My oldest son, the Seal Hunter


December 4, 2011, 11:39 PM
I took the picture of our 'Guests' laying in the kitchen, two Ring Seals our oldest son brought from his Sound side home, while he visits for the holidays and plays in the local ball tournaments. I 'borrowed' the hunting pix from him, I guess he did pretty good this Fall, both with Hunting and Winning the tournament. The wife is happy for the blubber and nice skins, and these being prime for clothing and so fat they dont sink when shot, therfore no holes from Harpoons or hooks :D The less holes, the better.
Looks like he knows that ice well, and he should. Im also glad I gave him one of my cameras to record his kids, hunts and such, 'cause gettin' these pix is worth it. His only problem is everyone wants to shoot, chuck spears and drive, no one wants to take pictures when theres 'Action'~~LOL!!~~
Nothin' but Headshots.

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December 4, 2011, 11:43 PM
You should know that you open us up to a reality that most of us can't even really imagine.

Thank you.

December 4, 2011, 11:46 PM
the area they are in is just beautiful. Funny nothing but water and ice but wow. Nice job on the seals.

December 4, 2011, 11:49 PM
No antlers? Are these does?

All kidding aside Caribou , congratulations to your son on his hunt. What a different experience from us deeply landlocked folks. I would love to go along as a non-hunting member of a party for something like this for the experience.

December 4, 2011, 11:50 PM
That's awesome! I have always wanted to bag a few of those, after the torture they have put me through working boats in Ca. Congrats to your son and the people that get to share in the harvest.

December 5, 2011, 12:47 AM
That looks WAY too cold!!!!!! I don't reckon theres any seals in the gulf so i'll just have to use your pics to imagine what thats like. Thank you

December 5, 2011, 08:18 AM
so when does he want to come down to the columbia river and shoot all the seals and sea lions :D

December 5, 2011, 08:26 AM
Your posts are always fascinating. I hope we meet some day, until then, stay safe.

December 5, 2011, 12:04 PM
Thanks for posting!

I have not had much luck in harvesting a seal down here in FL.
(i did catch a shrimpboat the last time and another boat could not remove him from under the bridge, as tide was pushing the boat right under the bridge)...We do see manatees on occasion

Another similiarity between Alaska and Florida, we also find it hard to drive the boat for all of the icebergs.:D
Seriously, i bet it would be easy to flip or sink a small boat if you hit one of those blocks of floating ice just right.

December 5, 2011, 02:27 PM
OMG that looks cold....BURRRRRR! LOL Not for a south Texas boy, I can tell. I always love your posts, though. If nothing else, they're different, and it's neat to think there is more than just "sport hunting" still going on out in the big blue planet.

Hmm, not sure I want seal blubber steaks. LOL I'm sure the coats come in handy up there, though. Wow, that looks cold. :D Think I'll go back to butchering my latest hog, now. Just took a break to warm my numb fingers cutting up that cold meat straight out of the ice chest, then I come in here and click on this tread and see THAT. Now my whole body went numb just lookin' at the pix. ROFL!

December 5, 2011, 03:56 PM
caribou, cool deal! just have some questions as it looks very interesting:

- is there anything that us lower 48 dwellers can relate to what seal tastes like?

- Up there in AK, can anyone get a license to hunt seals? or is it only the Eskimo population?

thanks for a look-see into your world up there!

December 5, 2011, 04:30 PM
Seal eyes... I've heard they are the most delicious part.

December 5, 2011, 07:48 PM
Sam1911 - you put it perfectly... caribou - I always look forward to your posts. This is a way of life most of us can't imagine...

December 5, 2011, 07:58 PM
What was he using? I found an article from a 1950's outdoor mag about hunting seals that noted a lot of locals favored small high-velocity rounds and went for the brain.

IIRC you need to get those guys with headshots or they're gone for good.

December 5, 2011, 08:15 PM
Have you ever hunted with the Remington nylon 66? If so, what is your opinion. By the way, always look forward to your posts.

December 5, 2011, 08:28 PM
can anyone get a license to hunt seals? or is it only the Eskimo population?

Marine mammals are protected by federal law since the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1976.
It is a crime to even harass them, startle them, or interfere with them, never mind hunt them.

The natives get special privileges to hunt certain things most people go to jail for even disturbing.

Ohio Gun Guy
December 5, 2011, 08:29 PM
What a view.... good job!

December 6, 2011, 02:23 AM
My oldest son lives 50 feet from the Ocean, hes Inupiaq Eskimo, and not all Native Alaskans can hunt Sea mammles, they must reside on th ecoast or have a tradional tie to the Ocean, as my wifes family does with them migrateing each breakup to th eOcean till Caribou are calling us back up the river in Fall, than we go back downstream to our little village on the Kobuk delta , and quite often Seals and such, with Seals quite often and Polar Bears and Walrus occasionally.

To start with a Seals butchering, you must first consitter what it is going to be used for. Were gonna render the Blubber into oil, but chopping it up and letting it "Try out", and being an oil that renders at room temperature, it will not stick to the arteries, nor will any Sea mammle fats.
Th eoil makes a tatsy garnish for frozen meats and fish, and in this extream Arctic environment, its a caloric boost that makes eating frozen foods a doable Thang, and the person eating such will have energy and viger, rather than Hypothermia from eating frozen foods plain. Often, a bag of blue berrys and a bag of seal oil was the travle food of the man on foot, who hunted and stayed out till he had a load, often over several days, which he would live on , with the berrys and oil as garnish for the meats caught.

One Seal here was butcherd with the skin being cut for streching for tanning, the other cut for cordage. When its cut up the middle and around the flippers, its going to be streched, if its in two seperate "Hoops" of skin from above and below the flippers, its gonna be rope or bags, depending on how its worked bythe woman.

In spring, my wife will make a bag of sorts, a "puuk" (pook) that she will place the 1/2 dryed meats into the render'd Seal oils for preservation. Skins then are poor for clothing, but make great rope, waterproof boots, bags, and other 'stuffs'. Fall and winter skins make great pants and coats.
During winter, the meats are boiled or fed to dogs after a little cooking.
Seal Meats taste like a Beef with a definint fish taste to it, but not hard to get used to. I like mine with mustard and tea.
Poking holes an inch from the edge all along her cuts, to lace the strings that strech it in the frame.
Then the pelt is removed with the blubber on the skin by cutting the blubber away from the meats, untill th eentire carcass is fat/skin free.

Then the animals carcass is taken back out to be cut up as needed, to the cache, while the blubber is removed by carefully slicing the 2 inches of fat closely and carefully to avoid cutting the skin, and yet leaving none behind that would spoil the skin. The skin is streched, then scraped and cured. Then, finally, it will be ready for cutting and sewing.
The Hoops of skin will be cut as a spiral, after a soak in the scrap oils, so as to loosen and shed its hairs.

Blubber in the bucket.
This will be cut into small peices over the next couple days, to render at room temperature.

Ill post more as this progresses.

December 6, 2011, 02:48 AM
Sea Mammle Hunting around the world was campeigned against to "Save the Whales" and other endangerd animals.Restrcitive laws world wide occured in the 1970's because of the reduced stocks.
The most prominant idea was to stop everyone from hunting them, and the Feds used the same system in subsistance than as they do in Alaska today.
If there is plenty, then everyone, commercial and others can hunt/fish
If theres low numbers but not endangerd, then those who live close by and eat them may hunt/fish them.
if number are way low, nobody hunts them. This has happend to Polar Bear hunting, as now , between both Russia and America , a total of 58 a yaer may be killed by any human activity.

Alaskan, Canadian, and Greenlandic Eskimo, Russia, Norway, Feroe Islands and Iceland contenue to hunt Whales and Seals for tradional and cutural foods.

As a group, Native Alaskans spoke up and demanded subsistance Hunting contenue, as they had a history of hunting and eating and utilizing these animals. Entire villages have economies based on Hunting marine mammles.
For us lighter skinned folks, who could only show a tradion of commercial hunting (as a people) and with the KKK, Aryan nations and the Republican party representing us, we aint ever gonna get to Hunt Sea mammles again.

You must be 1/4 proven tribal bloood quantum from an Alaskan Tribe that utilizes the Coast and its products, as well you must reside by the coast, or have a tradional use of the Coast , just down the delta here, so No Anchorage living Eskimo' or Plains Indian Whaling captains and such.

Better than the lying the Japs do, claiming 'scientific research' while selling all the meat in the supermarket, to the tune of 800 Whales a year, as opposed to Alaskas 45 total 'Strikes' , spred among 9 Whaling villages, and are caught by those who catch them to eat with no profit.

December 6, 2011, 06:08 AM
Thank you for the education for us, and teaching your children your customs. It makes me sad to see so many young people grow up thinking milk and meat come from the grocery store.

December 6, 2011, 09:58 AM
Caribou, thank you VERY much for the look into your world up there, all the info on what you do with the seals is facinating! Even with all the fats & oils from the animals, must be hard to keep any fat on you through the long cold winters! How many calories per day you have to take in just to stay even, ballpark number?

Also, please be aware that this is not a flame, nor am I P.O.'d and angry, just very curious. You wrote:

For us lighter skinned folks, who could only show a tradion of commercial hunting (as a people) and with the KKK, Aryan nations and the Republican party representing us, we aint ever gonna get to Hunt Sea mammles again.

You have alot of KKK and aryan nation up there? and the Republican party is equivalent? thank you for any insight you can give. and again, thanks a million for the great pictures and info!

December 6, 2011, 10:37 AM
I shouldn't have been so surprised to see a pair of Crocs on the northern shore of the Alaskan coast, but I was.

December 6, 2011, 12:01 PM
You have alot of KKK and aryan nation up there?

They were on the way, but stopped in northern Idaho, I think. :D

December 6, 2011, 05:59 PM
"For us lighter skinned folks, who could only show a tradion of commercial hunting (as a people) and with the KKK, Aryan nations and the Republican party representing us, we aint ever gonna get to Hunt Sea mammles again."

Thats just a joke. :D

But if you put thought into it, who does represent the 'WASP' in the U.S.? ~~LOL!!~~

Most all that crap is inthe citys, not in the bush, or here, where I am respected by my ability, not color, as for the most part we all work hard together. Now if I go to Anchorage, the whining and parring off begins, but what can I say? Theres always the odd Duck, but Eskimo' are about the most staunchly patriotic Americans I can think of, but ofcourse there is poor(!) Siberia as an example to all how bad it really can be.........we have the internet and a Post Office., and all the Lower 49 has to offer (as long as it fits inna box :D)

December 6, 2011, 06:08 PM
You should know that you open us up to a reality that most of us can't even really imagine.

Thank you.
Undeniably true. Always look forward to your threads, Caribou.

December 6, 2011, 09:13 PM
Everytime I read one of your post I am in awe. It just seems to foreign to most of our lives. I learn something and see something new everytime your name pops up.

Thank you

December 7, 2011, 01:14 PM
Thanks for sharing carabou.

December 8, 2011, 06:54 PM
You should know that you open us up to a reality that most of us can't even really imagine.

Thank you.

Sam is right on with this one. It is fascinating hearing all of the stories from up there, Caribou. Keep 'em coming and stay safe!

December 10, 2011, 12:41 PM
Well, it's the independent spirit that I admire, the self sufficiency, the lack of an entitlement mentality. It is alive in Texas, but you have to get to the lesser populated western half of the state to find much of it. It seems to thrive in the "last frontier". The cities breed dependency, probably up there, too, what cities you have up there, which ain't that much. :D

December 10, 2011, 09:13 PM
Well, there is a "city"mentality that slowly infilters here, , especcially when folks from a city arrive with "Im here to "Take My Bear" (no Bear is yours till its dead at yer feet) or actually yelling at kids to "get off my property!!" on the fencless tundra village where we all walk where we want. Often its people with "great ideas" about shooting rut Caribou (BARF!!) and trying to keep the antlers and give away the meat that no one will take, and some with land ownership issues when people stop to camp/hunt/fish , as we all have lands where theres seasonal gatherings/use, and we mutually share its access.
I know this does not happen elsewhere much, folks mutually shareing and acessing, but it would be the death of Hunting if a guy couldnt go to the ever moving animals.
After a short fashion most come to an understanding that this isnt Rome, its the Arctic, and its best to see the way its been done sucessfully before critsizing such.
As well, Eskimo folks will adapt and adopt anything that makes life better, warmer, fatter and secure and something thats efficent and durable, so new ideas are slow to implement , cause a lotta good ideas dont last the winter here.........

Sometimes it really cool to see a village pull together and work in a Search, Deaths, Feasts, celebrations and such, as wll as the redistribution of "Stuff" and the way every one is fed and usefull in their own way. Some Hunt, some fish, some babysit, some sew, some work inthe regional Lead/Zink Mine, etc. ect. but as large extended familys, its a huge social network that would be lost if we somehow no longer interacted.....I fear this will come with a large population.

Untill then, heres a vid(Klik it) of my 17 year old daughter pulling and clearing her Whitefish net, she set for fun , Food, and profit, as the fish trade for dog feed at 1$ each locally, or a gunny sak of fat males , 30 to a bag for 100$ /20 egg laden Females inna bag for 200$ (a preferable fish eaten frozen with the eggs and seal oil), especcially in another village that has no Whitefish. Usually the trade is for other fish or foods, gasoline or ammunition. (
Her friends come to help and recive a share for the dinner table, and just to have some fun and somethingto talk about after ward....An Inupiaq saying go's "yer best friends are often the ones you sweat with" :D

December 11, 2011, 01:36 PM
it is so nice to see the term 'social network' used when it has nothing to do with twitter, facebook and all the others. 'Redistribution of stuff' without somebody screaming about socialism vs capitalism.
Your posts show a world that really does exist beyond the avarice of 'modern society'. In some ways I think maybe I was born in the wrong place to the wrong folks. You are truly blessed.

Thank you for posting these breaths of fresh (albeit cold looking) air.


December 12, 2011, 08:19 PM
caribou- when i get outta the service im packing up the truck and moving in with you. you can set me up with one of them cute alaskan girls

December 12, 2011, 09:24 PM
My reference to "social network" is to the many large extended familys and everyones "Place" in a village and the 11 villages in our Indiana sized region as a whole.
This of course does not apply to Govornment ~~LOL!!~~

Paintball, if your not a cousin, you will be desirable to plenty of these woman.~~LOL!!~~

Trade, sales, giving is extensive and wide with connections and bonding on many levels.
Inupiaq Eskimos had a season simular to Christmas, well before christianity came along. with the light of day being a couple hours of of dusk and the cold setting in, this was the time of year when people set traps, netted/trapped fish and fed well off their summers catch, as well as minor gift exchanges and gameing, contests,tradeing,dancing, story telling and much sewing and building/crafting was done, in preperation of the comming DEEP cold, looking forward to the extended daylight of late january and brighter longer Febuary, everyone needed outdoor gear at its best, as the Hunt and roaming would soon begin.Everyone had at least the minimum to carry on with in the commin COLD and the chase out there in it.
Todays Xmas is used to this same effect, with gifts, basketball tournaments and flying or driving from village to village, hours away from each other. We do not have Homeless or hungry people here. Broke, sure but not cold and hungrey.
The fatherinlaw warned that as a child they were told that the poor were taken care of as well as the old, infirm and orphand, and that a really Rich man was a provider who could do such, very different from todays rich man who accumulates and keeps his riches while others do without. As well he said the consequens of not helping others was to be denighed help in your time of need or having a starving cold person come and cut your throat, wear your clothes, eat your food.......

Sav .250
December 13, 2011, 07:35 AM
I`ve seem this before. It was on the Alaska hunting forum. :)

Dr Dave
December 13, 2011, 08:04 AM
QUOTE: 'The fatherinlaw warned that as a child they were told that the poor were taken care of as well as the old, infirm and orphand, and that a really Rich man was a provider who could do such, very different from todays rich man who accumulates and keeps his riches while others do without.'

And that, my friends, is the definition of a rich man. Thanks, caribou.

December 13, 2011, 08:32 AM
Gunboards, Ak huntig forums,I post onna couple other forums, several here see me 'around ' LOL! I do like writing and shareing, seems most take it well, but its a combinaltion or hunting/fishing/trapping/gathering/arts and crafts, so some stuffdoesnt make it to some forums. :D
I try to post as 'Caribou' but onna couple other sites the name was are what you eat :D

December 13, 2011, 10:36 AM
Caribou, are you still stocking up spams of 7.62 x 54R surplus ammo? How many Finn M 39s do you own if you dont mind me asking? We know you love that rifle design, they shoot straight like nobody's business, LOL

December 13, 2011, 06:37 PM
Nathan,Im trying desperatly to get more ammo before I run out, a bit here a bit there.

I personally own 3 M-39's, the one I use, its a a '42 Sako, and a back up/replacement thats a blank '68 barreld and a minty Straight stock thats #300 something of the first production run.

As we went and as the kids grow,we introduced and taught our kids to shoot..... we shoot for accuracy and every kid of mine as well as the wife own one or two as well a .22lr, 12 gauge and a pistol for self defense........adds up after 7 kids :D.

December 13, 2011, 08:16 PM
Thats good to know, im sure ammo there is hard to come by and shipping from here to there is double, right? But aimsurplus has plenty for now . Mine is a yr 1942 Sako same as yours. I also have a B barreled 1942 and a VKT 1943 both are closet queens.

BTW what part of the arctic region were your boys hunted? Alaska is such a beautiful place but not for everyone as its extremely cold. Also just like Texas we have extreme summers here and very humid, hahhaa.

T Bran
December 13, 2011, 09:21 PM
Thanks for a great snapshot of your way of living. It seems to me that with money or without you are a very wealthy man. Glad to hear that your way of life is still here. The majority of the folks think meat comes from a supermarket. Though I live in a city the majority of my meat once roamed free and is not shot full of chemicals. I also grow my own greens and fruit. Do you have a warm season long enough to grow any produce or is collecting what grows wild your only option ?
Keep the posts coming they are very interesting I especially liked the pics of your wife processing the seals very cool.

December 13, 2011, 11:27 PM
Were in the Arctic here, in North Western Alaska, and not humid at all, its a dry cold.
Theres afew plants the can be grown quite well up this way, but it would require staying in one place all summer, something Im not willing to do, as I can pick and harvest from many areas and variety of plants with proven local uses and recipies that make th emost of whats on hand. Not a sweet diet by any means, suger is a big years of bad weather we move to get plants/berries we need and hunt the animals around, as
I use J&G sales to get ammo here, via a forwarder outta Seattle. and shipping is the killer........

My wife has her VTK '39 and weve been talking up outfitting with M28-76's and using those on fur among the Caribou herds, with hand loads.......should save on ammo ~~LOL!!~~

December 14, 2011, 01:00 AM
Cant go wrong with the Finn !

December 14, 2011, 02:33 PM
How in the world can today's conveniences like fuel, guns, ammunition, clothing, etc. be logistically available?

Getting Internet Access would seem to be impossible w/o checking/banking/credit card access.

No disrespect, just curious.

Thanks for your posts.

In this life, if one of the kids snaps a soccer shoe lace, somebody has gotta go to the store right damn now for a replacement.


December 14, 2011, 08:24 PM
Our villages, 11 of them, in a borough larger than Indiana 7,800 peope and 380,000 Caribou have power plants, schools, post offices and small airstrips.

If it can fit in a box, we can get it, if it dosent, it will come onna barge in summer or off an expensive airride. Gas is 8.89$ because of shipping it here.
Telephone 25 years now , internet and such 10 years now, running water 3 years now. Still dirt tracks, no police, and bread is 12$ a loaf, so we do for ourselfs as much as possible.

American made Trade in Guns, food, cloth and other convieniances and nessesitys have been available for trade and sale since 1826 in this region, and since 1,500 BC(Siberian iron) from across the straights since men got to this contenet :D

December 14, 2011, 09:36 PM
BTW, Caribou, whats the story why Alaskan Eskimos have asian type features similar to Mongolians? Whats the story on that again? That Alaska was part of asian landmass millions of years ago?

December 14, 2011, 10:59 PM
Yep, there was a land bridge that people could have crossed like the megafauna did, from Siberia, as well as an ice fringe and open water that boats could easily follow. I belive europeans did this into the north eastern united states as well, but contenuing waves of Asians nomads could have sent in alot more genes, and who knows what genes were there anyway
average build, darker skin,average in hight,Slant eyes, light on the body hair, most look a bit like Northern Chinese, I'd say

I dont know about Mongolians much more than Ghengis Khan and his dynastys, but people here have relatives in Siberia, and Siberians have relatives over the crumbling of "The Wall" back in '91 many familys although very old were reunited.
Siberin Y'upik occupie American St.Lawrence islands, while American Inupiaq lived in the divided Diomeads,we kept little Diomede, they took Big Diomede, and some were on the mainland near and north of todays city of Providinia.

Up here in the Kotzebue Sound, untill the 1890's, when the American reindeer herding industry took over the Reindeer skin trade, Siberian traders arrived every summer for the Trade Fair held near present day Kotzebue, and traded much fasionable white Reindeer skins, as opposed to black/dark brown American Caribou. Wolverine, Pine Marten, Arctic Fox, Lynx, Wolves and such, but with the gold rush,The Siberians lost the cornerd market on furs with the arrival of traders and whalers, but diversafyed, and with trade the main emphisis, peace came and war came to a halt and traders penatrated deeper and deeper into others territorys as they consolidated into posts. The Inupiaq of this region did not want to have their souther neighbors "Y'upik" and pushed them out untill they occupied the coast to the Russian tradeing fort at St.Michael.
With trade, goods and Genes flowed across the straights for thousands of years, as archeologists have recently found a buckle that was cast in china in a very old houses tunnel during excavations this summer, so theres definitly some asian this way

December 15, 2011, 09:24 AM
Very interesting. That part of the world was a thriving community for milleniums before the gold rush of 19th century. And Alaska a part of Russian territory and subsequently sold to America .

December 15, 2011, 01:10 PM
for your reply, the history lesson, and an armchair peek into your lifestyle.

I'd like to know more if it isn't too intrusive.

Since internet access depends on satellite relay, I would have thought that it wouldn't have been realistic to expect satellite access.

How about Emergency Medical Care?...Dental?

A book, 'The Grapes Of Wrath' delt with subsistence living down here. Are you aware of a book (books) that offer a deeper glimpse into the life that your folks live?

Where do the building materials come from?



December 15, 2011, 01:36 PM
Find a book called "Arctic Dreams" by Barry Lopez. It will tell you most of what you want to know about people in the Alaskan and Canadian arctic. If you think about it, surviving (actually thriving) in the most inhospitable region of the planet is not only a testament to human endurance, but to human adaptability, ingenuity, genius. It takes skills and brain processes that were lost to the rest of us hundreds or thousands of years ago.
Lopez talks about Eskimo's being able to navigate in arctic darkness in white-out conditions using subtle nuances that anyone else would miss. The direction of the "ruts" on the ice under their feet created by the prevailing wind direction. Or the "loom" of coastal formations which they can't see, but hear by echo or feel by changes in wind direction or velocity.
He also speaks of a sort of "zen" where hunters live in the moment, processing data subconsciously while consciously thinking of other things - They hear the cry of a distant raven or see a wet rock in a creek that should be dry. They don't note these things in a linear fashion like you or I might trying to process them objectively, but just take them in until the caribou is suddenly in front of them.

It's a fascinating book by a scientist who is trying to understand how these inexplicable things are done. I don't know how much he gets right, but he's one of the few people who have really tried to figure out how they do these things.

December 15, 2011, 02:52 PM
Caribou, would be nice if you have a Swiss K 31 and try the GP 11 performance on arctic game. They are very accurate rounds esp with open sights. Just a thought...

December 15, 2011, 03:37 PM
No antlers? Are these does?
lol :D

Thanks for the post Caribou. Good to see there are still people living like this.

December 15, 2011, 05:40 PM
Where are you in relation to Cold Bay AK.. I almost moved there a few years ago (aircraft related job oportunity), but had family ties here that made the move impossible...

I AM IN AWE..... And I call myself Outdoorsman..... Now I have see REAL pictures if what being an Outdoorsman is all about.... I AM IN AWE...


December 16, 2011, 04:10 AM
"Since internet access depends on satellite relay, I would have thought that it wouldn't have been realistic to expect satellite access.
How about Emergency Medical Care?...Dental?
A book, 'The Grapes Of Wrath' delt with subsistence living down here. Are you aware of a book (books) that offer a deeper glimpse into the life that your folks live?
Where do the building materials come from?"

Well.....we can hang a dish outside ur house and get TV, radio, Internet, and power with a generator if we want, but since were inna village, we use "The Grid"

In camp we have a small computer that has batteries and we downloaded digital pictures, then up load them later. When were in a camp or on the move, we just use cameras and when at home we have a "real " computer.

As for medical care, the local folks here sre Eskimo' and were never defeated in combat nor traded or cecceded any lands to the US govornment, but since they werent allowed to own lands, being Native Americans, untill 1924, they were treated as "wards of the US Gov" and the Indian Health service established Hospitalls in "Hubs", of our 11 villages Kotzebue is where you get to, if you live to get there, they will patch you up enough to live onto Anchorage where they do surgery and other stuff.
Anyway, in the 60's with cicvil rights the US gov and the new state of Alaska were divving up, but a group of western, collage educated Natives made the claim that th egov only purchased the rights to govorn and tax the Alaskan territroy, and in the end got what is called the "Alaska Native Lands Claim act" as they sucessfully proved that they were inded the original owners of the lands, even with out a peice of paper that said so.
So there were repreations and cessions and with the seccession of lands by the Natives stted with a $$$ payout and land titals to chosen places (mostly their homes and ground under it, and used the money to form land and money manging corperations that made all tribal members "Shareholders" in these capitalistic endevors that were to benifit the tribes, and give control to lands that were granted to the tribes but are owned in common, with common use, so hunting grounds remain unfenced, unraoded and preserved to keep the Hunters Hunting.. They gave up claim to to the tune of 90% of the state of Alaska, so it wasnt a give away, either.
The Corperation that formed in 1971 around here is NANA Northwestern Arctic Native association.
The corperation owns and operates the largest lead/Zink mine in North america and currently funds 93 % of the tax base in our Borough, runs our 11 village school systems and ourr public safety needs, as well a s Search and rescue, fire depts, and trail staeking.
The NANA corp is also the largest employer for those who want collage and a job, they will fund the bright ones ann hire those who want to work their way up. As well they manage the lands so that this way of life can contenue, Hunting/fishing/gathering, so theres a choice for anyone on how they wantto make thier living.
Aswell, there is "Maniilaq association" a non profit community health consoratoium that has established clinics for heallth care and emergencys taht will patch you up and fly you to Kotzebue where you can get on a jet and to a hospital. Ifits a bad injury,most dont make it.
So, inna nutshell, the locals have control over land/waters for subsistance use, health care and jobs, and mostly fund their own 'thang"

Subsistance, in essence, is useing the animals, vegitaion and materials at hand,to make aliving so I'll say most of my building materials, wood to burn for heat, artwork materials that we make $$ from, and food come from the land,water and animals, but most of the house and its contents came in an airplane or barge. After we built the house, we were not bargeing much more, but the internet and the US post are great to "live like TV" after we mail Money to the bank so we can do such.~~LOL!!~~

December 22, 2011, 09:04 PM
I took the picture of our 'Guests' laying in the kitchen, two Ring Seals our oldest son brought from his Sound side home, while he visits for the holidays and plays in the local ball tournaments.

OK...he killed some seals. WHY?

I mean, why did your son kill the seals? Did they taste good? Did their deaths bring wealth? Did their deaths bring a sense of "exceptional accomplishment"? I have killed (hunted...or "Harvested") animals for all of these reasons - and I like what I have done. I just don't understand why anyone would want to kill an adult seal on a block of ice. I mean, wouldn't it be cool if we killed a baby seal for its ' fur (I could at least get behind this)?

December 22, 2011, 09:27 PM
Oh wonderful, here comes PITA!!! Bill, if you had taken time to actually READ the post and not react to a picture, you may have actually had your question answered for you! Caribou and his whole family sustenance hunts. They use EVERYTHING they kill for needs. From the skin to the bones. EVERYTHING is used for living!

Old Fuff
December 22, 2011, 09:34 PM
OK...he killed some seals. WHY?

Maybe 'cuz there ain't no big-box super markets in his neighborhood.

Ya' think??? :banghead:

December 22, 2011, 09:43 PM
OK...he killed some seals. WHY?
Maybe 'cuz there ain't no big-box super markets in his neighborhood.

Ya' think???

Naw...he don't have nuttin' like 1980's Big Box Super Markets - he's got year-2000 High Speed Internet! I wonder, how many seal pelts does it cost for a months internet connection - Verizon just don't seem to know? [total sarcasm] my question again, please. I meant no sarcasm.

December 22, 2011, 09:46 PM
*sighs deeply*

There is so much I am missing in life. Thanks for the peek into your world caribou.

Old Fuff
December 22, 2011, 10:07 PM my question again, please. I meant no sarcasm.

I admit I did. You can get the Internet in far places because of satellites and by installing a dish, but that doesn't put food on the table. He doesn't live in urban America, he up on the Artic Circle. If he and his family were living in the Amazon jungle he'd be doing the same thing - hunting to feed his family.

In this country if they closed the super markets half the people would starve.

December 22, 2011, 10:17 PM
Bill_Shelton, Your statements are beginning to read a bit "trollish". You OBVIOUSLY have not read his entire post or the followup post. Before you step on your lower extremities more, please read and then come back and apologize to our dear friend Caribou. After that, please take your P.I.T.A. membership card out and put it where the sun don't shine.

Thanks :D

December 22, 2011, 10:37 PM
Bill_Shelton,... ...Please take your P.I.T.A. membership card out and put it where the sun don't shine.

Thanks :D

It's PeTA: People eating Tasty Animals.

Always happy to help out.:evil:

And thanks, caribou. Awesome photos and storytelling. I'm going ice fishing tomorrow in your honor.

December 23, 2011, 02:59 AM
"Why?" is a legit question, so let me further explain;

Seal oil is a ganish that people here have used for thousands of years to boost caloric intake and make the frozen foods that are eaten frozen outside in subzero weather have enough energy to digest and gain energy rather than expend energy to thaw and digest foods, and lose caloricly, something that will lead to death at subzero temps.
Raw frozen Whitefish, Caribou, 1/2 dryed and frozen seal meats as well as frozen fruits and vegtables (I love frozen grapes ) Yes I get internet for 80$ a month, aand a dozen eggs is 10$ inthe store, so i preferr to gather seagull and duck eggs in season and eat Whitefish eggs in winter.Seal oil also does not stick tto the arterial walls, so a local diet is Heart healthy.
Seal oil never freezes, even at -40 it can be burned for light and eaten. Seal blubber has a slight sea tatse to it, and dosent spoil. Old timers used to take a dry fish or two and a bag of water, a bag of seal oil and go for days, replentishing the water with ices and melting it with body heat and eating his huntings raw and frozen, with no fire needed in camp of in a snow hole taking shelter from the storms of many days.

The pelts are home tanned and use dto make clothing, arts and crafts in a tradional manner and sold for good money to museums and private people and collectors.
Its the way we feed ourselfs and make $$$ to live comfortable like. It IS The U.S.A. and if we can find it on the internet, put it in the post office, we can have it. Still gotta eat, and make a living, Subsistance Hunting, Fishing/Gathering is useing the resources at hand, that grow natuarally around you and is different in different areas, but its using the local resources to do so, and often Money is a facter. We make most $$ by turning our gatherings into arts and crafts. I'ma 2011 Hunter and internet user.

This is one reason "Why"
With Bowhead Whale muktuk, Carrots, frozen Whitfish, frozen Whitefish eggs, Frozen Caribou meats too, with some dryed salmon along with. Pretty good I must say !!!
Seal blubber renders at room temp annd all the small peices of chopped blubber will become Oil. They watch and stir out any bubbles a couple times a day , then , if summer, bury it in buckets on permafrost to keep it mellow in taste.
Hers Art work, Ink on winter blaeched Sealskin.......coulda payed the internet for a few years.
Cut meats for boiling.

Streched Seal skin from an Oogruk, a very large and delicious Seal.
A RingSeal skin, like those in the original post
Seal meats and intestines drying .......with little fish
My wife and her sister skinning a Seal out his mouth, to be used as a storage bag for 1/2 dryed meats, fish vegtable stuffs and all packed and preserved in Seal oil.
Poke" holeless Seal skin storage sack. basicly turned inside out and dryed, to be stuffed with "stuffs" and Seal oil. In this picture shes just finished cleaning it and inflateing it for will turn brown and she will "oil proof " it with ashes and let it dry black.
Intestins cleaned and inflated to make a water proof, extreamly tough and very very klight garmet to wear over fur clothing.

There ALOT you can do with a Seal skin. And you were wondering if this is difficult, so...let me think.....yep.

Freezing cold, sitting still, slippery and the prey can submerge and be gone at an instant. Limited light and no hope of help if something gos wrong. Hunting on the Oceans thin ice or inthe ice pack is not for the weak, feint of heart or the stupid. They simply do not comeback, annd sometimes the Best do not return either....
It is the relm of the polar bear, his back pad and my size 11 snow boot.

December 23, 2011, 04:33 AM
super awesome awesome

December 23, 2011, 08:40 AM
caribou----can i spend a week with u LOL. you could teach me much jedi master

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