Preserving the Harvest: Canning Venison with Timo Rova
There’s beauty in simplicity. For Timo Rova, simplicity comes in the form of canning venison with nothing more than a teaspoon of kosher salt and a crushed garlic clove. It also comes in the form of sharing his harvest with family and friends.
Most of us learn to forget about water—water as a wild thing, that is. Our water systems today are re-engineered in so many ways—by damming, diversion, channelizing, contamination, invasive species—that they barely resemble their natural state. We make do with what we can and recreate in ponds, streams and reservoirs. But the experience of water as a true wilderness is something so remote it has all but disappeared from our collective imagination.
“We’re just guys who hunt. I didn’t set out to be a spokesperson, and never in a million years could I have imagined the response being as big as it has been. We just hunt ducks, write raps and make videos. The DMs we get from young kids telling us we have inspired them to get into hunting—man, that is humbling. To me, hunting is about fellowship, and that’s something that you can’t buy off the shelf.”
Originally brought to the US by explorers in the sixteenth century, wild pigs have established themselves as a substantial presence in our ecosystems across the country. There have been tremendous efforts on both private and public land to trap and eradicate them due to their impact on farmers and grasslands. However, the geography of North America and our mixed opinions on management render their eradication nearly impossible.
For Timo, launching his canoe into the late November chop takes some of these same considerations. In both these scenarios, Timo considers the weather, the wind, and the surrounding topography—he thinks of the flora and fauna and what effect the conditions and season might have on them.
Freeze-dried meals and nutrition in the backcountry in general has come lightyears in the last few decades. However, I can’t say the same in the breakfast department. They always seem to be the same old thing – some variation of oatmeal or granola and often too sweet for my liking.
Archery antelope hunting is an opportunity rich environment that accelerates your skills for the upcoming seasons. Antelope have incredible eyesight, making it a challenging spot-and-stalk hunt due to the wide open spaces they call home. Oftentimes, you can glass and move in on multiple animals in a day and hunt from sunup to sundown. One serious variable to consider is the unrelenting heat. One stalk can take a full day and cover miles. Here are some tips from Steven Drake to help you stay hydrated and sharp this year.
What makes us human is longing, the innate desire to know, to experience, and to understand. We climb mountains because they are there. We cross rivers for no other reason than to know what is on the other side. We pursue game not just to feed our bodies, but to test and nourish our spirit. We wrestle with our own thoughts and desires because we endeavor to know ourselves, and in doing so better understand those around us. We make families and have children. We sing songs and tell stories. We make art and add to the tapestry of sentience every time we do.
Steven Drake has logged more time than most backpack hunting in remote mountain ranges and prairie. As we all know, the lessons and niche information we glean from experience is invaluable. Information on layering and camping gear is pretty simple to find – but those small, unpredictable items that are worth their weight in gold in your pack are typically discovered after a bad experience. Through hard-earned mistakes, Steven has dialed in a list of obscure gear that he carries in his pack on every hunt. Here’s his full list...
Mark Healey woke before dawn and broke camp in the Maui upcountry. Somewhere in the near distance was a herd of axis deer, widely considered to be among the most beautiful and best-eating venison on earth. They’d been feeding all night in the lower elevations and he knew that after daybreak they’d seek higher altitude to find cover.