We have limited space to store meat in Kotzebue, however, once you harvest an animal and have it field processed and back to your pick-up location, you should send us an inReach message. We may may be able to pick up your animal prior to your fly-out date. However, you should plan for meat to stay in the field with you for the entire time.
When you get back into town, you are responsible for butchering the meat yourself. Kotzebue DOES NOT have meat processing facilities to accommodate hunters. There is a small area at the hangar where you will be able to rough-process your meat for transport back home, and the local Hotel in Kotzebue we recommend has a walk-in, -20 degree freezer for hunters to freeze their meat prior to departure back home.
Here’s a good video on butchering wild game by MeatEater:
It gives the “how to” on breaking down a whole whitetail deer (which is the same as a caribou or a moose). Steve takes you through the process of transforming a whole deer into steaks, roasts, shanks and doesn’t skip the extras that are often discarded.
Transfer or Donation of Game Meat
It is illegal to buy, sell or barter game meat. Unprocessed meat and other game parts may be transferred to others permanently (given as a gift) or may be transferred temporarily for the purpose of transport. However, two requirements apply: First, any meat you plan to give away must be in the same or better condition as meat you would keep for yourself. Second, you will need to fill out a “Transfer of Possession” form (see the back page of the hunting regulations book); keep a copy and give one to the recipient of the meat. You must show this statement and the meat to an ADF&G representative if asked.
It is your responsibility to make sure that game has been legally taken before you accept or transport it. If you accept game or parts of game from someone else, either permanently as a gift or temporarily in order to transport that game, it becomes your responsibility to salvage all edible meat for human consumption.