I wrote up a lengthy , well picture'd story about the way were preparing here inthe Arctci for our comming Polar Darkness, and thin ice "Freeze up". Food, Heat (Wood) and $$ sewing and crafting , and soon running icenets, but heres a page of what we basicly do to get ready to stay home ~~LOL!!~~
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October 4, 2011, 08:37 PM
Hey Caribou..I made it up here...The Coho are running late this year so we are filling the smoke houses down here (South East AK) and putting in fire wood. Also the last of the canning. I didn't get much building done though....
Maybe I'll have time for a trip north at the end of next summer. I hope so.
October 4, 2011, 09:08 PM
Neat pictures. Thanks.
October 4, 2011, 09:14 PM
That video clip is something else. You wont see that on the Sportsman's channel. lol
Really interesting write up too. Thanks for sharing.
October 4, 2011, 09:19 PM
Cool pictures dude! If I had to prepare for that I would skip everything but Prozac and whisky...I don't know how y'all handle that without going crazy.
October 4, 2011, 10:12 PM
XLint. :D Now, I'm one of the old farts that you guys kill the soft meat for. :D Sounds like work, but an ideal workplace. I read the post to my wife. She's an excellent cook and quilts and sews and was real interested in the sewing and craft references.
Anyway, thanks for a good read. I always enjoy your real life stories, being one who "hunts" at the HEB supermarket down the street. I'd try some of those ice nets on the hogs here, but I'd be waiting a while for that sort of ice. LOL Don't form real well when it's 107 F outside. Wire mesh cattle panels will have to do.
Oh, BTW, asked the wife if she could handle living like you and your wife up there. She said "So long as i could get my meds, but the cold might make me cranky." She's lived in Idaho for a dozen years before meeting me, moved back to Texas and that's one of the reasons. I guess I'm stuck here since I don't wanna get her cranky, prefer her nice and sweet. :D
October 4, 2011, 11:03 PM
October 5, 2011, 07:43 AM
Nice write up and great pics. You are a lucky man.
October 5, 2011, 12:25 PM
I really enjoy your posts. What a fascinating look at a completely different way of life. Your posts allow this desk jockey to live vicariously. Now I know what I'll be daydreaming about when I'm bored this week.
5 per day per person! Here in western NY you have to purchase a license for bow, gun, and muzzleloader seasons, plus get lucky and get a couple doe permits to take 5 deer in a year (and have access to good hunting property)! The last two years I've taken four deer (kept three and gave one to my FIL each year).
October 5, 2011, 01:44 PM
Very cool thread Caribou. Thanks for sharing.
Just out of curiosity (if you don't mind sharing), what do you do besides hunt for a living?
October 5, 2011, 04:35 PM
Nice post! Do you have enough warm weather to grow veggies up there?
October 5, 2011, 04:37 PM
Hell, even a greenhouse won't work when there ain't no sun. :D
October 5, 2011, 05:34 PM
Very nice indeed. In some ways I wish I could live life like that. We do a much as possible for our selves but as you can imagine it is quite different than what you have to do. We can a lot of food and hunt what we can and cut our own wood to heat our house but its not the same as you all.
October 5, 2011, 05:49 PM
Hell, even a greenhouse won't work when there ain't no sun.
There's 24 hours of sun.
October 5, 2011, 07:12 PM
October 5, 2011, 07:16 PM
"We can a lot of food and hunt what we can and cut our own wood to heat our house but its not the same as you all."
And yet, not that different.
Gas is 8$+ a gallon (stove oil too) so when we choose between heat, food and gas, we pick gas, and get our own food. As well we Hunt and gather for skins and wood to heat our house with , though our trees are MUCH smaller ~~LOL!!~~ Gasoline, sweat and hunting make our ends meet, an life is a vicious circle.
As for growing seasons, We have June, July, August and Winter ~~LOL!!~~
Greenhouses are great for starting plants , but heating them is a BIG expense and hassle.
Some do Hydroponic gardens, but their inside.......:cool:
Potatoes, cabbage and lettuces does quite well if frost dont kill them.
Im no farmer, and with farms come fences, insectacides, fertilzers and the hell those play on the environment, so we cast our lot with nature and gather 7 kinds of greens, 5 kinds of Berries, 2 kinds of Roots and a few more things not in my mind at the moment, alot depends on weather were inland (high temps) or the coast (cool temps)
Southern and interior AK (We are soooo big) have excellent results with a few crops. Were Arctic and the weather plays much more havoc on plants than it does animals.
As well, vegtables do not have the calories we need when it's Winter, but our huntings/gatherings + buying bulk rice, flour cornmeal and suger, coffe supplement us very well.
October 5, 2011, 08:10 PM
I was referring to the fact that if I don't gather enough wood and the winter hangs on a little longer than expected then I just turn up the thermostat. We have the luxury of natural gas right to our house. You on the other hand have to pay though the nose for fuel oil and then only if there is enough in your area.
If we don't can enough green beans or what ever we just go down to the local grocery store and buy what we want in the quantity we want I am guessing for you not so much. I would assume the the caribou that you harvested for your freezer is supposed to last a year. If I don't manage to get an elk and a deer then oh well, we just go buy what ever is on sale at the local grocery store. Again I am assuming that you, not so much.
But yes we make choices to choose what we pay for and what we work for. It definitely takes more effort to heat with wood but it is nice that my gas bill averages about $3.00 a month.
In some ways I envy your life style, but I am glad to have my luxuries.
October 5, 2011, 08:33 PM
$8 a gallon? Man, I'm not complaining anymore when it goes up a few cents here.
We lottery for tags here (SW desert). 1 deer tag, 1 elk tag are possible per year. Not likely to get tags for both in the same year, not likely to get one for elk very often. Lottery for any big game, and some of them are 1 per person, ever.
We hunt a lot of rabbits, squirrel, and birds as a result. :D I have a whitetail tag this year, and I'm hoping to find one.
5 a day is quite different. One day, perhaps, I will have the time and wherewithall to make a trek up that way. Only problem is you get that white stuff, and it's cold. :D
October 5, 2011, 09:02 PM
Out of 17 total caribou caught during this hunt, we kept 6 Fat Bulls and added them to out cache. the rest went withour hunting partners and some were traded for more gasoline and a couple given away.
We eat a Caribou a week in our house alone. Used to be much more when we had all the kids and a few spare.
Caribou hunting gos on year round, food never lasts, and we make use of nearly all of it too.
We dont fill a freezer, ours is full of summer stuffs, berries, Salmon, greens and Birds from summer. We have a good stock of dryed meats annd fish too. We fill our meat cache', as its quite frozen here now, and with the bulls gone stink in Rut now, were done hunting Caribou untill Mid January, when we hunt again for fresh meat.
when you eat enough meat, you will like the fresh stuff, like vegtables, the quality deteriorates with time.
5 perday is because the Caribou are only "passing by" with the herds wintering 200 miles south of here and summering along the NorthSlope all summer.
This hunt is specificly short in nature, as the cold drives them to the river crossings, yet we have to beat Rut.
The herds will pass by this viallage again in Spring, headed North.
Like salmon, when they are here, theres thousands, when they are gone, they are GONE.
5 perday also allows a hunter to fill his sled/boat in one trip, rather than repeted trips with out boards and snowgos' getting anbout 10 MPG at 8$+ a gallon, hunting is often an over night or three at -40 in winter , and at the mercy of the ocean in Summer.
Not every one can hunt, elders, children, most women and alotta men, so the meat is distributed among familys and it dosent last very long at all. It sleagal to trade in Caribou meats, and I rely on them as a resource that are most desirable, and in demand. Gas and bullets require cash, and I get most all in trade. We also give them away to those who need or ask.
5 perday over a couple three days allows a guy to get his needs and back to a village. We have no roads, no fences, no Help 100+ miles from neigbors while out hunting Caribou. Maby 1/2 the Hunters I knew in high school are dead or missing still, so its not an easy venture, but this hunt I show IS the easiest, for all the reasoons I posted.
One Caribou is equall to about 500$ in food from our store, if you get three or so bags of whatever....
I wish I had more :D they make great Xmas gifts.....
October 5, 2011, 10:21 PM
I could live off hogs if I ran my trap all year. Wouldn't be a problem, but I don't live ON my place and can't run the trap every morning. If a hog is in the trap in the heat of the day, he'll die. Hogs can't sweat to cool themselves. I've pulled several bloated ones out when temps got into the 90s, so when they hit mid 80s, I lock the trap shut.
We can fish here year round and the fishing is best in winter. But, most of our food is bought, not collected. I garden, too, and that supplements, but does not provide. If I ever get my place sold and move out to the western hill country, i won't have the fishing, but I'll have more hunting and a bigger garden (I hope, depends on soil) and I plan to try raising a few goats. :D More agrarian than hunter gatherer, I suppose, but such is life.
What sort of bird hunting do you all do, Caribou? I grew up shooting ducks and geese, a lifelong waterfowler, and dove hunt a lot. We have quail down here, but that's about the only flushing type bird. They're yummy, but require a dog, 'cept for those cotton tops out west of the Pecos (scaled quail). They're hunted without dogs. They'll run a dog to death. :D I've had fun shooting them on occasion.
Also, I didn't quite understand your gas usage. You said 10MPH, I'm assuming miles per gallon, but damn, I've owned boats all my life and that's danged good mileage for any outboard I've ever owned, some got in the gallons per mile. ROFL! My little 25 Evinrude vintage 1996 gets about 4 or 5 MPG. I like to take my Kawasaki KLR650 on bird hunting trips, 55 mpg and it goes where 4x4 trucks can't. But, I'm STILL danged glad our gas is around 3 a gallon at the moment. 8 bucks and I don't know if I could afford many hunts. :rolleyes: It's only a couple miles to the HEB and, hell, chicken ain't THAT bad. :D
October 5, 2011, 10:59 PM
Yep, MPG, not MPH, I fixxed it above... :D
Up this way 4 stroke outboards are the rule 'round here, the engines work fine in summer, but 2 stroke Snowgos are the rule as below zero, 4 stroke engines are Heavy (thin ice and that dont jive) very complicated to repair and very hard to start below zero.Lot of them abandond around, not many new ones I see......
I swapped my brokass Honda15 for that '68 Johnson, and it got about 5 miles to the gallon with no load....arrrrrrrrrgh!
I LOVE Geese Hunting in Spring, as they arrive when Im still on my snowgo, but the wife fillled canning jars with LOTS :D We hunt Birds for camp food all summer, but the fall hunt in early Sept gets a few last in the freezer .....which we unplug soon ~LOL!!~
Ptarmigan and an occasional Snowy Owl are the Birds of winter.
Also, my oldest son lives in a seaside village, and he trades us for Seal oil, skins and whale Muktuk and meat, as well he lives where the Caribou winter at, so I have a great advantage in hunting there and products from the ocean, though we usually Summer on the coast ourselfs.
We can fish all winter, but not for Salmon, the staple fish are Whitefish and Sheefish, which we set nets for under the ice inna couple weeks, when the ice is thick enough to walk on.Some Dolly Varden are caught Jigging as are "Burbot" Tiktallik Cod through the ice untill spring, when the Ocean Fish school up for their trips up river and we have at em with nest on the moving water.
I also Hunt and gather Wood to burn, and often we are doing multipull "things' and getting what comes up best :D With all hunting, "We never Know, we just gotta go"
October 5, 2011, 11:30 PM
Oh, I worked as a motorcycle mechanic and do small engines and have built race engines, two stroke and four, when I was racing, so I understand the 4 stroke vs 2 thing. I prefer the two strokes, gas hogs that they are, but 4 strokes are going to be all that's built, soon, thanks EPA. They ain't THAT tough to work on, but more complicated to pull down than a 2 stroke due to the cam/s and that. Too, they're full of computer power now days. Gone are carburetors and, God forbid, breaker point ignition. Don't even have THAT on lawn mowers anymore, not that you'd ever seen a lawn mower, ROFL! When you get into tuning 'em for racing, a 2 stroke is an incredibly complicated engine, but just fixing stuff on 'em, they're the way to go if you live in the sticks. :D Well, guess you'll have to use powersportspro.com or bikebandit.com or something for parts up there. Doubt there's many Honda dealerships about. Bet the shipping is KILLER up there.
And, at least I know what Dolly Varden and the other fish you mention are, degree in fisheries management I never used. :D
Oh, btw, you guys get snow geese up there, right? That's our main bird down here. I know they fly to the tundra in spring. They do some mighty long travelin' in spring and fall. I've yet to hear my first snows or specks (white fronted) this fall, will be soon. It always gets my juices flowing to hear 'em and look up and see 'em all Veed out comin' back to Texas. :D Ours are central flyway geese, though, and winter in northern Canada, I believe, not Alaska to my knowledge.
October 6, 2011, 12:31 AM
Yep, we get Snow Geese, Specklebellys, Brants, and Canadians, as well as several types of Ocean Ducks that are as large or larger than Geese.
Oh Ya, I aint seen a Goose in two weeks...shuks... Gonna be whsitling and a Niggggniggniggnigiiillllllik'n soon for ya, they have quit the country here till the beginning of May.
Did I mention that my Hunting Game unit is larger than the State of Indiana? No fences, no roads, no problem ~~LOL!!~~ I would hate to see it torn up like other places....
October 6, 2011, 05:36 PM
caribou, thanks for sharing. Never seen anything like it.
What things do you all typically do with the skins?
How do you go about tanning them?
October 7, 2011, 11:44 PM
The story is a neat one no doubt. In 3 of the lower 48 states that i hunt, shooting / hunting from a boat/ vehicle is illegal, if the motor is running, or even if it has been shut off, and momentum is still carrying the boat forward.
Seeing that style is a bit shocking, as there is no way i could get away with that style here for very long, as my luck is not that good.
Thanks for posting, would love to get in on an opportunity like that.
October 8, 2011, 01:36 AM
Im actually in one of two units where a movingboat and a .22lr on Caribou in the river only........ is quite legal. The North Slope also hunts this way, Im in Northwest Alaska, GM 23. No Boating up on Bears or Moose, no .22LR on land. We started with a .22lr Winchester 94 and a .22LR insert in a Glock, which jammed, the fellow in cammo then switching to his 10mm glock for his second catch, when about the 6th Caribou gets shot, his second with the pistol, you can see the blow through skipping off tward the shore, something we try to minimize with the use of .22lr.
The lever rifle .22 work done by me and the young fellow there did the job quite well and with no danger to others around.
Cant shoot them from a moving anyotherthing, though
The snowgo must be stopped for Caribou, and rightly so, because I laugh when I see someone on a Cowboy movie actually shoot people, its damn near impossible at 35mph to hit anything else running 35MPh......
However we have all the tecniques for Hunting Caribou effectively, without breaking the law, and as I noted, it is the easiest Hunt of the year for me and others, but not at all unneeded, the meat is prime for our comming darkness and holiday feasts,so were just lucky in late Sept.
October 8, 2011, 09:35 PM
Given the life style that you all live I know I would not begrudge you any for the way you collect or harvest your food. I know you have to do what you have to in order to make it to the next summer.
Like I said in someways I envy the self reliant life style that you live. Either way its your fault, good, bad, or otherwise.
October 8, 2011, 09:55 PM
I was wondering about the legaility of it. To shoot multiple huge caribou from a boat while crossing a river is amazing. Let me know if you ever need help.
I'm sure you dinged the side of the boat, & jinged the prop on the rack of one of the caribou.
I once had river-crossing experience with a whitetail doe, crossing the pearl river in MS. It seemed like a good idea at the time, so i motioned the driver in a boat not too different from the one in the video to get as close as he could. I jumped out of the moving boat onto the deer, and grabbed it for about 6 seconds. I realized then that either it or i would probably drown, so let go, and the doe was all to happy to swim to the closest shore. i saw the largest alligator within this same section of the Pearl, north of Ross Barnett Reservoir, about a mile south of the low-boy dam.
Its a PDF, pages 18 and 19 have the answers to the moving boat and use of .22LR on a resident hunt, allowed 5 each a day. Thats why I reminded Brian that he needed to take the camera when he caught his 5, because filiming and driving takes 2 hands, and 2 shooting is plenty.
We could have easily Caught the cow as well, but she was not really our goal, so we cicled her, and gladly she was not hit, and let to go as I told Chris she wasnt needed.
This is a very "time limited" hunt, as the temps that make the Caribou come down to the rivers crossings and the Rut beginning(Inedible meats!!) is only a week long at the most. We came home today with nothing......just looking for a few more fawns for clothing skins and soft meat. The river is iceing and we broke alotta ice getting home, the Bulls have been Stinking of Rut since last wednesday and were gonna be stuck at home for a couple weeks, getting ready for darkness with Firewood gatherings and setting ice nets. Might just break ice tomarrow and get to the ocean with the boat so the younger son can keep hunting (Seals) untill the Ocean solidifys, and then drag the boat home onna sled and wait till May to boat around again. :D
As well , the wife boned out the fawns we caught for clothing skins to eat, because the only exception to deboneing meat in the field in Unit 23.
The Hunting Unit is larger than Indiana, and the Herd is always moveing, though no one knows where, and when , so among the 11 villages we get a nice workable 5 per day on State lands and waterways, and 15 perday on Federal hunts, no kidding.
But we also Live Camping, its no hobbie, and staying and processing such catches can take a weeks strech in winter, between storms and other Weathers, and its all easliy distributed, so we can go out and get more. Often theres only 1 , maby 2 accomplished Hunters in a family, often none, and these are the folks that supports the Hunter with gas and parts as he supports them with meat , skins and Firewood.
I diddnt hit any Antlers or ding the boat, but a couple blood smears were there , and after getting tied on and pulled to shore, one had had its toenails on its rear hooves clipped!!
Too cold to jump onna Moose or caribou here ~~LOL!~~ Crazy~~LOL!!~~
I dont need any help, but company in Camp and Hunting partners are always welcome :D
were perfectly 'Legal', we dont have to break laws to get what we need :D
October 12, 2011, 10:45 PM
Great post thank you for sharing. My son watched your video and now wants to hunt caribou from a boat!
October 15, 2011, 01:13 AM
Thanks for the post and pics caribou, you have an envious life! Reminds me of some of the hunts my family has had over the years, not after caribou, but elk here in Colorado. Stay safe and healthy!
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