How interesting, yes we have lots of evergreens here that it must have been chomping on. Maybe I will pluck up the courage to try one again, and if I smell that piney smell before cooking I will discard, it was horrible. This time of year they become a nuisance on our property, mainly the orchard so I am sure I will get another shot at trying oneem.fisher
My Dad use to cook porcupine on a regular basis in the 70's and 80's and they were very good. But once in while I would bring him a head shot one from the baiting pile and he would discard it as soon as he started gutting it. We have a cedar stand next to our property and he could tell when they had been feeding on cedar trees just by the smell of the flesh. I assume that the one you tried was similar. Most are very good and almost indistinguisable from rabbit and much more meaty.
Dad would parboil them in a broth infused with onions and garlic and then stuff them and roast them in the oven.
I think that is the problem, we have some hardwood around, but much more softwood.My mother grew up on those things. She hasn't eaten them since my existence. I have often heard her say that porkies killed in the hardwoods were good, and those from the softwood...." weren't fit to eat".