Got to Craig on Sunday after a hectic few days in Juneau for Salvation Army duty. Sara did a great job organizing the place when she was here on her own at Christmas.
Ellen said she’d take me bear hunting, and when I said I’d rather just get meat from a hunter who only wanted the hide, she found me some. It showed up just a few hours later when I was talking to Howard in his garage/taxidermy shop. The friends brought their hide for processing to Howard after Ellen had sealed it, and then we drove over to my shed to hang the meat. I was expecting an in tact carcass but they had already quartered it and all we had to do was put the meat in game bags and hang it up. They had taken beautiful care of it. The dad from Utah was happy to get some maple syrup from me. Andrew will be pleased with the meat. I let the meat hang to cool for a perfectly competitive cool weather day and sent it up on Ak Seaplanes this morning.
I got up early the yesterday and went king salmon fishing after Mike told me he had a good bite the morning before when I dropped him off some maple syrup. The drag is close to the ramp, so a good shakedown for the boat.
I didn’t get fishing till just before 6, and over the next few hours I didn’t see any of the other boats there catch a fish. Just after the low tide change, I got one on. When it came to the net I couldn’t tell if it was the minimum 28 inches or not, and breathed a sigh of relief when it was just a hair over. I fished awhile longer and saw no more fish caught so headed home. I still had to get my launch ramp sticker.
When I went to city hall, I knew the woman behind the counter. She’d helped us do a clam survey for adfg years ago, and was kind of a shy but really smart kid. She seemed like she’d shaken the shyness. When I asked her what she was doing, I was floored when she said she was the new city planner for Craig. It made my whole day. Even more than catching a king.
This morning after I shipped the bear meat, I took the king out of the fridge and sliced the fillets the long way into strips, then cut them to length for canning half pints. I put them in a 9 cup water to one cup salt brine for 10 minutes, along with the fins and backbone. I put them in the colendar to drain, and then wire brushed the smoker racks. I was just barely able to fit all the pieces on the 4 little racks, but I made it. Now to cure dry, with a little smoke later on, then pressure can. A satisfying chore for this rainy day.