Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program
Mike and Dallia Andrew, Interview 2, Part 2

This is a continuation of an interview with Mike and Dallia Andrew on March 7, 1995 by Bill Schneider and Don Callaway in Igiugig, Alaska. In this second part of a two part interview, Mike and Dallia talk about animal behavior and hunting traditions, and hunting bears. They also talk about transportation practices, including the introduction of snowmachines and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV's), the use of vehicles on National Park Service land, and land claims and land use practices.

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Sections

Animal behavior for hunting purposes

Animal behavior for hunting purposes (continued)

Hunting traditions

Hunting bears

Preparation of bears for food

Hunting traditions

Transportation practices

First snowmachines

First three and four wheel vehicles and hunting

Hunting with three and four wheelers

Fish spoiling in the sun

Native lands claims

Native lands claims (continued)

Marriage today

Traditional traveling and land use practices

Current land use practices

Current land use practices (continued)

National Park Service cabin on Kukaklek Lake

Use of vehicles on Park land

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Transcript

Don: I was wondering, Mike, if you could talk about what you need to know about the animals to understand how to hunt them. What you need to know about moose to find them, what you need to know about, for trapping and things like that. Mike: You mean where I can find a moose, where to get 'em? Don: Uh huh Mike: Okay, well right today we always hunt moose, we know where the moose stay around, in the tundra and trees along the river bank. We kinda look where they, where we could find them. So we pretty much, we been hunting for a long time. I started young. So we kind of know where to find them, the moose. And beside the moose, with caribou, same thing. We know where to find those caribou. They stay out in the flats. Nowdays they stay close to the trees, they don't stay out in the flats. And trapping, and wild like mink and otter, we know where to trap. We know where, where to catch it. Cause we trap a long time. I started young. Before I have family, I used to trap, trap in the winter time for wild animals like beaver, mink, otter, red fox.

Dallia: I can add to Mike's. Not only moose we don't hunt. Spring time these wild ducks come. We like to hunt them, too. Cause fall time when they go back, they flew sky-high, we can't even reach them with the gun. So we like to have it spring time. We still talk about it, 'cause fall time, like a goose, geese, these geese they fly high when they go back. In the spring time, that's when they come in low.

Don: Is it the, do you believe that if you show the animals respect that the animals present themselves to you. And that if you show them respect, then more will come back, was that taught ? Dallia: Yeah, that's what they taught us, too. They tell us not to quit hunting 'em. When we quit hunting 'em, they taught us long time ago, they disappeared. But if you keep hunting 'em, like, they populate. Don: The more you had, the more they come back. Dallia: Yeah, more. Yeah, more they come back. Mike: Yeah, I add on to it. We're talking about the game, ducks and wild. My mom, my grandpa told us that, "Don't stop hunting it. If you, as long they're around hunted, if we quit hunting ducks or moose, anything, they're gonna come back they get lesser every year." That's pretty true. I couldn't understand. Lot of time moose, we heard, "We take too much, we killing everything." No, it's not right. ?Right around? we understand. We teached from my folks, my mom, my grandpa, the animals we have to hunt 'cause we, we survive, we eat. If we quit hunting it, it gonna be lesser, every year they're lesser. Not like long time ago. The animal never get less as long as we can hunt it, year after year. A lotta, some times I heard, "We're taking too much, it's getting lesser now." No, it's not true. What I understand. I learn from my grandpa, my mom. We have to hunt early spring. In the fall time we don't hunt like geese and ducks 'cause they're really high. We can spook them in spring time. We still hunt right today.

Mike: And I want to add on a little bit on the bear. We eat bear. My folks, my mom, my grandpa, they used to hunt a long time ago. Long time ago there was hardly bears in the tundra around here. You have to go a long way for a bear. Get one, you go maybe three, four days to see one bear. And you lucky to get one. So I, right today I still eat bear. 'Cause my mom, my grandpa they eat the bear. And the fat, they cook it. When they save the fat, they put it in the pot. Then cool 'em off. Lot of times they use that fat when they make, mix wild berries like cranberries and salmon berries together, mix with Crisco. After they cool off, like when we cool it down or something like that, that fat, after you boil it. It's like, it's still like a lard, Crisco. Right today I still eat bear, if I got that, I still eat bear. I was I don't eat bear, I eat bear long time ago.

Mike: I could remember when we caught bear we save everything, skin and all. We don't throw nothing away. Bring everything home. But we don't bring home what we don't eat. The inside of gut, that stuff, you know. Anything outside of bear we take home, even skin. Long time ago we use the skin to make a mukluk soles. For a long time we never had shoe pac. Make it out of the bear's, bear hide, just sew it together. And caribou skin they save it to make a top of the mukluk. So then, we save everything like that. We don't throw nothing anything wild. We always use it for something. And beside, if we don't make mukluk out of bear skin. If we could pick enough the size of this table, we use him for mattress. Like dry the skin. When you camp out, in the home, you used it for mattress, put it on the floor. That's warm. But I can remember, we used to travel with dog team. We used that skin for putting in the sled when you ride. It was nice and warm. So I could remember we used everything out of bear. But I still eat bear if I got chance to, I still eat bear. I wouldn't, see I don't leave it, my folks teach me how to eat bear and everything, so I still eat bear.

Bill: Why did you think that your parents said that, that it was, that they wanted you to keep hunting. That if you didn't hunt, the animals wouldn't come back. Mike: Well, that's that time, their folks told them, too, a long before we were, before we come, when they were young. That's the way their old, long time ago they told them, "You gotta keep hunting it. Don't stop hunting it. When hunt ducks, anything wild, if you quit hunting it, besides trapping fur, otter and mink. You gotta keep hunting it. They still come back. They wouldn't get lesser." That's what my folks told me, too. They teach from their mom, too, a long time ago. And if we quit following the animal, they'll be gone. They're not gonna come back like they used to. Even like today, like they tell us. Hunt what we could use, they tell us not to stop. What we survive on, we still go for it.

Bill: You've seen a lot of changes in transportation, The way people get in the country. You were talking the other night about packing, walking and packing wood. And dog teams, and... When do you remember snowmachines coming in? Mike: Well, what year, I don't know what year. Dallia: Seventies. Bill: The year doesn't matter, but tell me about your first snowmachine. Dallia: Okay, tell 'em about our first snowmachine. Mike: What year I had my snowmachine. Dallia: Doesn't matter year, I think it was around '60s, '50s, '60s. Mike: First snowmachine I drive after I move here in '69. I think it was '72 I had, first snowmachine I had. Well, I didn't want to get snowmachine, that time I was in the dog team yet. I had fourteen dogs all the time. Transportation, travelling, hunting, trapping. Seems like I was looking at, seems like I was kind of the last family gettin' snowmachine. And once I got it, then my dog team was going down. I went to break the snowmachine. That's different from dog team.

Dallia: That first snowmachine we see down Branch River was 8 horse Mustang. Mike: Yeah. Dallia: And that Nick Tallirpalek had. Bill: That made what? Don: Nick Tallirpalek had. Dallia: Nick Tallirpalek had first snowmachine I see, Mustang 8 horse power. Seem like it's fast, to me. laughing First snowmachine I see. Pretty fast. Mike: Yeah, first snowmachine that we had up here, that 8 horse, dog team left 'em behind! I could remember one time when we had 8 horse Polaris snowmachine. There were two people on the snowmachine. It was about two guys on the dog team, they had nine dogs. And they run side by side; they left that snowmachine behind. And this guy was driving, that guy was going fast, that dog team was faster than the snowmachine. Bill: But you got snowmachine. Mike: Uh huh. Dallia: Yeah, we got snowmachine nowdays. It's faster.

Bill: How about three wheelers and four wheelers. Mike: Four-wheelers, is ... Bill: When did, tell me about when you got your first three-wheeler, four-wheeler. Mike: The first three-wheeler we had was '83. Yeah, '83 first time we ride three-wheel. First three-wheeler we had '83, 1983, the first three-wheeler we ride on. And first year we had one, three-wheeler. Bill: And why did you get one? Dallia: 'Cause everybody get it, might as well get it, too. Join the crew. laughing Yeah. Bill: How did that change hunting? Mike: Well, from the dog team and the three-wheeler, is not same. Three-wheeler you go hunting, they make noise. They kinda scare the animal away. That's a between the dog team and three-wheelers, that's different. There you go with dog team, you're quiet. You can go right up to the animal when you hunt. But three-wheel, they was different from us. We couldn't get used to it for a year, two years after. When we'd go to hunt 'em, we'd be, wanna run away from it. 'Cause the three-wheel make a noise.

Bill: Could you go the same places, with three-wheeler and four-wheelers as with dogs, or maybe more places? Dallia: No, we can't go same place, these three-wheeler and snogo they can't go where the dogs, where them nigger-heads is so lumpy we have to turn back, go other way where the smooth part area. Oh, dog team they go any, tundra and all. Niggerheads. Then you go on a three-wheeler and niggerheads, you so bounce around you can't go that fast. Take you a hard day, maybe, trying to go over where the lumpy part. Bill: They sure seem fast, though, convenient. Dallia:Yeah, they're fast, though, but they can't go where we wanna go like dog team days. Bill: How come you don't go back to dogs? Dallia: I don't know. We think, we just don't wanna hook 'em on up and use it. We still could use it yet maybe. We just didn't try it. We just want to save them for scraps, so they could eat. Scraps or leftovers, what we don't eat. That one spoiled, they eat it, too.

Dallia: This fish, too, they tell us long time ago, "Don't let the sun get it. When the sun get it, that's when they spoil." Just like a or something. "Keep your fish away from the sun. You know that sun's hot." Then he tell us not to eat the one sun got. "You gotta keep it away from the sun, try to. Or you could dry it outdoors, not, they not gonna spoil right away, but a couple of days later when you sit it in the sunshine, it'll spoil.

Bill: Were you involved in the land claims? Dallia: Land claim settlement act? Like the ... Bill: The village corporation and land selection. Dallia: Yeah, right now we've got Native Corporation land and Native got Native allotment, yeah. Bill: But that started back in ... Dallia: It started, oh let's see what is it? Mike: Now, you talking about Native allotment, or? Bill: I talking, no Native land claims act, when Congress said that there's certain amount of land and money would go to the corporations and to the villages. Did you work with the village in making some of those selections, some of those choices? Dallia: When they come in, the first Native allotment, they just come in, without knowing, just like we just, never ask us what's gonna happen. We just pick out the land where we was, or outside where we could hunt. When they come with first Native allotment, I remember they just come in. Without knowing us, without ask us question. Just come right in.

Mike: When the, when the Native allotment comes back in 1965, they just come in. They told us, "How much land you wanna pick out, how many acres?" That's all. Then they never explain what's gonna happen. Later on, they just come in, tell us, "How much land you want, how many acres?" That's all. Then after everything was done, we didn't know that's gonna come different from the long time. Never explain it, how it was going to come later on. Dallia: That's why it's hard for these young generation to get, try to get their land. Not like long time ago. Long time ago they used to go anyplace they could camp. But nowdays, some people, they're not same. They tell us not to go on their land, that's how come we have to watch what we're doing nowdays. That's quite a change. Don: It's hard to know sometimes, too. Dallia: Yeah, it's harder now, sometimes. That's why we have to keep an eye on our Native allotment, where our allotment is, give 'em to, share with our kids. When their kids get kids they could share with theirs, too.

Don: Is it harder for the boys to meet other people now that they're, that they live in just one community? Is it hard to meet people to get married to? Is it harder these days? Dallia: No, it didn't affect that, ah, marriage. But nowdays not like long time ago, marriage, too, they, they take their choice. Long time ago they tell us not to marry this and that, you know. They was kind of strict. In my young days. Now days young generation, who they follow, they marry now. Sometime they don't last. That's what my mom used to tell me, "When you're married, you stay with your, whatever your first husband, whatever." That's how, that was my mama's rule, rule tell me.

Bill: I want to go back to what you were saying about the land. In the old days, you could go anywhere. Dallia: Yeah, old day they go anywhere they want to camp, they want to hunt, they want to do, gather some food. They have no problem, them days. They just go, like. Now days when you want to cut wood, too, some guys tell you not to cut wood. That's pretty much change from long time ago. That's why long time ago they used to move around when they have relative in other village, they visit them for awhile, couple of months, maybe. Stay with their relative. They don't tell them to go, or they just have it, enjoy the family, visit.

Bill: The park was established, National Park, Katmai. And you've had lodges come in, too, and private lands. And you've had the Native Allotment Act, allotments. And you've had Native Land Claims, so village corporations, regional corporations. Dallia: Yeah, right. Bill How has that affected your life? Dallia: Now how to answer that. laughing Bill: I'll shut this off for a minute and we can think. break Mike: What Dallia saying about that lodge. When he's gonna open the lodge, he wanta fish, that's all. Nothing outside of fishing, summer. But it didn't turn out that way. This guy, the manager, he changed the rule after he get lodge then he started hunting besides fishing. After he don't want to hunt but he's gonna open for just the fishing, then he opened it for hunting, too. So there was between, he little bit change there.

Bill: How about Park Service regulations, Park Service Land. Dallia: Park Service, here were inside of Park Service up here at Kukaklek, or Nonvianuk. Park Service, when we meet together out, out here in the council house, he tell us to go ahead and trap in the park, in that new Park Service, not that old one. Don: Preserve. Dallia: Preserve one. We could trap what we want to hunt. He tell us to go ahead and use that. They agree with us. Mike: The Park Service I agree with. When they bring this land in the park. We used to hunt before the park come, when it turn to park, they tell us to keep hunting. They agree with that. I agree with them, too. If we use that land to go hunting in the park, they wouldn't starve us if they were just go ahead and use the land for hunt. From around here, not from outside. There was different from us, from resident up here. They hunt inside that park. Before the park come, 'cause we used to hunt it before the park. And when they come to park, they tell us never change our way, just hunt in the park. We have to go hunt that way. So I agree with them. Yeah.

Mike: Then Park Service, you talking about Park Service, I agree with them once in a while. I travel. Down Nonvianuk, other side of Kukaklek Lake, I don't know if you guys hear about this and know it, I don't know. They have a cabin down there. Bill: Park Service? Mike: Uh huh. They have a cabin right the mouth of Nonvianuk on east side. Then I went there, to that cabin. They were there and I went up there. Before, we used to travel with the little boat. When we go look for wild berries, we'd go in a little boat from way down Alagnak mouth, we'd go all the way up to Nonvianuk with our little boat, coming down. Before, there was no cabin there. No Park Service. And even the camps, there was no cabin open, only one log cabin. Then when I come, too, a year after, we see cabin. 'Cause I wanted to see that cabin, who's, who owns it. Then there were two people come over. I didn't know they was that two Park Service people there. And I asked them, "Whose cabin over there? I never see that cabin before. I come here several time, but every year I come there was no cabin." I said, "That cabin is new for me." I said, "What that cabin for? Who owns it?" And I asked them, "Well, who would that belong to?" So he told me, he said, "Park Service, they're the ones staying there. They build it." Kinda look over their land, the park, you know. And I start talking to them. "Someday I'll come by here, you guys not around." He said, "We welcome you stop in the cabin if it's open, if we don't lock it." And Park Service, them two guys, said, "We don't lock the cabin. We leave it open for people that come by." I told them "Some time we have emergency, wet, cause we travel. Some time we don't have a cabin." So I agree with them, I thank them when they told me they don't lock it. We welcome to stop there if we have to get away from the weather, when we, when you're travelling, you know, 'cause when you have no camp, ?he told us to stay there. I agree with them. It was nice. So when we have a lot of food, if you got food in the cabin, say we're welcome to eat what we could survive with when we travel. So I agree with them right there.

Bill: One of the issues that comes up some time is use of four-wheelers and all-terrain vehicles in Park Service lands and how those regulations should be handled. Mike: Well, that time when I talking to these Park Service, you can't use no four-wheeler in the park. So we know, we don't use our three-wheeler back there in the park. But we walk on it and hunt. There's no vehicle on top of that land. Bill: And that works okay for you? Mike: Well, it's, so far it, I agree with it. Bill: We should quit. We've worked you too hard tonight. Mike: Yes. Bill: Tell me your grandfather's name, please, Mike. That hunted the bears. Mike: I think his name is Evan. First name is Evan Tallirpalek. Bill: Ah, okay.