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Students Salvage, Butcher Roadkill Moose

by Lorien Nettleton ~ February 24th, 2012

As long as snows are deep and nights are dark, moose mingling in roadways is a fact of life everywhere in Alaska. With a higher -than-average number of moose killed in collisions with vehicles this winter, the roadkill salvage program in the Mat Su Borough is rotating through the list frequently. One name on the list is the Su Valley High School Moose Club.

KTNA’s Lorien Nettleton has the story.

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When the loudspeaker announces there’s a moose in the woodshop, students at Su Valley High know it’s time to butcher wild game. The Su Valley Moose Club is in its first year, and already they’ve processed five roadkill moose through the state’s salvage program.

Tenth-grader Maddy Starbuck made her first visit to the Moose Club this week to help out. She has processed other animals before, including cows and pigs from her family’s farm. But the moose, she says, was a little different.

Clip: Maddy – 1:06

Maddy’s brother Joseph is in 7th grade, and it was also his first time at moose club. He was one of the first to show up, and was able to participate in all the steps, from skinning the carcass to vacuum-sealing the burger.

Clip: Joseph

Steve Harrison teaches PE at Su Valley, and he says the community support for the project has made a dream into a reality. The Moose Club received support from Talkeetna and Sunshine Community Revenue Sharing grants, which gave the club everything it needed to turn roadkill into a learning experience that also fills freezers around the community.

 

Clip: Harrison – funding

The funds even helped build the processing shed, which was built by students in Brian Kirby’s shop classes.

32 kids are signed up for the moose club, and on any given day as many as 12 may show up to participate in the butchering and bagging, and Harrison says any more than 8 kids at a time with knives in their hands can seem like a little bit much. It’s normally a 3-day operation that kids fit in mostly after school or during their free periods, but For this week’s moose, most of the action took place during a half-day of school, with plenty of kids helping. The whole process was completed from start to finish in one day.

Clip: Harrison: Plenty of Help.

 

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