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  • How are you removing ribs?

    I am hoping that I could learn something new from you guys. When we cut up a moose or caribou we basically skin one whole side, remove the front and rear quarters, backstrap and neck meat. We then flip over and repeat. When done there we stand the animal on his back, open the rib cage and pull the guts out so we can get to the heart, liver, tenderloins and then saw off the ribs. The part that I don't like is flipping the animal over and the ribs get pretty nasty even though it is laying on it's hide. I would love to figure a way to just remove the exposed side of ribs before we flip it over without puncturing the paunch. I carry a wyoming saw and we tried cutting the ribs off in the past and it didn't work well for us. The other method I tried was with a hatchet and it really splintered the rib bones. It looked like a scene from a horror movie! haha So I guess my question if how are you guys removing the ribs with the guts still inside before you flip it over?

  • #2
    Most of the time, I do it just like you explained except I get the guts out before quartering. Then it's easy to saw the ribs off and then flip over and work the other side <br/><br/><br/>Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

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    • #3
      I see but I’d really like to come up with a way to do it without gutting first.

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      • #4
        First I skin and then take off both quarters on one side. Then I remove the backstrap, neck, brisket etc. Then I remove the tenderloin (without gutting the animal) by cutting the tenderloin away from the vertebrae, while being extra careful not to puncture into the abdominal cavity, exposing the guts. After this, I take either a hatchet or saw and cut through all the ribs where they connect to the vertebrae and the sternum. I essentially just remove the entire rib cage. When removing the rib cage, I make sure to cut the diaphragm free from the rib cage so that the abdominal cavity and the thoracic cavity stay separate. With the ribcage removed, I cut through the pericardial sac to remove the heart. Sometimes, depending on the condition of the liver, I may remove the liver also. After all of the meat is removed from this side, I (we) flip the moose (animal) over and repeat the entire process. That way none of the guts ever get exposed to the meat. I never take the chance and gut my animals unless I have to leave it overnight for some reason, or if the temperatures are so cold that the animal might freeze solid. In either of these cases I gut the animal first. Otherwise I don't even mess with the guts at all. The last bit of meat I remove is the tongue. I do this by removing the skin on the lower jaw and cutting the tongue free from the ventral side of the mandibles.

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        • #5
          Thanks, that is what I’m trying to do. I guess my question is about how to saw the ribs off without nicking the stomach? When I use my Wyoming saw, I’ve nicked it. We try to be careful but not sure if it is my technique or if there is a better tool?

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          • #6
            When I'm butchering one in the field I gut first, then skin one side, remove the hind and then the shoulder, remove backstraps neck and bone out the ribs. Roll it over and skin the other side and repeat. I don't pack the rib bones out. My highly preferred method though is to get them to the road whole and winch them into the truck. Hang from the loader and blast them off in and out with a fire hose. Then hang in the shop and skin and quarter there. I have gotten quite good at getting them out whole even from quite a distance from the road. Hundreds of yards from the road.
            All that said, we have rules when field butchering. NEVER step over the animal. If you do you will either slip and fall on it, maybe cutting yourself, or a bunch of crap will fall off your boots onto the exposed meat. Go around. We often keep the exposed part covered with a sheet. Meat doesn't touch the ground. Get it in a STURDY meat sack and onto a pack board away from where the butchering is happening. Someone keeps an eye peeled for bears. Make a piss fence if you have to make multiple trips.
            I like the old Army pack boards for hauling meat. Easy to strap the quarters on. I have them stashed in the truck with meats sacks and butchering stuff already on them. It's easy to send one person to the truck to bring everything back to the kill site while flagging a trail. I usually dump the rifle at the truck also and strap on the Hawg Leg for the packing.
            What I leave in the field....Legs from just above the knee down, hide, back bone, pelvis, rib bones, and head only removing the skull plate and antlers, and guts of course. The liver is a toss up depending on how far the pack is. The tongue gets hauled out for certain friends, although the person I gave most of them to has recently passed away.
            Back to the gutting, I find it much easier to gut something as large as a moose by splitting the brisket all the way up to the neck before pulling the guts out. Much easier to get to the diaphragm that way. I carry a small folding saw for that task. Hand saw for the leg bones. If I don't have a hand saw, I separate at the knee joint with my knife.
            Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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            • #7
              If possible, an electric saber saw in a plastic bag does a great job. Handy for legs and skull too.

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              • #8
                I basically do it the same way as Bushwhack. I have used a small Wyoming saw but the last few years I have been using a cordless Dewalt sawz-all with a blunt end metal blade. I haven't nicked the guts yet, but I guess there is always a first time.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kobuk View Post
                  Thanks, that is what I’m trying to do. I guess my question is about how to saw the ribs off without nicking the stomach? When I use my Wyoming saw, I’ve nicked it. We try to be careful but not sure if it is my technique or if there is a better tool?
                  The stomach is in the abdominal cavity, not the thoracic cavity. Most of the ribs are sitting on top of the thoracic cavity, which contain the heart and lungs. Only the last few ribs sit on top of the stomach, but in order to cut into the stomach, you would have to cut through the diaphragm first in order to puncture the stomach. As long as you go slow and you are careful, you can remove the ribs by cutting them away from the diaphragm. Not sure if I am making any sense. Maybe someone who is more tech savvy can post a picture of the anatomy so you can see what I am talking about.

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                  • #10
                    If I'm in a unit that doesn't require leaving the ribs on the bone and if I'm not going to be in the field much longer, I just cut the meat off the ribs and leave the bones in place. That's especially true if I'm going to be packing the animal on my back. Otherwise I do as has been described above.

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                    • #11
                      The one downside to boning out the ribs is you will have a lot more waste and you pretty much have to turn the salvageable rib meat into burger, which is fine but personally I love eating rib meat on the bone. In my opinion it is so much better plus the fat on the ribs is pretty darn good. Can’t beat fresh barbecued moose, caribou, or sheep ribs. That being said, if it’s a really long pack, boning out is the way to go

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                      • #12
                        Moose ribs are one of my favorite meals. They will be something that I will always take out of the field. I understand what you are saying about the anatomy but when you add in a little stomach swell, things seem to poke out in all directions. I appreciate everyone’s responses. I’m always looking for ways to make my butchering cleaner and more efficient which makes for better table fare. It sounds like we are all doing it pretty much the same way. Good hunting!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
                          The one downside to boning out the ribs is you will have a lot more waste and you pretty much have to turn the salvageable rib meat into burger, which is fine but personally I love eating rib meat on the bone.
                          I find that I have basically zero waste when I bone out the ribs in the field. But yes, I do use them for grinding into burger/sausage. I've never been a terribly big fan of ribs on the bone.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Brian M View Post

                            I find that I have basically zero waste when I bone out the ribs in the field. But yes, I do use them for grinding into burger/sausage. I've never been a terribly big fan of ribs on the bone.
                            I find myself grinding more burger these days. It's so versatile. Plus you need burger to make the old fashioned hot dogs, honey bbq sticks, german sausage, sweet italian breakfast sausage, etc. With burger you can create so many different meals from fajitas to lasagna and spaghetti, put it on pizza, not to mention burgers on the grill. All that said I do have a large pack of moose steaks thawing today to be prepared tonight.
                            Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kobuk View Post
                              I am hoping that I could learn something new from you guys. When we cut up a moose or caribou we basically skin one whole side, remove the front and rear quarters, backstrap and neck meat. We then flip over and repeat. When done there we stand the animal on his back, open the rib cage and pull the guts out so we can get to the heart, liver, tenderloins and then saw off the ribs. The part that I don't like is flipping the animal over and the ribs get pretty nasty even though it is laying on it's hide. I would love to figure a way to just remove the exposed side of ribs before we flip it over without puncturing the paunch. I carry a wyoming saw and we tried cutting the ribs off in the past and it didn't work well for us. The other method I tried was with a hatchet and it really splintered the rib bones. It looked like a scene from a horror movie! haha So I guess my question if how are you guys removing the ribs with the guts still inside before you flip it over?
                              <br/><br/>YouTube-up how to do the rib roll. Pretty cool. I donít think thereís enough left for the magpies to get a mouthful after seeing it done a few times.

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