Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What Can Be Done In A Day

Whew! We had one BUSY day here yesterday. It started with WAITING. Waiting for the dozer rental companies to call us back (they did). Waiting to see if the rain was gonna let up (it did). Waiting for the dozer to be delivered (it was, eventually).
Not a single member of our family does "WAIT" really well. Toddlers have an excuse. When you are two, a few minutes seems like the whole day will pass before you are granted your wish. The real difference between grownups waiting impatiently and kids? You can send griwnups to time out for temper tantrums when they aren't getting their way.

The dozer arrived. J rushed out the door to start knocking down the remaining forest. I watched with the girls from the safety of inside. We soon tired of being spectators, all of us except Little Nugget, who screamed in excitement every time the dozer made a pass in from of the screen door. To preserve my sanity, I took the girls upstairs. Nugget screamed in protest, pointing to the door and crying, "My papa! Vroom! Vroom!"

A short while later, the phone rang. A friend of J's. "Hey it's me. Troopers just alled me. There's a moose over here hit by a car. If you help me out, I'll split it with you."
A million questions ran through my mind at once.
Why are troopers notifying our friends of moose struck by cars?
Is this a work thing? Are there injuries?
What exactly are we splitting?
Does my husband want to hear about this 30 minutes after renting a bulldozer at $500 per day?

Then it dawned on me: if we were splitting a moose, hunting season could be over! Oh for the love of all that is good!
I threw on muck boots and made my way through why used to be forest and tundra, and tried not to get run over.

It was gonna be a late night, by we were gonna be getting half a moose. J downed a bowl of homemade refried beans and some homemade salsa. Gone in 60 seconds.
Three hours later, J and friend returned victorious. It was a good road kill moose, only the legs broken and the troopers put the poor thing out of it's misery. The rest of the job was exactly like hunting.

For those still wondering (like I was) why troopers were calling our friends, well... I learned about something else I never knew existed: The Roadkill List.
No. I'm not joking.
Apparently there is a state list you can sign up on, and when it's your turn and there is something recently deceased, the state will all you and tell you to come harvest it.
Before you start saying, "Eeeewww!" keep in mind that if the state ever calls offering up skunk or something of that nature, we will decline. But a moose? With minor injuries? Which means my husband doesn't have to spend another week away from home in search of the elusive dinner? Sign me up for The Roadkill List.

That handled, some hot coffee to warm up the "hunters" (it was raining and chilly all day yesterday) and a short visit with our friends, and J decided to skip dinner and head back out to finish the dozer work. Not a small feat, mind you. The plan was about an acre or so of heavily wooded land. I don't know when he called it quits, I just know it was nearly 1 am when he crawled into bed.

Meanwhile, another friend dropped off our caribou sausage from THAT hunting trip. I made room in the freezers, and wondered where we were going to put a moose. I might be trying my hand at canning meat this fall. Or some of the salmon taking up space in the freezer.

The girls and I ate a dinner of popcorn and fruit salad. We wandered to the chicken coop between dozer passes and made an excitig discovery:
An Egg! From one of the young hens! Hooray! Hooray!
* Today there were TWO. Hopefully this means we'll be able to stop rationing around here soon!*
* Also, the first eggs a hen lays are usually smal. They are called pee-weed. Adorable! Tiny! And still edible. We celebrated by baking gluten free flat bread with the egg today.

Us girls continued our day from inside. We felt bad for J, in the dark and the rain, but when that man wants to get something done, well... Best to just leave him to it. I made a cozy fire, snuggled with the girls and read a hundred and one bedtime stories (ok, it might have just been ten or so), tucked the girls in, and fell asleep to the sounds of the dozer.
Poor J had to get up just hours after he went to bed. Off to work for the day. He was kind enough to let the chickens out for me. I made a hit cup of coffee, watched the rain come down, and surveyed the future farmland, animal pens, play yards of Little Farm on The Tundra.
It's gonna be fun.
Once the mud settles.

Until Next Time,
Happy Moose Trails!


JackDaddy said...

Oh now I remember why I didn't move to Alaska. I prefer my moose to be made out of beef. :). Let me know when you get a call where the troopers have had to shoot a cow and I'll be packed and ready to go. :)

Sparkless said...

Ohhh moose is better than cow, much leaner. My dad used to hunt moose every year and we sure enjoyed it when he shot one.
I didn't know there was a road kill list. Good to know.

Anonymous said... have had a busy day, I'm with you on the waiting part...I'm not good at it either....
maybe you can make moose jerky out of some of it...I love beef jerky...wonder what moose jerky would taste like??
Have a Great Day!!
Miz Liz

Anonymous said...

Wow, here I was always under the impression that the roadkill salvaged moose was destined to be donated to charities. Has your friend set up his own charity, then deemed your family to be poor enough to need the free meat? Or is Delta Jct far enough from the major population areas that other laws apply?

Anonymous said...

I'm new to your blog and wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying it! We are leaving in 6 days (eek!) to travel from Arizona to Salcha, where we have bought a home. Here's my question to you....I have actually heard of the Roadkill List, but I assumed that the animals would not be good to eat because of the trauma caused by being hit by a vehicle. Something about those endorphins or whatever coursing through their systems, making them taste yucky or something. Do you know anything about that??

upinak said...

Hey there Delta Junction!

Don't worry about the Anon guy. Your friend is fine, being the fact that Delta only has so many people, and Anon doesn't know that you can be on a "list" when the population is under 1000 (which you are in).

BTW I am jealous. Though, hunting up there is a PITA! I may be coming back up for a Buffalo or Elk. We haven't decided as of yet. Have fun, stay safe.. and don't worry about the jerks in Alaska who think they know it all. They don't. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello again Nicole,
Please accept my appology if my questioning the legality of the roadkill harvest caused any upset. I truly did not realize that places with populations under 1000 were on a different list system, as is stated by 'upinak'.
My concern was that your family might not be aware of the rules, and of the possible fines. It seems that 'upinak' wants to call folks who are concerned about your family being fined for illegal activities, 'jerks'.
I did not mean to be a 'know it all'. I stated comments as questions, becaue I did not know for sure, thus the '?'
Today I purchased a copy of the Delta Wind, as I passed through Delta Jct. Page 7A of the Sept 23rd paper has extensive articles about Fish and Wildlife violations (with associated large fines). Also the AST Police Blotter on the same page lists two moose which were salvaged by local charities on Sept 7th. The 11:08AM one on Tanana Loop Ext would almost fit your description of the mid day phone call. Except that, "a charity responded to salvage the moose."
If 'upinak' is correct that communities of less than 1000 are eligible for individuals to salvage roadkill, the 2010 population of 1168 for Delta Jct might mean that his old rule may no longer apply.
My generation was taught that ignorance of the law is no excuse. So I guess I tend to ask questions when somehing does not seem to click with stuff stored in the old brain. Sorry.
Please keep your family safe, and have a wonderful winter.