Frozen End of Grouse Hunting Season with Rakovalkea

At this time of year, I always ask the same question for myself. Is there life after the grouse season? Hunting is not only a hobby for me, it is a way of life. All the lonely adventures I’ve spent in the boreal forests, under the rotating sun and moon, in freeze and rain, demand me to come back to home. I would like to live for living, the simple but rough life of my ancestors. Unfortunately, this is not possible nowadays for many reasons. Even the time resources to practice real survival skills are insufficient. That is why I need to sustain my life by much more complex way, by sitting in offices, driving through motorways, and producing garbage. In this complex way of life there is more or less time to admire nature, usually too little. The blood of seeker, the grouse hunter, is now in deep sleep. The will to look at unknown and face the loneliness smolders inside of me for the next long 10 months, until I can find myself again. The wind sung its frozen lullaby, as I spent my last free week in the darkest forests I know. The forests are maybe not so far away in kilometers, but still abandoned so many of us.

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I think I have some kind of a perversion. It’s  almost always dark when I manage to get my ass into a forest. Sometime it would be nice to leave a little bit earlier and get the camp done during day time.

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Damn, I forgot to take my sleeping bag! It was getting colder, why I grab a couple of blankets from my car. I used a rope to mummify myself. Only one more blanket and it would have been fine, but with these two blankets the night was quite restless 😛

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The moon sheds its light on the frozen forest and prints the trees onto the tent fabrics.

Sleeping-in-frost-with-multi-log-rakovalkea

I woke up in the cold, and had to make a multi log rakovalkea to keep myself warm. I used my axe to cut multiple mini logs from a fallen dry spruce. I piled the logs and used the pieces of tarry stump as tinder.

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Sleeping-in-frost-with-multi-log-rakovalkea

Hypnotizing.

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The multi log rakovalkea emits a lot of infra red into the tent and keeps me enough warm. Luckily, it was calm night. One of the biggest problems with this kind of a camp setup is the inflammable tent fabrics, why I needed to keep the rakovalkea quite far away as a safety precaution.

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The cold but mesmerizing night ends, and the morning sun unveils the crystalline forest. It was shame that I forgot my sleeping bag and the tent fabric is inflammable, why I needed to sleep the coming nights in the cottage of our hunting club.

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The smallest puddles were frozen.

Frozen-puddle

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Oh, frozen funnel chanterelles 🙂

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I will cook these with the meat if I manage to get something.

Cold-Finnish-lake Cold-Finnish-lake

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Such a beautiful moss, how it can be so colorful!

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Yes, I got it! A male hazel grouse came to look at who is whistling in its territory.

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Frozen cranberries and lichen.

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Hazel-grouse-and-funnel-chanterelle-fried-in-sweet-cognac

Frying the funnel chanterelles and the hazel grouse with sweet cognac.

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A common polybody.

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The sweet, licorice like roots of common polypody can be used as sweetening agents in tea for example, or as a candy.

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Long-tailed-tit

During the trip I learned to call long-tailed tits with my hazel grouse whistle. They are so funny, hectic little birds 😀

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Long-tailed-tit

“What the hell, you are not a tit??”

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Shy-squirrel-sitting-in-pruce

“Oh, hi! You ain’t gonna shoot me ain’t ya buddy??”

The last hazel grouse was tricky to shoot. It whistled only a couple of times, and I needed to carefully listen its movements. After an hour approximately, I heard it changing a tree, maybe it flew to birch to eat buds. I followed the sound, came next to this open area, but did not saw the bird. Suddenly I saw the hazel grouse in the smaller tree next to that bigger birch. It almost raised on its wings, but I managed to shoot it just in time.

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Here it is, the last hazel grouse of the season 2015, and 95th of my whole life 🙂 So that’s the end of  the story. The end.

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