that time of the month to sit down and share some findings we have
experienced. You wouldn't believe how hard this can be without repeating
ones self. Every other month we get the friendly reminder from Buck to get
him an article. This is hard with working, family affairs and following
this way of life. That said, I'll share a few things we have rediscovered
from those that went before us.
If you have read the “Journals of
Lewis & Clark” you will find that Thomas Jefferson made a
recommendation that the Corp of Discovery use “Garlic” to help with
insect bites. As you have mentioned when taken over a period of time the
aroma will seep through your pores leaving a strong odor to others. Thomas
Jefferson is responsible for many of our fruits and vegetables we grow
here today and not common to this country (he trade for seeds world wide
while in Europe before becoming President).
We use to do period correct canoe
trip and started using garlic to protect us from mainly mosquito bites
in MO and ILL. Surprisingly as T. J. had suggested it works, "you
can watch the little buggier's hover over your skin but didn’t bite".
Biggest problem we found was most people we came across kept their
distance, we never noticed any odor as we all had been using garlic for
several months before making a trip.
Beaver, muskrat and raccoon can be
used for human consumption. The meat from these animals is very
good if prepared
properly. Animals that are freshly caught, skinned and gutted will taste
the best. The front
and hind quarters and back meat are most commonly utilized, while the rib
cage area is usually discarded.
All meat should be soaked in salt water overnight before preparing. All
fat should be carefully removed
from raccoon and parboiling further helps to eliminate fat and the taste
it imparts to the meat.
All oil should be skimmed or poured
off after boiling. Beaver
and muskrat carcasses can be sold to fur farms as animal feed or to sled
dog trainers. Carcasses should
be gutted and frozen while being stored. Most dogs will eat beaver and
muskrat carcasses. These can
be used as excellent supplements to or substitutes for dog food.
The meat from many fur
bearers can all be used as trapping bait. Muskrat is excellent bait for
of beaver or muskrat, either fresh or tainted, work well for canines and
cats, especially in winter, as
is bobcat or lynx.
High school biology teachers in your
area might want carcasses or skulls for use as teaching aids in
anatomy or taxonomy
classes. The trapper should attempt to utilize the full value of every fur
Many trappers are unaware of the
value of the glands of animals that they trap. Some glands have
commercial value and
others are valuable to the trapper for formulating his own lures. On
beaver, castor glands
and oil sacs, both found in the anal area, are of value and can be removed
by carefully pulling and
cutting the flesh away from the glands. The oil sacs are light in color
and contain a yellowish, oily fluid.
The castor glands are darker with a veined appearance. Care should be
taken to keep the pair of castor
glands joined together. Castors are normally dried before selling, but can
be frozen. To dry, hang them
over a rope or wire. Dry them for one day, essence). room temperature,
then freeze until sale. Beaver
castor is used extensively in the perfume industry as well as by lure
Members of the weasel family (mink,
weasel, skunk, otter, fisher) have anal glands which contain a
powerful musk useful in
lure making. These glands open in the anal area and are pod-shaped,
musk. They can be cut loose carefully with a minimum of squeezing and
should be kept cool or frozen
until used. The glands of weasels are particularly valuable as an
attractant for mink, otter, weasel or
canids. The anal glands and foot pads of canines are often used in lure
making for those species. The glands
of raccoons, opossums, badgers, and muskrats are less commonly collected
for lure making.
Caution: Glands should be doubly or
triply sealed before placing in the family freezer, and even then
you do so at your own
risk! Skunk glands can be removed by the method described above, but it is
easier (and safer) to
withdraw the musk with a syringe and inject it into a jar that can be
tightly sealed and
stored in a cool place (there is no need to freeze pure skunk.
Good luck if you
have the guts.........