Monday, May 29, 2006

Goose hunt

It was so much fun. I haven't laughed so much in years. First of all we went to Kaleak camp and stayed in one of these cabins.

This is the view from the goose shooting hide. It's been used by generations of Kaleaks.

Then we went to Uyaghralik(?) which is closer to Barrow because the snow was starting to melt. That means the ice over the rivers is starting to melt and you can't risk snowmachining over them when they are slushy cos you might go through. This is the river at Uyaghralik.

No cabin at Uyaghralik so we squished into a tent. You just don't worry about whether it's day or night. Sleep when you want and for as long as you need. No-one gets called lazy. It's great! Played lots of cards when it was too windy for the geese to fly. I have started to win at Rummy(?) but am still not very good at Pick 2. Here are my opponents... Billy looking suspicious and Eli concentrating.

At one point Eli got stuck in a melting river and Billy had to pull him out.

They are really noticing the warming and Billy is worried that the geese/caribou might stop migrating through that part of the tundra if it gets too warm. They caught about 30 geese altogether. For them and relatives and elders who don't have anyone to hunt for them anymore.

I saw caribou and snowy owls. The owls were incredible. The caribou were too young to be of interest for hunting. I can call a goose and a ptarmigan now. Shot the gun twice. First time I wasn't expecting the kick back as they make it look so easy and nearly fell over which made them laugh a lot. Second time shot at a snowball and missed.

Am learning Inupiak... But don't know how to spell!
Are you cold? - alapoo?
Yes/no - eeee/nomee
A little bit - oodigoo
Thank you - kwee-ah-noc
Thankyou very much - kwee-ah-noc-buk
Go to sleep - siq-quwoin
Calm down - nalai
Shut up - atta
Scarey - ihanee
Your go (for cards) - illivin/illivich
I don't know - achoo
Dunno you decide - achoo leveen
Right? - umeee
Good - ardee-gar
Very good - ardee-gar-har
Cute/pretty - atai
Lets go - kida
My conversation needs working on!

We stayed out a bit long and Julia got worried. We didn't have a radio although we'd visited a neighbouring camp on Friday and told them we were fine on their radio and heading back Sunday we were about 5 hours later than we said we would be. I was put on the search and rescue base list (they keep a list of where everyone is all the time) as Doreen Kaleak. They liked that ha ha.

Am staying here longer and not going to northern Canada now. Today we have to clean all the geese. I am going to go and summon courage by eating a snickers.


Blogger mark said...

ha ha hope sorting ut the geese was fun. Are you still vegetarian?
xx Mark

7:45 PM  
Blogger Ice Fairy said...

Ummmm squashed the air out of a goose and watched it die so think vegetarian status is on hold... But I'm happy to eat things I take responsibility for killing so I'm not disturbed... Will you be scared of me when I get back?! xx

10:13 PM  
Blogger mark said...

definitely! hard to imagine you doing that somehow. Makes a change from all the pasta!

love Mark

6:41 PM  
Blogger Bryce said...

Interesting story! You might find this to be a helpful resource in learning Inupiak:

I├▒upiak wiki browser

5:39 AM  

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