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Thread: Caribou Freeze up

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    Default Caribou Freeze up

    Well, Monday night we recived the news "Bulls are crossing, and they cant stop" , which is the good news we were waiting for. the cold weather certainly has the Caribou moving again.
    Anyday , "Rut" will ruin the taste of the meats. We hunted three straight days, and every Bull we took was PRIME
    We wont have an opportunity to hunt fat Caribou untill March, when females fatten up, and thats 6 months away.
    With 15 in our house, and us eating what we do, were set untill Thanksgiving, and by then the ice will be thick enough to hunt safely, though we will only get a couple hours of light then, so hunting NOW is very important.
    This is a hunt that has occured here for a few thousand years, acheologicly spaeking.
    As a child in the early 20th century, my father in laws parents hunted here, actually living about a bend downriver from our hunting spot. They persued caribou in Kayaks, spearing them as they crossed, and setting snares in the Willows along the rivers edge, and caught the ones that had already crossed. This was their food and skins for the winter.
    This is a Meat hunt, and theres nothing "Sporting" about it. We try and get up enough meat for our household, our neighbors and relatives before "Freeze up" when all we can do is stay home untill the ice thickens enough to be safe. Were also decending into Polar darkness, and hhunting will be breif during the twilight days, untill Febuary.
    We wait by the rivers side for the fattest Bulls top cross, then we sally out and shoot them in the bain with a .22lr.
    Its the quickest, most "Humane"(~~LOL!!~~) way to go about it, far quicker death than a heart/lung shot.
    With a .22lr, we get a solid brain scrambler, no pass through shots, no wounded, no sick, only the one animal we have chosen out of the bunch, but often two or three.
    There were littereally thousands of Caribou crossing, all three days we were there.
    Each day we arrived in mid morning , as sun up it 9 am and we are an hour and 1/2 away with the boat, and still there were easily 10 boats in view along that 3 mile strech of river.
    We watched about 500 Caribou cross, and nobody persue them that we were comfortable as well as ready to go get ours....and we didnt wait long at all.



    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Pow
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Then the work begins...

    they float, and we tie them alongside and go to a rocky cliff to butcher them down.
    First we pull hem out of the water
    We split them from around the bung to the lip


    We tuck the antlers back and make the body so it wont roll.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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    We work on the legskin and disjoint the legs for easier handling.

    Then we remove the tounge, and work our way to heart, lungs the intestines and butthole. They pull out easy enough and we open the brisket for easy access and to cool the carcass.


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    Besides the lungs and intestines, which the Raves make short work of, these heads are all that we left behind on the second day. Each day we pulled over to a different place, along the same strech of river.

    Gotta save those tastey inner'ds

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    And I took a walk down that beach......and looked at others "Sucess'


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    Picked up a couple swans for this winter as well, on the way home

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    Passed the wife checking her net with her Cousin AJ so I made Coffe at home for her....

    Meat by the Yard...


    When all was said and done, there were still thousands more comming.....

    After the third day, ice was choking the river and the slews are all iced over, so for us, with our last fat bulls, the Summer is officially over.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Glad you're putting up the meat, Stranger, know how much it takes to feed a family and how important it is to get it done when they are fat. Will have to pull the whitefish net here soon as river is freezing. That time of year. Best to you and the family,

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    Since you look like a man who would know, what is the deal with caribou meat and the rut? Is it really that bad? My cousin hunted caribou in New Foundland and didn't bring back any meat because the guides said it was rotten during the rut. I thought that was a load of crap, but I only have hunted white tail. I can't wait to chase some caribou. What is the best time for the meat? Thanks!

    Great job, great post!

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    Its good to hear from someone "in the know" Bushrat.

    It's all about food.

    If I could post "Fishing" here, Id show you what the wife has done with Her nets and the score the odest son made made in a three day marathon of net checking and gutting.
    He took a picture , yesterday he showed me, of a tarp spred across his fishing pards FRONT ROOM (Yes!!~~LOL!!~~ Front room!!) and about 3 feet deep of whitefish......seems the cold dry wind is blowing sand all over and that was their "Solution" ~~LOL!!!~~
    They formed a line and one pulled guts, one cleaned the stomaches, livers, and two filled gunny sacks and sewed them shut. Some will be fermented, some were spred outside and frozen, and then sacked...


    I gotta get that picture off his phone......

    Meat from rutting Caribou is called "Motor meat" here and it does taste awfull.......especially when a fella can eat the "Good stuff" the rest of the year. The Best time for Meat is "over" due to ice, (rut starts any day anyway) untill March, when we hunt fat females again...but good meat can be had all year long, just avoid Rut in Fall and pregnancy in May/June.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Rutted caribou meat

    I've never shot a big bull in rut, but others out here have, and in my honest opinion (keep in mind I love good fat wolf meat) there is no real way to cook rutted caribou to make it edible. We tried a real spicy chili recipe once, couldn't eat it.

    Funny story back in the "old" days when everyone used dogs and bushrats fed caribou to the dogs...one guy claimed even his dogs wouldn't eat it. They won't eat wolf either <grin>.

    Stranger, we caught some nice female whiteys the other day, fried up the eggs with some fillets, funny that now that we've had meat for a few weeks we are liking fish again!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by GD Yankee View Post
    Since you look like a man who would know, what is the deal with caribou meat and the rut? Is it really that bad? My cousin hunted caribou in New Foundland and didn't bring back any meat because the guides said it was rotten during the rut. I thought that was a load of crap, but I only have hunted white tail. I can't wait to chase some caribou. What is the best time for the meat? Thanks!

    Great job, great post!

    To address your question, it is my understanding that the bull caribou drink the urine from the cows to determine their readiness to breed. This urine ingestion then permeates the bull's meat and taints it with odor and flavor. I don't know if wolves or bears will eat these rutty bulls or not....what say the experts?

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    I think not......but I dont have a degree in Biology, so this is my opinion.

    Bulls have hormoans running through them, they stop eating and only drink water as well as have stinky glands that leave scent from their legs and below their eyes.
    The glands in the leg meats are especially "STINK", and Im fairly sure to think hats where the taste comes from.
    You can also smell a Bull In rut, and Im fairly sure they are not driking that much piss.
    The smell is nothing like that of a Cow Caribou, which taste just fine now, though not nearly as fat.

    Just my observations.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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    Roger that. Appreciate the info! Congratulations again on your success.

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    Congrats on your success stranger. It's a lifestyle that I've always wanted to try for a period in my life, but not sure that will ever happen. I enjoy reading your updates, and seeing the pictures is an added bonus.

    Thank you.

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    Its work, nonetheless, but fun.

    Nothing like dressing the same as I do for -20 when I ride a boat in +20, the wind is biting, the ride long and sitting relativly still, its a good way to wake up to Winter
    We usually tease anyone whos "I'm Cold", but we had no complainers at all ~~LOL!!~~

    We divvied up among our crew and over the last three days we kept 8 total and still gave two more away.
    I came out ahead ,I think.......... Its all natural food, the skins are prime and the hair is fast and thick, with a nice soft underwool.......a comfort to have while it freeze's, were making a new sleeping bag.

    Besides, the work expended was well worth it and something I'm good at.

    Might add, Bushrat, when they outlaw'd feeding dogs Caribou, we began down that road that lead to us quitting dogs. We did put up alotta Salmon, but a couple bum years for fish runs were gotten through with Caribou. Gotta have a way to feed them from the land, if fish fail, or as a back up if your a long way from home.
    I like my snowgo as much as the dogs but the choice wasnt easy , either.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting your meat gathering stranger that was great to read about it and see the pictures. Are you going to post the fish gathering pics and story in the fishing section? Are you just catching whitefish at this time of the year?

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    good stuff...well right up till you turned around to pick up the inner'ds LOL! nasty nasty icky haha...ok heart is just bland so it's eible but you wont find me lugging one around!

    As for the urine part..I remember finding awhile back when I was doing some digging on this a study done in canada were bulls were dying off at 8yrs old or so on a regular basis due to liver failure. It would SEEM the drinking urine to a certain extent may hold some ground...it's only speculation to me and honestly still is a big pill to swallow, but I'm sure it's not entirely impossible. Afterall a rutted up elk tastes fantastic, as does whitetails...why should caribou be any different if it was only hormones? just speculative questions not ment for arguement.....I dont for the life of me remember where I found that info on the canada study....I've looked long and hard for it to no avail but I remember it like I saw it yesterday!

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    Have also been thru the change from dogs to snogo. Dogs were fine when they could be fed mostly from the land. Without that, too much trouble and cost. Snogo's don't need feeding when you are not using them.
    Cool pics. Seen the same around SHG and OBU. Miss those days. Would sure love to be in your position sometime. Not so much opoortunity for bou around here.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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