October 8, 2017
Taking Care Of Your Moose -- Moose Hunters Should Prepare For Hot Weather At Beginning Of October Moose Hunt
Temperatures at the start of the October Moose Hunt are predicted to be in the 70s, so moose hunters need to be prepared to process your moose quickly in order to take care of your moose meat.
You probably waited years to get your moose permit, and you want to take care of your meat, since moose meat is protein-packed, free of antibiotics and growth hormones, and compared to other meats, is lower in fat, cholesterol and calories. Replacing the meat of a successfully harvested moose, which on average would be about 300 pounds of steaks, burgers and roasts, could cost you over $1800 at the grocery store.
Warm weather affects your moose meat, so keep this in mind:
While registering your moose is required by law, WEIGHING YOUR MOOSE AT A TAGGING STATION IS NOT REQUIRED. Field dressing and quartering your moose allows meat to cool quickly.
Plan head and know where you are going to tag your moose.
Contact a meat cutter or processor ahead of time. Know where they live, how to get there, and their hours of operation.
MOOSE ARE 101 DEGREES ON THE INSIDE---THIS HEAT MUST ESCAPE FOR RAPID COOLING OF THE CARCASS. Removing the hide and quartering your animal allows it to cool quicker. STRONGLY CONSIDER CUTTING YOUR MOOSE UP IN THE FIELD---BRINGING PARTS OUT IN COOLERS.
AT TEMPERATURES ABOVE 40F, MEAT BEGINS TO SPOIL; AND WHEN TEMPERATURES ARE ABOVE 70F, BACTERIA DOUBLES EVERY 20 MINUTES.
At 50F you may have between 3 and 6 hours to get your moose completely cooled down (40F) before the meat begins to spoil. That means hide off, moose cut up, and placed in a cooler or freezer.
Bags of ice in the cavity will not protect the back straps or cool down the quarters no matter how much you stuff in there.
USE GAME BAGS TO PROTECT AND HELP COOL YOUR MOOSE MEAT. They can be commercially bought or use an old, clean, cotton pillow case
Keep dirt and dust off your moose. The woods road will be extremely dusty and moose hauled out on trailers and truck beds will be covered in dust, take precautions to keep dust off the meat.
Looking to learn how to field dress and quarter your moose? This video and web page from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game can help: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=hunting.meatcare
Warm weather, dirt, hair, rumen contents, urine are your meat spoilage enemies-take field dressing slowly and methodically to preserve the highest quality meat
Meat starts to spoil above 40F!
Meat requires rapid cooling and abundant air flow.
A moose should not be hung for cooling if temperatures are above 45F.
Warm weather also affects moose behavior which can impact your hunt. Moose may spend more time in cover, so you may have to change your hunting tactics in warm weather.
Good luck to all moose hunters, and have a safe and successful moose hunt.