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New e-books on Alaska Meat and Trophy Care

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  • New e-books on Alaska Meat and Trophy Care

    Hi folks,

    Some of you are aware that I've been teaching Alaska meat and trophy care for over 25 years, and that I've written about it extensively about it in our Field Care Section, which covers several pages on the tools for meat and trophy care, how to take care of game meat in camp, on the river, and in transit back from your hunt, fleshing information, how much salt to use and the field care of your trophies.

    For several years I have been working on a new book on the field care of Alaska big-game meat and trophies, and I'm pleased to announce that this brand-new resource was released two weeks ago, on August 19th. I intended to produce a hard copy for hunters to take into the field, but in order to keep costs down have opted instead to release it in the e-book format. It's available on both Amazon Kindle and on the Apple Books platform. A lot of hunters are taking books into the field on their iPads and Kindle devices these days, so this should work nicely.

    When I released "Float Hunting Alaska's Wild Rivers" back in 2007, it filled a previously empty niche in the Alaska hunting genre. But at 550 pages, it was too big to take into the field. This time I wanted something more manageable, but as I wrote the Alaska Field Care Manual I realized that it was going to be large as well. While I think I've gotten better at writing more concisely over the years, this time the material needed lots of illustrations; photos, charts, graphs, tables, and other graphics in order to tell the story completely. So despite my best efforts, it ended up being over 430 pages anyway. To make the material easier to navigate, I opted to release the "Alaska Field Care Manual" in two volumes. Here's an overview:
    Alaska Field Care Manual, Vol. I
    This volume takes you through the science behind proper meat care. By understanding this, you will be equipped to handle changing field conditions in the proper way to prevent spoilage. It includes all the planning and prep work and through making the shot on your Alaska big-game animal.


    Cost: $9.99
    • 180 pages
    • 62 photos
    • 13 maps, illustrations, charts, and tables

    Chapter 1: Meat Spoilage: The Causes and Solutions
    This chapter explores the science behind proper meat care, including a discussion of glycolysis and its effect on meat quality, dark cutting, how many days you have at various ambient temperatures, sources of bacterial contamination, bone sour, cold shortening, the effects of rigor mortis, the role of hunter fatigue, the three rules of meat care, optimal meat quality by season openings, average ambient temperatures in various regions of Alaska during hunting seasons, the bone-in requirement and its effect on meat quality and care, and many methods for keeping meat cool, clean, and dry in field conditions.

    Chapter 2: Legal Considerations
    This chapter looks in detail at the state of Alaska's requirements concerning big-game tags and documentation of harvest, evidence of sex, bone-in requirements, load sequencing out of the field, documentation of your kills, spoiled meat considerations, the significance of "in the field" in our hunting regulations, transfer of possession/permission to transport documentation, and meat donation.

    Chapter 3: Advance Planning
    This section addresses the need to speak with your meat processor, taxidermist, and all companies involved in the shipping of your game meat and trophies from the field to your home. It explores specific issues, solutions, and questions to cover as you plan for the safe transport of your meat and trophies from the point of departure from the field. It also explores several options for transport.

    Chapter 4: Tools of the Trade
    This chapter looks at all the tools and supplies you'll need in the field, and even includes a list of things some hunters bring along that they will not need in the field. It covers specific brand recommendations, salt quantities by species and type of mount, game bag recommendations, transit bags, and much more.

    Chapter 5: Species Considerations
    Each of Alaska's big-game species presents unique characteristics that you must address during the field care process. This chapter examines the unique aspects of brown bear, black bear, wood bison (not huntable yet, but they're coming along), plains bison, caribou, Dall sheep, Sitka black-tailed deer, elk, goat, moose, and muskoxen. This chapter discusses the unique aspects of caping and skinning each species, together with the differences you will encounter at the kill site, and with respect to the meat. It also covers anticipated bone-in and boneless meat yields, together with anticipated weight loss as a result of rut activity. Each species is addressed with recommendations for optimal time of year for the best trophy quality and the best meat quality, along with potential health risks and special handling instructions.

    Chapter 6: Making the Shot
    This chapter explores recommended calibers and bullet types for each of Alaska's big-game species, along with tips on shooting distances, uphill or downhill shooting angles, tips that will improve your accuracy at the rifle range, and tips on how to make excellent shots in field conditions. Includes a section on bullet types relative to meat wastage.

    Chapter 7: Big-Game Diseases and Maladies
    This is an extensive look at over 20 parasites, diseases, or other maladies hunters may encounter in the field, along with the affected species, causes, symptoms, precautions, diagnosis/treatment, and the effect that malady has on meat quality.

    Back Matter
    This volume includes a glossary of terms used and an Amazon gear store with direct links to all the products mentioned in the book.

    Alaska Field Care Manual, Vol. II
    This volume takes you through the kill site dynamics to packing your animal to camp, dealing with the meat and trophies in camp and transporting them out of the field, and getting it all home in excellent condition.


    Cost: $9.99
    • 273 pages
    • 145 photos
    • 13 maps, illustrations, charts, and tables

    Chapter 1: Kill Site Meat and Trophy Care
    This chapter walks you through the process of documenting your kill, taking great trophy photos, getting yourself situated for animals that take a long time to process, field butchering, caping and skinning, kill site documentation, preparation for packing, and what to do when things go wrong.

    Chapter 2: Packing Meat and Trophies
    Covers setting up a makeshift kill-site camp, scouting your packing trail, load sequencing, loading your pack, bear protection, the art of falling down with heavy loads, multiple-load kills, and packing trophies. This section includes how to secure large antlers such as moose, caribou, and elk antlers to your pack so they don't get hung up on the brush or swing around and injure people.

    Chapter 3: Meat and Trophy Care in Camp
    This covers meat pole setup and breakdown, meat pole alternatives, hanging game meat, boning out meat in the field, performing fleshing chores on your trophies, including splitting the lips and eyelids, turning dewlaps on moose, turning ears, splitting noses, turning bear toes, turning ungulate hooves, and much more. Includes fleshing and salting, and how to avoid making mistakes.

    Chapter 4: Float Hunt Field Care
    This chapter addresses all of the issues float hunters face with respect to meat and trophy care, including issues related to transport by cataraft, round boat, canoes and packrafts, powerboats, and sportboats. It also addresses how to secure your meat loads, meat bag rotation during transit, loading and unloading procesures, and what to do about water-soaked game meat.

    Chapter 5: Mid-Hunt Meat Hauls
    This chapter explores what a meat haul is, the need for mid-hunt meat hauls, how to connect all the dots so you don't arrive back at the air charter to discover your meat sitting on a pallet in the sun, how to set up a meat haul, and some advice on unattended meat in the field.

    Chapter 6: Weather Considerations
    Ths chapter dives into how to adjust your meat and trophy care tactics in response to extremely cold weather, warm weather, and wet or humid weather. It also addresses what happens to meat in these conditions; things like bone sour and cold shortening, and walks you through the water cool method, including mistakes hunters make with this method.

    Chapter 7: Post-Hunt Dynamics
    This chapter walks you through the process of getting your trophies sealed, donating meat, you harvest report, reporting violations that occurred in the field, and starts the discussion of shipping your meat and trophies.

    Chapter 8: Getting Meat and Trophies Home
    This chapter details the need for speed and accuracy in the decisions you make following your hunt, regarding meat and trophy transport. It lays out the various options for moving meat and trophies from your exit point from the field to your processor or home in Alaska or the Lower 48. Options covered are transporting it yourself via the Alcan (including Canadian customs issues), trucking companies, shipping via the airlines, shipping via intro-Alaska cargo or cargo to the Lower 48, trophy export tags, Alaska-based processing, dealing with local taxidermists and expeditors, and much more information on shipping your big-tame meat and trophies.

    Chapter 9: Processing Your Meat
    This chapter includes everything you need to know about processing your big-game animal, including using local commercial processors or doing it yourself. Includes graphics showing the main cuts of meat on your animal, and special instructions on cleaning your game bags.

    Chapter 10: Dry-Aging Alaska Big-Game
    This chapter was done with the involvement of Jonathon Green, who introduced me to the process of dry-aging portions of your big-game animal to creat extra-prime cuts for specialty steaks. This chapter walks you through the entire process of dry-aging, including the tools you need, what happens during dry aging, downsides, what cuts should be aged, the sizes of the cuts, creating a space for dry aging, time frames, controlling the conditions, and the final results. Even if you know all the rest of the information in this volume, this section on dry aging is worth the price of admission.

    Back Matter
    Includes information on hunt planning, the Alaska Outdoors University system, and detailed, linked gear lists for meat and trophy care tools, supplies for driving the Alcan, and supplies you need for dry aging your big-game meat. These tools are linked directly to Amazon so you can purchase them easily.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	covers.jpg Views:	1 Size:	120.1 KB ID:	2760378
    I included some videos that I developed just for this series. Here is one of them that might help some of you in the field this fall. It's a system I developed a few years back for float hunts, but it works everywhere.

    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 3 weeks ago.
    Michael Strahan
    Site Owner
    Alaska Hunt Consultant
    1 (907) 229-4501

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