Nursing student pinch hits as makeshift butcher

Nursing student Mike Mosier at makeshift butcher table
Mike Mosier, a senior WSU College of Nursing student, volunteered to butcher a road-kill deer and moose for the Union Gospel Mission in Spokane on Wednesday. Photo courtesy Union Gospel Mission.

By Addy Hatch, WSU College of Nursing

The call went out to the day room at the Union Gospel Mission men’s shelter in Spokane: “Hey, we need somebody who can butcher up some animals.”

WSU College of Nursing student Mike Mosier was in the day room checking on shelter residents as part of his clinical rotation at Union Gospel Mission. None of the about 30 men in the day room raised their hands, Mosier said. “I’ve been hunting my whole life, so I said, ‘If you really need someone, I can do it for you.’”

That’s how the senior nursing student ended up butchering a deer – and part of a moose – on Sept. 20.

The game was road-kill, donated to the mission by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, said Lynn Yount, spokeswoman for UGM. The mission is a regular recipient of such donations, but the person who regularly butchers game for UGM wasn’t available that day.

Mosier said he’s butchered both deer and moose before. “I’ve been hunting since I was 7,” the Spokane Valley native explained. “I got the deer zipped up for them, then started on the moose. I got the two front shoulders done on the moose,” then had to leave for another clinical site, he said.

Was he surprised to be doing that as part of his nursing education?

“It was a pleasant surprise,” Mosier said, and one that complemented his nursing studies because he took the opportunity to give his clinical partner and a handful of others at the shelter a tutorial. “I showed anatomically where the muscles are on an animal, which is obviously different than a person. It was neat.”

Mosier graduates from nursing school in December, as does his wife Kelsey Mosier. The two received bachelor’s degrees from Eastern Washington University, then several years later returned to school to study nursing at Washington State University. “We both decided we want to do something to help people,” Mike Mosier said.

Said Yount, at Union Gospel Mission, “Mike was in the right place at the right time, as far as we’re concerned.”