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Moose/Caribou dilemma?

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Unread 06-13-2011, 11:02 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Dallas, Tx
Posts: 72
Moose/Caribou dilemma?

I just finished a book (The Final Frontiersman by James Campbell), and there was a question that has been buggin the heck out of me.

While hunting with the patriarch of a subsistence family in Alaska, Heimo Korth (said patriarch, and super-badass, my personal hero, god among men, etc.) tells the author that "you never shoot a moose unless you're sure the caribou aren't coming".

Why is this? It doesnt get any further explaination, and I can't figure it. Does it scare them away? Is it a superstition? Or maybe he just likes caribou meat better? Anyone heard this or have any ideas?
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Unread 06-13-2011, 11:13 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 3,969
Re: Moose/Caribou dilemma?

Your guess is as good as mine, I suspect it's because caribou are much easier to process (size). I've had guides tell me they like moose hunting the least of all because of this.
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Unread 06-14-2011, 02:40 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Alaska
Posts: 4,895
Re: Moose/Caribou dilemma?

That would be my guess also. Moose are so large that if you don't get them gutted and skinned, they can spoil overnight in the field. They're much bigger than caribou, and if the meat isn't cooled off quickly, they bone sour. In addition to that issue, a big bull moose is equal to about 7-8 round trips of hauling meat and antlers by backpack. A caribou is about 3-4 round trips for a backpack hunter.

Another possibility is that any subsistence hunter would prefer to harvest their game so that they animals can be transported by 4-wheeler, boat, or snow machine. And caribou and caribou seasons are probably more accommodating that way also.
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Unread 06-14-2011, 08:14 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Mt., Id. , SD
Posts: 1,062
Re: Moose/Caribou dilemma?

I would guess that a comment like that from a subsitance hunter would have more to do with the fact that caribou are migratory - they come and they go - take them when you can. Moose pretty much stay in a specific area - so leave them alone until you have to eat - kind of like never depleat your local food source.

Who knows - maybe the guy didn't like moose meat?
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