Mar 21 2016
It was common amongst northern native groups to freeze their catches in big pieces over the winter. Meat was simply chopped off as needed. Especially in the milder parts of the boreal zone, the meat from autumn kills would ferment as the winter progressed.
When the spring thawed out the meat piles, the remaining was dried in big pieces for summer use. At this time there are few flies, the air dry and the sun reflects strongly off the snow. Some groups used a light smoke or salting prior to the drying to keep flies and birds off.
This method saves a lot of work compared to drying meat in summer when it has to be cut really thin and smoked continously to avoid spoilage. The latter method is the one I have largely been using until now.
I could ideally have started drying the meat a bit sooner than I did. Night frosts are now not quite as hard and some flies have appeared. I used no salt or smoke and am looking forward to testing the results soon.
The meat in the photo are the legs and heart of a wild reindeer.
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