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First and last hunting trip

March 29th, 2013 | Audrey Sheldon Print this article   Email this article  

It was during spring, the month of May. I still can recall the day when my Dad was getting ready for Nigiliaq hunting. He had asked Jalen if he wanted to come along with him up North to a place called Itigmalikpak, but Jalen refused and said, "No." So, my Dad came to me and asked if I wanted to go, leaving me no choice but to go with him, I just couldn't say "No" and let him leave alone. After answering my Dad's question, I got all my hunting and winter gear and whatever else that I needed to take on the 2-day trip. My dad had asked one of my mom's cousins to use their machine, and would give them cash and a fresh caribou and would refill the gas tank. After gassing up the machine, we started trailing our ways up North.

As we arrived Kanumavik (Tent City) about a mile and half out of the village, we seen some friends and stopped by and greeted them. There was Brittany, Robert, their twins, Violet, Mary, and other people. We chatted for a minute or two, and told them we were heading up North.

They wished us good luck on our hunting trip that had just begun. It was such a beautiful day, the snow soft, melting from the heat of the sun.

As we started back on the trails, they became even more rough because of the melting snow, which made the trails bumpy, and slushy. After a while, still on the trail heading to Itigmalikpak, my Dad and I had seen a herd of tuutu (Caribou) on the side of the mountain. After two hours of traveling by snow-machine, we finally reached our destination. After turning off the engine, Andrew, Tina, Juanita, and baby Harlin welcomed the both of us into their tent with a bowl of hot soup and caribou ribs. We ate and chatted for a while talked about the Nigliqs (geese) and wondered where they'd be.

After we ate, my Dad lent me the binoculars and had me looking up North for the flocks of ducks and geese. But as I was looking for about 15 to 20 minutes, my Dad and I decided to stop by Kenny Mekiana's tent. But he wasn't there, so my Dad had me gathering up loads of firewood for the next day and a half. Kenny's tent was on a small flat hill, which had an awesome view. His tent had a far walking distance from where Tina and Andrew had their camp set up. The day was still young, with the sun shining hot, and we got ready to hunt some geese. My Dad had made the snow-blind, which was kind of interesting because he had to dig up a couple feet of snow, and gathered a bunch of willows and put them around the blind. I was impressed of how good the blind was because he finished it within the hour. As the night grew, we munched on some paniktaq (dried caribou) and sat in the tent, as the wind grew colder.

The next morning, I awoke to my Dad not being there, and looked towards the blind and seen him there. Ten or 15 minutes passed, and my dad came over to me, and asked if I wanted breakfast. He served me Top Ramen and a buttered cracker.

After having breakfast, he took me down to the blind and got both of the shot guns ready, gave me the goose - caller, and handed me the VHF. He told me he was going up to Kenny's tent to make some coffee before Kenny had gotten back, and said he'd hang for a while. So, leaving me down at the blind, I sat there in the sun patiently waiting for his call through the VHF about the Nigiliqs (snow-geese.)

Sitting in the 30 degree sun, my Dad finally called me on the VHF notifying me on where the geese where, so I replied back, and told him how scared I was to shoot the gun because it was my first time ever trying out a 12 - gauge automatic. Calling back and forth on the VHF, after minutes of talking, I finally gave in and finally shot at the first flock that had flown in, and surprisingly caught my first two Nigiliqs of the May 2010 season. I notified my Dad and told him how many I had shot, and he answered back and gave me another update on the second flock that was flying over me, so I reloaded the 12-gauge and shot another two.

After shooting, those four geese, I noticed how proud I had made my Dad. On the last call through the VHF, he told me there was another one flying over, and so again, I had to reload the gun, and shot once more and got two. But, one flew away wounded and flew back up North. And, that was my first and last hunting trip I ever had with my Dad.

Audrey is a Junior at Nunamiut High School. Her most enjoyable hobbies are playing basketball, caribou, and duck hunting. Audrey came up with this amazing story about her father and herself going out geese hunting.


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