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Thread: Caribou Rut Question

  1. #1
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    Smile Caribou Rut Question

    Hello all,
    I've gone into the Kenai Mountain Herd hunt area twice now to try and fill the tag I drew for a caribou there. I worked my ass off on both hunts and just couldn't find a bou yet. It sure wasn't for lack of trying. I'm not giving up, I hate to lose. Snow or not, I'm going back in there next week. That brings me to my questions related to rut.

    -Do you think those bulls are in rut yet?

    -If they are, what is your opinion of caribou bull meat in rut? I've heard a lot of things and am unsure what to think. Some say it's only good for sausage. Some say if you keep the pissy hairs off the meat when you are dressing out the bull then you won't contaminate the meat and it is fine for steaks. Some say the meat is good in or out of rut and to take a bull.

    -Should I just take a cow?

    I've got four kids and am looking to fill the freezer with some good eating meat, and if I have to take a cow to do that, I will. This is the first big game I've hunted, and also the first year I put in for permits. I drew this one and I'm not taking it lightly. I will fill this tag. So any info you can give would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    AKF

  2. #2
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    Default All I saw so far

    Hey, me again. This is all I saw in there so far, sorry for quality, through my spotting scope.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Default rutty caribou is absolutely inedible

    take a cow, it isn't worth the risk of being stuck with meat that the dogs won't eat.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
    http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

  4. #4
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Take Dave's advice. Rutting bull caribou is not only bad tasting, it is darn near inedible. His comment about dogs refusing to eat it is not exaggeration. If feeding your family is your goal, take a cow or wait until November.

    Good luck on your hunt. It's a tough hunt for sure, but very rewarding when it comes together.

  5. #5
    Member AkGreg's Avatar
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    Default COW!!

    Take a cow. the way rutting bulls determine cow "availibity" is by..... sampling LOTS of cow urine....... nuff said.

    Greg

  6. #6

    Default

    The bulls determine if a cow is estrous by sampling their urine. The liver will filter some of it, however not all of it, it therefore ends up in the blood stream and into the muscle tissue that ends up being roasts and steaks that yes, not even dogs will eat. So....

    Shoot a cow if the permit allows.

    Plus, the cows are smaller, less packing.

  7. #7

    Default

    Avoid a bull caribou in rut at all costs... been there, done that. unknowingly at the time, I took a nice caribou bull years back that was in rut. They taste awful ! The prior statement about meat that dogs won't eat is no joke ! I tried my best to find ways to make it palatable, chili was the best I could do. A "mixed blessing" happened one day, my freezer lost power and everything in it spoiled... including the other "good" bull I had taken on the same hunt.

    Shoot a cow. It will be no less a trophy than a bull, particularly on that hunt. I have had the fortune of drawing that tag years ago, it is a difficult hunt.

  8. #8
    Member AK Wonderer's Avatar
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    Default

    When do the caribou in the Kenai Mtns hit full rut? I shot a mature bull in there last year on the 12th of October. I was kind of worried about the rut but took the chance, or you could say the sight of antlers got the better of me. Had the rut not kicked in yet or did I just get lucky?

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    Default

    Thanks for the replies. It is a resounding no to shooting a bou in rut. Now for the other question, if I head in there in the next week, do you think they are in rut yet? How can I tell when I get in there? Forgive my ignorance.

  10. #10

    Default

    I'd say this far into October they are probably into the rut. I'm not a bio though, just my guess based on hunting other herds throughout the state.

    Good luck man

  11. #11

    Exclamation cow, no bull!

    Shoot a cow or you run the risk of being very sorry you have a bunch of meat that is probably comparable to a skunk's butt! Most of the lessons I learned in life were learned the hard way, at least I am smart enough to remember them.

  12. #12

    Default Not sure if all..

    bous rut at the same time. We had the Nelchina through here one year about Oct. 12. They were indedible, but shot some big bulls on Oct. 21 and they were fine. My suggestion would be to watch and see if they are acting like they are in the rut. Watch and see if they are eating at all. If they are eating, they should be good. But like the others said earlier, if in the rut, absolutely inedible by humans and other animals.

  13. #13
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    Default Oct 17

    Was hunting way up north back on Oct 17, 2003...lots of rutting activity...shot a bull...it was "terrible." If that helps at all.....

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