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Thread: ? for Joe on Rutting Caribou

  1. #1

    Question ? for Joe on Rutting Caribou

    Joe W,
    On the Bowhunting Forum you mentioned it being OK to shoot caribou during the rut, as long as you handled the meat properly. Could you please expand on that comment? I am sure a lot of folks put off hunting during the rut because of the notion of bad meat. Hopefully we can all learn a lot of how to properly care for the meat, so the bulls can be taken at will. Thanks
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    Joe W,
    On the Bowhunting Forum you mentioned it being OK to shoot caribou during the rut, as long as you handled the meat properly. Could you please expand on that comment? I am sure a lot of folks put off hunting during the rut because of the notion of bad meat. Hopefully we can all learn a lot of how to properly care for the meat, so the bulls can be taken at will. Thanks
    I don't believe it is so much a matter of "properly" caring for the meat, rather some procedures may be better suited for rutting bulls. There can be not doubt that a lot of the members of this forum have processed a lot of wild game and certainly from some of the pictures posted a better job could not have been done in commercial processing plant.
    There has to be a reason for the tremendous differences in attitudes regarding the quality of meat produced by rutting animals. From the various posts and personal conversations the only difference I can see in the way we process game from others is that in about "99" percent of the cases we wait until the next day to do most of the butchering, skinning, cutting into pieces, etc. By cooling over night the meat is much less susceptible to absorbing any odors. With any of these bulls, when in full rut the smell is pretty strong right after being shot, however, usually by the next day the smell is considerably less. Because the carcass cooled and the "smell" is considerably less the chances of the meat being affected are greatly reduced.
    Having had a "very good friend" once rub pepper on a freshly killed caribou to keep the flies off - I can speak first hand as to how quickly warm meat will take on the taste and smell of pepper!
    This post is NOT about knowing more - it IS about trying to understand why experienced individuals are coming to such different conclusions from common experiences.
    Joe (Ak)

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    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    i'm also curious about shooting bulls during the rut. every single person i have talked to has said they are terrible during the rut and they are one of the few animals who during the rut their meat actually takes on a different flavor. i can say that rutting elk and mule deer stink to high hell sometimes but the meat stays the same I wonder why this is different for caribou? in this area its considered very poor practice and looked down on to even shoot a bull this time of the year. anyhow, id like to know if there is something that can be done to alter the taste.

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    Its a case of "What would Andrew Zimmern" do??

    I wonder if the fat bald guy would put it in HIS mouth? ~~LOL!!~~


    Somebody , somewhere is probly eating a mouth full of his favorite fall time Rut bull meat, wondering why were even asking, as he licks the plate clean..... "Is it suposed to taste better?"

    If you like it , eat it.....

    As the Showlin Preist said; "Only then , will you truly know, Grasshopper"
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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    It was traditional practice not to shoot the larger bulls during October while the rut was still on. Caribou are different than moose in how the rut cycle affects the flavor/odor of the meat, and in my experience aging rutty caribou meat simply doesn't work to get rid of the flavor. This has been discussed many times on this forum.

    Couple links of interest:
    http://www.hunt.alaska.gov/index.cfm...unit23.respect

    As caribou bulls go into rut, hormonal changes give their meat a strong odor and flavor. This occurs in early October. At that time subsistence hunters shift from taking bulls, especially large bulls, to cows or small bulls. Although there is no closed season on bull caribou, it is considered poor practice to harvest a large bull during the rut. It would be considered offensive and disrespectful to offer local people meat from a rutty bull caribou.

    http://www.taiga.net/projectcaribou/...outcaribou.PDF

  6. #6

    Wink

    We have all had our own experiences with Bulls in Rut, but Joe W. said this:

    "Though perhaps not the most discerning "epicure", bad meat because of the "rut" has not been my experience. Had one bull moose that was really rough, but whether it was deer or caribou or reindeer on Kodiak we've never had a problem with "bad" meat during the rut. It has a lot more to do with how the meat is handled than when.
    Joe (Ak)"

    So obviously he knows how it is to be done. I just hope the hunter's wanting a Big Bull Caribou can follow his advice and get some good table fare. Seems like such a waste to shoot the cows, if in fact the Bulls are just fine. I personally never had a problem with a really rough Bull Moose after aging, but I have on the Caribou. I just want to learn more about what I might have done wrong. Joe says he has Never had a bad tasting Caribou from being in the rut. He must be doing something right.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

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    In Jim Rearson's biography "Alaska's Wolf Man", Frank Glaser observed both moose and caribou bulls during the rut. He found that bulls from both species checked the females coming into heat by drinking their urine. Frank went on to say the bulls drank so much urine their livers actually took on a gray color and that even his sled dogs would not eat the liver or organs.
    PC gag in place.

  8. #8
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    Im my personal experiance, being one who has caught rutting bulls, and my dogs did eat them, I know the "Symptoms" and have seen, many times, that Bulls "Stink" before they gather gals........and get to chug all that piss.
    I belive the Rut comes before the binge.


    Rearsens book is OK, but I found to be a few "BS" passages that put me off, as I have a fair clue about what he was up too....but then again, it was his experiance, so who knows.... Iread it anyway.

    More than once, in my younger days, I have shot Rut bulls in the last days of september, and a couple reindeer in mid September.
    (we learn when we burn)
    For us , its seasonal to be in a fall Caribou camp, working the animals down as we caught them in the last week of September, untill "Rut" arrives with the cold weather and we make our last loads with whole carcass's
    I have observed, many times, Bulls were still travling with other Bulls when rut cames on.
    In my early hunting days, having dropped more than one "rutter" on land, to find them with bellys with little food, and full of water, glands staining the face and hocks,"Stink" about them and when we were in ambush, they were travling together, fast and hard, ina real hurry, and oblivious to any danger......almost sorta irratated.
    One peticular time, when it came time to halt our meat gathering, till busey with our catch, we just watch the following herds in passing, the next day they are a sparring and seperating, chasing cows, and only good for watching..
    Then it was learned by me then, from older hunters, as well as messages broadcast over the VHF that it was "Time to stop hunting Bulls"....this message was well recived by other hunters, too.

    Skinned and hung, and trying them days later. I found little improvement, but as they say around here, "dogs gotta eat" and back in those days, it was legal and Good to start a winter off with some fat meats for them. Hides are fine for bedding, meat for dogs...

    Thats how oldtimers delt with the one or two that were caught before they switched to hunting cows.

    I dont know the biology, but having ate "Good" Caribou all year long, I do not like Rut in my meat. I have watched them "Do their thang" and I have the timeing down enough to score big and not get Rutting meat.

    Just my experiance and hardly worth the internet ink.

    WHOA!!!
    You still got tickets for Robbies Jump??? Set me up......????
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I'm thinking the stink should Robbie come up short will be worse the the rutting bulls

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    Member akguy454's Avatar
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    Default done it

    only had one that was bad out of 10+ killed in oct. BUT THAT ONE WAS VERY VERY BAD!!!

    maybe I was lucky??

  11. #11
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    Nows thats another "Angle' in Rut.....which Caribou herd and where.

    I only can speak of the western Arctic Caribou Herd, in my postings.

    I sorta belive that different herds go into rut at different times, like various runs of Salmon, maby, Natures redundency/overlapping stratagy.....


    I have alot of questions,(Wheres Jim Dau, WACH Ak FnG biologist...I need to bombard 'em with these) and am learning as we post, its a very interesting topic....


    Hell, anything "Caribou" is interesting


    Your experiance, use and mileage may vary......
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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

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