If you shoot a Moose late in the day and you don't have the time or the light to finish moose field dressing at night, is it OK to just cut the throat or should you remove all of the gut?
Anonymous... this is a great question!
If you leave the entrails in overnight you are asking for trouble. It is extremely to gut your animal as soon as possible. Stomach acids, gases and bacteria will begin their work as soon as the blood stop flowing through the animals veins.
The vital thing is to cool the meat, which cannot begin while the entrails are still inside.
We had a bad experience just this year with not getting our moose cool soon enough. We did clean the moose using our headlamps and we propped open the body cavity to let it cool overnight. Watch our video of moose field dressing at night...
Our problem was this: It was cold that night, (you will see the steam rising from the moose) there was frost in the meadow, just 25 feet from where we were working. The moose however lay under a thick canopy of trees. The body did not cool enough and two days later at camp we noticed the meat starting with the shoulder he lay on was beginning to sour. Once we discovered the sour we were quick to act but the gases and sour had already spread.
We ended up losing about a quarter of the moose when we were done.
We did everything else right. As soon as we got him out of the bush we skinned, halved and washed the carcass. We hung it in a cool place, but it was too late.
We learned a valuable lesson this year, one we will never forget.
If we shoot a moose late in the day from now on we will:
Gut it as soon as we get to it... even in the dark
Cut open the entire chest to let it cool
If possible and practical, we will quarter it and hang the quarters on the spot with the hide on.
Get it out that night if we can
This year was only our second moose of 27 that we left in the bush overnight.
The other was out in a cut block at the top of a mountain. It was very cold, something like minus 10 degrees Celsius. After cleaning the moose was rolled up onto its chest which was on a stump. the only part of the moose body that remained on the ground was its legs. The chest cavity was also propped open. We had no problems with that moose.
morning Mark, I want to thank you again for your outstanding service. As luck
would have it, when I arrived home after work yesterday the moose call was in
my mail box. It figures when the Postal Circus is involved. Ed
Manya from Tampa Bay said: My sister-in-law came down with a box of goodies from Alaska. One was a moose steak. I have thought about cooking it but didn't know how. I looked on your site. Thank you so much for having such wonderful ways to fix moose.
Laurie wrote to us: "I just wanted to let you know how much I love
your site and how much I appreciate all the help you give everyone. I have
learned so much from this site. It is my go to guide for moose hunting. You
have a great way with words and make this site very approachable for new
hunters and very informative for both new and veteran hunters alike. Thank you
for all your hard work. Again, it's a fantastic site, keep up the great work."
Dale emailed us: Cool website, nice to see others that consider the moose as a majestic creature. We are going to park the quads this year and use the boat, get away from the others. Will let you know if it is a successful hunt.