Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Time for some subsistence
In less than 48 hours I leave on the annual Afognak elk hunt. Every year a group of us motor north to Afognak on a 50 foot seiner to chase elk and fish for halibut. It's time to fill the freezer because pretty soon it will be winter.
Last night I was reading the latest 'Field & Stream', a hunting magazine, and they had an article all about 'hunting camps'. Those places where a group of guys and the occasional female go every year to hunt deer, ducks, play cards or whatever. I suddenly realized that our 'hunting camp' is sort of unique. None of the camps described in the article were on a boat. I doubt there are many places in the United States where you can motor around in a large fishing boat and hunt elk that are running around in a wilderness setting.
In the 'Lower 48' your typical hunting camp appears to be a tar paper shack or wall tent at the end of a long dirt road. At these camps filling the freezer does not appear to the number one priority. The article had plenty of pictures of guys playing cards, wearing deer antler hats etc. The emphasis appears to be on guy camaraderie. Not that we don't have plenty of that on our elk hunt - we do bring plenty of 'Ben's Beer' (Ben is the local brewer in Kodiak and he is one of the guys on the boat). But really when it comes down to it - bringing home the meat is our number one priority.
If I don't bring back a substantial amount of meat Zoya will be bummed. It'll mean a lot of time off from work, Zoya alone with the kids, and gas money wasted. I'd be crushed too - let's keep our fingers crossed.
Photos are from last year's elk hunt. Patrick