Can You Eat Coyote?

Coyote is not a food you will find many people talking about. It’s often thought of as nasty, and a lot of people will turn their nose up at you if you tell them you eat coyote.

We’re here to tell you that coyote is edible. 

Is Coyote Edible

Coyote meat is edible; however, not many people consume coyote meat. Most people refrain from eating coyotes because of the stigma that comes with eating them.

Coyote meat is now only reserved for the adventurous; others think it’s disgusting, a dirty animal, a meat-eater, or the biggest reason why not to eat coyote is that it reminds them too much of a dog.

Coyote works best with slow cooking methods or any method that can get the internal temperature really hot really fast. 

It should never be served rare or undercooked due to the risk of trichinellosis.

Some methods of cooking coyote:

  • Stew is great for coyote, it slowly cooks the meat, making it really tender, and there are many deep flavors that will lend themselves to the coyote meat. Stewed coyote is not so different than beef stew.

  • Grill – Grilled coyote works well as you can lather it with marinades, sauces, and spices. The only thing to be careful with grilling coyote is to make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 160F; this is easier to do in a stew than on a grill.

  • Chili – Coyote works well for most minced dishes, but my personal favorite is chili. Again the flavors of the chili lend themselves to the meat of the coyote.

As you can see, coyote needs to borrow the flavors from the surrounding dish and doesn’t really work well on its own. I wouldn’t recommend coyote steaks, for instance.

Is Coyote Meat Bad

The answer to this question depends on who you ask. Is it bad for your health? no, it’s not. Does it taste bad? That depends on how you prepare it, but it’s not about to be replacing the elk in my freezer.

Most hunters shoot coyotes to manage the population, not for table fare. Even trappers don’t eat coyotes. The smell of a coyote is also a huge deterrent for most people.

As mentioned above, the biggest reason for this is the mental block with eating coyote. It’s not because of the taste because most people haven’t given it a chance before deciding that they don’t like it.

I’ll admit coyote isn’t the tastiest animal you can harvest, and I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to harvest one for food, but it’s ok to eat if you do a good job preparing it.

I wouldn’t say coyote meat is bad, but I also wouldn’t say coyote meat is good.

What Does Coyote Meat Taste Like?

This is one of the more trickier questions to answer, as coyote doesn’t really taste like anything other than coyote.

With most meats, it’s easy to incorporate them into complex dishes that can cover the taste of the meat.

This means if you were to use coyote in a stew or a chili, it could pass as beef.

However, coyote by itself doesn’t taste like any other meat I tried. If I had to say a coyote tasted like something, I would pick some cross between duck and pork with a tinge of liver.

Coyote doesn’t resemble pork on its own, as it is a lot more tender. It’s similar to duck with a slight hint of livery taste.

Dangers of Eating Coyote

With eating wild food, you always need to take care that it is handled and prepared properly. Coyote is no different and if it is not prepared properly, it could cause illness.

Trichinosis – Coyotes can be carriers of Trichinella. This is the same microscopic parasite that can be found in bears, hogs, and coons. If you consume coyote meat with Trichinella that has not been cooked to a sufficient temperature, you are at risk of trichinosis.

Trichinellosis will leave you with severe abdominal cramps, bloating, diarrhea, muscle pain, nausea, and fatigue.

However, this does not mean you cannot eat coyote. Even if an animal has Trichinella, the meat is safe to consume once it’s cooked to an internal temperature of 160F.

I eat black bear and hog regularly and never have any issues.

It’s important to make sure the thickest part of the meat reaches 160F to be safe.

Coyote Meat Nutrition

While you may not think of coyote as a nutritional meal, it actually fares better than a lot of supermarket meats.

Coyote meat is extremely low in fat and cholesterol. Coyote offers a lot of protein, vitamin b12 and is rich in riboflavin.

It also has a good amount of zinc and iron.

While coyotes feed on a lot of meat, they also eat a lot of bugs, fruits, seeds, and grasses, leading them to be very nutritious meat.

Conclusion

Coyote is certainly a meat you can eat, but most people don’t because of the mental block that it is too similar to a dog.

If I was hungry and shot a coyote it would certainly be utilized as food. However, I wouldn’t go out of my way to hunt a coyote just for its food.