Why would you spend a year anticipating the hunt, five weeks or more pursuing the animal, the better part of a week packing it out, and aging it for weeks, only to not then revel in the nextto-final act of spending a few more days preparing it for storage, awaiting the meal that is the beginning of all you sought in the first place?
There is one knife, reserved only for this purpose. There is the late autumn or early winter light through the window. There are your young daughters, wrapping fascia into tight pioneer garments around their dolls. A few years later, they help you label the cuts, drawing cartoon pictographs of the hunt onto the freezer paper. Grown, they’ll cook it for you and it will be more delicious than ever.
Trim away every bit of ligament. There’s no intramuscular fat, so, if you wrap it tightly enough, and use enough paper, the meat will keep for years. “Mastodon!” we cry sometimes, in excavating from the bottom of the freezer. I’m reminded of a line attributed to Jim Bridger: “Meat don’t spoil in the mountains.”