You just bagged a moose! What are you going to do with all that meat?

BDN Photo by Julia Bayly.

BDN Photo by Julia Bayly.

You’re one of the lucky moose hunters who got a permit. You did your homework and took a trip to where the most moose are harvested in Maine. Even more lucky, you got one!

Now, what are you going to do with all that meat?

Josh Cottrell, an avid hunter from Brewer, said that a 600 pound moose would yield about 300 to 350 pounds of meat. He said that cooking moose is generally easy, but the low fat content leads to overcooking.

“Moose meat is exceptional eating, but it all has to do with the handling of the meat from the time it is killed to the time it is butchered.” Cottrell said in an email. “Moose is one of the healthy meats you can eat, It’s high in protein, very low fat, and obviously organic.”

As far as recipes, Cottrell looks them up every once in a while, but he takes the simple approach.

“I typically just marinate meat or just cook in butter, salt and pepper,” he said. “I had 125 pounds of my moose made into five kinds of sausage. Most people have a lot of burger made and use it in sauces, chilis and such.”

Cottrell said that people who have had moose meat should give it another chance.

“When someone tells me they had gamey or tough moose meat, I believe it is how the moose was handled,” he said.

Cottrell described moose hunting as a once in a lifetime experience.

“It tends to be a hunt that involves family and friends which adds to the whole experience,” Cottrell said. “You can travel to other areas to hunt moose but costs can vary from $5,000 to $10,000. That makes our resident cost of a tag a very affordable option for people that wouldn’t be able to afford an out-of-state hunt.”

The Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry sponsors an initiative for donating unwanted meat to Maine’s hungry called Hunters for the Hungry. More information on the program, which accepts bear, deer and moose meat, can be found here.