Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program
Virgil Naylor, Sr., Interview 1, Part 2

This is the continuation of an interview with Virgil Naylor, Sr. on March 30, 2016 by Karen Brewster, Andy Mahoney, and Rebecca Rolph at his home in Kotzebue, Alaska. In this second part of a two part interview, Virgil talks about changes in the beluga whales in Kotzebue Sounds, changes in the landfast ice, ice safety, freeze-up, and importance of understanding the weather. He also talks about stories of hunters drifting out on the ice, adapting to meet environmental change, and how science can help understand changing ice conditions.

Digital Asset Information

Archive #: Oral History 2013-25-33_PT.2

Project: Sea Ice Project Jukebox
Date of Interview: Mar 30, 2016
Narrator(s): Virgil Naylor, Sr.
Interviewer(s): Karen Brewster, Andrew "Andy" Mahoney, Rebecca Rolph
Transcriber: Denali Whiting
Location of Interview:
Funding Partners:
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Coastal Marine Institute, North Pacific Research Board
Alternate Transcripts
There is no alternate transcript for this interview.
Slideshow
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Sections

Changes in the beluga whale population in Kotzebue Sound

Killer whales

Ice types and their features

Changes in the landfast ice

Importance of understanding the weather

Stories about drifting out on the ice

Freeze-up and ice becoming safe

Changes in hunting and trapping, disappearance of dog teams

Fall storms, and timing of freeze-up

Adapting subsistence practices to meet environmental change

How science can help understand ice conditions and changes in the temperature

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Transcript

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Tides over there to -- You could notice tides at Espenberg and then over at Buckland -- What they call that ? ANDY MAHONEY: Deering? REBECCA ROLPH: Oh, this one here? It’s the same one.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Oh, yeah. We usually go over here. Here’s Elephant Point, right here. ANDY MAHONEY: Uh-huh.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Belugas used to migrate real lots through here. And that’s where we --

We go there to hunt for a while, too, but right now they’re real scarce coming in. They haven’t had a good catch for how many years now. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm. Okay.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: ‘Cause -- Like we said, there’s a lot of activity around this bay now. They’re blocking them off.

But the tankers over here. I mean, the ore haulers -- there’s a ship going to Red Dog Mine. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, yeah, yeah. REBECCA ROLPH: Mm. Oh, yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: They -- they honor us. We put -- They will not cross ‘til the ugruk season is done this area. KAREN BREWSTER: Oh. Good. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm. Okay. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: That’s good.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Well, that’s what NANA and -- they -- they make a deal with it so people, give them a chance to hunt. Never try to interfere with our hunting.

So they’ll sit out here ‘til maybe about first part of July, the middle part of July. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Middle part of July. KAREN BREWSTER: Nice. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: So do you think the changing ice conditions have affected the beluga?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: I don’t know. I don’t really know because if the ice conditions are much faster right now, they’re migrating way up north.

I mean, they go up to Canada, you know about Mackenzie way up there. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: And usually they swing right through here and we do early spring hunting from about June.

Even if May -- just long as there's open lead to the main water they’ll migrate. They feed in this area with whitefish and trout. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: That’s where they come in. And they do their calving in this area, too. Used to. KAREN BREWSTER: Used to. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Not any more?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Well, there’s -- Never see them now. We never have good -- good run of belugas nowadays so --

ANDY MAHONEY: So you see a few of them, but never the -- the numbers that you used to?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: I’ve seen one or two actually, you know, born out there when we’re -- when we’re out there driving them.

They just throw them right in the air. That’s when they started breaching. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. They just pop in. They always have maids out there. There’s caribou forever surrounding that -- that -- once they’re ready to have a calf -- KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: They go around it all the time so the baby went out. Throw it up in the air. It’s real interesting.

KAREN BREWSTER: But so you said belugas aren’t coming in the way they used to?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: No, no, no. There’s too much noise now. There’s lot of activities. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. Like I say -- KAREN BREWSTER: So --

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Everybody works over here. They make use of -- we’d be anchored out here waiting for belugas to come in and by the time they’re about ready to come in maybe sometimes and here comes the boat.

Out they go the minute they hear that motor underneath there. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: They -- out they go to the deeps. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm.

ANDY MAHONEY: So I’ve -- I’ve heard that there were two years when there were quite a few beluga caught back in ’96 and then in 2007.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Oh yeah, that was a -- that was a -- that was a big pod that came in 'cause there was so much killer whales out there.

They’re scared of killer whales.

ANDY MAHONEY: So they were chased into the Sound, you think? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. They -- they’ll never -- ANDY MAHONEY: Huh.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: They don't care about boats or anything. They just stay out to the beach and all that. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: They're definitely scared of those killer whales. ANDY MAHONEY: And that’s what --

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. Are there more killer whales now than there used to be?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: There’s -- there is more killer whales out there now, yeah. In fact, people at Shishmaref always watch them out there doing their thing with belugas. Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: And they never used to see them before?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Well, they -- very rare. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah, yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: Has anyone thought about why the killer whales have -- have -- have started coming north?

'Cause they used to be in the -- in the -- REBECCA ROLPH: Warmer. ANDY MAHONEY: -- in the Bering Sea. But now they’re coming north, right?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah, yeah. Uh huh. Good question.

I guess they follow their feed, too, just like they feed on beluga or whales. ANDY MAHONEY: Okay. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah.

REBECCA ROLPH: I’ve heard because the water’s warmer now. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Oh, yeah. Yeah. REBECCA ROLPH: They -- they like to go up here.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: In fact, I think of every degree the water temperature goes up, I think our level goes about three feet. Is that right?

ANDY MAHONEY: Maybe not three feet. Maybe -- It’s quite a lot less than that. But yeah, as the water warms up, it expands. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Every degree.

ANDY MAHONEY: If it -- if it warms up by one degree -- VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: It goes up quite -- I thought it was six to three feet, someplace around there. ANDY MAHONEY: It’s --

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: About three feet. ANDY MAHONEY: I -- I would think --

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Rises up by three feet. Sea level always at three feet. Look that up.

ANDY MAHONEY: It might be inches, rather than feet. But certainly --

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Try look it up.

ANDY MAHONEY: Okay. I’ll -- I’ll -- I’ll look it up. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: And call me.

KAREN BREWSTER: I was thinking about Iñupiaq words for the different kinds of ice. So qinu?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Qinu is a young ice. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Coming out. And that’s a one year -- just like it forms up around young ice that's coming out. That’s qinu.

KAREN BREWSTER: Is it like slushy?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah, yeah, real slushy. Yeah. And little chunks of ice coming out. That’s qinu.

KAREN BREWSTER: Because that’s different than sikuliaq?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Sikuliaq is a fresh ice out there. Just from -- form a ice overnight. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: And after about two nights or three, you actually can go through it, you know.

ANDY MAHONEY: You can walk on it, you mean? Or --

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Well, if you wanna be safe, you’ll crawl on it like that. ANDY MAHONEY: Oh, yeah. Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: If you have animal, yeah. Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Does it move on -- when you jump up and down?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Oh, yeah, it’s -- it’s -- it’s real flexible. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. Yeah. That sea ice. Sea ice is real flexible.

ANDY MAHONEY: Lake ice isn’t, right? The lake ice would just break?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. The white -- just like Noatak River ice it’s hard and breaks real easy. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Different.

KAREN BREWSTER: So, what ab -- once the ice is thick -- VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Uh-huh. KAREN BREWSTER: -- what word do you use for that?

Once it’s thick and safe after sikuliaq. Do you have another word for good, safe ice?

KAREN BREWSTER: Siku? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Siku, that’s it. Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Siku. Yeah. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: And lately, too, over here where we fish, we used to go about five feet with our augers like that. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Right now, it’s about three feet over only -- KAREN BREWSTER: Hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: This time of the year. Little bit deeper --

ANDY MAHONEY: We -- we found just a foot and a half. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Huh?

ANDY MAHONEY: It was just less than two feet. We measured it --

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Oh, okay. It depends -- ANDY MAHONEY: Just on -- VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: -- on the current, too. ANDY MAHONEY: On Monday. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: You know, like -- Yeah, yeah. Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Right now we’re fishing on Noatak mouth about three feet. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: And it used to be like five feet?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Five feet, we used to have an extension on our auger. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. Oh, yeah. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: But, now, you don’t have to use that extension? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: No.

ANDY MAHONEY: Well that’s easy, right? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: That’s it, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: It’s easy. Is siku just -- just -- VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: That’s ice, period.

KAREN BREWSTER: Salt water ice? Or what about fresh water ice?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah, siku. Siku. KAREN BREWSTER: It’s still siku?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Siku is siku. KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. ANDY MAHONEY: Yup. Yup. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. What about the rough ice? Is there another word for that? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Ivuniq. KAREN BREWSTER: Ivuniq. ANDY MAHONEY: Ivuniq.

KAREN BREWSTER: Those pressure ridges, yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Ivuniq is -- It’s when the pile up -- pile of -- ivu is piling up. Ivu. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Ivuniq's they call them when it’s all a pile-up. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, yeah. REBECCA ROLPH: Yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: Do you use the phrase tuvaq to mean the sh -- the -- the land fast ice that -- that you can --

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Tuvaq. ANDY MAHONEY: Tuvaq. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Tuvaq. ANDY MAHONEY: Tuvaq. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Tuvaq. ANDY MAHONEY: Tuvaq.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: That’s a permanent ice in the beach. In the beach side. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Otherwise it won’t open up or anything. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, yeah. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: So that’s -- that's what they hunt from in -- KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. In Barrow. ANDY MAHONEY: Barrow. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah, tuvaq. Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Tuvaq.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. You -- you’re safe on that side. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, yeah. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, okay.

KAREN BREWSTER: So nowad -- Has that changed in your lifetime? That tuvaq?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Well, I don’t really -- tuvaq is -- That’s it, you know, I don’t really hunt that much in the wintertime -- KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: And stuff -- ANDY MAHONEY: Hm. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: ‘Til about springtime and -- KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: But you know when there’s a tuvaq around when you’re boating around there you’ll know you can't go to the beach. It’s -- it’s solid ice right there. Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: So do you go to the edge of the tuvaq and -- VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah, you can. ANDY MAHONEY: -- pull your -- pull your boat up on the ice?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: You don’t have to pull a boat up there. ANDY MAHONEY: Oh, okay.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: You just park around there. ANDY MAHONEY: Okay. Alright, yeah. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: So you -- yeah, you never really hunt that way. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: No, no.

KAREN BREWSTER: That you go on the tuvaq.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. No, we -- we’re out there where -- where the animals are. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Right.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. So what month does that tuvaq go away?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Well, it’ll be late part of July. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Sometimes when it’s real close back to the bottom. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: The more pile-up there is, the tuvaq stay there.

You know, when piles up it goes through all the way to the bottom and it stay put there until it really melts out and start -- ANDY MAHONEY: Mm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Water start coming in and out, so -- KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: And lifts it out.

KAREN BREWSTER: So all the way ‘til July? Even nowadays? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. July. Out there in the beach. In the beach side only. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Around the beach area. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Close to the beach. Sometimes one mile out, sometimes maybe half a mile out. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Long time ago, before ’52, did that tuvaq, was that wider? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: I don’t know.

KAREN BREWSTER: You don’t? You never went out?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: No, no. Ever since I was down at Mt. Edgecumbe.

KAREN BREWSTER: Well, before that, when you still lived up here?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Well, that time I wasn’t really that much, you know. I didn’t realize -- KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. Pretty young to know that.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. What kind of things are you teaching your boys and grandsons about being safe on ice?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Oh, my boy knows a quite a bit of ice. I tell him to maintain his watch for that fog rolling in, ‘cause it rolls in pretty fast when you’re out there.

You know, you’re going to be boxed in, especially when there’s a lot of ice. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: And now the weather. The weather is the most important thing I taught him about. I mean, I teach mostly weather. Weather part. Have to watch that weather. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: West winds come in, the fog will follow us when there’s ice out there.

So -- But as soon as it was east wind, it pushes right out. So --

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. So if you’re in a boat you’re okay?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: And if you were out on the ice, way out on the ice, there’s the mountains across there.

Or -- or out there hunting with snogo, anything. If there’s some -- see some fog, like a fog like on -- happening on those mountains over here. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: It’s safe to be out there. ANDY MAHONEY: Okay.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. That’s the one thing I notice from -- I mean, hear that from my parents, grandparents, yeah.

Never -- never be scared, ‘cause it’s not going to change right away. KAREN BREWSTER: If there’s clouds --

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: If there’s --if the -- those fog like deals right above those -- KAREN BREWSTER: On the mountains.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Mountains just right -- right to the mountains, even if they’re hanging around there. KAREN BREWSTER: Huh. I wonder why?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: They know the weather, I guess. The current and of the pressure of it. They know the whatever. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. It’s pretty safe to be out. It’s like east wind and west wind over there at Shishmaref, that’s what they watch in that area.

KAREN BREWSTER: Did you ever hear stories about hunters getting drifted out on the ice?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I’ve heard of them, but I’ve never been near one of them.

But lot of them do that. Long time ago, I guess.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah, I was thinking from your grandpa -- VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Did you hear stories?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Well, they have to watch -- Like I say, every time you hunt you got to watch just like the -- When they’re hunting out there in the ice, they watch the hills over there. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: The mountains. If they’re covered with that fog like deal, they -- What we call like, in Eskimo we call it nuviya. KAREN BREWSTER: Nuviya. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Nuviya, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: That’s that fog? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: That’s that -- yeah. Nuviya. That -- clouds? KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Clouds. Yeah. Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. I was wondering if back in your grandpa’s time, hunters would drift out on the ice and -- the seal hunters, and not come back or come back around?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: I have -- I guess we’re pretty smart. We never get drifted out. No. KAREN BREWSTER: Did your grandpa --

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: I never -- I’ve heard of them, but I’ve never witnessed them, no. Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Did your grandpa tell you stories?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Not that much about them, you know. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Only thing they tell us, weather is the main thing they -- that they taught to us and -- KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. Hm.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. So, Becca was asking about freeze-up. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: A what?

KAREN BREWSTER: About freeze-up. When the ice starts forming? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Uh-huh.

KAREN BREWSTER: How thick does the ice have to be before you go -- it’s safe to go out?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Well, maybe about -- right now when we’re ice fishing back here, two to three inches you could be out there. Tom cod fishing. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. It’s -- it’s safe in the salt water. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. Maybe I think there’s a chart. You actually can drive trucks through or whatever. There’s -- if you go to -- probably City (City of Kotzebue office) or one of those guys. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: They’ll say when it’s safe. How thick to go through with a truck and what not. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: They have that scale and whatnot. So -- ANDY MAHONEY: Yup, yup. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Were there other things that have changed in your lifetime? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: My age. KAREN BREWSTER: Well, I --

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Get tired easy. In my lifetime, huh.

KAREN BREWSTER: With the hunting, animals. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Hunting wise.

KAREN BREWSTER: Animals, hunting. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Weather.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Well, like I say, nobody too much trapping nowadays ‘cause there’s so many jobs available.

And that’s a lot of work going out plus for the price of gas we pay close to seven dollars an hour, you have to make use of that hunting everything now, so -- ANDY MAHONEY: Mm. Hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: So, it’s pretty -- pretty much -- And dog teams disappearing. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: That was a safe way to hunt long time ago. KAREN BREWSTER: It was? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Dog team, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: How come?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Well, you never ran out of gas or as long as long as you got dog food you never have to -- If you're out there, they know --

They actually know when they go out -- when you take them out some place they -- once they put their foot in the ground they know that area.

You could get lost out there and you just lead -- you have a good leader, he’ll take you right home. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm.

KAREN BREWSTER: Could the dogs tell the ice? Were they -- were the --

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Not in the out -- not in the ice, but I’m talking about -- KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Hunting around here inland, so --

KAREN BREWSTER: I was wondering if the dog teams could sense, oh, this ice isn’t good, we better go home?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: I don’t know, I never go out with a dog team so -- KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, okay. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Never did. No.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah, huh. I was going to ask something else about -- oh, fall storms. Big storms in the fall time? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Fall time?

KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. The storms coming in with waves. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Oh, fall time. Hm.

KAREN BREWSTER: Are you guys getting more storms in the fall time?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Well, a lot of it is coming in, like I say, with young ice coming in. Fall time, west wind. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: It breaks it up all the time and goes out -- when it calms down, it goes out.

That’s how come we can’t freeze-up much over here no more. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: That tide coming in and just -- with a -- with a storm from west wind. And after that, piles up and takes it out again and it's continuous now. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Like a --

ANDY MAHONEY: So back in the day, it would have come in, maybe on a west wind, but then stayed? When the wind changed, it didn’t go back out? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah, yeah.

ANDY MAHONEY: But now, it doesn’t stay. It goes back out -- VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah, yeah. That’s --

ANDY MAHONEY: -- when the wind changes? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. REBECCA ROLPH: Hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. Current and wind, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Does it take longer for the ice to freeze up than it used to?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. Very much. Very. Like I say, it’s open over here on November. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: First part of December, it’s open here. They’re still hunting out here with boats. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Never used to have that. Like I say before, I used to drive a truck across in November. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

REBECCA ROLPH: So will it freeze and then go out -- You said it freezes and then goes out again. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. REBECCA ROLPH: And sometimes -- VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. Yeah.

REBECCA ROLPH: And it didn’t used to do that as much?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: In the -- in the channel, yeah. Over here. Yeah. It affects the channel. Mm-hm.

ANDY MAHONEY: So you -- you -- you said you hunt by the seasons according to the -- the animals. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Mm-hm.

ANDY MAHONEY: So if -- if the ice formed later and later in the year so that you could all -- basically all -- put a boat out any time of year, do you think you would keep fishing and hunting from the boat all year round? Or -- or would you -- VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: No. No.

ANDY MAHONEY: -- still always go onto land and the --

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: I don’t really go fishing in -- You mean with the boat? ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: We don’t do much boating once it’s freeze-up, that’s the problem right there.

ANDY MAHONEY: But if -- if freeze-up’s getting later, would you keep going out in the boat? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Oh, oh. For -- for seal --

ANDY MAHONEY: Until the ice stopped you? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Over here, they do that. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, for seal.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah, yeah. The -- ‘cause lot of these seals that are migrating around -- around here feed on the fish around here. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: They start going out with that -- as soon as that -- That’s it, they’re gone, they’re gone. Fall time.

ANDY MAHONEY: Okay, so once the -- once the seals are gone -- VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah, yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Okay. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah -- yeah, so you would -- if you could -- If you couldn’t get out on the ice to hunt natchiq in the wintertime, it’s -- you don’t -- but if people couldn’t get out to hunt natchiq in the wintertime then what would happen?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Well, we’d hunt them late, then, with the boat. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Right. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Still hunt them?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah, we have to hunt them, ‘cause that’s our livelihood is having seal oil on our table. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Just like you having a butter on your table.

Becca, you’re too quiet.

REBECCA ROLPH: I know, well, you guys are all asking the same questions that I was going to ask.

KAREN BREWSTER: Oh, I know what I was going to ask was -- because Andy and Becca do research and the physics of the ice and the -- what’s happening with the ice from the science side. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Mm. Mm-hm.

KAREN BREWSTER: I’m wondering, are there things that they could research that would be helpful to you as a hunter? Things --

Questions you have that they might be able to help answer from science? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Hm.

REBECCA ROLPH: You mentioned before that -- why is the tides happening now when it didn’t used to before. You said you wanted to know why that was happening.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Oh yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. ‘Cause a lot of people say it’s climate change, right? REBECCA ROLPH: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Me, I think it’s just the shifting of the axis. REBECCA ROLPH: Axis, yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: What about in relation to the ice, are there things you’ve wondered about?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Well, once it get warmer like over here, that’s the -- that's a surface that’s too high to freeze up out there, that’s it.

If you could take a look at the records of how -- just like right now, we have 19 below this morning. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: That’s strange. Before December, January, used to be the coldest month. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Later on it start being January, February. January, February for a while. Now, February, March used to be good, now it’s 19 below.

If you can research with the records how much change there is ever since. You could tell how -- what’s the difference on temperature change. REBECCA ROLPH: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah.

REBECCA ROLPH: That’s something I could do.

KAREN BREWSTER: So 19 below is cold for the end of March?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: For this time of the year, yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: And it was very warm in February?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: February was mild. Yeah. January, February lately around here used to be coldest month. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah.

REBECCA ROLPH: That’s what Ross said, too. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. Now it’s been way -- way extended. This weather right now to -- ANDY MAHONEY: Mm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Now it’s February, March. Look at below weather, ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: 19 below this morning. It’s shifting like it -- REBECCA ROLPH: Something for the hand-out.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: It matches up with the -- It matches up with that shifting of the -- ANDY MAHONEY: Okay, the -- the --

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Shifting of the axis. Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: This thing really, really comes to me after -- You know, after he tell me he noticed that 6 -- that ’65. That’s the last time I see him alive. ANDY MAHONEY: Hm. KAREN BREWSTER: Hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah, he mentioned that himself. The changing of the rising of the sun. Yeah.

KAREN BREWSTER: Are there other things that I haven’t asked you about? Do you want to talk about? VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Not really.

KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. Make sure I ask the right questions.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: No, I -- Like I say, you know, it could be kinda interesting to know the temperature change by month. REBECCA ROLPH: Yup. KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: By month -- ANDY MAHONEY: Okay.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: From way back then around -- KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: -- maybe ‘60s or even. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: FAA should have record over here. ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah, we can -- VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: All the way to certify it. REBECCA ROLPH: I can get them.

ANDY MAHONEY: We can get those records, yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. From month to month, compare every year. See what’s happening actually. REBECCA ROLPH: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: That’d be a good project, and I’d like to know. REBECCA ROLPH: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Alright. I’m really involved that, ‘cause like I say, it's really -- things changed with that shifting of the axis.

ANDY MAHONEY: Yeah. So where do you -- you have a thermometer here?Where did you see 19 below? Do you have a thermometer?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: It was on -- it was on the air. ANDY MAHONEY: Oh, the radio. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah, yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Okay, yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: They do that every -- every -- every half hour. I could even get it on the T.V. right now and check.

KAREN BREWSTER: And that -- is that at the airport they have the --

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: The weather bureau over here? KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah, it’s down there. They announce it real -- periodically.

KAREN BREWSTER: Where’s the weather bureau? Down by the airpot?

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Oh, down by -- by the airport. Yeah, yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Yeah. Okay. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Mm-hm.

KAREN BREWSTER: Do you have any more questions, Andy? REBECCA ROLPH: This is great.

ANDY MAHONEY: I don’t -- I don’t have any more right now, I think. KAREN BREWSTER: Mm-hm.

ANDY MAHONEY: I’m sure I’ll have more later.

VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah, yeah. I’m -- You know, if you’re in doubt, I’ll be open to call me back or whatever. ANDY MAHONEY: Okay. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. KAREN BREWSTER: Becca, did --

REBECCA ROLPH: Yeah, no. I have like -- Yeah, no. It’s good.

KAREN BREWSTER: Okay. Ariigaa, quyanaq. Thank you very much. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Ariigaa. KAREN BREWSTER: Ariigaa. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. ANDY MAHONEY: Mm-hm. VIRGIL NAYLOR, SR.: Yeah. Good.