Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: McGrath Meat Processing

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    East Bethel, Minnesota
    Posts
    16

    Default McGrath Meat Processing

    What kind of experience have you had getting your moose processed in McGrath and shipped back to the lower 48?

    How long did it take to get cut up?

    Did they ship for you and to where (Anchorage, home)?

    How expensive was it?

    Any suggestions would be welcome.

    I talked to someone that said it was cost prohibitive for them to ship their meat back from McGrath so they donated all of it, while I have no problem donating some meat, I really enjoy eating my wild game and reminiscing about the trip while I eat it.

    Thanks,

    Don

  2. #2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwana_Don View Post

    I talked to someone that said it was cost prohibitive for them to ship their meat back from McGrath so they donated all of it, while I have no problem donating some meat, I really enjoy eating my wild game and reminiscing about the trip while I eat it.

    Thanks,

    Don

    First off, I don't know if there is any commercial meat processing in McGrath...........there isn't in most bush communities, and I suspect McGrath is no different.

    It is great that you are considering how to get this done so you can take your meat home too. A person coming to AK to hunt should be capable of processing their own meat.........even if it is only boxing and freezing. And you can figure out how to get that done in any bush community.

    Whoever is transporting or guiding you should be able to help you with that. If they can not or encourage you to donate the meat.......you might want to find someone better connected locally.

    As for donating meat; my experience is that locals don't particularly think much of getting bags of trim, rib, neck and front shoulders while the t. loins, back straps and hind quarters get high graded.

    A person coming to AK to hunt should have the finances to ship the meat home. All of it. You should be able to get it to Anchorage for .50 per pound. From there to "home" probably about 1.50 a pound. Also; once you get it to Anchorage there are commercial processors and they can ship it to you after processing too.

    After all spending literally thousands of dollars to come up and hunt and then claim it is too expensive to ship the meat home has defined nonresident hunters as horn hunters..........and that is not going over well considering that Alaskans are continually being restricted and limited on their own harvest opportunities by "horn hunters".


  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    East Bethel, Minnesota
    Posts
    16

    Default McGrath Processing

    My partner and I prefer to cut up are own deer usually 4 a year, mostly because we are picky and do a very good job with our cuts, getting the silver skin off, removing lymph nodes, etc. We make are own sausage, snack sticks, jerky, etc. as well. I have to admit part of the reason we started cutting our own was it did not seem worth it to pay some else when we started shooting multiple deer, where we live it can run $75 - $100 per deer just for cutting.

    As for McGrath I was told there is a commercial butcher Whitmire's Game Processing that shows up for the month of September each year, the B&B I talked today said they heard a rumor that they may not be coming back this year. There is a McGrath phone number for them, but I am told they live in Wasilla where I can not find a listing. So far I have not been able to connect with them verify one way or the other.

    If there is a way we could process the meat ourselves in McGrath we would do that in a heart beat and then ship, the biggest problem would be getting it froze of course for the trip south.

    Your perspective on the hunters not taking meat seems contrary to what I have been reading. Until your post, I had been left with the impression that it would be wrong not to donate meat to the locals. By nature I am a meat hunter and only want to hunt what tastes good, I consider a trophy a bonus. Of course being a non-resident I am limited to what would qualify as trophy. From what I have read it seems to make good sense for heard management to have these restrictions.

    Finding out Brown Bears don't taste good and some of the Black Bears don't taste to good either in AK if they have been eating fish has been a real disappointment, most of the Black Bears hear taste mighty fine. I had hopes of making another trip in a few years to archery hunt for a Brown Bear.

    Don

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwana_Don View Post

    If there is a way we could process the meat ourselves in McGrath we would do that in a heart beat and then ship, the biggest problem would be getting it froze of course for the trip south.
    The biggest problem you have is finding someplace to process the meat the way you do at home; and the clean up.

    You may just have to box the meat the way it comes out of the field, freeze it and then process it when you get home. The folks who run the B&B should be able to help you figure out how to get the meat in a freezer; especially if they are catering to hunters and fisherman.

    It sounds like you have the processing perfected; and that is great, you will get it figure out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bwana_Don View Post
    Your perspective on the hunters not taking meat seems contrary to what I have been reading. Until your post, I had been left with the impression that it would be wrong not to donate meat to the locals. By nature I am a meat hunter and only want to hunt what tastes good, I consider a trophy a bonus. Of course being a non-resident I am limited to what would qualify as trophy. From what I have read it seems to make good sense for heard management to have these restrictions.
    What you must have been reading is about wasting meat; not donating meat. I don't think there is much heartburn about nonresidents taking good care of their meat and taking it home OR any implications that hunters coming to Alaska to hunt should "donate" their meat.

    What I said was; high grading the meat and claiming it's too expensive to take it all home, or donating all the meat and claiming it's too expensive to take it home translates into "hunting for horns".

    The restrictions and limits put on Alaska residents that I am referring to is related to the declining resource availability. The shorter seasons, reduced bag limits, closed or restricted units and sub-units imposed annually around Alaska that have radically changed hunting opportunities for all of us.

    The criteria for harvests; such as spike, fork, 50", 3 or more brow tines are indeed management tools and we all accept that.

    I hope you understand that I am not dissing you for wanting to come to AK to hunt. I deal with a lot of hunters I can tell you that "meat" hunters coming to AK to hunt are an absolute minority.



    Quote Originally Posted by Bwana_Don View Post
    Finding out Brown Bears don't taste good and some of the Black Bears don't taste to good either in AK if they have been eating fish has been a real disappointment, most of the Black Bears hear taste mighty fine. I had hopes of making another trip in a few years to archery hunt for a Brown Bear.

    Don
    So, an archery hunt for Brown Bears would not be a meat hunt for you?

    Lots of people hunt/eat Brown Bears and Black Bears in Alaska; don't know where you got your information on that one.


  5. #5
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Talkeetna
    Posts
    5,714

    Default

    Lots of Alaskans don't eat brown bear. I have no issues with killing one in the name of predator control and keeping the hide. Black bears in the spring are good eating. Late fall black bears inland are good too.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    East Bethel, Minnesota
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Thanks for the info, I am going to try to pursue some the angles you mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by AVALANCHE View Post

    So, an archery hunt for Brown Bears would not be a meat hunt for you?

    Lots of people hunt/eat Brown Bears and Black Bears in Alaska; don't know where you got your information on that one.
    The disappointment is more that an archery hunt would not happen because if it not something that is going to taste good I am not interested in killing it. The information is from books as wells as on this forum and that it is not required to keep the meat of bears. Of course now you are giving me hope and I will have to do more research.

    I believe everyone that hunts, needs to enjoy hunting for their own reasons. I also agree that there is a progression that most hunters go through over time related to the reasons they hunt/kill something and as long at they are doing it legally I respect their right and their reasons.

    At this point I get my kicks out of making really good food out of what I hunt and sharing it with friends. I have been able to entice people (whole families) into hunting by doing this a side agenda of mine is to keep the hunting ranks up enough that I do not become a minority and my right to hunt gets taking away.

  7. #7
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NE PA
    Posts
    22

    Default

    I hunted for moose in McGrath back in 2001. Out group of 4 got 2. We took good care of our meat in the field even though is was very warm that year. Flies were a problem during mid day. Of course we ate moose every night while in camp. When we got back to town the meat processor only had a screened in area to keep the meat. We asked what the turn around time was and he said he would get to our moose in 2 to 3 weeks. We were a little skeptical of that because of the warm temps and the flies trying to get into the screened area. I can't remember the cost but for some reason I think it was $1.80/lb plus fedex to PA. We decided the cost was not worth the risk. The risk being the odds of our meat arriving in good condition. The meat was probably already 7 days old plus it had to hang for another 2 to 3 weeks. We were able to take 2 boxes of meat with us the rest we donated. Lots of people there who will take it. The butcher had a list of seniors who would be greatful for it compared to some of the lazy young folks looking for a handout. I guess some residents don't like the idea of nonres not taking their meat but I was glad I could help some locals out. If you want to process your own meat it may be possible if you have enough time. The issue is the meat would probably have to be flown back to Anchorage on a freight plane which back then only went 2 or 3 times per week. I am not sure of freezer space at the BB in McGrath but almost all the hotels in Anchorage have freezers. If you can get your meat back there you can process, freeze, and then set up for shipment home. We processed 5 caribou on another hunt in our hotel room in Anchorage a few years earlier, froze it, and took it as extra baggage on our NW flight. Just went to Home Depot and got 2 sheets of plywood for cutting boards.

  8. #8
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks, Ak.
    Posts
    4,191

    Default

    I'm sure our utmost ethical hunter avalanche will accept any donations of any meat you bring back. Be sure to get his phone number.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  9. #9

    Default Waste...

    Quote Originally Posted by AVALANCHE View Post
    ....A person coming to AK to hunt should have the finances to ship the meat home. All of it. You should be able to get it to Anchorage for .50 per pound. From there to "home" probably about 1.50 a pound. Also; once you get it to Anchorage there are commercial processors and they can ship it to you after processing too.

    After all spending literally thousands of dollars to come up and hunt and then claim it is too expensive to ship the meat home has defined nonresident hunters as horn hunters..........and that is not going over well considering that Alaskans are continually being restricted and limited on their own harvest opportunities by "horn hunters".
    Wow - thanks for helping us understand what should be required of anyone who hunts in Alaska! Since you're so free with the advice on edible harvest, I am SURE that you save, and eat, the tongue, nose, and keep the leg bones for marrow, right?

    And before someone else corrects you...moose have ANTLERS, not horns.

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
  •