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Thread: "Gutless" Moose Field Dressing-pt 1

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharksinthesalsa View Post
    @Rutting Moose do you always take your ribs before the backstraps and inner loins?......it has always seemed easier for me to take these first

    Yes, I remove the rib meat before I remove the blackstrap and tenderloin. I do not want to highjack the thread because so few people take the time to post useful information and I really enjoy “have gun will travel” post.

    Early this year I posted the following information, you may find something useful you can use.
    ************************************************** *************************
    Moose skinning equipment and notes:


    When a moose hunter has to skin, gut and cut up a moose it can be a major problem if he is not prepared for the task. Just trying to hold up one leg can be a challenge with out help and trying to pull out 100 + pounds of guts is more fun than most people want in a day. Cutting up a moose can take 2 to 5 hrs depending on the size of the moose, your level of experience and the number of helpers. Knowing a few tricks can save you a lot of work I hope you find my information helpful.



    Field dressing equipment:

    Over the years I have been adding to a list of items I take when I go moose hunting. I do not carry everything on the list; I pick the items I need depending on method of hunting and number of hunters. I knew a hunter that could field dress a moose with only a knife so it can be done if you know what you’re doing. If I have someone to help hold the animal all I would need is a knife, sharpening stone and a saw.

    Knife and sharpening stone or steel, you only need a 4 to 7 inch knife to process an animal. If you want to save
    the hide, a skinning knife will put fewer holes in the hide.

    14” Carpenter saw, this is the best saw I have found for cutting up a moose. For the average hunter I do not recommend using a hand ax because of safety reason.

    String to tie off the penis and anus.

    9 Game bags, 6 large and 3 small ones. On extended hunting trip removing and washing blood soaked bags is
    essential to keep the meat from going bad. TAG game bags are the best bags for washing and drying in the
    field. I use heavy cotton bags.

    3 pairs of Gloves and rubber bands. The rubber bands help keep bugs out.

    Light 1/8 inch rope 50 feet, to help tie back legs while skinning.

    4ea., locking strap, one person can lift a moose hind quarter ham with one hand. The locking strap can also be used to tie meat to a backpack. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...h/100_0961.jpg.

    Tarp, >8x8, to keep the meat clean and protect the meat from rain and the sun.

    Come-a-long and 50 feet of rope.

    Headlamp and extra battery.

    Hand soap.

    Chain-saw, for cutting brush and quartering a moose (use vegetable oil)

    Insect repellent

    2 Candy bars

    Surveyor tape

    Head net

    Back Brace.

    Water to drink

    Fish j-hook, for pulling back the hide, or cut holes for fingers to pull back the hide.

    Citric Acid and a spray bottle.

    Golden Malrin fly bait and plastic bag for fly trap. The reason I carry a fly trap is in Alaska in hot weather it is possible to have your meat bags covered with thousands of flies. I knew of one person who had to bury their caribou meat under the tundra to keep the flies from getting to the meat, they can be a real problem.

    Golden Malrin fly bait is a poison that kills flies with extreme prejudice, if you know how to use it. The first and only time I used Golden Malrin on a moose hunt, I did not know what I was doing and it did not work. Like any trap you need good bait, flies are attracted to rotting meat. I was using meat scraps and it takes time for the meat to rot, what I should have been using was blood. The reason for the plastic is three fold, one you need to keep the blood wet so it will not dry out. The warmer the blood the more smell and you will need to remove the poison and the bag full of flies.

    When I’m processing fish and moose in my yard, there are a lot of flies trying to get on my meat. After I set my trap all the flies start dying, I will literally have dead flies all over the ground.

    I still carry my fly trap hunting and hope I never have to use it. You can buy Golden Malrin at Alaska Mill Feed and Seed. It only takes a ½ teaspoon per trap.



    I use a zipper bag for small items, and I know I have everything I need in one bag. Another advantage in having a bag is it gives you a place to put items so you do not loose them. I also flag everything I can.


    Notes:

    A moose is a very large animal; a single hind quarter could weigh 200#. I weighed and measured a 3 year old bull moose ham it was 105#, 20 inches wide, 52 inches long and 10 inches thick, this was not a large animal. Manhandling an animal under all conditions and having meat fit to eat takes a lot of effort and experience. There are several videos and pamphlets on the care of game meat. I recommend you learn everything you can before that special day. Having the right equipment will make the job easier.


    Skinning a moose:

    1. The first thing I do when skinning a moose or caribou is to tie off the penis and remove the skin leaving the penis attached to the ham. The second thing I do is to cut around the anus and tie it off with string. The reason I do this is because this area can be very nasty and the possibility of contaminations is high. After I have finished working on the back end I wash my knife and hands or put on new gloves. I have also found if I start skinning a leg first, I will be tired and do a poor job when it comes to the butt end.

    2. The next thing I do is to make a cut from the butt to the neck and up and around each leg. On a moose the hide is very tuff and can dull a knife. For this reason I carry a 2nd knife, or I sharpen the one I’m using. Cut the skin from the underside out to avoid getting hair on the meat. If your wanting to make a mount you need to cut the hide along the back bone.

    3. When skinning an animal your hands become contaminated from touching the hair, do not touch the meat until you have removed your glove or wash your hands.

    4. Once you have removed the hide from one side of the animal you need to decide on how you want to butcher the animal.

    I prefer not to deal with the guts, if you have no choice you have to be very careful not to cut them. If you take the two fingers next to the thumb and make a “V” and use them to hold the guts down; place the knife between them (blade pointing up) you can cut the skin with out cutting the stomach. Be very careful or you will be sorry.

    Methods of butchering:

    1. I personally do not like deboning the animal because you lose too much meat to spoilage and waste.

    2. The best way to keep game meat in warm or wet weather is on the bone. For several years I would bring out the whole moose in 4 pieces. After skinning and gutting, I would split the moose in half at the third rib. I would then saw the back bone in half making a total of 4 quarters. This was the only method I used on over 10 moose. Most of these were solo hunts, how I was able to this by myself tells me I was a very motivated person when I was younger.


    3. There is another way you can cut up a moose and still keep the meat on the bone for transport and hanging; and the pieces will be a lot smaller. After skinning and gutting the moose you will end up with 8 pieces.

    Four legs.
    Neck; the meat is left on the neck and is cut off just below the head and above the rib cage.
    Ribs; the brisk is split in half and the ribs were removed next to the back bone.
    Backbone; cut the back bone off above the back strap. You will have a single piece with both back straps and both tender loins attach to the back bone.

    4. The method I prefer is called “flaying”, you do not have to remove the guts.
    After skinning half the moose I remove a front leg and put it in a bag.
    I debone the neck and I put the meat in a separate bag. The reason I do this is neck meat in a rutting bull can contaminate the other meat.

    Next I remove the ribs. If you want to keep the ribs and meat together, using a small sharp knife or saw you can remove the ribs by cutting the joints at the top and bottom of the ribs or you can debone them. The best way I have found to debone the ribs is to remove “all” the meat in one piece. Yes it can be done and it is very easy to do on a moose.

    I start at the bottom rib, let’s call it #12.
    The first Cut is along the length of the rib.
    Then cut under the meat next to the top of the rib, separating the meat from the top and then cut down the opposite side. You will also need to cut along each end of the rib freeing up the meat. The 12th rib is now clean of meat. Holding the meat up, cut under the length of 11th rib and down the opposite side removing the meat. Then cut along the ends of the rib. Continue process for rib’s #10, #9, etc.

    If you roll the meat into a log it will help keep it clean.

    You now can remove the back leg and put it in a bag.
    Don’t forget the back strap and tenderloin and make sure they are put in a separate bag.
    You now have to roll the moose over, lifting one leg you roll the moose over guts and all, it’s that easy.
    Continue removing the front leg, neck meat, ribs, back leg, back-strap and tenderloin. If you want the liver and heart this would be a good time to get them, and don’t forget the tongue.

    I process all my game meat for several reasons, the most important is I end up with the highest quality game meat, and it really is not that hard.

    I want to say one last thing about caring for moose meat. Moose will cover themselves in Urine to help a track the cows, its very important to keep all the hair away from the meat.

    Additional information:

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/showthread.php?t=59689&highlight=rutting+moose



  2. #22
    Member sharksinthesalsa's Avatar
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    this whole thread is great....it should be required reading BEFORE a person goes afield...or even before your allowed to buy a hunting license
    "early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell, and make up lies"

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    Great post, with lots of good photos.
    Here is a photo of the blade I use for cutting hide.


    Steve
    That's what i use these days. I have knives with gut-hooks, but none work as easily as the roofer's blade, and if it gets dull one can replace it in a second or two.

  4. #24
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    Those are some very useful pointers, Rutting Moose, specially the one about "rolling" the rib meat. I will have to give that one a try next year.

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    Great thread ,love it. The red writting on the pictures is very hard to read. But great none the less.

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    I was lucky this year, I threw a replaceable razor knife and a 100 blade pack in my action packer. If you carry both roofing(hooked) blades and regular you are set. No sharpening required just change blades and go. This was awesome to have. It does not do everything but it can do a lot!
    I have such a hard time trying to decide which outdoor activity to do every chance I get!! Living in AK is a mental challenge

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    great thread I do it very similiar. Only diffenence i do not cut the ribs I trim the meat off and leave them in the field. so after I take legs, neck and Backstrap I gut the animal and trim ribs and TL's.

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    Default reading the red print

    I could not read them either after i opened the photo. then I happened to pass my cursor over the photo and noticed it changed, so clicked on it and the picture got larger and I could use the magnify option.
    You tech savy guys are laughing, but nothing comes easy to me on a computer. Just maybe one of the other guys did not figure out how to make the picture big enough to read the print.
    Lots of good info here. It's not the way I do it, but I'm willing to learn. Maybe some day I'll hunt with a group of guys that each do it different, and each guy can teach the rest of us his method. Now that would be educational!
    Thanks for the posts and info.
    ARR

  9. #29

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    Pretty much the way we do it also. I take the quarter off one side first, then flip it back over on the clean skinned hide from that side, and take the quarter off the other side, then take the back straps out from both sides, empty the guts out, take the tenderloins out, then cut off the ribs. Usually someone else is boning out the neck while I am doing the back straps. We had it down to 45 minutes when throwing in a truck. Can do one in about an hour, but when others are around, we take our time and enjoy it as part of the hunt.

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    Default Sharing Techniques

    Glad some others are finding useful info from this thread--I know I have, and I started it!

    Coming to Alaska at age seventeen from the whitetail deer country of Michigan, I had been taught one needed to gut any harvested animal immediately. I now know, after being part of many moose harvests, that there are many different ways to successfully "skin a moose". The first time my old hunting partner (now deceased) showed me how to hold off on spilling a moose's guts till the end, I was fascinated! I have always found it insightful to learn other's techniques and what they consider to be useful tools of the trade.

    Wishing all well with their field dressings--end goal is usually similar--enjoying our great outdoors and harvesting clean meat.

    p.s. I used (for an extensive period of time that I won't disclose) a magnifying glass on attached pictures before I also discovered that dragging the cursor over the pictures enlarged them--we're not alone!!
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Thanks for bringing this one up again!

    The filleting method is well documented and is the subject of an ADFG DVD titled, "Field Care of Big Game". That video has been out for many years. Most folks I know wouldn't do it any other way. This is the same method I use for Dall sheep, moose, caribou and even black bear.

    I prefer working my animal on a tarp, because it keeps the meat so much cleaner.

    Regards,

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  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Thanks for bringing this one up again!

    The filleting method is well documented and is the subject of an ADFG DVD titled, "Field Care of Big Game". That video has been out for many years.
    If you want a DVD to hold in your hand, that's a great link to buy it here; same price F&G charges for it.

    Cool thing about the Internet is that so much is available free if you know where to look. Like all the USGS maps (better than the originals, because they're geospatially enabled) are all for free now; though some have paid thousands of bucks for these in the past.

    This video mentioned above is also now free from F&G to watch online; just click here: http://www.multimedia.adfg.alaska.go...mooselegal.wmv

    If you want more, here's a whole web page full of free online videos available from ADF&G:
    http://www.multimedia.adfg.alaska.gov/#video
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  13. #33
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    Familyman:

    Didn't know ADFG videos could be viewed online till now...video of "gutless/fillet" moose field dressing is well done--anyone wanting a detailed movie of this process should watch it (especially portion dealing with removal of first hind quarter). Thanks for sharing.

    Website link for the ADFG "Field Care of Big Game" (1999) is:

    http://www.multimedia.adfg.alaska.gov:8080/WildlifeConservation/biggame.wmv[/URL]

    (not sure how address will appear on thread--might have to cut and paste above link)

    One you had posted was for "Is This Moose Legal?" (an older, but another well done video--a prime-time view for anyone unfamiliar with restrictive moose antler seasons)

  14. #34

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    I've been circulating the ADFG video on meat care for many years, and it has a lot of strong points that I find very useful and efficient.

    The only critical weakness to that video is that there wasn't enough enphasis placed on the Big THREE topics of big game meat care.

    Salvage is one of THREE major skill sets Alaska hunters have to perform in the field (if we're lucky enough to felled an animal). The other two are Preservation and Transport of wild game meat. Alaska hunters are unique in the way we have to salvage, preserve, and transport our food from the field to the freezer over lengthy field periods...much more critically than Lower 48 hunters who pursue "wilderness trips" for big game.

    Without this serving as mere plug for our products, i'd encourage anyone who cares about the full plethera of meat care applications to view the DVD, "Project Bloodtrail" http://www.pristineventures.com/prod...d-library.html

    This site also offers this video for sale http://www.outdoorsdirectory.com/sto...=&filter_id=12

    If you want to learn how to pursue a fully successful float hunting venture for moose and caribou, watch the video and post a review here. You'll learn something new about meat care, guaranteed! And the discussions we share on these sites will help reduce the growing problem of salvage failures and spoiled game meat resulting each season, especially with increasingly warmer field climates.

    larry

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    Default Elk101 video

    This link gives a very detailed, step-by-step video of the gutless method. After using the method a few times, I'm not sure why anyone would gut an animal...

    http://elk101.com/webisodes/gutless-video/

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by mad_angler View Post
    This link gives a very detailed, step-by-step video of the gutless method. After using the method a few times, I'm not sure why anyone would gut an animal...

    http://elk101.com/webisodes/gutless-video/

    I love the last 3 seconds, the elk call. Nice method too. Thanks.
    Dear whatever doesn't kill me, I'm strong enough now. Thanks.

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    Thanks for posting this. I'm a green horn when it comes to hunting ans was wondering the best way to do this. A friend of mine was telling me about the "Gutless" process this weekend. Very helpful!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I did a cow with this method and didn't like the amount of guard hair I ended up with in the meat. I take the hid of from the belly though I bet that I do the rest the same as you. Cutting along the belly leaves any hair from the hide cuts ends up on the belly viscera. I just start along the brisket and just take my time as I cut to avoid nicking the belly and spilling the guts.
    I do the same thing. a gut hook works pretty good, but they are hard to keep sharp, I've found the smaller hooks work better

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    great info and pics keep passing on the knowledge.

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    Butchering when Solo:
    I read about the method and employed a part of it when alone with my first moose. Started with the cut down the back which helps to quickly extract those back straps while leaving the legs as levers and handles. After a couple of hours (not sure how much was completed at that point) the stomach contents started to expand, so I took that as a cue to immediately remove the bowels. It was pretty warm in the vitals but the remainder of the moose was easier to maneuver away from the gut pile. The meat was processed over the next couple of days without any signs of spoilage.
    A thick rope and tarp helped with the process. A friend, an ATV, or a portable tree would have helped even more. The process greatly reduced opportunities for potential contamination. I'm jealous of your two hour (using two persons) per moose average.

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