Could you make it if the only way of getting food was subsistence moose hunting?
As hunters, we all enjoy the meat that an animal provides for our families. But how many of us still truly hunt for day-to-day subsistence? In the lower 48, the answer is: not many.
But in Alaska, the tradition is still alive and strong and many people hunt not for sport, but just to make it through the winter. Check out this amazing clip documenting one family’s continuing pursuit.
Ricko DeWilde is one of the hunters in the video. He grew up subsistence hunting and trapping in Huslia, Alaska. Though he has now moved to Fairbanks, he still comes back each fall to hunt with his large family and secure meat for everyone. As quoted in the video, DeWilde stated, “Treating your elders, the land and its animals with respect increases your luck and is the key to being blessed with bounty.”
As you can see, very little is wasted from these two successful moose hunts. The animal is quartered and all pieces are brought back to the boat, including all edible organs. DeWilde commented, “It’s surreal how much is wasted in sporthunting.”
The next time you successfully harvest a moose, deer, bear, or even a grouse, think about how many people throughout the world still depend on subsistence hunting. Challenge yourself to use more of the animal than you previously have. Whether that means using new parts of the animal for creative recipes or using the hide for your own crafts, doing so will make you a better hunter in the long run.