slow cooking process to tenderize the meat, coyote can be incorporated into a number of meals that use slow-cooked meats. Think brisket, stews, and the obvious choice for tough meats--jerky.
Is It Legal to Hunt Coyote?
Short answer: yes. At least, in most states, it's legal to hunt coyotes all year long, with no limits on how many you can kill and keep. This is because they breed quickly, meaning their populations typically bounce back no matter how many are killed, with there being an average of 40,000 killed in the US every year. Since they're generally thought of as pests who tend to make noise and have the potential to go after small animals, like your pets (or even small children if they're feeling bold), many people shoot them on sight.
Now that we've talked for a bit about cooking coyote, let's dive into a specific recipe that might whet your appetite, or give you ideas about how you'll go about grilling up your local coyotes.
- 1-2 lbs ground coyote meat
- 1 8oz can tomato paste
- 1 can of beans (pinto or black)
- 1 can kidney beans
- 2 cans chili beans
- 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 diced onion (yellow or white)
- 4 cloves of minced garlic
- 4 chili peppers (jalapeno works great)
- 12 oz liquid (water works fine, or beer if you want a richer mix)
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- In a skillet or saucepan, heat cooking oil over medium heat. Once hot, add onions and garlic until they turn translucent in color.
- Next, add in the peppers and any additional spices you might want. Cayenne pepper, tobasco sauce, and chili powder are all great options.
- Now you'll add your meat to the mix, and brown it while inhaling the rich, new aroma of cookin' coyote.
- Once the meat is browned, you'll add in your beans, tomatoes, and tomato paste. We recommend not draining your beans unless you want a thicker, chunkier chili.
- Add in whatever ingredients you'd like! Corn, green onion, cornbread on the side, you name it.
- After cooking together for as long you can take, remove the chili from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Then indulge in your new favorite kinda meat to hunt.