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preserving moose/caribou without electricity

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  • preserving moose/caribou without electricity

    so my wife my daughter and I are moving to the tok area in may of 2018. checking the average weather temps in September (around the moose season) it seems that it is to warm to keep a moose or caribou without a freezer. my problem is we wont initially have power extended to the property so I don't think a freezer will be an option. I guess my question is how would one go about preserving the meat? canning a whole moose seems like a lot of work. would building a smoke house work to keep the meat good until the temps drop? and can you smoke the meat while it is in quarters? or would I have to cut it into thin strips?

    thank you for taking the time to read my post

  • #2
    Smoking whole quarters will be ineffective at preserving anything but the very outer layer of meat. In order to preserve meat to the point that it doesnt require freezing to keep, you have to reduce the water activity in the tissue through a combination of curing and drying. Even refrigeration alone wont do it. Put a steak in your refrigerator for three weeks, then take it out and see if its something you would still want to eat. Chances are, you wont.


    • #3
      Fyi, for fall 2018, you will still be considered a non-resident, so a moose will set you back $960, ($800 tag, plus $160 license) maybe just buy beef the first year. Will you have electric by 2019? Canned moose is great, but that's a lot of work for a whole moose.

      Also, I believe there are a few winter hunts in the interior that may be available to you.

      Good luck to you and welcome to alaska!


      • #4
        Your going to need a generator, why don't you just buy one big enough to run the freezer or there is a place in Tok that has a walk-in cold storage freezer you can put the meat in.


        • #5
          Originally posted by MacGyver View Post
          Your going to need a generator, why don't you just buy one big enough to run the freezer....
          I was thinking the same thing. Even with a smaller generator, once everything is frozen solid in the freezer you wouldn't have to use it all the time.....
          Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!


          • #6
            Whatever you do, do it right. The fine for wanton waste is huge.
            Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.


            • #7
              I've got 23 years of living with out commercial power. At first we had a September and a November moose season. No brainer, hunt in November. I would cut moose into 7 pieces and freeze outside, then spray with water to build an ice rind, cut up one piece at a time, worked pretty good. Then I had an old freezer and a generator, I had to run the generator 5 hrs a day to keep things frozen until it was cold enough outside, worked pretty good, had to run the generator for other things anyway. You can bypass the temperature control on most those freezers so when it runs it keeps cooling. Next I had a home built freezer that ran on 12volt had two cold plates, one hooked to a 12volt compressor the other mounted on a wall outside with the coolant tubes running inside, when it was cold outside it keep the freezer cold, running on 12volt it used about 1 group 24 car battery's worth of electricity to run it per day. There was also a refrigerator that ran the same way. A single solar panel for each would keep up with them. Also, for a short time a friend, who ran a full time generator, let me put a small freezer at his place with a timer. I ran it at night to help him keep a load on his generator. So, as you can see there are a few ways to keep meat frozen until it is cold enough outside.


              • #8
                I have no experience with them,but have you looked at propane refrigeration. I considered one for an off grid campsite i play around with, would like to build a small building to serve as a bath house on one side and food prep area on the other. Electrical is available to me, but its kinda nice not having it. I understand they can be pretty efficient.


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