Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hunting in southern Norway

We went to Bergen, Norway after knowing about Bjarne and Ingvild doing moose hunting. They were our hiking friends met in our Santa Cruz tracking in Peru. On the weekend we arrived Bergen, we four drove to Ytre Lauvrak, where Bjarne's family has a farm house which the hunting area is nearby.

After seven hours drive we arrived and were warmly received by Bjarne's mother Kaia. She made night snack and we had a beautiful cozy room to stay the night before the hunting day. She put towels so neatly like professional and we felt like being spoiled...

the moose horn on the right, it was real and proud collection from a hunt

The next morning we started at 8am. First we discussed the strategy in a barn near the house. Well, all discussions were done in Norwegian and we understood nothing. Bjarne and us were to wait at a spot where a chased moose would pass and then Bjarne can shoot. Norwegian can start studying for a license of hunting from the age of 15, of course they can be exposed to the sport earlier than that age. The area we hunted that day belonged to a neighbour. There were clear boundaries among neighbours. Anything hunted in other area belong to the other landowner. Therefore strategy is important also to chase the hunted animal into our area. If it is a male moose, which the hunters are more interested in, the shooter can have the horn and the heart. The rest of the body is shared by the team according to a system that we don't know.

It was raining, not a good weather for hunters because it was cold; but it was also good weather for hunting because it was noisy about the raindrops and hunters' scent was easily washed away instead of being detected by moose good at smelling. We waited in the rain, soaked and frozen, kept silent and not moving for 4 hours.

Then we heard something like a gunshot, or it sounded like two horns cracking together. Bjarne forgot to bring his radio. The team members always contacted each other by radio so to know what each other was doing. Therefore he did not know that actually a member has shot a red deer already. After he received a text message and we walked half an hour to the spot where the deer was shot, we saw some internal organs being extracted from the deer already. The organs were disposed in the wild for other animals and the deer was taken away.

It was the first catch of the team in this season starting from October. Although it was not moose but a deer, the hunter and the team were still very contented with it, and were motivated to hunt more the next day. Bjarne drove the small tractor to take the deer back to the car. Once we went back, we skinned the deer. It was really a red deer because the skin showed some redness. Although it was a bit gross to watch how they skinned the deer, it was our first time to see the whole process. Also for me, to imagine that we were going to have fresh deer meat was encouraging enough to get through seeing the bloody scene. However, it was supposed to hang for a week before eating. It is their way of treating the meat, quite different from our concept of eating fresh meat.

After the bloody scene we had a shower and waited for the good dinner by Kaia. It was the moose meat hunted a year ago. It was made a stew with home-made gravy, which had been cooked slowly for several hours on that day. It came with home-made berry jam and tomato salad. It was a good warm fulfilling dish. I finished up five servings.

After dinner we even had the dessert "mountain berry cream" made from the famous Norwegian mountain berries "Multer", which could only be picked instead of cultivated. It was served with thicken cream with sugar. When the guys of the family went back to sleep, we shared a few more good drink with Kaia, including champagne and wine. She was interested in the Chinese culture. We also knew more about how the hunting was monitored and controlled carefully. All seeing and hunting (no matter it was killed or not) must be recorded and sent back to the government. A sport like this seemed sustainable and continued giving fun. We went back to our bedroom and rested for the next day of hunting.

On the next day we were supposed to be doing the chasers, by working from a point to another point some the moose would walk to a place away from us to be shot. However, there was a sudden change of plan that we had to do the waiting again. Good that there was no more raining. As we had to drive back towards Bergen early, also we got news that a neighbor team shot a female moose that morning and they did not want it (because they wanted a male one with horn), we left the hunting area early to collect this moose.

When we went to a nearby village, Maria and I were surprised to see a huge animal being hanged by a trawler ready to be collected. It seemed to be a young adult female moose. With a lot of effort we took it back. After a light dinner which I cooked fried rice for Kaia (glad that she liked it), we drove back towards Bergen. We missed the great mom Kaia and her beautiful house.

We finally did not see a life moose. The hunting scene should be something like that.

In the middle we were dropped off to start a trip to see the famous spots in Norway: the Trolltunga and the Pulpit Rock.

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