It' hunting season in Alaska, a time when thousands of men and women head into the woods to fulfill the ancient thrill of stalking wild game. However, as any successful hunter will agree, once the game is on the ground, the trill is over and the work begins.
The skills necessary to stalk and kill wild game are far different from the skills necessary to successfully harvest the animal. Thanks to Carrol Martin of the Diamond M Ranch on K-Beach Road and the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, more individuals have learned about processing and field dressing game meat. Martin uses 4-H Junior Livestock Auction animals to demonstrate how to cut up game animals. "A blue ribbon goat is exactly like processing a Sitka Black Tail deer from Kodiak or Montague Island. We also cut up the 4-H pig that we served at Industry Appreciation Day, and even a hog is very similar to cutting up a deer or larger animal," said Martin.
The classes are informal and those attending got some hands-on experience and were able to ask questions of the veteran rancher and meat processor. "Some of the folks decide that it's easier to take it to the butcher shop after taking the class, but others pick up some tricks of the trade and become very successful. We also talk a lot about how to keep your meat from spoiling in the weather," said Martin.
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