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Thread: Quartering/Field Dressing your moose

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    Default Quartering/Field Dressing your moose

    I have been apart of a half dozen field dressing parties involving moose and have always seen it where the quarters are hung individually, the ribs by their own and then neck/back bone are either hung in sections or boned out.

    Recently in threads here I have seen it where the front quarters are attached to the ribs... and the cuts appear to be straight down the back bone and are very clean cuts.

    For those of you that leave the front quarter and rib attached, what do you use to make those cuts? I have heard of a chainsaw with vegetable oil used as bar oil... can this be the ticket?

    I believe in making as few cuts on the meat as possible before the butchering process starts so I wouldn't mind trying leaving the quarter and ribs attached.

    Thanks!
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    Although we remove and hang the quarters individually, any bone cutting we have to do gets done with a battery operated reciprocating saw with one of the long, aggressive "pruning" blades. No oil to deal with and the saw is fairly easy to clean.

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    If you cut from the head to the tail on a moose you will be making a 8 foot cut and I used a chainsaw. It left a lot of bone splinter; a better tool would be a sawzall. That was when I was young and not so smart. The amount of meat you will loose not cutting an animal in quarters is not worth the trouble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by talkeetnakid View Post
    Although we remove and hang the quarters individually, any bone cutting we have to do gets done with a battery operated reciprocating saw with one of the long, aggressive "pruning" blades. No oil to deal with and the saw is fairly easy to clean.
    i prefer the BI METAL blades.. the bone is easier to scrape off cooled meat later. and AK butcher sells a neat thing to scrape meat that has been saw cut.. for about 6 bucks pulls all the marrow and bone chips off easy
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    Estwing No5 Hatchet Very sharp, It is the only thing i use it for.. Right down the middle and when get to the neck just go to one side and it will stay with that quarter,Trick is to hit the same spot, little chipping, not big swings. I pull the tenderloins and cut right in front of the hinds. End up 4pc,s most of the time leave the hide on it for the trip back on the wheeler, then with it hanging, take the hide off, nice neat no dirt or leaves.Of coarse they are all different depends how far out. how dark going to get, how many poeple to help so forth, I also tried chain saw thing, What a mess..Post#2 Tal..kid....Saw now that is slick!! Works perfect.. if got room to haul that around.Good batt.right blade...Also when you do this a standard size meat bag not going to be big enough. Take two cut them then resew back together..

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    Remove the tenderloins first, use a 3 inch bladed knife and zig the zag on the joint where the rib meets the back bone.Cut them from the top and then along the brisket. I also cut the brisket off, in one peice,while removing the trachiea, Heart and lungs...... nothing more than a knife needed for any of it.
    Works from Mouse to Muskox to Moose, and all game animals inbetween.
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    I am going to show my 'Alaska Rules' ignorance.

    When you field dress an animal are you required to remove the entire animal (except guts) or can you seperate the four quarters, then bone out the rest? Basically leaving the ribs, backbone, & lower leg parts out in the field.

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    Depends on the unit. Some places you can bone out the whole animal and only take the meat. Other places have varying degrees of bone-on requirements. It will be specified in the regs for the area you are hunting. In the past I have usually brought out bone-in quarters and boned out the rest of the animal.

  9. #9

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    Situational/Seasonal
    In spring and fall I completely skin and part all animals down to the smallest reasonable size, leaving it all on the bone. Then hang it to get it cooled as quickly as possible.
    In winter I cut animals in half or fours and leave the hide on, to let the meat cool slower. Flash freezing will make it tough.
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    Lightbulb What stranger said

    Quote Originally Posted by strangerinastrangeland View Post
    ...use a 3 inch bladed knife and zig the zag on the joint where the rib meets the back bone.Cut them from the top and then along the brisket. I also cut the brisket off, in one peice,while removing the trachiea, Heart and lungs...... nothing more than a knife needed for any of it.
    ...
    I saw this for the first time on my moose hunt this year. We pulled the quarters and backstraps, then the guy I was hunting with actually jointed out the brisket, pulled the lungs, then jointed both racks of ribs off the spine. I'd never seen that done before, but it REALLY works well and cleanly. He gave each joint a v-shaped cut, then applied some force to the whole piece (brisket, racks of ribs.)

    I know that's not what AKarcher was asking, but it's my new method from here on out. Beats the heck out of sawing through ribs or sternum while the whole rack rolls around full of lungs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    ... Flash freezing will make it tough.
    I don't think it's flash freezing that causes tough meat. I think the problem comes from letting it freeze, then thawing it to butcher, re-freezing in the freezer, then thawing it to cook, and finally applying some heat. Each freeze forms ice crystals that rupture cell membranes, letting out moisture (increasing toughness) when it thaws. By the time it's been through that a couple of times, throwing it on the barbecue/in the pan boils and leaks enough water that you're chewing some pretty tough stuff.

    In fact, what the food industry calls "flash freezing" actually creates smaller ice crystals that rupture fewer membranes, but you'd need serious blasts of sub-zero wind on a thin piece of meat to do that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by strangerinastrangeland View Post
    Remove the tenderloins first, use a 3 inch bladed knife and zig the zag on the joint where the rib meets the back bone.Cut them from the top and then along the brisket. I also cut the brisket off, in one peice,while removing the trachiea, Heart and lungs...... nothing more than a knife needed for any of it.
    Works from Mouse to Muskox to Moose, and all game animals inbetween.
    I have personally witnessed this with MARV1 and one of his buddies. Slicker'n lizard poop on a hot brass pole.

    I know the bones add weight, but they are an essential part of the stew. And roasted marrow? That is to-die-for.
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    Providing the moose is small enough and in the right place that we can handle the weight of the pieces we will always quarter it as you described. I have tried the 18V reciprocating saw with little success - must not have tried the best blade as it didn't work to well and it is heavy and cumbersome to carry. I witnessed one being cut with a chainsaw and the mess from that was enough to deter me from that route. Tried the small carpenter hand saw and it was a viable option but did not out perform the old stand by. With all that said we use the Wyoming saw, light weight, small package, wood or bone blades for multiple use.
    http://www.cabelas.com/fryprod-0/pro...3763.uts.shtml


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    Quote Originally Posted by rambling raven View Post
    Providing the moose is small enough and in the right place that we can handle the weight of the pieces we will always quarter it as you described. I have tried the 18V reciprocating saw with little success - must not have tried the best blade as it didn't work to well and it is heavy and cumbersome to carry. I witnessed one being cut with a chainsaw and the mess from that was enough to deter me from that route. Tried the small carpenter hand saw and it was a viable option but did not out perform the old stand by. With all that said we use the Wyoming saw, light weight, small package, wood or bone blades for multiple use.
    http://www.cabelas.com/fryprod-0/pro...3763.uts.shtml

    Did you SCARE that one to death....could be the sweetest set of ribs I've ever seen Nice work.

    Quartering moose seems to be like smoking salmon....everyone's got a recipe, no two are exactly alike....and they all taste like salmon when you're done. But, I'm always interested to learn. For example, I'd never think of leaving the hair on, and certainly not to leave the ribs attached....a quarter is heavy enough and two racks of ribs fit nicely in a sled. That said, I see nothing wrong with eating what is hanging on that pole in the picture. Had a big discussion this year on starting your skinning cuts from the spine or the belly....heard good reasons for either. (best idea was the guy that retrieved one with a skid loader and just hung it up and skinned it like a deer....that would have been SWEET!.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    Did you SCARE that one to death....could be the sweetest set of ribs I've ever seen Nice work.

    Quartering moose seems to be like smoking salmon....everyone's got a recipe, no two are exactly alike....and they all taste like salmon when you're done. But, I'm always interested to learn. For example, I'd never think of leaving the hair on, and certainly not to leave the ribs attached....a quarter is heavy enough and two racks of ribs fit nicely in a sled. That said, I see nothing wrong with eating what is hanging on that pole in the picture.
    If given the chance we will always take the neck shot to greatly reduce meat loss. We leave the hide on till hanging when possible and the meat stays much cleaner and drier as well as providing handles for lifting and moving the pieces. The heaviest pieces on this moose were right at 100 pounds and no problem for 2 guys to move and hang. I have a band saw and with that you can make a variety of great meals with a well cared for set of ribs. In my boat hauling 2 moose quartered this way is ideal - Everything continues to be upright, off the floor, great air flow, and it stays dry.

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    I too have a problem with leaving the hide on a moose or caribou. Let see all the problems cause by leaving the hide on.

    1. Bull moose/caribou hair is cover in pee, how is it possible to keep the hair from the meat. Every thing the hair touches will be cover in pee, tarps, ATV, boat, you.
    2. You must cool the meat as soon as possible to keep it from going bad and have high quality meat. Leaving the hide on will prevent this.
    3. You add a lot more weight to your load.
    4. Removing the hide after the animal is cold is a lot harder.
    5. If you have the proper equipment and learn how to take proper care of the meat you would never need to leave the hide on.
    If anyone knows of a way you can leave the hide on and not get it contaniated, I would like to know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rutting Moose View Post
    If anyone knows of a way you can leave the hide on and not get it contaniated, I would like to know.
    I have only done it in Winter. Make as few cuts as possible that you need to load it and haul it. The rut is well past and they have been wading around in belly deep snow for the most part. I have not had one get contaminated from pee yet. As for the hair, I have found that by hanging them up in the garage for skinning, everything comes out squeaky clean.
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    Contamination? If you leave the hide on, there will be LESS contamination. If its in the hide, you can hang it for a few days, if the hide is off, you must work it very soon.

    Leaving the skin on when your on a sandbar or beach is a good idea. In mid summer to keep the flys off too. Split the carcass, but most importantly, split them in the crotch, there is a lotta meat that hold heat there and it will spoil first.
    Im winter, and summer, too cool them proper,You place them on their backs, legs apart. I also open the chest by popping the connecting joints from the ribs to the brisket when Im removing the lungs and trachia.
    I hunt the pre rut bulls, so piss and stink arent an issue with my meat. Besides, the smell of rut overides everything, so theres no trigger action when they are stinkin'.
    When I get Fall Fat Bulls, I leave them in teh skin if the temps are freezing or near. I hang them and the skin keeps off teh dogs, Ravens and others critters that can do damage to meats.

    I do try and keep 'em clean, it depends on the conditions. Mostly in Winter I skin 'em right away, but sometimes I have no tarp, or my two hours of light is gone and I dont have spare gas for a headlight job, so I keep 'em whole but use my hands to loosen all but the legs,till Im home and skin em' the rest of the way.
    Hairs are easily wiped away with a damp cloth, and they float, so if ,indeed they make it into yer soup, just skim 'em off.

    You wont contaminate anything if you make your basic opening cuts and use your hands to seperate the connective tissues, leaving the fat on the carcass and the hides clean. The hair down, meat up and clean

    We often keep a sheet of plywood in the boat or sled to butcher on, incase were on the sandy seaside, river side or dusty/muddy places, and no good willows or grass to work meat apon.


    MARV,

    you can get the ribs off at this stage of the game, from the outside,and lift the carcass away.
    No need to leave anything behind, its all good, that fat pelvic roast, the ribs "meat stiks" even boiled back bonz.....
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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