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Monday, May 14, 2012

Chilly Days and Hot Showers

The thing about living in the Bush is that you do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done. Some fishermen fish 20 hours a day for a month at a time. Sometimes a moose hunt all day turns into dressing meat out all night. Even the meat, as tasty, free, and natural as it is, is a pain to deal with once home. My little bitty moose (see previous postings) kept me busy for 6-7 hours! Grinding, chopping, bagging, and sealing is a killer back workout. 

This weekend the birds were flying, so i was out too... 

Because breakup is just around the corner snow machining is out of the question. The only safe (relatively speaking) way to get where we wanted to go was by boat. The problem with boating, though, is you need water in it's liquid form. The Yukon River, frozen for months now, is about a mile wide where we planned to cross. only 15 feet on either side is liquid though. We piled all of our gear into a friends canoe and set out the 3 miles down the river. Luckily two other hunters were attempting the same trip and we tied off to their outboard motor, making paddling unnecessary. Where the ice looked thin we broke it with paddles and hopped to the frozen mass. Dragging the boat across the ice, we avoided open holes in the ice until shoving off again on the south side of the bank. Before long we reached the island, unloaded gear, and settled into the blinds.

A friend was the first to drop a bird, 2 actually. With 2 quick shots, he brought down 2 "tundra turkeys". These tasty birds are enormous, many were more than 30 pounds. Soon after he hit a goose and then the fun really began.

 The return to the boat was difficult to say the least. slopping around through the marshy tundra was made worse by a constant fear the bag itself would give out at any time. 

Rated for 600 pounds wen it was brand new, we felt it was safe to pile 800 pounds of human, bird, and gear then traverse questionable ice and float 3 miles on the frigid Yukon River home to Mountain Village. Everything worked out of course and we all had the best time. 

Once home the work continued as I vacuum packed the meat, froze it all, and cleaned up the huge mess I had made. A hot shower never felt so good.