Fat time meats hunt


October 2, 2009, 04:46 PM
Well, Monday night we recived the news "Bulls are crossing, and they cant stop" , which is the good news we were waiting for. the cold weather certainly has the Caribou moving again.
Anyday , "Rut" will ruin the taste of the meats. We hunted three straight days, and every Bull we took was PRIME :D
We wont have an opportunity to hunt fat Caribou untill March, when females fatten up, and thats 6 months away.
With 15 in our house, and us eating what we do, were set untill Thanksgiving, and by then the ice will be thick enough to hunt safely, though we will only get a couple hours of light then, so hunting NOW is very important.
This is a hunt that has occured here for a few thousand years, acheologicly spaeking.
As a child in the early 20th century, my father in laws parents hunted here, actually living about a bend downriver from our hunting spot. They persued caribou in Kayaks, spearing them as they crossed, and setting snares in the Willows along the rivers edge, and caught the ones that had already crossed. This was their food and skins for the winter.
This is a Meat hunt, and theres nothing "Sporting" about it. We try and get up enough meat for our household, our neighbors and relatives before "Freeze up" when all we can do is stay home untill the ice thickens enough to be safe. Were also decending into Polar darkness, and hhunting will be breif during the twilight days, untill Febuary.

We wait by the rivers side for the fattest Bulls top cross, then we sally out and shoot them in the bain with a .22lr.
Its the quickest, most "Humane"(~~LOL!!~~) way to go about it, far quicker death than a heart/lung shot.
With a .22lr, we get a solid brain scrambler, no pass through shots, no wounded, no sick, only the one animal we have chosen out of the bunch, but often two or three.
There were littereally thousands of Caribou crossing, all three days we were there.

Each day we arrived in mid morning , as sun up it 9 am and we are an hour and 1/2 away with the boat, and still there were easily 10 boats in view along that 3 mile strech of river.
We watched about 500 Caribou cross, and nobody persue them that we were comfortable as well as ready to go get ours....and we didnt wait long at all.

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Then the work begins...:D
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they float, and we tie them alongside and go to a rocky cliff to butcher them down.
First we pull hem out of the water
We split them from around the bung to the lip
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We tuck the antlers back and make the body so it wont roll.

We work on the legskin and disjoint the legs for easier handling.
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Then we remove the tounge, and work our way to heart, lungs the intestines and butthole. They pull out easy enough and we open the brisket for easy access and to cool the carcass.
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October 2, 2009, 04:48 PM
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Besides the lungs and intestines, which the Raves make short work of, these heads are all that we left behind
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Gotta save those tastey inner'ds
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And I took a walk down that beach......and looked at others "Sucess'
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Picked up a couple swans for this winter as well, on the way home

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Passed the wife checking her net with her Cousin AJ so I made Coffe at home for her....
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Meat by the Yard...
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When all was said and done, there were still thousands more comming.....
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After the third day, ice was choking the river and the slews are all iced over, so for us, with our last fat bulls, the Summer is officially over.

October 2, 2009, 05:11 PM
VERY interesting!

Give us a more detailed description of the meat. Are we talking basically deer or is it a lot different?

And the swans, like geese or.........?

Do you just store the meat outside or bury it or........? It is that cold is it not?

More information...............

October 2, 2009, 08:20 PM
Sweet. That's a neat trick with the antlers.

October 2, 2009, 08:24 PM
Good hunting! Stay safe in those boats. It's terrible to hear about folk who go under but it always seems to happen every year. People from the lower 48 think of bears as the big threat. That water is the real killer.

October 3, 2009, 07:36 PM
We hunt them now as it is cold enough lately to keep them frozen outside, whole. Its also why were catching so many is such a short time, and why we dont skin them, as it keeps the carcass "Safe' from nawing from various critters.
We do skin a few, mostly the ones were giving away to older folks who have a hard time at it, as well as a couple for immediate consumption, here at home.
We do have a "Siglauk" an underground permafrost storage where we spend time in the summer, to refigerate our "Stuffs"

8 months of the year or back porch is our "freezer, and we keep meat and food out there so we have mose room in the house.

We cant dry Swans or Geese, so we usually eat them as we catch them, but we also get them in Fall and put them in our chest freezer and save a bunch.

We dry Caribou, Fish of all sorts and seal meats and save them for winter as well.
My wife also jars up birds in the Spring, Salmon in the Summer and we pickle eggs we gather as well.

Swan tasets like Muskox and Beef...all the same.
Caribou is milder thamn Beef, and 23 X's less fat. Its our "Bread" here, beyond the end of the road.

October 3, 2009, 07:55 PM
Drying is accomplished with or without salt?

Do you have to use smoke or are the flys of no concern?

Is it really dry, like salt cod is dry, or more like jerkey?

How do you do it?

How long does it last?

To eat it is it rehydrated or simply allowed to absorb mositure as it cooks?

Fill us in............

October 3, 2009, 08:03 PM
I really enjoy your posts and pictures, giving us a window to your world. Thank you for taking the time to post and God bless.


October 4, 2009, 09:25 PM
Good questions..... we dry meats using the wind.

we salt some meats for preservation, alot more for seasoning and quite a bit with no salt at all....... depends on what were making and when.

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You need smoke when theres flys around , untill theres a nice dry "Crust" so the flys cant lay eggs, but sometimes they do anyway. We check our meats everyday, and remove any fly eggs with detailed scrutiny. They look like small grains of rice, often cluster'd.
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In early spring and late september, were flyless and cool with little humidity, and we dry up alotta good, soft dry'd meats, and freeze them 1/2 dryed.
With seal meat, made in spring, 1/2 dryed seal meats are preserved through summer in the oil that was renderd from the Seal itsself.
If you want to save meat for a long time, dry it hard.
Here, people often heavily season, then hard dry the meat and pound it when its dry to make it tearable/chewable/rippable, and easily consumed.

you can boil it if you want, some roats fat peices of dry meats as well.
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Fish are preserved the same way, just keep close attention to them, and eat them as you catch more :D
keep the hot sun off your meats , it will go rancid faster. We often pull a tarp over our racks as they fill up.

October 4, 2009, 11:34 PM
Thanks for the posts, always a good read. And I'm always starving afterwards too!

October 5, 2009, 02:06 PM
And what a lovely daughter! She looks so content and alive!

October 5, 2009, 02:14 PM
I really enjoy your posts.

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