'edible' meat - wasted or spoiled.
I've always thought that the Alberta regulations which forbid leaving 'edible meat' in the field was too vague. Depending on how hungry you are - there's very little that's 'inedible'! I used to feel a bit of guilt leaving heart, tongue, liver, diaphram, brisket bits and even moose nose laying in the field - but I'm not too keen on organ meats - and my doctor doesn't recommend them either. However, I'd still take all the in-between-the-ribs, swollen neck meat and other bits & pieces which I generally find too gamey for my taste - and then use it for a spicy sausage/pepproni to tame the gaminess.
Without clearer regulations, it seemed that determining what's 'edible' was up to the Conservation Officer inspecting your game, and what side of the bed he/she got out of that morning.
Recently, after stating that they'd recover and use all the meat (and hides) possible during the CWD cull, the Alberta government found the logistics too difficult and simply buried piles of whole carcasses in the ground. They don't have to abide by the rules they set for us peasants. It got me thinking that from an ecological point of view, once I've killed an animal it makes more ecological sense to leave remains in the field to 'return to the ecosystem from whence it came', rather than dragging a whole carcass (less the entrails) home, butchering it all at home, and throwing the bones and unwanted bits out in the trash to end up in a landfill.
Since then, for various reasons I've used the 'gutless' cleaning method, only taking the 4 quarters, backstraps and tenderloins home (and deboning the neck) - leaving most of the skeleton with rib cage and guts intact.
And I don't feel guilty about it either. Nature benefits, and as I get older, the less I have to carry out of the 'foot access only' hunting areas I frequent - the easier it is for me to continue hunting.
I was interested to read that in B.C., this issue is clearly covered in their regulations:
BC Hunting & Trapping Regulations
'Edible Portions - with respect to big game, excluding grizzly bear, cougar, wolf, lynx, bobcat, and wolverine, means the edible portions of the four quarters and loins of the animal and with respect to game birds, means the edible portions of both breasts of the bird.'
In Alberta the vague prohibition is:
6. allow the edible meat of any game bird or big game animal, except cougar or bear, to be wasted, destroyed, spoiled or abandoned.
I've just read that changes to the Alberta regulations 'also contains language that the province said will "clarify the evidence required to prove that edible flesh has been wasted or become spoiled."
I can only hope that the changes result in legislation very similar to the B.C. definition, so that I can continue to hunt in my treasured 'foot access only' areas!
Time flies, when you're having rum!