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Thread: Hows your Temperature Timeing?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    NorthWest Alaska

    Default Hows your Temperature Timeing?

    Nature has a "Time" of its own, and things seem to happen according to temperature.
    Seems to me that global warming IS occuring , for whatever resons (I think its a natural cycle of the Earth, though others belive other things.)
    I was athinking out my head , as I do, to the wife and we are getting an idea of what to do for spring and summer.
    So I looked at the calander and laughed quietly to myself, and tossed it, because NOTHING im doing is going to be at any certain time or day....LOL!
    This comes down to a few of my personal observations as well as experiance, itsself. I also pay attention to what others have to say and what happend to them.

    I 'll start this out in January,
    a month with little light around here.
    Cold...Fur , Ptarmigan, rabbits ect. is good to track or trap, but hunting opportunitys are limited by the light, but the good news is that the days are getting longer. If meat is close, good, if not, then overnight trips are normal. A good time to keep working indoors on stuff for the Spring.
    If Im setting snares for rabbits, I often find Moose sheds in the same willow lines.

    the light is getting longer, and its a good time to go out for Meat and fur. Gathering poles to make into crafts , ice chizel, boat hooks, harpoons, drying racks, ect..because they are as dry standing as they will get , and when they come inside the bark is very asy to peel. Then you set them back outside to dry in the cold breeze. Sealskins and sometimes Caribou skins are set out after a good cleaning to whiten, or "Winter Bleach" and the effect is to make them look like snow.

    March ,
    still very cold, but the days are long enough to hunt a tank of gas' worth in a days ride. Rabbits are getting blind and so are Ptarmigan. They can be approched slowly and shot, without haveing them all fly or scamper off.
    This is also the Starvation Month. Your summers stores are probly exhausted, and meat is probly fresh.
    Guys hunt seals on the ice.
    Female Caribou are Fat again, with the baby inside about to burn that up.
    Marrows in the Caribou leg bones are bigger as well, and with fat being a nessesary part of a high protine diet, getting enough will keep you healthy.

    in the Arctic is AWSOME!
    The light starts to be 18 hours, moving to a mind bending 24 hours.
    Caribou are herded up and moving in large numbers to the North.
    The Females have bigger babies and are getting skinny from that , so we hunt bulls again. The warbel flys under their skin are getting big and the hair is long and loose. No good hides.
    We hunt Bulls again, to make dryed meat in the Spring s cold air and lots of sunshine with no Flys.
    Seal are still laying by their holes and mating.Males have black heads in the spring, so guys hunt the Femals to avoid the taste of Rutted seal.
    Shee Fish are found out on the lakes and river mouths in large schools and we pull up sled loads to dry and freeze.
    When the weather gets warm enough to make dripping puddles to get fairsized, Bears of all kinds will emerge from their dens. Shiny balls leaving a trail is what I look for , and I follow them in the snow.
    Geese arrive in about the third week or so of April. The sure sign is Seagulls. They arrive about 3-4 days before the Geese. Sometimes Ducks will arrive with the Seagulls.

    Gee, its only 9 weeks to Geese....

    Early May to the middle of May, the Rivers are swollen with overflow or actually breaking up.
    We still fish for Sheefish early in the month if we can, but mostly we get our boats redy for the Spring Breakup.
    Above freezing all the time, all the snow on the hills is gone and the rivers are swollen torrents. We ride after the ice gose by and hunt the Jams, where ice has backed up the lakes and sloughs , forcing the Muskrats, Beaver and such to raom around, where we catch them from the boat with headshots and a hook. We can get a boat load of Muskrats sometimes..... and being water Mammles, the fur is great for clothing and such, and so is the chow!!This lasts for about 3 days....then the river returns to normal and we return home and give it all to the women annd catch up on 3 days missed sleep.

    Caribou will have Babies now, running with them.
    Right after the break up, we set Sheefish nets. I use a 7" mesh and set it along a high bank, and let the small ones pass through and catch the nice big ones.
    With that net out, and maby a Whitefish net out, we climb along the high bank and gather Musoo roots"Eskimo sweet potato" are sweet and nicely saved in Seal oil.Wild onlion bulbs too, for spice.
    When the river has cut a channel to the ocean,smelts arrive and were out digging those roots we keep a watchin the water, and when we see silvery flashes, we know the Smelts are going by, so we drop what were doing and get a sein up to the next bend or two and sein in a few tubs of Smelts. Mmmmmmmmm....drying smelts in the cool breeze on grasses in teh 24 hour sun takes about 4 days. Gotta keep them dry, and string them into bunches to store.
    Next we set a net for Whitefish/char, as they catch in the same mesh. We smoke and dry them.
    when the Smelts have gone by, we watch the seagull nests, and when we find eggs, we gather them for 2 or three days, 3 in a clutch, and then we leave them alone. They still have babies...LOL!
    We leave the ducks and Geese eggs alone, as we want to eat them later, as adults!
    When the river ice go's out , then we head down to the ice on Kobuk lake, or the ocean, depending on which camp were in, and we hunt along the edge of the ice. Brants are showing up as well as lots of Ducks that live in the ocean.
    Guys hunt Oogruk Seals, and all kinds of small Seals on the ice, and tward the months end, in the ocean among the Ice cakes, with Oogruk and walrus being the main animals. Char are also found out in the ice floes, for those who fish and watch the boat (NEVER leave the boat unattended in the ice.).
    Greens are also comming out and we gather fresh salads of Soudox, wild onions tops are plucked, as are Beach Greens and Qushimuk leaves. I love them with Ranch dressing Mmmmmmmmmmm.
    Meat drys nicely in the warm breeze, but now flys will come out, so You have to watch your meats. 1/2 dryed and put into the oil rendered from the seal blubber, and it will last untill next Spring, if you dont finnish it....
    24 hours sun and misquitos!
    Still hunting Bull Caribou for fresh meat and to dry.
    The last of the ice is gone from theSound, and the first Salmon show up. Kings first, then Chums, then Pinks.
    Lots and lots of greens are plucked and cookd to store in an ice hole, and Male Ducks are hunted in flocks that gather wile they molt
    Salmon are caught when the tide brings them into the river, at one camp near the ocean,and in "pulses" at another, much further up a river.
    we set the net for a few hours at a time, and get plenty.
    Salmonberrys are ripe and pickable at the end of july, and the ladys and gents get Gallon after gallon in a warm year.
    Bull skins are good for clothing now, and the sun starts to twilight at the end of the month.Nice sunny warm days.

    Blueberrys are being picked like crazy, in expeditions....,and Salmonberry picking is still going on, with Salmon in the nets and Greens starting to flower, some are no longer picked.Some years the wife will have 75gallons of berries for winter.
    Often there is a late run of Chum.
    Seals will start entering the river, and are shot on the banks or in a shallow spot.
    Dark cool nights with stars start to appear and get longer and the colors start to change on the Tundra
    We hunt all Caribou for clothing skins now,(the females are abit behind the Bulls) as the hide and hair thickness is perfect.We dry the meat amnd skin for later, and more Salmon.
    Our new cool thing to do in August is to hunt Musk ox.Take 'em to a freezer or dry them up and its all good!
    This is a good time to go up on a mountain and catch Black Bears mowing among the blue berrys, and catch the fattest, sweetest meat in Alaska!!!Yeeee Hawwww!

    Cooler, even freezing again, time to move to a winter house.
    Hunt the Caribou in the river,and use their hides for bedding and Muckluks. We hunt them as we gather logs wiith boats to warm our house through freeze up.
    With freezing nights and nice days, we pick Cranberrys in the bogs everywhere, and Blackberrys by the coast.
    The meat on a healthy Bull is FAT.
    Near the end of the month we catch them keep hem in the skin and freeze them outside, hanging.Its cold again, and freezing round the clock....most rivers freeze by the months end.
    Swans and Geese are hunted to put into the freezer, and Silver salmon are running.... we mostly add them to the Freezer as well.
    Then it freezes solid

    During freezeup, we stay home for a week or so, and spend our PFD...~LOL!~
    We set out whitefish and shee fish nets under the ice and load up on migrating schools of fish. They get frozen and saved to eat and barter/giveaway.
    LingCod school up the rivers and we catch them on set lines and with jigging. If your by the ocean, you can jigg up thousands of Saffron "Tom" Cod. Piles and piles of them, and they taste as good as Cod do.
    While its frozen out, we get out the skins and start to tan them. Then its time to sew. Sewing is done after freeze up because to wear a new winters outfit in the sudden warms and wets, will ruin your lclothing quickly. Then it ruins your winter...LOL!
    Anyway, we stay in and make X-mas stuff and artworks to sell, as well as fix up our Snowgo and sled.

    November. alot like October....though the ice is usually thick enough to travle over by mid month to most anywhere you wanna go.. The daylight is getting short and its time to get firewood and set traps/snares.....

    is cold. Mostly its spent eating , and giving, visiting, travling....basicly a Hunter/gatherer's "Time off"
    Chores are done in every month as needed, with hunting done as needed or required.
    Special trips are made to take advantage of daylight and animal concentrations, as well as things that are done when bad weather or animlas have not comearound to be hunted.

    It pays to know your options.
    We dont stick to this schedual strictly, but rather generally.
    Some opportunititys last quite awhile, some only days, and most of these events blurr into a two week "Maby" zone of time, because of weather. It seems to me the Temperature defines what is gonna happen, so the first thing I check each day is the temp...then I'll know the "Time"

    Last edited by strangerinastrangeland; 02-17-2009 at 22:59. Reason: schpeling...
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  2. #2

    Default Book Deal


    I think everyone on this forum enjoys your post and stories and perspective of native life. Have you ever thought of publishing a book? You have great stories and insight into the native way of life. Your pictures only add more intrigue to the stories you tell. I know that I would buy your first autographed copy. Mike, Brian or Bushrat have commanding talent with the written English language and could edit and even contribute to your book. How bout it? I am in for the first hundred dollars for book number one......Sincerely Big

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    NorthWest Alaska



    The wife and I have talked baout it before, and she has quite a collection up of pictures, thoughts and ideas on paper. She also only lets me post a few of our Pix.
    How does anybody publish a book anymore, anyway? ~LOL!~Guess were a work in progress...

    We were in the local paper once....

    And in a Japanese Newspaper when they wrote up a page or two on Alaska, and the Japanese that come around, like Hoshiro.

    I tell the wife "Were 'World famous' in Japan" ~LOL!~ and I dont even know what they wrote!
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  4. #4


    I really enjoyed reading your post ! Thanks for the insight to your native culture, your survival skills are to be envied !

  5. #5
    Member Trapak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Kenai Peninsula


    Great time lines and stories. Most of us just dream of a lifestyle such as yours and your family. Very harsh in some ways, but very rewarding, as I'm sure you can attest to. Glad there are men like you keeping the old ways and traditions alive!

  6. #6
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Fairbanks, Ak.


    Dang temperature timing has been making life hard for the working stiffs in western Alaska who depend on weekends to do their outdoor fun and food gathering. It's been 30 below or 30 above and stormy every weekend!
    These guys just aren't gonna believe your not native, stranger!
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  7. #7
    Member Knute78's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Council Grove, Kansas



    Your stories are always captivating!! Although you live a life most of us dream about, I know it can not be with out its hardships. It is great that you are able to carry on the ways of life that have been passed down for many generations of artic people. It is truly a survival lifestyle. I have always said that I was born 150 years too late, but I know that in this day and age, very few people could survive the way that you do. As Bigmnt suggested, write a book, hell, why not make a movie!!! Thanks for keeping us all entertained. Knute

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    NorthWest Alaska


    I have posted many times that Im part of our current "Culture" but not an Alaskan Native, MT, but , alas, I am surrounded. ~LOL!~
    Well, the "native" aspect doesnt really play here anyhoo, it just doing what a guys gotta do to make those ends meet.My family and neighbors and friends treat me like the Man I am, regardless of our race, judging me only for bility, so I dont mind.I have my place and people respect me in that regard. I do have my detractors....Hahahahahaha...Jelousy sux, but its a part of life. At least that has raised its ugly head hear on these boards...LOL!
    I would like to relay this kind of hunting information and much more someday. I could easily fill in a years worth of "Ta do's", in a book or film, and I am used to hauling extras along , though mostly kids, so the burden of "Work" wouldnt bother me.
    I also have tons of 8mm films from years past, untill I went digital, and then its been 9 broken cameras in 3 years.
    I need a camera, but my savings are gone and its time to buy "Needs" not "wants".......what I need is out there, I just have to go get it. Then I'll work on what I "wants"...~LOL!!!!~ seems the wife has a buyer for her seasons sewings, so I hope that pans out soon.Shes really plowed through the skins.
    It come with the Season, so It'll pass.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  9. #9

    Thumbs up Authentic Book

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigmnt View Post

    I think everyone on this forum enjoys your post and stories and perspective of native life. Have you ever thought of publishing a book? You have great stories and insight into the native way of life. Your pictures only add more intrigue to the stories you tell. I know that I would buy your first autographed copy. Mike, Brian or Bushrat have commanding talent with the written English language and could edit and even contribute to your book. How bout it? I am in for the first hundred dollars for book number one......Sincerely Big
    I agree on Big's concept. An authentic book, in your own words and your families photos would be a HOT item.

    But I disagree with his thoughts on having others assist you with making it "different", in their way. I have read just about everything written by the individuals posting in this forum, their books, their other websites and I will tell you, NONE of us have anything "better" to offer. Keep writing in your own style and keep it genuine. You have a realistic perspective about your world and that is something NOT to Monkey with, by allowing someone else to edit, help or change your writings in any way.

    You bring a much needed breath of "fresh" air and perspective to this forum and I can sense your satisfaction in your posts. Do not get hung up on spelling, grammar or political correctness. I truly marvel at your insight to the world around you.
    Keep it up.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Missoula, MT


    I FIND YOUR WRITING FASCINATING!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks. J.

  11. #11
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    Thanks, nuff said

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    NorthWest Alaska


    well, Im very glad you fellas enjoy it .

    I like posting here. I have posted at gun forums, but few can relate to Bush Alaska.

    Fact is, Im just figuring out alot of writing stuff and Im sure it can go from there, with time.

    On another note, a Fella gave me a MOST GENEROUS offer on a camera. I tryed to PM back , but my PM was 100%. I tryed to dump the PM into a folder to make room to respond and I cant find anything now~!!! Arrgh!!

    Anyhoos, I searced the members list, and I guess I cant remember the correct spelling of the fellas moniker ??? Im not trying to be rude, just wanna get back about the camera. I would put it to great use, and I do want to accept the offer.....but I dont know "who"

    I hope you can write again, it is my fault for sure.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  13. #13
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Default I could have kept reading for a long time....

    That was so interesting and real! I get a little excited everytime I see you post a new thread, Stranger, they are all so fascinating....

    So about that camera, are you thinking of a digital picture camera or a camcorder? Maybe we can share our joy at your writings and help you out, unless that guy that already had an idea for you shows up!

    About the book you know Sidney Huntington? (Shadows on the Koyukuk--An Alaskan Native's Life Along the River) a guy named Jim Rearden helped Sidney write that. Jim's done a lot of books like that. Its a 1993 book, in it's 10th printing in 2005 when I got it a and met Sidney (he was about 90 years old I think) and he signed it for my son, who has read it three times (me twice). Another guy that helps is James Campbell, he wrote "The Final Frontiersman" 2004 about Heimo Korth, a guy like you with a native family, trapped and lived (still does part of the year) up the Colville River in ANWR. I have contact with James Campbell, we emailed some, nice guy looking for a new project....

    I love reading everything you write just like you do another guy said, but maybe one of these guys that has done books with guys like you could help you get one done and have another way to make a few $$$ and share your amazing life with more people.

    You can pm me if you want, we've already done that a few times!


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    NorthWest Alaska


    Thanks again.

    I do love to read, though I have never read any of those books. The Final Frontersman I have look at, but I do not own it.

    I read alot of history and we track it down.
    I like to find Local History and show it to my kids. Theres a lot here, and written about this place itsself. When I was in High school, I lived in Montana, and I just loved doing those things. I even follwed the Lewis and Clark Trail, saw Little Bighorn, and Hugh Glass' "Lord Grizzly"grave by Billings. Dinosaur bones and Buffalo jumps, and lots more....Man we used to have fun then, so why stop?
    We , as in the wife and kids too, found the stone mound supply Carin that Beechy left for SirJohn Franklin's party on Chammiso Island in 1826. Been to the cove and found a battle place between locals and the Brittish,when the britts bueied two drownd Sailors,and by looking at pictures found the place where a wooden log cross that marked where they should find a message.There were several "Ships Logs" left up there a long while back, and a 1898 desription said that they were clearly legible then, with names and dates as far back as Beechys "H.M.S. Blossom" and descriptions from others who left carved log posts with inscriptions afterward, including the "H.M.S. Plover" who overwintered in 1845 and is still known in local storys. In 1826 and again in 1845 Sir John Franklin was to be met there to get back home, after making the NorthWest passage, but didnt... and Franklin was left suff incase something diddnt work out..... None are there now, though.
    Found a few big pices of a ships Keel and mast collet, head and stern on a shore in the sound where the whaler 'Louisiana's' remains washed up, after the crew burned it while stuck on a sandbar between Chammiso island and Choris pennensula, chased down by the Confederate Warship 'Shenadoha', who captured/burned the yankee whaling fleet off Kotzebues Sound in the ChukChi sea in 1865 months AFTER the Civil war had ended....They just didnt know.... found it by reading a description written in 1880 book I bought, of where the then 15 year old remains were, and sure enough, we went and there was big "Junk"

    I have the US Revenue services' book printed in 1885 of the 1884 Exploration of the Kobuk river,as well as the next years rport when it was finnishe that next summer and I have tracked down every part of the journey. Its amazing how many places have the same names after 124 years, and to stand there and know the place already..
    Looked up and found where Joseph Grinnell wintered over while hunting gold in the Kobuk in 1898, and where John Muir walked in the Kiwallik in 1880.They were both naturaists, and wrote most excellent descriptions.
    Louis Giddings was a real 1950's "Adventure archologist" around here, and wrote about the people and dug many places, so weve been following those steps as well, after reading/consulting on his "Ancient men of the Arctic" book. totally facinating!
    Done lots more too.

    I dont know about a book from me , though, I'll let the wife guide that idea, as she seems to be compiling ideas...
    I think I'll try to keep practicing here awile before I try a book. my ramblings are better entertainment when Im home any how, as I have to share the computer with everyone, and I catch 5 or 10 minutes here and there, all day.
    Maby I'll write my opinion on each animal I hunt. That would fill in a few posts.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....


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