Friday, September 23, 2011

'Bou on our minds


The thing about growing up here, I've probably said before, is that we don't follow a "traditional" calendar. We follow a Subsistence Calendar.


Right now, we have several "gathering" items and several "hunting" animals. Caribou and Moose, to stock up for winter, Cranberries, Masu, Tundra Tea to gather for freezers.


Once the Caribou and Moose go into rut, we won't hunt them. We will move on to Seals during Freeze up. After Seals we'll go into trapping and Caribou during winter. Then on to Shiifish and more trapping until Spring hits.


Spring brings Bearded Seal, then Herring, Salmon, Blueberries, Sourdock, Salmonberries, etc...and September comes again.

Bou on Banks

The other thing about growing up here is that kids and adults alike have "Subsistence Leave" as a part of school/work. The employers/district know that hunting and gathering is important to most of us up here. A gallon of milk is $12, and ground beef is $3 a lb. So, feeding your family of 4 or 6 or 8 can get quite expensive. If we can hunt and grind our own meat, make our own steaks and roasts, then the cost of living is lowered tremendously. Not to mention the health benefits of eating straight off the land, completely organic, and free range!

Boat view

My husband and I are both on Subsistence Leave in an attempt to get as much caribou caught, worked on and put away before work again on Monday. Three were caught last weekend (which according to the husband is not enough to eat Caribou three times a week for the year, oops), and we are looking to catch a couple more.

Bou swimming

Also, if we catch more than a few, there are ALWAYS people who want/need caribou. As long as we don't mind taking care of them (killing, gutting, skinning, quartering, hanging) then people will take meat. And nothing, not even the bones go to waste!

70horse motor

So, today I am waiting for the weather to clear, because yesterday I FROZE on the way back from our day trip up river. I want to take the plane instead, so I stay warm. We are also heading to our "regular" camp at Sisualik, so no staying in a tent tonight...hello Camp House! Hello Sauna! Hello Wood Stove!

Hello Caribou.


bloomie said...

I LOVE your blog! So interesting.

Judy said...

Was there a change of heart in camp for you head that direction?

Janice Bendixen said...

Yay!!!! Sisaulik! So glad you're going to camp. I'll pray for good hunting.

Amanda said...

I LOVE your blog! I just found it. We are in Unalaska and blueberries are just finishing up here. I could get out and pick some more but my husband has told me NO more blueberries or we wont have room in the freezer for meat LOL. I went out and picked cranberries today. Got quite a few and it started sleeting. I didn't mind until it picked up quite a bit so I headed back to the house. I wish we had game here. Our biggest mammal here are foxes. We did stock our freezer with a good deal of fish this summer though. I love seeing how others live :) Thanks for the look at life in another part of AK.