Maybe it’s because I’m coming up on about six weeks of self-imposed food deprivation (you know, that moment when you step on the scale and all you can say is, “WTF??”), or maybe it’s because eating “cleaner” has become more important to me of late, but the video below speaks to me.
We live in a drive-thru world, sadly, and many, if not most of us have no idea where our meals actually come from (and no, the fry bin at McDonald’s doesn’t count). But those of us who fish and hunt—even if just occasionally—have the opportunity to actually craft a meal from the wild places that make our hearts full.
A couple of years ago, while on a sabbatical from work, I had the chance to wander through British Columbia, the Yukon and Alaska, all the while exploring places I’d on only heard of and taking in some of the most breathtaking landscapes on the planet. And, after buying a massively overpriced steak from a market in Tok Junction, Alaska, I made a personal pact that, for the last month or so of my trip, I’d do my best to feed myself from the adventures I was having on the water.
The results were mixed—I didn’t have the time or the data connection to really do any quality research, but I did learn how Arctic grayling tasted, and I got a little primer on wild mushrooms of the north. After a trip over the Brooks Range to experience the Gates of the Arctic National Park and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, I headed south, put everything on the Alaska Ferry at Haines, and then spent eight days camping under the giant cedars and the spruces on Prince of Wales Island.
There, it became much simpler (and I felt a bit less guilty culling a couple of silver salmon from the school than I did knocking a delicate grayling over the head—it goes to show you just how ingrained catch-and-release angling has become to us fly fishers) to derive a meal from the wild.
This “new” discipline among the sporting community intrigues me—finding, cleaning and cooking my own food makes me feel better about what goes into my sizeable (but shrinking) belly. Not only do wild places fill our hearts, but they can fill our bodies, too.
— Chris Hunt