Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Only in Alaska

I've mentioned before that some things are quintessentially Alaskan. There are experiences you won't have anywhere else in the world. Last night I had one of those experiences.

I was at my friends Adam & Yvette's house for a bbq. Our other friends, Blair and Mark stopped by for a few minutes. They were on their way home from getting their first moose. As in, they shot a moose with a bow. In case you didn't ascertain this, it's moose season in Alaska. For you readers not in Alaska, this is a very big deal.

Here's the scene from last night: backyard bbq, people having some wine, enjoying a nice fire and good food. Enter Blair and Mark. Blair is in head to toe camouflage gear. Mark is covered head to toe in moose blood. His pants are caked with blood to the point they could stand up on their own. His shirt is spattered with yet more blood. There's blood on his ear. The quartered moose lies in the bed of their truck. They've only just finished field dressing their moose. They share the details of how it all went down, including the degree to which the moose stunk once the field dressing started, the largeness of moose entrails, and how Mark was squirted in the eye with blood. There is more but these are the salient tidbits that stick with me.

Everyone listens with rapt attention whilst drinking wine and munching on chips and cheesy spinach dip. Blair and Mark don't stay long as they have to get the moose home and hung to dry in the soon to be chicken coop.  

These pictures are unrelated to Blair and Mark's hunt,
but it's my favorite moose sighting. Hollie and I were
in Anchorage and this moose casually traipsed through
the parking lot.
Passing through.
This all seemed so normal. It's moose season after all. Why wouldn't we be talking about a recent hunt and kill? And then I'd have a flash of, wait a minute, this is odd. Or perhaps just different. When you haven't grown up with hunting as part of your world experience, it's odd to have friends show up soaked in blood from their hours old hunt. In general I prefer my meat to arrive nicely saran-wrapped but I'm growing to appreciate the skill and effort it takes to hunt one's own food. Not to mention it's the finest organic, free range meat you could possibly ask for!

Blair and Mark will have some tasty meat this winter -- moose chili is delicious!