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Thread: butchering my own caribou

  1. #1
    Member russelljsr's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Eielson AFB, Alaska

    Default butchering my own caribou

    I decuded to try to butcher my own caribou this year and I don't really know how so I was wondering if anyone out there has any pointers. I want to get as many steaks as possible. I have it quartered up and the ribs whole and I don't know if I should cut up the backstraps or not. Any help would be great. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Fairbanks most the time, Ancorage some of the time,& on the road Kicking Anti's all the time


    having just finished two moose.... the first rule of thumb is cut across the grain of the meat not with it... the grain is laid out like spaghetti noodles in a fashion. grab a bag out of the cupboard and look at the ends of it cut across the noodle not with it, cutting with the grain will leave you chewing a tough tough piece of meat...

    as for cutting the back strap you need to decide to you want bone in steaks or not.. you will need a saw and frozen meat works best to cut with a saw... i use a cordless saws-all. or bone out is easy i make 1 inch thick steaks from the strap like FILLET ....

    (for that i was recently told that the food bank here in FBKS,,, has all the saws and grinders for use and let you use it free if you donate a little, meat... but don't quote me on it..)

    i usually bone out the quarters and make roasts and steaks off the large chunks of meat.. as we generally put several large animals a year in the freezer bone takes up to much space... don't worry to much about trying to get the best scraps attached thats your burger and stew meat.. and the lower legs, with all the sinew are always stew or burger..ribs i shave the outside layer of meat off the Bone and then use the saws all to cut them into six inch sections 6 hours in a salt sugar brine and 8 hours in the smoker at 165. your making some excellent fare fore the table later... slow cook them and wow... the meat off the ribs this year we made bacon with it... or grind it up... some years i will go through all the work of separating it . to make ROLLED /stuffed steaks...for the grill or kabobs...

    as you cut meat, if you cant deal with the large chucks fast enough.... place them in a white bag out side or back n the freezer to stiffen up again. ( not FROZEN) cutting is so much easier with cold stiff meat.

    hope this helps to start.. its a chore.. we spent the ENTIRE day Sunday finishing and still have about 65 lbs to send out for hot dogs and such...
    Last edited by Vince; 10-07-2008 at 05:09. Reason: claification
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  3. #3
    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Palmer, AK


    I always process all my own meat. You have to decide what is most important to you. Try to remove all membranes, sinew, fat, etc. so you are left with just the meat, then cut across the grain as previously stated. You will have the opportunity to make some large hams, but I prefer the steaks. Certain meat will just need to be ground like most of the neck meat and boned rib meat (I don't like ribs on bone, but that is a personal choice). What does not go into steaks or obvious ground, all goes into what I call *stew meat* which tends to be pretty large. I make one inch squares and freeze it in one pound blocks. Can be used for almost everything (stew, chili, soup, anything that you want meat in). I also vacuum seal all my meat. I personally never cut it frozen, nor do I use in power tools on it...again, personal choice. If you are a real adventurer you can use the quarters as an anatomy learning lesson To me it only makes the whole experience *better* to do it all yourself. Jump in and remember it is the dull knife that cuts you...keep your edge sharp
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

  4. #4
    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    Soldotna AK

    Default dvd's

    there are plenty of videos out there to help. I'm planning on doing it with my daughters first deer. I figure the money that I save will pay for the equipment I.E. v. sealer and maybe a grinder.

  5. #5
    Member Anglette's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Houston, AK


    Don't forget the throat meat, right under the wind pipe, just like tenderloin.
    Hang it, while cutting, it makes it alot easier. Use a small sharp knife, not a big knife, easier to handle and guide the knife.
    as for cutting the back strap you need to decide to you want bone in steaks or not.. or bone out is easy i make 1 inch thick steaks from the strap like FILLET ....
    EXACTLY!!! when cutting for NO BONE backstraps, just use your knife just like filleting a fish, as a matter of fact, when getting meat off the bone, do it like you would a Halibut, or a salmon for the whole thing. Small slices down the bone.

    We chunked ours out for sausage, and burger, and the back straps are in 2" small steaks.

    Hind 1/4's are good for steaks, top round, bottom round, & sirloin.


  6. #6
    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    May 2007
    @ Seminary, Dubuque Ia


    Quote Originally Posted by Roger45 View Post
    it is the dull knife that cuts you...keep your edge sharp
    That seems counterintuitive, but is absolutely correct

  7. #7


    here is an excellent tutorial:

    and with pictures!!


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