Can You Eat Coyote Meat and What Does It Taste Like?

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Coyote meat is perfectly edible but something of an acquired taste. 

Many people refuse to eat coyote because it looks so much like a domestic dog, while its reputation as a dirty animal puts others off. 

I can understand why people may balk at the idea of eating coyote; after all, they eat almost anything, including whatever they find in your garbage can. 

Coyotes are opportunistic omnivores with a wide-ranging diet that can include rodents, rabbits, frogs, and even insects. They also enjoy various fruits and vegetables, including berries and melons. 

Unfortunately, coyotes will also feed on decomposing carcasses, a behavior that can negatively impact the flavor of their meat. 

Is Coyote Meat Safe to Eat?

When cooked thoroughly, coyote meat is just as safe as any other wild meat. The cooking process destroys any nasty toxins or pathogens that might be present in the meat. 

As with other wild meats, coyotes may contain a parasite called trichinella. A type of roundworm, trichinella, can cause a parasitic infection that causes abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever. 

You can eliminate the risk of contracting trichinella by cooking coyote meat thoroughly. That means cooking it “until the juices run clear and the meat is no longer pink.” 

You should use a meat thermometer to reduce the risk of food-borne disease. Coyote meat is only safe to eat once it reaches an internal temperature of around 160°F.

Coyotes are also prone to common diseases, including rabies. Although “thorough cooking will inactivate the rabies virus,” you should still avoid eating infected animals. 

If you shoot an animal showing signs of illness, it’s best to discard the meat rather than risk infection by eating it. You should also be careful when handling the animal, as coming into contact with the raw meat can be risky.

Similarly, if you shoot a coyote in the abdomen, the intestinal contents can contaminate the meat, rendering it inedible. 

What Does Coyote Meat Taste Like?

Coyote meat has a strong flavor and gristly texture that many people find off-putting. Others find it tastes similar to pork, while others say it tastes like a cross between chicken and venison.

The flavor of coyote meat varies seasonally due to changes in the animal’s diet. A coyote hunted in the winter will taste far nicer than one shot during the summer months. 

In summer, you may need to soak coyote meat in a brine solution to tenderize and cleanse the meat. Adding antibacterial herbs like garlic and ginger also reduces bacteria buildup and enhances the flavor. 

This is because the hot weather causes meat to rot faster, meaning that coyotes feed on more carrion and decomposing meat during the summer than in the winter. 

Lean cuts of coyote meat are generally more flavorful as the fat can add an unpleasant, gamey flavor to the meat.   

Is it Legal to Hunt and Eat Coyote? 

In most states, hunting coyote all…

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