After making plenty of trips up the Haul Rd to try with the bow and some close calls and a few misses I finally got my first caribou last Saturday. It was quite the journey. Almost 15 miles on the 4 wheeler and seeing the signs of alot of successful hunters along the way, we finally spotted a small group about 200 yards off of the trail. I will admit I biffed my first shot but I made my follow up shot count and put a nice sized cow down in its tracks. It was a clean upper neck shot that did not ruin any meat. I have let deer sit over night during early archery seasons (+/- 40 degrees) and had no issues with spoilage so we desided not to gut it for the haul back to the parking area. I also did this to avoid having the exhaust from the wheeler blowing into the cavity during the 1.5 hour ride back. I gutted it at the trail head and it was an hour and a half ride to the house. I skinned and quartered it in the garage and I let the meat sit over night in a cooler outside. The meat did not freeze but cooled nicely and Sunday we finished butchering and vaccuum sealing it. Tonight we cooked some of the back straps just like we have made wild boar and deer before, a real family favorite. I dont soak the meat in salt water or milk, we dont mind the taste of wild game. Wow it was gamey as all get out almost over the top. Some of the meat did have a heavy game smell while butchering and most had that clean meat smell. I refuse to take the easy way out and grind it all into sausage and am wondering if anyone has tips on cooking or ways that worked for them.
In a perfect world I would of liked to let the meat hang for a day or so but I dont have the space and I didnt want to take the chance of it freezing outside.