In effort to clean out his freezer at home, one of the guys I worked with today brought in a roast from a cougar that he harvested last year. The roast was properly seasoned, covered in bacon, and placed on the Traeger for 4 hours, before being declared 'ready for lunch'.
It wasn't half bad...I mean...you could wrap a shoe from my closet in bacon, then smoke it for 4 hours, and I'm sure it wouldn't be half bad. I had previously had some of this same cougar in a chili a few months ago...but, once something has slow cooked in chili for a few hours, you can't really get a taste of the meat.
More important...it didn't taste like whatever I had thought cougar would taste like. While the pre-cooked roast looked red like beef, the finished flavor was more like pork...and not just do to the bacon wrapped around it. I'm 100% certain I could give it to my wife, and 'cougar' would be about the 18th thing she guessed for a source for the meat.
So...that's good to know, you know...if I ever actually SEE a cougar in the wild. Every year, I buy a cougar tag. It's kind of a scam here in Washington, because a cougar tag is only like three dollars if you are already buying a deer/elk tag...so, I'm willing to be one of the 90% of the hunters in Washington get a tag 'just in case'.(60,000+ tags, around 120 harvested animals). I know that's how this guy shot his...target of opportunity...it was nothing he went out looking for.
It's just nice to know that if I do happen to run into one, the meat isn't something that would be wasted.