Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Big Game Needed for Science Documentary Filming

  1. #1

    Default Big Game Needed for Science Documentary Filming

    Hello,
    My name is David Barker and I'm producing a documentary on the science of food for the BBC in the UK and for PBS in the US.
    We currently have a film crew in the Anchorage region of Alaska filming a story about the recovery, processing and consumption of roadkill moose. We are going to explain why it's so important to process the carcass quickly, before the meat spoils; why it must be stored correctly to ensure it remains tender; and show the skills needed to process large game quickly and safely. We need to carry out some specialist photography on a whole carcass, or even a leg of some big game, to help us illustrate what happens inside muscles as they die and rigor mortis sets in, plus explain what cold shortening is and why it needs to be avoided to make sure the meat stays tender. We do not want to keep the meat, just to use it for our film for a few hours.
    If you have any moose or other big game in storage that you would be happy to allow us to photograph, please get in touch and I can put you in touch with our crew.
    Many thanks
    David

  2. #2
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,765

    Default

    Folks, I have spoken with David, and this project appears to be legit. They're going to look at some of the difficulties we face with respect to roadkill moose, and they'll be looking at bacterial development and so forth. Nothing that would cast hunters in a bad light, or that would reflect poorly on Alaska or what we do with respect to game meat. Feel free to reach out to David directly, or to post your relevant comments here.

    This looks like a good project that should give people a good picture of what we're dealing with in the field.

    Regards,

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  3. #3
    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Grass Lake Michigan
    Posts
    1,978

    Default

    I think the state troopers would be a good starting place.

    one day closer to alaska.
    "Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science"

    Edwin Hubble

  4. #4
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
    Posts
    5,765

    Default

    David,

    A few points to ponder:

    The biggest issues we face with meat care in Alaska relate to spoilage, which occurs in one of two ways: From the inside-out, or from the outside-in. In the former case, we're talking about bone sour; this is when the fluids around the bones go rancid because of rampant bacterial development. This happens because the core temperature of the meat doesn't fall off fast enough. You get it when the ambient temperature is in the 50's or higher. It's just not cool enough for the heat to dissipate fast enough. Because of the size / thickness of the quarters, bone sour is more common with moose meat than it is with caribou, though it can happen with both.

    The second way meat spoils, from the outside-in, is contamination from surface bacteria. If you start out with 1,000 bacteria per gram of meat initially, when the animal is killed (a conservative estimate), you will have about 10 million by Day 5 post-kill, at 50F ambient temperature. Those numbers are from commercial slaughterhouse statistics. I believe field numbers would be higher, because of the inherently unsanitary conditions we have to work with. Contamination occurs organically, from the air. But it is accentuated by poor handling practices; contact with soil or organic material, cross-contamination from human hands that have touched rut or urine-tainted hair, and so forth. All of those forms of contamination accentuate bacterial development.

    Cold shortening is a consideration, but only in late fall or during winter, and only if meat is stored outside immediately post-harvest. As you know, cold shortening is an early onset issue that only occurs as a result of improper handling in the first 24 hours or so, post-harvest. The meat has to go through that glycogen to lactic acid conversion before rigor mortis sets in. Cold shortening is but a minor consideration, when you look at meat care challenges as a whole. Contrary to common perceptions of Alaska as a frozen icebox for most of the year, the conditions that create cold shortening risks are not commonly encountered by hunters in the fall season. It can be a real issue for the roadkill program, because the bulk of our moose roadkills occur in the winter, assuming we have deep snow pushing animals onto the roadway.

    Lots of aspects to this!

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address: http://alaskaoutdoorssupersite.com/hunt-planner/
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  5. #5

    Default

    Sounds like a good project. The only problem I see is you are a little too late in the year and it was a poor snow year to start. Hunting season is month's away and what little snow we received is all melting away so you will be hard pressed to find a road-killed moose. Check with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as well and see if they are still offering some of their targeted "hot spot" hunts. That might be your best bet, if you are looking to film soon. But it might be over, not sure. FYI, generally speaking the vast majority of the road-kills come in December-March, with probably the peak of the season in Jan-Feb. The snow drives the moose closer to the road system seeking refuge from the deep snows that make them vulnerable to predators (wolves). Especially when the snow is crusty on the top and the wolves can run on top of it but the moose sink down into it. Good luck. Please keep us all informed when you do release your video. Sounds like an interesting show.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •