The pickup above is loaded down with moosemeat from 2 moose taken on a hunt in Denali this week. The people we are renting from and their families went to Denali for a week, in search of trophies. One moose they shot was a 13+ hour horseback ride back to base camp. It took 5 horses to pack all the meat, plus 3 horses for them to ride. Once they got one moose out that had to turn around and go back for the other one. They had cut out all the bones (besides the one you see in the middle of the hunk of meat above) and skinned them and left those for the coyotes, wolves and bears. It makes sense to cut out the bones because processing costs by the pound, and if the bones are there, it costs more to process. Our landlord gave us half a moose, which ended up being about 250 pounds dressed. We were at the processing plant when they brought the moose in yesterday and were able to choose how we wanted our cuts. The butcher was hilarious as he told us about different parts of the moose. He was describing how to cook each part and he would exclaim over the choicest pieces of meat as they were hung. It took over an hour with winches and pullies to get all the meat weighed and hung. Some cuts were 150 pounds (haunch, shoulder). Moose is less gamey than venison, though of course more gamey than cow. Luckily we just bought a big freezer last week so we'll be ready! Processing is .60/pound, and takes about 2 weeks.
The group also got a big grizzly. Residents of Alaska can get kill one grizzly per year in Denali because there are so many. However, it is illegal to sell grizzly pelts, and the meat is inedible, so there is a limit to how many you would want to get. Though they have lived here all their lives, they'd never gotten a grizzly pelt for themselves, onlyhelping others get theirs, so they were excited.