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Thread: First time Caribou hunt....info.

  1. #1
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    Default First time Caribou hunt....info.

    I'm going to be hunting with 3 other guys in Unit 23 for caribou in a drop camp setting. Looking to find out any and all books or other reading material to help with ideas for keeping meat in the field.

    Looking at being up there the last 2 weeks in September. 14 days total with 12 days total hunting.

    we all have a lot of experience hunting elk, mulies, pronghorn and have no problems keeping game meat in edible condition down here but we pack out of backcountry and straight to coolers with ice at our vehicles. Obviously this isn't an option on this hunt so if you guys can offer up any advice that'd be great. We're not going til 2013 but this is one of the first things I wanted to get familiar with and plan on trying some of the techniques this year during elk season later in the fall.

    We all use Alaskan game bags or a variant of them. Curious about any tricks to help with keeping flies/bugs off and help slow down any sort of bacteria problems. I know the cool and dry part and allowing air to circulate around all the meat. Preferably with shade (tarp over head).

    Almost forgot, if any one could suggest a cold storage facility/freezer in Achorage. I was told there is no such facilities available in Kotzebue.
    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Jose

  2. #2
    Member Lone Wolf1's Avatar
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    Good luck on your hunt! It's a real experience. I'm sure you'll get lots of good ideas from folks on this forum regarding your field care, but here's a place to start:

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...nting.meatcare

    http://www.indianvalleymeats.com/field_care.htm

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    thank you, we're very excited. I've read in places that you can donate some of your meat if you choose to do so. I've also read that some of the Local's get offended by such acts. Maybe I misread this information, but have no intentions of offending anyone on our adventure. I know 2 of the guys have raised the questions to me about donating half of the meat (one backstrap/neck meat, tenderloin, ham/shoulder) to the local village.

    Is this considered disrespectful?? They're not sure they can afford the shipping of an entire caribou home and are trying to find out options that keep from wasting meat. Bare in mind these same guys aren't going to be taking capes home with them either as to cut down costs.

  4. #4

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    Good luck with your hunt! Search this forum for past threads, you'll find lots of good info on the topic of field meat care. The three basics are to keep the meat clean, cool, and dry. Citric acid works well for lowering the surface pH of the meat and reducing bacterial growth. Check out Pristine Ventures (http://www.pristineventures.com/home.html) for several DVDs that provide great info on field meat care. A small instant read meat thermometer is great for monitoring internal meat temperature and heavy duty contractor bags are nice for submersing meat if you need to cool it down. Mid- to late September in Unit 23 should have you in fairly cool temperatures, maybe even cold temps (< 20 F), but you never know with weather. Twelve days in the field (plus transport days) is a fairly long trip, it might present some challenges caring for meat for that long but cool temps will help.

    Regarding donating meat, I think many air taxi companies in remote villages generally have a 'donation' list of locals who'll accept meat from hunters. As long as you keep the meat in good condition, I don't think it would be considered disrespectful. If you donated all your meat and only took home the capes and antlers - not saying you would at all - you can imagine how that might be viewed.

  5. #5

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    Hunted there this past year with 3 friends in a drop camp. We all got caribou although it was tough hunting. The caribou were there for a couple of days and then gone the next several days, but that is caribou hunting. The quality and quantity of carbou were not as good as we have seen on the North Slope and neither was the scenary, but all in all it was still a success.

    Good suggestions on citric acid and donating meat. Getting meat back home in good shape is hard and gets expensive. Set aside extra money for shipping and processing. Use this forum. It has been a great source of info on all sorts of outdoor questions. Have fun on your hunt. PM me if you want details.

  6. #6

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    The citric acid works well. To save weight, buy it in a pharmacy supply store (dry material) and just bring a small spray bottle. If/when you get your animal(s), just mix up however much you need with some water from the local puddle/stream and spray it down. Make sure to carry some extra cord/string/rope to use to tie poles together to form a hanging rack out of materials you can usually find in the field. Getting the meat off the ground so you get good air flow is important. Keeping it dry is another huge thing, so have a tarp to cover, which will help not only for rain, but to keep any direct sunlight off which will help keep the cold from overnight better.

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    thanks a bunch guys. this place sure helps out a guy get things squared away.

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    Although not related to meat care and preservation, I STRONGLY recommend you bring a few pairs of surgical-type rubber gloves for the butchering operation. These cheap, disposable (pack them out or burn after use) gloves will keep the flies off your hands as you field dress. If you have a latex allergy, you can substitute the cheap nitrile gloves.

    I'm not afraid to get my hands bloody, BUT...

    Depending on the weather, small, biting, flies will swarm on any exposed skin that has blood on it and INSTANTLY bite. My wife nick-named them "Wings with Teeth". The bites are painful, and the area will be itchy/sore for days. If you're lucky, low temps and a little breeze help reduce the problem.

    These flies are known as Black flies (aka white socks, buffalo gnats: Family Simuliidae). They make mosquitoes look like wimps.

    Some bug info:

    http://bowsite.com/bowsite/features/...cts/index.html

    http://www.adn.com/adn/intern/hollybugs.html

    Oh yeah...headnets are helpful too :-), and cheap "mosquito coils" work well in camp to keep the black flies and "no-see-ums" at bay.

    Still want to come hunting .....? LMAO

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf1 View Post
    Although not related to meat care and preservation, I STRONGLY recommend you bring a few pairs of surgical-type rubber gloves for the butchering operation. These cheap, disposable (pack them out or burn after use) gloves will keep the flies off your hands as you field dress. If you have a latex allergy, you can substitute the cheap nitrile gloves.

    I'm not afraid to get my hands bloody, BUT...

    Depending on the weather, small, biting, flies will swarm on any exposed skin that has blood on it and INSTANTLY bite. My wife nick-named them "Wings with Teeth". The bites are painful, and the area will be itchy/sore for days. If you're lucky, low temps and a little breeze help reduce the problem.

    These flies are known as Black flies (aka white socks, buffalo gnats: Family Simuliidae). They make mosquitoes look like wimps.

    Some bug info:

    http://bowsite.com/bowsite/features/...cts/index.html

    http://www.adn.com/adn/intern/hollybugs.html

    Oh yeah...headnets are helpful too :-), and cheap "mosquito coils" work well in camp to keep the black flies and "no-see-ums" at bay.

    Still want to come hunting .....? LMAO
    yeah, it'd take more than a few bugs to bother me.....i don't think it's much different than Canada

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf1 View Post
    Although not related to meat care and preservation, I STRONGLY recommend you bring a few pairs of surgical-type rubber gloves for the butchering operation. These cheap, disposable (pack them out or burn after use) gloves will keep the flies off your hands as you field dress. If you have a latex allergy, you can substitute the cheap nitrile gloves.

    I'm not afraid to get my hands bloody, BUT...

    Depending on the weather, small, biting, flies will swarm on any exposed skin that has blood on it and INSTANTLY bite. My wife nick-named them "Wings with Teeth". The bites are painful, and the area will be itchy/sore for days. If you're lucky, low temps and a little breeze help reduce the problem.

    These flies are known as Black flies (aka white socks, buffalo gnats: Family Simuliidae). They make mosquitoes look like wimps.

    Some bug info:

    http://bowsite.com/bowsite/features/...cts/index.html

    http://www.adn.com/adn/intern/hollybugs.html

    Oh yeah...headnets are helpful too :-), and cheap "mosquito coils" work well in camp to keep the black flies and "no-see-ums" at bay.

    Still want to come hunting .....? LMAO
    Very good idea, although the reason I bring them is different than what you stated. My reason is to protect yourself if you happen to get a cut/scratch on your hands prior to or during the butchering process. The best way to transmit contaminants is by getting a raw cut exposed to them. If you have a small cut, the gloves provide a barrier. Mysteriously, hunting partners don't "accidentally" cut themselves during the butchering process any more. Before, it was an easy out. "Dang, cut myself again, guess I can't go digging in any more and risk getting an infection." Now, I just hand them a pair of gloves and they can get back at it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beastmodebwhntr View Post
    yeah, it'd take more than a few bugs to bother me.....i don't think it's much different than Canada
    I've been to Canada and if the weather hasn't knocked them down, there is no such thing "as few." It has been so bad that the only way to take a ite of food was go oout, face into the wind and hurry up, pull the head net up, and take a quick bite. Headnets are not a good thing to have but a piece of survival equipment. I've been bit by those little b******** and my hand swelled up and looked like a cather's mitt. Don't take them lightly. I use the gloves for both reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill S. View Post
    I've been to Canada and if the weather hasn't knocked them down, there is no such thing "as few." It has been so bad that the only way to take a ite of food was go oout, face into the wind and hurry up, pull the head net up, and take a quick bite. Headnets are not a good thing to have but a piece of survival equipment. I've been bit by those little b******** and my hand swelled up and looked like a cather's mitt. Don't take them lightly. I use the gloves for both reasons.
    i was being sarcastic, lol. it was pretty bad on my black bear hunt in Northern Alberta, and it was definitely more than a few. I've got my bug gear still from that, and some good ol deet spray.

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    Check out Larry Barlett's "Project Bloodtrail" which specifically deals with meat care on long float trips.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    Check out Larry Barlett's "Project Bloodtrail" which specifically deals with meat care on long float trips.
    thanks hodgeman.....i'll put it on my book list.

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    The citric acid works really well, we kept meat for about a week, bagged it, hung it and sprayed it. My partner swears by lemon juice and tabasco mixed and spayed on with a spray bottle- bonus on this is it saves on seasoning... As far as meat donation, I know here in Fairbanks we have several places that will take donations. Couldn't hurt to ask, but don't forget to pack along a couple of onions- eat what you can while your out!

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