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Chilling meat bone in or bone out

Was talking with a guy today about what happened to him on a moose hunt in Alaska last year.  He got the moose, they spent two days getting it cut up, boned out and moved back to the camp via horseback.  Unfortunately, crosswinds on the narrow lake delayed the plane for three days and they were in a warm/hot for the area cycle and the meat spoiled.  

Anyway, he said they were told after the fact that the meat would have chilled better if it had not been boned out claiming that the bone would help.  As I interpreted his statements it sounded as if the meat was put into ice chests.  If that were the case I seriously doubt the meat would have been as cool as it could have been if left out hanging during the nights.  Will ask more when I see him Friday.  

Just want to know what is the considered opinion of those of you with experince dealing with these large bodied elk?  I recall reading in an article from I think Wyoming where they were discussing the time it takes to chill the meat down after a kill.  The amount of time it took in a regular walk in cooler surprised me.

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I've never heard that keeping

I've never heard that keeping the bone in would help in cooling the meat. I've always heard the opposite. Sounds like they didn't let the meat cool enough before placing the meat in the coolers. The one time I hunted moose in Alaska, it was plenty cold enough in Sept to keep the meat chilled if it was left in the shade. Several of the successful hunters we ran into were placing the meat on tarps in close proximity to the river we were floating. Another way to keep meat cool after it has chilled is to place the cooler in the body of water, taking every precaution not to get water in the cooler.  Water and heat is the recipe for disaster.

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The bones are not going to

The bones are not going to help one way or another as far a cooling the meat.  What they do help in if removed from an animal the size of a moose is in packing it back to where you are camped at.  Usually where people make a mistake with meat is that they don't seperate it to where air can get around it but they pack it all together and it spoils from the inside out.  Quite possibly if your friend and or his guide would of hung the meat from a shaded tree with the meat to where the air could of gotten to it a lot better he wouldn't of experienced that much spoilage. 

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Thanks guys for validating

Thanks guys for validating what I suspected, bone out and hang to chill as long as possible prior to packing out.  I would have expected the guide to have known that the meat needed to be hung in separate chunks to afford the best cooling.  It takes awhile for the inside of big chunks of meat to adequately cool deep in the middle.  I would think that in getting the bone out and leaving the meat opened up should actually speed up the process of cooling.  Will have to ask the guy next time I see him why they did not hang it in the shade.  Maybe the guide just did not have any experience with such abnormally warm weather and just did what he had always done before. 

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One other thing about leaving

One other thing about leaving the bones in the meat is that it makes it easier to hang up and the meat isn't clumped together. 

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You can hang meat in the

You can hang meat in the shade towards the end of August and as long as you get it cooled good over night, it will be fine. Gets that crust on the outside and the meat inside stays good. Removing the bone can help if it means you are getting air to areas previously hidden.  I am guessing the dumped it in an ice chest in a big pile and didn't get it cooled. I've never had meat spoil on me and have had some warm hunting season where it was concern.  You would think a guide would know better?  

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RE: Guide knowing better

I fully agree that I would expect the guide to know better.  From what I was told I would believe that your scenario is the most likely explaination.  Figure they thought the plane would be in at most any time and wanted to have it at the ready to go so as to not delay the return flight.  Don't know how much radio contact they might of had. 

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I have never heard that

I have never heard that deboning helps it cool faster but it does make sense that the air can circulate more but that makes it a lot harder to hang the meat also. I have always used netted bags to hang my meat when I deboned it and NEVER packed it in the cooler until it was cool.

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Chilling Meat

I lived in Alaska for 38 years before moving to Colorado.  I haved hunted moose for years and have never heard anything about deboning meat to help it cool.  That being said, there are some guys up there that you wonder how they make it through the winter.  One technique that we used a lot on the early August sheep openers when the weather would reach the 70's is something that I haven't heard of people doing in Colorado.  We would bone out the meat, place the meat in multiple 3 mil contracters style plastic bags and submerge it in a pool of a cold mountain stream.  After 2 weeks in the mountains, the meat would be surprisingly cool when packed out and processed.  There is no way the meat would have lasted ten days if we had not used this technique. 

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I had dropped by the guy's

I had dropped by the guy's place of business this Thursday to get a leaking tire repaired, saw the mount, and looked through a bunch of pictures on his computer.  His hunting partner just happened to drop by so we had a good talk.  Seems there were no trees to hang anything from.  The meat was not in coolers it was laid out on a tarp which was folded over it.  The outfitters had not made any provisions to put the meat in thick bags to submerge in the lake, which was the source of drinking water, so they did not want to risk contaminating it.

The way they explained the situation was that "Beaver Pass" was perpendicular to the length of the small lake which caused a dangerous crosswind.  Seems the reason it was called beaver pass had nothing to do with the animal beavers but was because of the three Beaver bushplanes that have crashed there over the years.  They actually had to wait three extra days for the plane to get them out.

Said that once they were back at the main lodge the owner asked them about their satisfaction with the hunt and they both said it was great except for the lack of provisions to save the meat about which they were very disappointed. 

Then we talked about a breakdown pole type system that that would have allowed for a rope strung between two or three poles with the third in the middle.  Stand the poles up with a three rope stance then let the main rope run through eyes at the top of each pole.  Just let the rope sag between the poles to attach the meat then pull it tight with a small multiple pulley hoist.   

The picture of the lake shows how narrow it was.  The crosswinds from Beaver pass would come in from the right side of the plane in this shot.  Third shot is to give an idea of the treelessness of the area and you can see their tent at the end of the lake.  Fourth shot is looking across the lake at Beaver Pass which trails off to the right in the photo.

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Mounted 72" Bull.JPG
Mounted 72" Bull.JPG43.75 KB
Lake Landing.jpg
Lake Landing.jpg58 KB
Hunting Terrain.jpg
Hunting Terrain.jpg61.35 KB
Beaver Pass.jpg
Beaver Pass.jpg39.34 KB
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Still the problem falls back

Still the problem falls back to the guide for the spoiled meat.  If you can't hang it you can always lay it down on some sticks or rocks to where the air will get around it instead of just laying it on the ground with a tarp under and over it.  With the wind blowing like they said it would of cooled it off fairly good that way.  Stacking it on the ground and then throwing a tarp over it is just going to keep the heat in the meat.   

It sounds like the guide just didn't care about the meat. 

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