Posts Tagged ‘hunting’

I’m convinced that there are unseen forces at work in my life giving me little gifts and pulling me  along on my path.  Here is an example:  I put out the intention and even wrote it into the lesson plan that for the Hunting Skills class we would skin and cook an animal.  I was hoping to find a fresh squirrel or rabbit but nothing turned up.  Then the night before the class I was driving home and passed a coyote that had been hit by a car just minutes earlier.  We put it in a cooler with ice and brought it to the class the next day.  As a tracker, any opportunity to build a stronger relationship with an animal by holding its feet, tanning its hide, or eating its meat is very valuable.

The skinning process is fairly simple.  I decided to “case-skin” this coyote so that we could use it for a quiver.  The first step is to poke holes in the heel underneath the tendon and hang it up.  These holes hold really well which is important because it takes a lot of pulling to get the skin off.  Next I cut around each of the legs, the anus and the tail.  From here it is just a matter of pulling the skin down and peeling it over the head.  The tail and the ears are tricky spots and required some careful slicing.

Some people might think that it is weird or cruel to do this to a coyote.  In my opinion, those feelings come from a loss of nature connection.  A few hundred years ago everyone grew up butchering animals and knowing where their food came from.  We learned a lot by skinning this coyote.  The students in my class will now be much more comfortable preparing and eating wild meat should they ever need to.  Observing a wild animal so intimately- looking into its eye, holdings its feet, seeing its muscles and tendons is a powerful experience.

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As stated in a previous post – the non-returning boomerang (or rabbit stick) was the hunting weapon of open arid environments like southern California.  If made and thrown properly, they should fly in a straight line for over 200 yards, hovering just a couple feet above the ground.  The dimensions I use are from Errett Callahan’s article “The Non-returning Boomerang” in the Bulletin of Primitive Technology.  I just finished a new non-returning boomerang and took pictures along the way.  Hopefully this one will bring me some sweet lagomorphic meat.

You can see a clip of me throwing this boomerang here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy7h4YzMN_s

It starts with a big log of coast live oak, the bend must be just right, and it can't have any branches.

Chopping away

Eyeing a straight section

I found that sawing every few inches and splitting off the chunk was the fastest way to remove wood.


The rasping begins...

Roughing out a handle.

Coming along.

Width should be 2 1/4 inches along the whole limb.

Just chop away the green..

Thickness should be 3/8ths of an inch.

Rasping away... about half way there.

All sanded... just needs oiling and burnishing.

Finished! Except for flight tuning..

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