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Thread: Butchering Nightmares

  1. #1
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    Default Butchering Nightmares

    The game bag thread brought back the night mares of butchering - Any stories or pictures of the worst situations you were in come time to butcher - My worst is obvious and several others tie for second. Those are the situations when you catch yourself saying "If I had only known I wouldn't have pulled the trigger" I do know I will take water over mud any day but prefer a dry grassy field.

    By far my worst - The more you moved the farther you sank:

  2. #2
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    that looks like a knife duller for sure...
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  3. #3
    Member LungShot's Avatar
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    Default Deer

    I don't know what I would rather be faced with... your moose in the mud looks awful but me, and my 2 hunting partners shot 3 deer back to back to back less than an hour before dark on Kodiak 2 miles from camp. Of course there was a monsoonish rain storm that hit right when it became pitch black as we were just strapping up the last ham on our packs. Carrying 1 deer apiece plus 30 pounds of day pack, and rifles, then trudging through a mile of alders in pouring rain with only one headlamp between us was not fun to say the least. Took us till 1am to get back to camp.

  4. #4

    Default Jeez that was nothing

    i've butchered 4 moose comeplety under water and lots in deep snow. It never fails to amuse me of the stories about dressing out 3 or 4 moose between sharpenings.
    I tend to use more than enough gun

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    Wow! That moose in the mud looks like a real bad nightmare I can't even imagine skinning and quartering it there. Maybe gutting it first, removing the legs, cutting the neck at the base, and then skinning those parts away from there? Maybe cutting through the ribs lengthwise and a few inches away from the top back strap, pulling that side of the moose out of there, and then the bottom side. Finally, skinning and bagging these last parts.

    I look at your moose and immediately realize how lucky I have been so far. All the moose I have killed have dropped on the spot (or very close to it, except for one), and right in the open. I have been able to bring my ATV right next to it every time.

  6. #6

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    WOW! That reminds me of the time I saw a guy drop a spike in the middle of a swamp lake. Sure as snot he butchered that moose while standing up to his chest in water. I'm sure the meat crusted over nicely strapped to his deck over airboat on the way out.

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    What I have found in a situation like your moose is gut the animal and quarter it with the hide on and pack it out. Once back to camp hang it and skin it. You end up with a pretty clean job actually. If I had the chance I would wash the quarters in a water source if available before I hung and skinned it.

    We have taken quite a few moose in swamps and we just pack them out with the hide on. Yes it's heavier but to hang it in camp and then skin it you get a really nice job.

  8. #8

    Default rambling raven...

    You must have had some really talented bow boys to help you on that mud moose. My back is getting sore just looking at the picture. Keep 'em coming.
    SeaULater

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Been there with a nightmare. Knife kit feel out of my pack. All I had to clean the bear was a leather man... Talk about work. It doesn't compare to nightmare though.
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  10. #10
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    [quote=waterrat;214729]i've butchered 4 moose comeplety under waterquote]

    Did you do it all in one breath or come up for a breath between each one
    Vance in AK.

    Matthew 6:33
    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Haven't had quite the bad mud to deal with, but when your moose, or other critter is in mud like that, start cutting willows or spruce poles to lay in the mud to stand on.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    Fortunately I had the help of 3 very experienced bow boys and we made the best of a bad situation. Out came the chainsaw and 3 of us moved a ton of brush and logs to the moose for a platform while the 4th hauled water to rinse the mud off. Being that there was 4 of us we were able to cut it in just 4 pieces with the hide on and move it the 20 yards to the boat - The longest 20 yards of my hunting career through the muck. Once hanging it required a little more trimming and cleaning than normally necessary to assure success.

    Hind sight if I would have drug it into the slough with the boat, a short tow behind the jet to cleanse it and back out on a nice firm beach for butchering - As hard as that is it would have been much easier.

    I can also tell you from experience that water moose provide there own challenges but pale in comparison as the dirt plagues the desired out come.

    Seaulater - Only the best trained bowboys could have pulled this off and I only travel with the best.

    RayfromAK - The problem was that he did fall on the spot - The wrong spot - Misjudged his momentum and thought he would make it 20 feet to the dry grass. Should have used a smaller gun and he might of made it or waited another 3 seconds before squeezing the trigger. Lessons learned the hard way.

  13. #13
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Neither-

    [QUOTE=Vance in AK;214821]
    Quote Originally Posted by waterrat View Post
    i've butchered 4 moose comeplety under waterquote]

    Did you do it all in one breath or come up for a breath between each one
    Here's an acronym for that situation: SCUBA



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  14. #14
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Worse one

    Here is my worse one. I had 18" rubber boots and the partner had hipps. Part of the process had to be done blind under water. Partner only cut himself once!
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    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default In a word...

    In a word- "Learn from others' mistakes." I try to do that, and thank everyone for their examples. As a result of trying to learn from the mistakes of others, I have very few nightmares to prevaricate upon. The only thing that would come close, that I can recall, happened on Kodiak. I had one day left on my hunt, and 4 proxy tags left to fill. So it was time to harvest does! I left one doe hanging high up in a tree 2 miles from camp the day before, then on the last day I climbed up and shot 2 does a mile and 2 miles from camp in the other direction. I dragged both down to the beach before dark, and hung both of them whole. I got back to camp, ate supper, and then hiked over to the first doe and packed her back to camp (all by flash and moonlight). I rowed my 2 man raft over to the farthest of the other two does, and skinned and quartered her in the dark, losing a little tooth enamel to my mini mag light in the process. Rowed my raft back to camp, at about 4am. Got 2 hours of sleep, then up, ate brekky, broke my camp, and hiked it half a mile up the beach, using the raft and my pack, to a better landing spot for the plane. Plus, it was next to where my last doe was hanging, so I could butcher her while I waited. Well, it was a huge flood tide, so I needn't have even moved my camp, I almost had it all float away, so I was running in hip boots from the pickup point to my campsite trying to rescue everything. I had everything on a driftlog staying dry, water within inches of the top of my boots, and ready to move over to get the deer when the plane landed. He was exactly 2 hours early, and I still had a whole deer hanging back in the trees! I told the pilot I still had one deer in the whole- I was so embarrassed! He had a beaver, though, for just me and my gear, so while he and a friend he'd brought for the ride loaded up all my gear, I ran over to the woodline and cut my deer down. I suppose it was a couple hundred yards, through flooded grass. I slung it over my shoulder, and jogged over to the plane. I had a tarp on top of the load that I put in the back of the plane, laid the doe on that, then folded the tarp around her. Oh, it was a grown up doe, too... not a one hander. The pilot let me butcher her out in his hangar, and even disposed of the bones and hide for me. Seahawk Air- total quality outfit! Anyhow, thats about the only butcher woes I have to relate... credit it to being young, in great shape, and thinking that butchering a couple deer and walking around a bit wasn't any big deal. If I had to climb, hike, and pack meat that many miles in a day now, I'd be just another "missing hunter" from Kodiak island.

  16. #16
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Default moose in water

    Dave, for as long as you been here, I'm surprized you killed that thing in the water...now thats a nightmare, I don't ever want to experience....CK

  17. #17
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default No choice

    Not much of a choice. He was wounded by my partner. Another 5 yards and he had been in the willows wounded. So I shot him in the back of the head from 65 yards while on the opposite bank. Dead moose in the water is better than a wounded moose in the willows.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
    Cancer Survivor - Dec. 14th 2012

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    My buddy said............don't worry, I will hit him high in the lungs and he will walk out of the swamp.
    The moose didnt read that book. It is really fun trying to dress out a moose in water up to your waist with guts bobbing up and down all around you.
    Did I forget to mention it was also dark?
    Tennessee

  19. #19
    Member IceKing02's Avatar
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    Default Count your blessings...

    At least there weren't any crocodiles looking for a free meal...

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    No 'dirty' butchering stories, but I do have an interesting one. We've spotted a nice 60+" bull in a nice mountainside meadow. We put the stalk on and he doesn't have a clue we're there. At about 50 yards I put the hurt on him and he goes down- fastest animal I've ever seen fall, he didn't tip over, take a step, run around...he literally falls straight down. As we walk over to him we realize that his four legs had been straddling a dry ditch in the meadow and when he died he must have involuntarily sucked his legs in becasue he is now completely wedged in the ditch. As most of you know, its often difficult enough to get a moose on his back when he's on flat ground- we know we're not moving him. We had some small block and tackles but there aren't any trees close enough to anchor off. Long story short, we had to take him apart from the back down- backstraps and neck meat first, then we were able to joint his hinds and work them out, and by then we were able to get enough leverage to pry him out.- course then we had to put him on our backs and hump it 1.5 miles back to camp!!

    Makes us appreciate it when they go down in a nice dry flat spot with a nice birch tree overhead to block the sun/rain.

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