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Some interesting observations concerning hunting in the far north

2544 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Terry G
Now I've spent considerable time in cold, snowy weather, blizzards, etc, but I'm not one who has spent much time in the real arctic, being that far north has been a bit off of my itinerary. However, I bet Garand has a few things to say on the subject.

While back, on a hunting forum, I saw where a bunch of dudes were talking about going reindeer (caribou) hunting up in Greenland.

They were going on and on about what sort of whopper magnum they needed and were going to take to drop a reindeer. Kind of silly since I know for a fact you can drop an elk with a .308, no problem. A 5.56mm will also do the job on an elk if the range isn't too great and you are a good shot.

In a splinter of the conversation, a couple of people commented on how nasty paramilitary semi-autos should be banned and never allowed for sport use at all, as no self respecting sportsman would ever consider their use.

They were talking about going to a reindeer station in Greenland run by this Icelander named Stefan.

As odds would have it, right about then probably the only TV show that I ever actually take time out to regularly watch came on. It is a PBS show called 'Globetrekker'. It's a rather cool travel show.

Well, sure as sh^t, during this episode, which was about Iceland and Greenland, one stop by the travel guide was at Stefan's reindeer station in Greenland. Go figure.

The travel guide, Ian, and his cameraman arrived just as Stefan had heard that a big, fat reindeer was seen close by and he was on his way to go harvest some fresh meat. Stefan depended heavily upon locally harvested reindeer meat for his food supply.

So Stefan grabs his rifle and he, Ian, and the cameraman go off on snowmobiles to pop this reindeer.

Now here is a dude who lives the life 24/7/365. He's dependent on hunting for most of his food and he's so isolated that the main way to get to his place is by helicopter.

Fortunately, I got a good look at his gun and his knife. So, what was he packing for a gun and knife?

His rifle was a stainless steel 5.56mm Ruger Mini-14 with a scope that looked to be a fixed power (probably 4x) and he had a 20 round mag in the weapon.

His knife was a slender Bowie style with a stainless blade about 9" long. From the way he effortlessly slit open that caribou it was probably just about sharp enough to shave with.

They butchered the caribou and had a big meal. Interesting note: They mentioned that the Eskimos in Greenland, lacking any other form of greens and vitamin C in the old days, would eat the partially digested green grass and lichens found in the caribou's stomach. Sort of like an arctic salad.

During the rest of the show, as they wandered around Greenland, they caught on camera at least one other Eskimo walking by, casually carrying a Mini-14.

During a National Geographic special I saw a bit later, also about the arctic, it showed a family group of Eskimos out on an extended hunting trip.

They shot several critters, almost always dropping it with one shot. One guy with a lever action, what looked to be a well used Browning BLR, actually shot and killed a small whale from shore with one shot. I don't know what caliber he was using, but there was a geyser of blood that shot up from the whale. They said that there was an art to shooting a whale. You had to kill it just after it blew and took a breath in but just before it dove again. They all pitched in and managed to get the dead whale ashore and butcher it.

Their guns were all bolt actions except the guy with the BLR, who they considered to be their best shot. All of their knives were either bowie/hunter style sheath knives with blades usually around 9", and the ever present ulu.
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as long as you don't have to worry about fighting men, a bolt will do well. shtf, tho, that wont be the case. Fighting men will be your MAIN concern. Guys who sell short the 223 are just plain stupid.
Did you even read the post JD?

The post was about native subsistence hunters using Mini-14's in .223 as well as bolts.

Which is really not a bad choice at all concerning thier circumstances.

yeah, so what? the POINT is, APPLICABILITY TO SHTF. shtf will mean FIGHTING.
The point is

andy said:
yeah, so what? the POINT is, APPLICABILITY TO SHTF. shtf will mean FIGHTING.
Someone will have to charter a plane and mush dogs 400 hundred miles to tell them the SHTF and they will just shrug because SHTF will change nothing for them.

They are living a subsitance life stlye right now and you theorize about it, with no real frame of experience to draw from.

no they aINT. They are drawing social security, getting drunk at the local village. that crap is all gone, and has been so for many years now. They've been using snowmobiles for decades. :)
The majority of the natives up north do in fact ride snowmobiles the majority of the time. In the same breath about 3-4 months ago the Canadian Rangers completed a 2,000 mile patrol by dog sled. The first time it has ever been done that distance. As for the firearms that are found up there, you name it they got it. Firearms come in from many sources, I've even seen picture of a Mini used up there. The North is not all that backward any more, if you are willing to pay the shipping, you can get it. " SHTF will mean fighting", hey bub, only in your tiny mind! Try posting a detailed list of your kit.
It will mean fighting for someone who has no kit, no skills, and intends to try and perpetrate criminal acts on people to make up for a painful level of laziness and ignorance.
A point GK missed, or ignored, was the knives they were ALL carrying. They ALL had knives he proclaims as 'worthless'.

Once the animal is shot, it's the knife that does all of the work, not the gun.
mrostov said:
A point GK missed, or ignored, was the knives they were ALL carrying. They ALL had knives he proclaims as 'worthless'.

Once the animal is shot, it's the knife that does all of the work, not the gun.
You are totally right. I have for years (probably 25) carried a folding belt knife and a small pen knife with three folding blades, at all times unless entering a secure (prison) area. They are handy at all times for all sorts of jobs. From skinning out a deer (belt folder), to gutting a Walleye, (pocket folder), they are among human beings most handy tools.


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