I have a friend who married someone from New Foundland, Canada and it turns out that New Foundland is over-run by moose. It didn't used to be that way. New Foundland was originally moose-less, but in 1904 four moose were introduced to the island to encourage tourism through sport hunting and today that original herd has grown to 150,000, one of the highest densities of moose in North America. It has come at a cost - there are about 600 car collisions with moose each year and their eating habits are destroying native habitat. A Wall Street Journal article from 2014 reported that wildlife officials are so anxious to harvest the moose that national park officials flew hunters into Gros Morne National Park and then picked up the hunters and their bagged moose free of charge. One hunter stated it was, "Like going to a fish pond and catching trout."
|This moose was photographed at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center south of Anchorage.|
As a result moose meat is a staple on the island and my friend's husband grew up eating moose that his mother bottled and canned. His mother visited him recently from New Foundland and brought some bottled and canned moose which they shared with me. Of course, I was thrilled.
The canned moose was a little more dense and stiff, as other canned meat I've tasted can be. It was not gamy at all. If I'd been told it was beef I would not have questioned it at all. When warmed up in a microwave it softened right up and was much better.
|Home-canned moose from New Foundland.|
|A peek inside the opened can.|
|Canned moose pieces.|
The bottled moose was less dense and less stiff. It had a much nicer mouth-feel, had no gaminess and was frankly, just wonderful. It also was better warmed up in a microwave, but I would be happy eating it cold out of the bottle.
|Home bottled moose pieces.|
This helped re-confirm that moose is one of my favorite wild meats and one that I would love to fill my freezer with.