Caribou Meat

Short Track

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Too far east
I'm doing a NL Caribou hunt in Sept, before the rut. How is the meat? Does it compare to Elk?
I hear you can't eat a rutting Caribou, either you hunt them before or after the rut... How much meat do you get from a medium Bull?
 

soggybtmboys

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Upper Midwest
I'm doing a NL Caribou hunt in Sept, before the rut. How is the meat? Does it compare to Elk?
I hear you can't eat a rutting Caribou, either you hunt them before or after the rut... How much meat do you get from a medium Bull?
I think the earlier the better meat from bulls. Caribou meat is excellent, and I'm sure there would be debate on which is better. Ive had both and like them both, I found my caribou from late August was better and more tender than elk I've had. Allegedly, the closer to the rut you get, the meat changes in flavor.

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Jackal7

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Feb 13, 2018
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Minnesota
Our caribou in 2019 were shot in early September. That was the best venison I have ever eaten. I served the roasted backstraps and tenderloins at a neighborhood New Year's Eve party - and the four vegetarians present ate a helluva lot of caribou meat that night. Nuff said. Everyone loved it and none of them had ever picked up a bow or a rifle in their lives. Have fun and enjoy your good fortune and bounty afterwards.
 

Larry Bartlett

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medium bull renders 90-100-lbs with leg bones attached to the meat. Larger bulls you might get as much as 125-lbs initially. Cellular drainage and convection drying beyond post-harvest day 4 typically results in a 10% weight reduction overall. If you start with 100-lbs of meat, by day 5 expect it to weigh about 90 lbs.

safe to harvest tasty 'bou until October in most cases. By mid october to early november...not so much...
 

william schmaltz

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Caribou meat is fair at best imo. It’s a step below whitetail, and I eat plenty of both.
Agreed. I've only shot a handful of caribou, but at least two had a noticeable funk. One was a bull with cows around Sept 20 and another was a mid August velvet bull. Both were out of the field and in the freezer in less than 48 hours. My wife wouldn't even touch either of those caribou. The other ones were OK (including Kotz winter cows), she at least ate them but not with excitement. That's the only reason I've only shot a handful, caribou hunting is a hard sell at my house.

My wife has a pretty good theory about how guys will convince themselves something tastes better based on how expensive and how much of a PITA is was to get. I don't get the hype about Dall Sheep meat, so I guess I kinda agree with her theory.
 

coop22250

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Palmer AK
I really like to eat bulls in velvet, excellent. I shot a large bull in October, his pecker looked like a sea cucumber lol, it was rough. The burger was really strong, I made some snack sticks with red pepper, black pepper, habaneros, habanero high temp cheese, it was edible. The spice and cure helped but not ideal for sure. I went for a cow, stumbled on a huge herd with a bunch of large bulls, said screw it, I’m getting a big one.
 

Dexter Grayson

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Kenai, Alaska
Agreed. I've only shot a handful of caribou, but at least two had a noticeable funk. One was a bull with cows around Sept 20 and another was a mid August velvet bull. Both were out of the field and in the freezer in less than 48 hours. My wife wouldn't even touch either of those caribou. The other ones were OK (including Kotz winter cows), she at least ate them but not with excitement. That's the only reason I've only shot a handful, caribou hunting is a hard sell at my house.

My wife has a pretty good theory about how guys will convince themselves something tastes better based on how expensive and how much of a PITA is was to get. I don't get the hype about Dall Sheep meat, so I guess I kinda agree with her theory.
Man I couldn’t agree more!
 

119bowhunter

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Brevard, NC
We are hunting out of Kotz next September and I watched Larry Bartletts hunt video he posted on the long thread about the potential closure of federal land in units 23 and 26a, at the end he mentions that the bull he killed may have had brucellosis, this was the first I had heard about them carrying this...what are the protocols in dealing with one that has it? Does all meat have to be cooked to 160 to kill it or is the bacteria only present in the infected portions of the animal? I believe he said that the prevalence is fairly high in this area
 
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Shot my first one August 10 this year. Quartered with bone in with ribs and all other meat after hanging for 3 days it weighed 118 lbs.. I had it processed in Anchorage and will be trucked ito me in early October with the horns.
 

Greatwhite84

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Caribou meat is fair at best imo. It’s a step below whitetail, and I eat plenty of both.
Same here. I didn't care for it. I had mine processed at AK Seafood in Anchorage and they shipped it down south for me, so it could have been on their end. Most of it was so salty you couldn't eat it. Various hunter sticks, teriyaki sticks, etc. All too much NaCL for me. I gave most of it away to people I didn't like haha
 

hodgeman

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Delta Junction, AK
Caribou is best taken early.... I've shot a bunch of them in August and it's excellent. By mid-Sept I stop shooting bulls on purpose. Most of them will be OK, but I did shoot one in late August that was well on his way to inedible.

I've shot a couple in late November and they're OK but really starting to lean way out.
 

z987k

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Anchorage, AK
It's ok. I keep the steaks, they're good. Grind the rest of it into sausage, which is really good. And none of the hunter stick crap. Real sausage. . No burger for me. I won't even shoot a bull anymore. If that's required I'd never hunt the area. The cows taste a lot better.

Moose on the other hand is right up there with beef. I hunt bou when I'm too lazy to go pack a moose and don't want to be gone more than a day and a half.
 

Jackal7

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Feb 13, 2018
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Minnesota
Just put three pounds of ground caribou into these beauties with cabbage and onion. A little sweet curry and garlic powder and some egg to bind. Double rise yeast dough. Needless to say they taste fantastic.
 

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eaglemountainman

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I wonder if there is a difference in flavor, based on diet perhaps, between Alaskan caribou and the eastern caribou of northern Quebec. I've only eaten the latter, but every one was delicious, second only to moose. Just my personal opinion.
 

DawnPatrol

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Dec 22, 2020
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Nunya
Just put three pounds of ground caribou into these beauties with cabbage and onion. A little sweet curry and garlic powder and some egg to bind. Double rise yeast dough. Needless to say they taste fantastic.
Looks delicious. That was a staple in my house growing up (with lamb or deer).
 
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