My husband returned yesterday from a week long
hunting trip to Adak. That is on the Aleutian Island
chain and a long ways from nowhere if you look at
a map of Alaska.
He went with a group of 7 guys and they had a
very successful hunt with 11 total caribou taken.
They worked hard for the meat, having to carry it out
on their backs. My husband said he made 2 trips with
his bull, with 100 pounds on his back both times
going down terrain like this:
Then they had to load everything onto the 4 wheelers
for the trip back to the house they stayed at. He said
it is beautiful country, a lot like you would picture
Ireland and Scotland with rolling, grassy hills and
islands everywhere. The only problem with all
grassy hills is there is not one single tree
anywhere and the herds of caribou can see
you for miles. So there was a lot of hiking
along the ridges to get above the herds and
upwind. He had a painful night after packing
the large bull because his legs were cramping
so bad from carrying the weight down the
Adak is extremely windy and if you look closely
you can see Alaska Airlines coming in over
this runway. He actually took a short movie
of this plane coming in to get them and part
way through the plane goes sideways from
the wind shear! They only come in twice a
week, so if they can't land you get to wait
4 days for the next flight.
Adak has an interesting history that you can Google
and read online. It is an abandoned naval base and
only 150 people live there year-round. It is a huge
island and the caribou herd was planted there
back in the 60's for the officers to have fresh
meat. They started with 25 animals and the herd
is up to 3000+ because there are no predators.
There is no limit to the number of caribou you
can kill and without hunters removing them
the herd would slowly expand and eat them-
selves to starvation.
He brought the nice weather back with him; we have
had a couple of nice, warm days to enjoy. Our last
Farmer's Market for the year is this weekend and
I am headed down to the kitchen to start the
decorated cookies I will be selling. The meat
should be coming in today, so I am looking
forward to tasting the caribou. The group he
was with ate some steaks while they were
there and every one of them said it was the
best meat they had ever eaten. With no
predators and unlimited food the animals
are fat and happy up there, so the meat is
fork tender like grain fed beef only no
antibiotics or hormones!
Well, off to the cookies....