Dec 23 2015
The last two hunting seasons have been very good for us. This year I haven’t been hunting quite as much as the last few years, but return was still good, especially wild reindeer. We share all the meat within the extended family, with some given also to friends or in payment for licenses. Any moose killed are distributed on the teams that hunt them.
Reindeer hunting is particularly important to us, and most of the food I eat during the winter months is meat from the animals killed in August and September. During that time, there are a lot of flies around still and special care needs to be taken to minimize waste. If in the deep mountains the animal can be soaked under water until you are ready to dry the meat or we use modern game bags of fly netting. The meat that is to be used by the whole family is butchered into separate muscles after hanging for a few days. The head and bones are boiled until the meat falls off and we then drink the broth and the excess fat is stored for the winter. The skins are washed if bloody or full of fly eggs, and are dried for later tanning.
From Mid-October through December storage is easier, since the flies are usually completely gone. When there is a proper frost, some meat is stored outdoors for using as we go. Since most of the family is not very fond of dried meat, only a limited amount is stored this way. As I don’t have a freezer, I then rely on my family to store most of the meat.
Luckily we this year had a dedicated carnivore from the UK, Jonathan Ridgeon, to assist us throughout most of the hunting season. He doesn’t hunt, but puts a lot of effort into the butchering and storing.
The total animals hunted in 2015 were:
- 6 reindeer
Laje Gaaren (brother):
- 2 reindeer
- 1 moose
- 1 red deer
- 1 roe deer
- 1 wolf
- And various small game including beaver, badger, fox, capercaillie, wood cock etc.
John Vinther Nissen (Laje’s father in law):
- 1 reindeer
From my reindeer hunting:
Pictures of Laje, his son and his father in law.
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