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groovy mike's picture
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making me hungry!

You guys are making me hungry!

I'm am glad to say that we have some white tail in the freezer, but I would gladly swap it for moose.  I'd swap beef for moose any day. 

I've only had caribou at game suppers so I don't know how the meat was handled or prepared.  It was edible but no wehere near as good as the way my wife makes moose. 

Better than white tail but not even close to moose.

Muley from sage country seems mighty tasty to me and that alludes to what I think a big factor of taste is - that is what the animals eat. 

Caribou feeding on blueberries probably taste MUCH different than caribou feeding on reindeer moss. 

I know that the feed makes a difference in domestic livestock.

Then there is the way that the animal was harvested, and the meat handled thereafter.  All are huge factors that affect flavor.

Worst case - make jerky!  That even makes GOOSE edible!

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Making me hungry

groovy mike wrote:

You guys are making me hungry!

I'm am glad to say that we have some white tail in the freezer, but I would gladly swap it for moose.  I'd swap beef for moose any day. 

I've only had caribou at game suppers so I don't know how the meat was handled or prepared.  It was edible but no wehere near as good as the way my wife makes moose. 

Better than white tail but not even close to moose.

Muley from sage country seems mighty tasty to me and that alludes to what I think a big factor of taste is - that is what the animals eat. 

Caribou feeding on blueberries probably taste MUCH different than caribou feeding on reindeer moss. 

I know that the feed makes a difference in domestic livestock.

Then there is the way that the animal was harvested, and the meat handled thereafter.  All are huge factors that affect flavor.

Worst case - make jerky!  That even makes GOOSE edible!

 

  I realize this is a very old thread but the information is right up to date!

  I have hunted caribou almost every year since 1982, in drop camps in Alaska, and over time i have found that caribou is very good (if handled properly in the field) when fresh, but is not so good after freezing.   I think groovy mike is on target with the highlighted parts of his quote above.  The plants an animal eats can have a positive or negative effect on the meat's taste. However I find that most bad tasting or strong tasting meat is more the result of handleing in the field than anything else.  I've seen deer shot quickly gutted after removing the muck galnds with one knife, the wn in the back of a jeep, and hualed around in the hot sun for the rest of the day then hung for a day or two thenhualed two hundred mile on top of the pick-up load so the folks can see the deer, then wounder why the deer tastes like a goat cocked with skin still on it! Damn! A pen raised, corn fed, steer wouldn't taste better if handled that way.  

  I've hunted in camps with a lot of hunters, and witnessed some real abuses in the handleing of the meat.  First off a rutting buck, mulie, or whitetail is not more gamey than any other buck, if properly handled.  One thing I never see most hunters having is TWO KNIVES for processing a game animal.  This is a must, but more about that later. I see in print in all sorts of hunting magazines, and game handling manuals, and films done by so-called experts dirrecting the hunter to cut out the musk glands even before gutting. Right there is the source of some real throw-away meat. Once you touch a musk gland with your knife or your hands, you are on your way to ruined meat.  Deer urinate on their bellys and legs when in rut, so the musk gland is not the only offender. Cutting through the belly skin to gut the animal that is in rut has to be done properly to avoid contaminating the meat.   

  Having said all the above, let me explain a few points!  The reason for two knives is, one is used for the initional opening of the animal, and this is a perfect place for a "GUT HOOK knife. Use the gut hook,or standard blade of one knife to open only the skin on the belly,  starting at the brisket for the belly and cutting back to the anus,(SKIN ONLY)then do not touch  the inside of the legs to the hooves,  then set that knife asside.  Now I tie a length of string to both hind legs so I don't have to touch them to do the gutting. In open country you can tie that string to a rock that you can step on to hold the legs open for gutting, or to a tree in in the woods.

  I start opening the body cavity with another clean knife from the ribcage to the anus, and remove the guts, and then cut the diaphram away and clean the chest cavity. Prop open to cool, and if a tree is available hang the deer by it's head over night, if you are leaving the next day, but if you will be in camp for several days leave the deer hanging in the shade till it is time to go.  Bug bag of course to keep the flies, and bees off it.

  If I can I like to do the skinning at home, and those musk glands come off with the hide, I hang the deer head down and remove the skin from the hindquarters to the base of the skull. Then cut the head off just at the back of the skull, cape can be cut free later.  NOW the fat on the rump is where the bad taste is from what the deer eats, and has absolutely no food value, remove it and discord. 

  So far you have taken care of the meat, allowed it to age a few days, and it is now ready to cut into meal size portions, and double wrap, and freeze!  This is best done by removing the meat in seperate muscle groups.  Take each muscle and remove all silver conective tissue and discord. Slice the meat in 3/4 inch steaks, as many as you will cock at one meal, leaving the cut surfaces touching each other and wrap with the slick side of the freezer parper against the meat, the wrap again with e slick (SHINY SIDE) on the outside of the wrapping, lable and freeze! Once thawed the package of steaks can be diced into cubes for stew, or clili-con-carne!

   Discord all the hide you are not going to use for a mount or tanning, all the bone, and fat from the deer, and you will find the rankest rutting deer will taste like corn fed steer!   

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Caribou eating experience.

After I shot my Mountain Caribou, a snow storm moved in and I was trapped in a tent for 7 days with my business partner and our two guides were sharing a tent next us.  We ate Caribou all along, but when we ran out of supplies, it was all we had.  The only purpose it served us was to fill our bellies and discharge out of us about 3 hours later like clock work.  If you drank your Cowboy Coffee with it, the process was excelerated.  After we finally made it back to base camp, we had some BBQ Sauce and Grilled the Ribs.  Just when I thought I never wanted to see Caribou again, they were fantastic. 

My Dall Sheep was excellent eating on that trip along with the inner loin of my partners Alaska-Yukon Moose.

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caribou meat is actually

caribou meat is actually really good. i like it a lot better than deer meat, but not as much as beef.

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subjective

The taste of any wild meat is subjective.  I've eaten a caribou or two and they are excellent fare.  I'd rate them somewhere between a good deer and an elk.  They have a mild flavor and if taken care of properly, are excellent eating.  It's hard to rate game animals for their meat as they are so different.  I love good deer meat and I love buffalo.  If I had to rank them in order of preference, I'd take a buffalo, moose, elk, caribou, deer, antelope and goat.  My mountain goat was tougher than old shoe leather, but tasted pretty good. 

If I had a chance, I'd fill my freezer with caribou any day.  I have heard that they don't have much nutritional value but that is just not true.  They have a far greater value than beef. 

As with all game animals, it's not necessarily in how they're cooked but in how they are taken care of right after the kill.  All game animals need to be cooled as quickly as possible.  They need to be clean and free of dirt, debris, hair, crusted blood and any other material that might contaminate it.  I believed at one time that hanging a wild animal for an extended period of time would make it more tender and taste better.  I've found over the years that I can't tell the difference.  The only thing that hanging might do is cause spoilage.

After a game animal is taken care of and cut up properly, then it's important how it is prepared.  For many, many years we were told that wild meat needed to be cooked well done to kill any parasites.  Not true.  I love medium rare venison steaks and elk and buffalo are fantastic rare.

Good luck on your caribou hunt.  Take good care of your meat after it's down and then enjoy every bite.

 

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