Surviving Alone in Alaska

JOHN MARTIN: Hi, my name’sJohn Martin. I’m the publisher ofVice Magazine. We had heard about thisguy appointed Heimo Korth. He lives in an area called theAlaska National Wildlife Refuge, ANWR for short. Heimo’s one of themost impressive parties I’ve ever met. He is almost totallyself-sufficient, and he’s one of those chaps that couldsurvive no matter what. Now here it is. Vice presents Heimo’sArctic Refuge.[ MUSIC PLAYS ON RADIO] VOICE ON RADIO: Four.Visibility one, zero. Patchy fog. Few vapours. at 5,000. 6,000, scattered. Temperature minus 2. Dew point minus 2. Anaktuvuk. Pass, gale zero, one, zero. At five, visibility oneand one-quarter. Ceiling 400 overcast. Temperature zero. HEIMO KORTH: Me and Edna are thelast ones left to actually live out here. The remain live in Fairbanks, and they just commute from Fairbanks out here, spenda month or two, and then they going to go. And this is the only NationalWildlife Refuge that has polar brings and moose and caribou. It’s got a lot of mediaattention because they want to drill for petroleum now. The vast majority of America’sagainst it. Eventually, they justwant to get parties out of the tract here.That’s why this let for usto be here is only good up until the death ofour last-place child. And then after that, that’s it. THOMAS MORTON: Hey, it’s Thomas. We are in the BrooksMountains. It’s in Alaska, a few hundredmiles north of Fairbanks and basically the restof civilization. We’re going to the hut ofHeimo Korth and his wife Edna. He’s been a trapper uphere for 30 years, carved out his own life. Lives wholly by his witswith a little assistance from the occasional thicket plane. Heimo Korth to come to Alaska whenhe was 19 to get as far away as possible fromhuman civilization. He matched his wife Edna whileliving in an Eskimo whaling village on St. Lawrence Islandin the Bering Sea.Eventually he convinced her tomove with him to the stern Alaskan interior, more than1 50 miles above the Arctic Circle and even farther fromthe nearest arteries, supermarket, or academies. Two of last beings allowed tolive in an area the size of South Carolina. Their nearest neighbour is about1 00 miles away, and the only chance of emergency medicalcare is by calling the Army for a helicopter ride. They’ve managed to raise afamily out here while dealing here with the fearsome environment, seclusion, piranhas, and the drowning death of theirfirstborn daughter. The Korths migrate annuallybetween three separate cabins. Revolving rooms keeps them fromdepleting the resources in any one spot and ensures thatthere should always be enough fur and meat availablefor them to make it through a winter.We’re going to invest a week withthem and meet what it’s like to live on America’slast frontier. KEN MICHAELS: Just look fora straight-shooting gravel bar, straight’s the key thing. Hopefully into the wind. Oh, there’s his cabin. THOMAS MORTON: Oh, yeah. KEN MICHAELS: Oh, there’shis tent. Landing should be still allright at this time. HEIMO KORTH: My name’s HeimoKorth and this is where we live in the northeasternpart of Alaska. It’s beautiful. Three degrees this morning. EDNA KORTH: My name is EdnaKorth and I’m glad you guys are here. THOMAS MORTON: Alreadybreaking in the paraphernalium. This is our lifeline. It’s about to brain backto Fairbanks. HEIMO KORTH: Me, and there aresix others in the refuge that were here prior to itbeing a refuge. It’s very commonly known asANWR, you are familiar with, it’s like abridged for Arctic NationalWildlife Refuge. So once it became a refuge, I guess well grandfathered in.[ DOG BARKING] THOMAS MORTON: God, bear consternation. Oh, look at all that meat. HEIMO KORTH: People come out andthey want to do this, and they don’t realize how it is. They recollect, oh, I can do it. I can do it. And then they come out, andpretty soon they realise, damn, it ain’t like this. And they build a nice place andthey spend two or three years, really to tough it out, merely to prove to themselves. I convey, for someone to trapthis far out like this? It made me years and yearsand years to get what we have here.Now we come over here. The reasonablenes we set up this tentis because if the room ever burns down, the tent is here. It has a wood stove, it has woodin there, it has cots in there, it has extra robes, extra sleeping bag– that would actuallysave your life. It’s very important. To be out this far withoutsomething extra to get into, you’re running a high risk. Put the disciplines in like that. Here’s the stock market, whichreally feigns you out here. OK. do you think youcan get it departing? THOMAS MORTON: I think so. HEIMO KORTH: OK. You’ll learn really quick. OK, close it up. Our youngest daughter and herhusband were sleeping in now when they came uphere last month. Our other daughter, their own children, “weve had” the grandkid up here. THOMAS MORTON: That’s great. EDNA KORTH: When we construct thehouse when the girls is insignificant, we applied moss and logs. THOMAS MORTON: Is there anythingelse between them? EDNA KORTH: No. Just moss.THOMAS MORTON: Justmoss and log? Wow. EDNA KORTH: Rhonda, she’s 24 and she’s working at the emergency room. Krin, she’s marriedand she’s 20. And she works at Sportsman’sWarehouse. She wants to go backto college. A week before you guyswere here, they only both here for 10 days. It was nice to have them outhere, but various kinds of multitude. THOMAS MORTON: Yeah. HEIMO KORTH: These are some ofthe caribou that we shoot. These are the headsfrom the caribou. And we eat the heads. When we’re going to eat them, wejust eye off the tusks and skin the honcho, and then we takethe eyeballs out and then we rib the rest of it. We eat the tongue, the cheeks, the cheek, mentality, everything. THOMAS MORTON: It’sgood eating. HEIMO KORTH: It is. It’s very good eating. THOMAS MORTON: What’sin the bag? HEIMO KORTH: Oh, a endure surface. THOMAS MORTON: Oh. HEIMO KORTH: A bear skin.This accept came into theyard to get the meat. THOMAS MORTON: How long ago? HEIMO KORTH: A two weeks ago. A week ago. I was just– I precisely walked over here, and allof a sudden, I look up and there’s a permit standingin front of me. Edna, I need my shotgun. And so with this much meataround, he’ll merely keep coming back, coming back here. It’s not good. So you gotta do somethingabout it. This is caribou meat, the rear leg.A good healthy sign that– if you kill an animal and it’sfat, the animal’s healthy. If it’s skin and bones, there’s something wrong with it. And this here’s part ofa moose neck here. Here’s a area of ribs. THOMAS MORTON: God, it’s huge. HEIMO KORTH: Yeah. THOMAS MORTON: These fishare all king salmon. And these are the ones in thesummertime I catch, and then we save these and use thesefor trapping bait. These are used primarily formartin, mink, lynx, wolf, wolverine, fox, weasel .[ DOG BARKS] HEIMO KORTH: Kenai, huh? She’s half huskyand half Akita. To alert us when there’sbear and nonsense. So the dog stays outside, because I don’t believe in a puppy coming in the house. I’m really against that. These rhythms are usedfor accumulating food. Craisins, pancake mix. And this mode, a bearcan’t get into it. We have an extra satellitephone, and it goes in there. And that is in case thecabin burns down. THOMAS MORTON: How long haveyou had this room? HEIMO KORTH: Oh, we builtthis one in 1984. And this pole here, thisis a tree that was here and it died. But I attached the satellitephone feeler to it. And then this other feeler, right straight up, that’s for the aircraft radio so Ican talk to airliners. THOMAS MORTON: And the saladdressing and the shoots? HEIMO KORTH: You know, the shotgun in case there’s a bear.There’s a rifle now forthe caribou, and this. 22 for carp. And the salad dressing and all, keep it cool out there. Damn, let me get my coat. I’m freezing. You guys ain’t freezing? THOMAS MORTON: I’mgetting there. HEIMO KORTH: I’m gettingthere now. I gotta get my coat. Hello, Edna. Oh, this is the antenna forthe radio, right here. In the centre of winter, jeez, we pick up Europe easy. London comes in real easy. Tokyo, all that.[ MIMICS ASIAN LANGUAGE] You know, China somewhere, I don’t know. They all come in. THOMAS MORTON: Are theseall your baits? HEIMO KORTH: All? There’s maybe 1/100 thof them right here. THOMAS MORTON: Whereare the rest? HEIMO KORTH: All over. THOMAS MORTON: Oh, oh, they’realready out and establish. HEIMO KORTH: Yeah, a lot of them. This is for marten andmink and muskrat. And this is a beaversnare here. We employed this under theice for beaver. And then here’s moresnares right here.THOMAS MORTON: John and John, they’re getting a shotgun. But I’m gonna say, if the dogsgo nuts, more likely or not it’s a moose or a caribou, but it could be a bear. How you guys doing? JOHN MCSHANE: Doing all right. THOMAS MORTON: Basically, they’re like our bear fright.[ SAWING] THOMAS MORTON: I’m stillwondering, when did you decide to go to Alaska? HEIMO KORTH: I was just lookingthrough those Outdoor Life publications. You know what them are? Them hunting stores? This is 1974, though, recollection you. You know what I mean? You know, I’ll write to huntingguides and see if they could use somebody. And he wrote back, and hesaid, yeah, he consumes packers to jam-pack meat. I was young, 19 then, and Isaid, yeah, I’ll go for it. So I did. THOMAS MORTON: How didyou get interested in the Arctic, though? Do you recollect? HEIMO KORTH: Oh, just wantedto go someplace where there wasn’t any people.And so the Arctic is oneof the few situates that there’s no people. THOMAS MORTON: Wheredid you pick up all your trapping knowledge? Did you have to learnthat when you got to Alaska, or did you– HEIMO KORTH: Down in Wisconsin, when I grew up. A mint of it was trialand error. THOMAS MORTON: Up here? HEIMO KORTH: Oh, yeah. Big time. THOMAS MORTON: Yeah? I just think it’s weird, that you like– you’re so social. HEIMO KORTH: That why wouldI live out here? THOMAS MORTON: Yeah, I reallyexpected you to be– through your teeth, you weregonna say, you are familiar with, one-word rebuts. HEIMO KORTH: Oh, yeah, get out of there. Don’t ask stupid questions. THOMAS MORTON: Doing it wrong. HEIMO KORTH: You know, just’cause you live out here doesn’t mean you haveto be like that. THOMAS MORTON: Yeah. HEIMO KORTH: The stomachneeds menu and the subconsciou needs beings. THOMAS MORTON: Yeah. HEIMO KORTH: I intend, peopleneed other beings. You only can’t say, I’m goingto be alone, you know? That’s not normal.THOMAS MORTON: In your firstcouple times, weren’t you going it alone, though? HEIMO KORTH: Oh, I was alone. I was simply now from Augustuntil the first of March. First of August to thefirst of March. THOMAS MORTON: That’s stilla very long time. HEIMO KORTH: I know it is. Oh, yeah. Tell me about it. When you’re alone, that’sa real long time. I would never do that again. There’s no way. I necessitate, that’s not normal. You know, I’m glad I gotkids and daughters. And you are familiar with, justhave category. That’s important. It’s very important. Let’s say if something happenedto Edna, that I was a widower, I– I– no. I wouldn’t do it alone. This one’s done. THOMAS MORTON: Yeah. All liberty, thank you. HEIMO KORTH: What? THOMAS MORTON: Was it my feet? EDNA KORTH: No, it’s his. HEIMO KORTH: What happened? I didn’t step on the carpet. HEIMO KORTH: Well, ofcourse it’s black. I’m stepping in themud right now. No is important that, it’s my fault.So I’ll just leave it at that. THOMAS MORTON: Do you ever thinkabout how long you can– HEIMO KORTH: Live out here? THOMAS MORTON: Yeah, you cankeep this lifestyle? HEIMO KORTH: Well, I hopeto die out here. How does that music? I only make love not because Iwant to be a survivalist. It’s just because it’sa way of life. Ooh. Aah. Burned my lip. THOMAS MORTON: There “theres going”. MALE SPEAKER: You ready? THOMAS MORTON: Shall we? THOMAS MORTON( WHISPERING ): It’s gone now. HEIMO KORTH( WHISPERING ): Yeah, it’s gone now. But I’m just listeningfor something dive across the water. That’s– you look acrossthe river, right where my sun is glowing? I shot– I shot the caribou over there. And the good pile is overthere, you view? And when I came out here justnow, I glanced over there and I ascertained a pair of eyeslooking at us.I don’t know what it was. Right there it is. See it over there? See it? See the eyes over there? OK , nothing talk. Let’s all go over thereand get water. And if that starts swimmingacross the river, then– tell me. THOMAS MORTON( WHISPERING ): OK. HEIMO KORTH( WHISPERING ): Kindaeerie feeling, ain’t it? You know, you look over thereand realize two grey attentions looking at us.THOMAS MORTON: We had a goodsummer camp vibe going by the end of light one, but themonster noses across the river served as a good remember thatwe had a lot more to fear out here than tightened bowelsand shitty cocoa. HEIMO KORTH: Who appreciated theeyes, besides me? THOMAS MORTON: I thinkI received them. I saw something. MALE SPEAKER: John? HEIMO KORTH: Here’s the gun.You might as well takeit, regardless. THOMAS MORTON: Being told tosleep with a loaded shotgun too didn’t help. It’s another dayin the Arctic. We got about two inchesof snow last-place night. This morning I wokeup to a gunshot.[ GUNSHOT] THOMAS MORTON: Thatwas evidently Heimo popping a squirrel. I just want to check on thetemperature before we go in. It’s 20 positions. I think it’s good to pointout how far down these thermometers vanish, and thatis to negative 80. But that shit hopefullyhappens months from now , not tomorrow. EDNA KORTH: There’s achair over there. HEIMO KORTH: Oatmeal? How’s oatmeal today? THOMAS MORTON: Oatmeal’sgreat.[ GUNSHOT] HEIMO KORTH: There “theres going”. The. 22 for grouse and that. THOMAS MORTON: Yeah. HEIMO KORTH: You know, if we are to be able have– THOMAS MORTON: Shootsome dinner. HEIMO KORTH: Yeah, there you go. There you go. Right on. EDNA KORTH: We dothis every year. This time of its first year, we gofishing, Arctic grayling, so we could eat them atthe wintertime. I extended fishing a lotwith my father. I’d hunt and bait with himbecause I was the oldest.JOHN MARTIN: Wheredid you grown up? EDNA KORTH: Savoonga, St. Lawrence Island. THOMAS MORTON: I represent, you’refollowing the same street you usually make? HEIMO KORTH: After living outhere for 35 years, you just– you just know. It’s just in you. A party just hasa sense in him. You just know whereyou’re going. Look at this. See these large-scale slivers likethat, and this, and that? This was cut down with a stoneax, prior to the white man coming here. Because there’s still stuffout here like that. THOMAS MORTON: When’d youfirst come to the bush? EDNA KORTH: In 1982 we gotto the lower compartment. Heimo has a little tinycabin that you could walk around like this. I believe that that myself, whatam I get into? And then, 2 days later, I told him, we gotta do something about the roof becauseI’m walking around. You hampered the line, flip it back, and then as you throw, “youre leaving” proceed of the line.THOMAS MORTON: Oh, did I– shoot. EDNA KORTH: What? THOMAS MORTON: I thinkI leant it in the tree.[ SIGH] Yeah. I’ve been having areal hard time. And then you got to rememberit’s this again, and again, and again, and again, times 50 to 100. Which is huge. It’s mind-boggling. HEIMO KORTH: Little smallerthan an Arctic grayling. Ooh, jeez. There “theres going”. Let me get a remain and– Look how somewhat then there. See the recognizes onthem like that? Yellow underneaththere like that? THOMAS MORTON: Yeah. Fuck, yeah. There “theres going”. Yeah. EDNA KORTH: All claim, you caught one. Yay. HEIMO KORTH: That’sa was wonderful. That’s a good-sized one, yeah.Shake it is very difficult to. THOMAS MORTON: Oh, and itjust comes right out. HEIMO KORTH: Yeah. THOMAS MORTON: OK. HEIMO KORTH: Just hold himlike– no, you’re going to hold him, in case you miss. I don’t want do myfingers smushed. Don’t pop your digits, but hit him hard. Hard. Hard, hard, hard-boiled. THOMAS MORTON: Oh, I was all right. I feel like I’ve– wait, that did it, right? HEIMO KORTH: Yeah. THOMAS MORTON: OK. HEIMO KORTH: There, view, we’vegot a stringer of fish. Supper tonight. Fry him up with riceand salad? How does that music? THOMAS MORTON: Soundsvery good right now. EDNA KORTH: Well, digin, you boys. HEIMO KORTH: Good fish? THOMAS MORTON: Oh, it’s great. Hats off. HEIMO KORTH: We’re goingto go hunt caribou. We’re gonna croak climb up to aridge and we’re going to look for caribou. And hopefully there’llbe caribou. And “when theres”, then we’reshoot a young man or else a lone cow. Then we’ll have somefresh meat. THOMAS MORTON: Oh, OK. We’re gonna– this is wherewe’re gonna hunt from? HEIMO KORTH: Yeah, thisis a little rock outcropping right here. We’ve got a good panorama. You meet all the trailsdown there? THOMAS MORTON: Yeah. HEIMO KORTH: You exactly keep aneye on the footpath, see if anything follows them. If they do, then we go afterthem, and that’s it. Then we’ll be at it. This is the my theoryabout humankind. THOMAS MORTON: Mmhm.HEIMO KORTH: Mankind was muchbetter off a nomadic hunter. Once he starts raising, civilization, it didn’t improve. It went downhill from there. I imply, when you look at humanbeings, how long they’ve been on Earth, there were far morehunters and gatherers than what they were farmers. We’re out to set some snowshoehare nooses. Tomorrow we’re going to checkthem and hopefully we’ll have a meal. They exerted the Earth’sresources too much.It drained– I want, crime increased, diseases increased. Life was too easy. THOMAS MORTON: Thisis the snare. HEIMO KORTH: Yeah. I various kinds of accused, like, Europe. I symbolize, because everybody inEurope was a nomadic hunter. Except I condemned the Romans forcoming there and trying to manufacture beings into farmers, just like them. There’s his moves underneaththe noose. You demand the snareright there. Like in France, the Gauls, they did that. And then in Britain, to him, they conquered them. And they were all time littletribes living off the estate, like hunting. Food was semi-reliable, so then you multiplied more, had more children. So then the more children, the more mouths to feed. People lived closer together, so in turn, infection came. See, I’d like it if youguys catch some, too. Because then when we eatit, you’ll feel better. It’s a good feeling. It’s better than going to thestore and buying some. That doesn’t give you the samefeeling, you know, if you go out and hunt it or something. And now, and now what happenedto the Roman civilization? THOMAS MORTON: They allgot conduct poisoning.HEIMO KORTH: Yeah, that’sright, they did. I intend, there is only X amountof resources on this Earth, and we’re have them up atan unbelievable rate. THOMAS MORTON: Whatabout drilling? HEIMO KORTH: Oh, I’m not– THOMAS MORTON: You aren’treally for that, right? HEIMO KORTH: No , not really. No, I’m not for that. THOMAS MORTON: If there was asmuch oil in there as there is in Saudi Arabia, wouldyou, would you think it was OK for–? HEIMO KORTH: If, yeah, butit isn’t like that. So it’s not evenclose to that. It ain’t there. It just ain’t there. So I convey, what are we gonna doin another 5,000 years, if we’re here? How much lubricant is there, ifthey’re going to be using petroleum? And then how many more peoplecan this Earth feed? That’s another issue. State opened the beaver seasonearly now, because there’s so many beaver and hardly anybody’strapping them.So we’re going to go trapus some beaver. I want, things get certainly, really bad in all regions of the world. Not time in one country, but the world over. It’s the suburbanitesand the urbanites that’s going to suffer. The rural people, they’regoing to have the menu. And they’re going to knowhow to get the food. Not just planting, but hunting. THOMAS MORTON: What’sthat tree for? Whoa. 747. HEIMO KORTH: It has to be. JOHN MARTIN: Do you likeseeing the planes? HEIMO KORTH: In someway, yeah. Because it’s– even though we got radio, it’sstill, it’s like, there are parties out there. You know what I represent? THOMAS MORTON: It’s nice tohave a little contact. HEIMO KORTH: Yeah. Like when 9/11 was there, youknow, remember they stopped all air traffic for a while? And there was no jets. Zero. Nothing. Almost felt kind oflonely, you are familiar with? THOMAS MORTON: Did you hearabout 9/11 on the radio? HEIMO KORTH: Well, Iheard on the radio.I was like, what? So you are familiar with, but I never haveseen actual footage of the flow making the fortress. THOMAS MORTON: No? HEIMO KORTH: I’ve neverseen that in “peoples lives”. Never. Because we were out here, there’s no TV. OK, first one. Now watch. You examine the bottom thereand everything? Just cause this down like this, and push it into the mud good. OK, that’s the first one. Now we put one more with a bunchof attaches like this. That’s it. It’s just so immense, huh? It just goes foreverand ever and ever. No streets , no footpaths, no beings , nothing. THOMAS MORTON: I don’t knowwhether that’s comforting or terrifying.HEIMO KORTH: It’s comfortingto me, but it depends the way you’re– everybody feels differentabout that, you are familiar with? I feel safe that path. I feel safe. Have you checked[ INAUDIBLE] elevation? Goroy Mountain? Let me have the binoculars. Let me look over thereon them mountains. THOMAS MORTON: Heimo simply read abunch of caribou coming down off the crest, so we’re going togo up on the tundra and try to head them off.This is the Korths’ last chanceto get some flesh. They’re well furnished. They could survive without it, but you know, it would be nice for them before the herdheads off, if they could take one more. HEIMO KORTH( WHISPERING ): Ifsomething scared them, yeah. If they ran intoa wolf or bear. Shit. Yeah, oh, yeah. Oh yes. Damn. Well, when they came out, they chipped that room. That’s– no caribou today yet. Maybe on the way home. Who knows? We’ll catch out. Simply retain trudging along. Something killed a calfcaribou here. Either wolf– wolverine–or bear. One of the two. THOMAS MORTON: Oh, yeah, look at all that fur. HEIMO KORTH: The bones, consider thepelvis bone, the back one? THOMAS MORTON: How longago, do you think? HEIMO KORTH: Oh, I don’t know. That was probably when we– when all them cariboucame through in the end of September. THOMAS MORTON: Ooh. Grisly.[ DOG BARKING] HEIMO KORTH: Letme get the saw. See all the eggs in there? Full of eggs.[ GENERATOR MOTOR] HEIMO KORTH: Oh, that’s outhere, east somewhere.I’m into movies somewhat, you are familiar with? I like the sci-fi movies, you know, like foreigners and trash like that. I like stuff like that. Transporter, Born in EastLA, Addams Family. Munich takes a long time. That’s like almost athree-hour movie. JOHN MARTIN: Predatoror whatever. THOMAS MORTON: That night afterlooking through pedigree photos on Edna’s gas-poweredlaptop– HEIMO KORTH: We’llwatch this one. THOMAS MORTON: Heimo treatedus to a special screening of Predator. The ambiguity of watching Major Alan”Dutch” Schaefer try to trap and kill Predator in thecompany of a hair trapper did not escape us. Nor did Heimo waste anyopportunity to point out when and how Schwarzenegger’s variousPredator traps were total bullshit. At this stage, it was very easyto forget that we were on the outermost edge of humancivilization and not only sprawled out on a friend’scouch, luxuriating in the feeling of a TBS staple. Apparently there is indeed beartracks near where the outhouse is.( Softly) What thefuck are they doing? The next morning, our feelingsof suburban safety and contentment were licked forgood by the discovery of bear ways near the cabin. JOHN MARTIN: Herethey come again. HEIMO KORTH: Good morning. THOMAS MORTON: Good morning? HEIMO KORTH: We’ll show you. JOHN MARTIN: See, you wentto find the tracks? HEIMO KORTH: Yeah. We’ll– we’ll have to show you. We gotta be disposed of him. Because otherwise he’s goingto hulk your tents and everything. HEIMO KORTH( WHISPERING ): He came to right there.That’s the way, yeah. Those paws are enormous. THOMAS MORTON: This is the timeof year that allows are putting on their last-place fewpounds before going into hibernation. And Heimo guaranteed us thatour nocturnal tourist would not only be returning soon butwould continue to do so until either it was dead or well. HEIMO KORTH: See where hescraped the anchor to cover the carcass? THOMAS MORTON( WHISPERING ): Where’s the carcass? HEIMO KORTH( WHISPERING ): Under all that. He treats it. THOMAS MORTON( WHISPERING ): He’s probably nearby? HEIMO KORTH: Mmhm. And guaranteed to attack us. If he comes behind us, I demand you to duck down like that, so–‘ make I’m going toshoot over you.[ WHISTLE] Hey, bear. Hey. JOHN MARTIN: Hey. HEIMO KORTH: Pretty spookyback there, huh? THOMAS MORTON: Yeah. Just with the carcass, and– so is he gobbling the otherbear carcass? HEIMO KORTH: Oh, yeah. They do that all the time. One bear’ll gobble anotherbear carcass. THOMAS MORTON: No mannersamongst bears.HEIMO KORTH: Well, remember heraked it all in and comprised the carcass like that? THOMAS MORTON: Oh, you gotto see the carcass. All our preposterous allow alarmjokes from earlier in the week were revisited, but thistime in deadly earnest. If we so much as needed to shit, we had to take a shotgun with us and establish thatwe were in clear shouting distance of someone else. JOHN MCSHANE: Apparently therewere bear tracks near where the outhouse is. I’ve been told to carrythis with me.EDNA KORTH: Don’tshoot this road. JOHN MCSHANE: Right. EDNA KORTH: If you seehim on that side, shoot at him that nature. JOHN MCSHANE: Right. And a killing shoot is where? Like head or the heart? EDNA KORTH: In the dresser. JOHN MCSHANE: Chest? EDNA KORTH: Yeah. JOHN MARTIN: Good luck. JOHN MCSHANE: Thanks. THOMAS MORTON: So we’re eatingmoose tacos tonight? EDNA KORTH: Yeah. THOMAS MORTON: Taco night. EDNA KORTH: Heimo’s favorite. Typically I’ll really have twotaco shells tonight, and there’s 10 or 12 in a box. He’ll snack the remain. THOMAS MORTON: Do yourdaughters feed a lot? EDNA KORTH: Yeah. THOMAS MORTON: Were you worriedwhen they were little about generating themup out here? EDNA KORTH: Oh , no. THOMAS MORTON: No? EDNA KORTH: Uh-uh. I taught them from sincethey were five. THOMAS MORTON: Heimo told methey went to boarding school for a couple times. EDNA KORTH: Yeah. Both of the girls did, because I think it’s time for them to move. I didn’t want– I told him I didn’t want toteach them anymore because I don’t want to do highschool again.There. We just opened it. It’s too hot. HEIMO KORTH: It’s too cold. The first taco I ever had, it’s like, I fell in love with it. Man, what have I been missingall these times? Oh, it was good. Ooh, I loved it. Any kind of Mexican food, I had to come to Alaska to have it first.Alaska. This year’s exceptionallyweird. It really is. This is the third timea neighbor come in. THOMAS MORTON: Ithink that is. There more of them? HEIMO KORTH: I think so. I think so. Until everything’s resolved, we’re going to have to stick close. THOMAS MORTON: What’llit definitely sounds like? HEIMO KORTH: The dog’ll tellus in a heartbeat.Me and Edna, and you and you, we’re gonna have to boogie out real quick and takecare of it. EDNA KORTH: I’ll bethe last party. HEIMO KORTH: You’re gonnabe right with us.’ Cause you and me’llbe in the lead. Peculiarly you. You’ll be– THOMAS MORTON: Heimo justheard the dog bark.[ DOG BARKING] THOMAS MORTON: We may, we mayhave gotten our tourist.[ DOG BARKING] HEIMO KORTH: Come on, is everything all right. This is serious. He’s there. EDNA KORTH: Somebody else– HEIMO KORTH: No, Ineed you, Mom. Let’s go. Come on, let’s go. Mommy, gun’s right here. Extra eggshells. Hey, John, in that boxup there, wooden container. Reach for some– pack of shotgun shells. There are five in there. OK? When we march up there, hushed. Nobody talk. We just have the dawn. EDNA KORTH: Ain’t forme, Mr. Korth. HEIMO KORTH: Don’t get upset. THOMAS MORTON: Itjust got dark.( WHISPERING) There is a carry.[ GUNSHOT][ GUNSHOT] THOMAS MORTON( WHISPERING ): Oh my divinity. This is–[ GUNSHOT][ GUNSHOT][ GUNSHOT][ GUNSHOT][ GUNSHOT] THOMAS MORTON( WHISPERING ): The bear’s realise some cruel fucking noise–[ GUNSHOT] THOMAS MORTON( WHISPERING ): Ohh, it is just like the bear’s moving.[ GUNSHOT][ GUNSHOT][ GUNSHOT][ GUNSHOT] THOMAS MORTON( WHISPERING ): How the fuck is it still alive? JOHN MCSHANE( WHISPERING ): I don’t know. HEIMO KORTH: It’s dead. EDNA KORTH: He’s dead. HEIMO KORTH: Hey, you guys– THOMAS MORTON: He’s dead? Can we come? JOHN MCSHANE: We’re good? THOMAS MORTON: We canshit in peace.The uh, the produce is dead. HEIMO KORTH: Imagine if yougot attacked by that. JOHN MARTIN: Fuck. THOMAS MORTON: Was he on allfours, or was he up high-pitched? HEIMO KORTH: He was all fours. THOMAS MORTON: OK. HEIMO KORTH: All fours, and then– THOMAS MORTON: That makesit harder to shoot him, doesn’t it? HEIMO KORTH: Once he was hit, hewas flattening around all over just like a pellet, andthat was even worse. THOMAS MORTON: That’sterrifying. HEIMO KORTH: To tryto shoot him. THOMAS MORTON( SHIVERING) Ayyyy, hey, hey. HEIMO KORTH: That couldtake a chunk out of you in a heartbeat. THOMAS MORTON: Yes.HEIMO KORTH: It was so darkthat we retained shooting and shooting and shooting. And I know I missed a bunchbecause I couldn’t see the produce in the sights of my handgun. The dog knew there was somethingamiss, and then I could sounds the bearback in there. And that’s when I ranin the house and came Edna and everybody. Come on, we gotta become. I couldn’t see the allow inthe perceptions of my gun. And as you accompanied, itwas a big bear. It was a really big bear. And he’s gone, and– HEIMO KORTH: And weprotected our– I want, us. And property. Otherwise he might havekilled the dog. So we lost a dog already. A make “re coming back” the ground and atethe dog alive, you know? And that was pretty sad. That’s, you know, that’slife in the Arctic. THOMAS MORTON: Yeah, Yeah. HEIMO KORTH: It’s justthe lane it leads. THOMAS MORTON: You guys’llbe sleeping good tonight. HEIMO KORTH( YAWNING ): Well, everybody. THOMAS MORTON: Yeah. Morning. I am really a little bituncertain which one.I’ve got– I’ve got no clue what dayof the week it is, either, I only recognise. HEIMO KORTH: Don’tfall on’ em. Lot of breeze froths, huh? THOMAS MORTON: Howare we glancing? HEIMO KORTH: Situationlooks quite stormy. THOMAS MORTON: Oh. HEIMO KORTH: Maybein the morning. We’ll just come here in themorning and see what’s there. Simply have to do that. THOMAS MORTON: Gotta start dealwith that give right now. It’s just, like, lying therein the middle of the course. We’re gonna have to scalp it, de-skull it, and got something with the flesh that doesn’tinvolve leaving it for another bear to come and try to eat. There’s the suffer. All dead bad guys? HEIMO KORTH( WHISPERING ): Oh, yeah. I wouldn’t want to foolwith a bear like this.Because you’d be indeep doo-doo. Stinks. Whew. His belly was full. So he smells pretty bad. One, two, three.[ WHOOSH OF AIR] Whew. THOMAS MORTON: Oh, ohh. Ho, ho. He– ho, ho.( GAGGING) Ho, oh, oh, huh, ho. Oh , no. Oh, god. Oh, that’s– oh. HEIMO KORTH: Awful, huh? You get a good whiffof that, huh? THOMAS MORTON: Oh, I are plenty. He mostly really depreciated. And that breeze. Oh my deity. HEIMO KORTH: Pretty rank, huh? THOMAS MORTON: That was–that was some, that was some rank air. That was– HEIMO KORTH: OK. THOMAS MORTON: That was worsethan anything I’m going to do on this journey. Is this gonna happenagain , now? HEIMO KORTH: Yeah, he’skind of, kind of rigor mortis in now. THOMAS MORTON: Ohh. Ohh. HEIMO KORTH: You reek? THOMAS MORTON: Yeah. Oh, oh. HEIMO KORTH: I could usesomebody else to help, extremely. You guys spread the arms, OK? Watch your fingers. I learned this from a huntingguy that I worked for.He taught me howto surface endures. Without him, I wouldn’tbe up now. He’s the one that offered me thejob, so I moved up here. OK. Now. Bend down hard, hard. Real hard.[ SNAPPING BONE] HEIMO KORTH: There you go, that’s what we needed. Now, put one across a duo of rubbergloves because you’re going to seizure the meat now. I represent, this is morethan one slug. And right here, look at that. You understand what I’m saying? Like I feel like a lot of peoplewould see this and only automatically is just like, thisguy must hate animals. HEIMO KORTH: No, I don’thate swine. Not in the least. Because I wishing to themhere all the time. I do. THOMAS MORTON: Well, youlive among them. HEIMO KORTH: Everybody, Everybody’s ancestors were hunters and trappers. Everybody. Hold that leg, grasp this one. You and me– you and me, Thomas, gather this one. You gotta elevator it up. It’s gonna be hard. One, two, three. There we go, there wego, there “theres going”. Just like this. OK. Tell you what. To save that clean, foldthat there like that.That’s good. There we go. Put your thumbs inthe snout and– no, really. Can you do it? THOMAS MORTON: Yeah. Oh, that feels kind of odd. HEIMO KORTH: Now, OK. Now. THOMAS MORTON: Oh, there’s the ears. There’s the eye defects. HEIMO KORTH: There “theres going”. THOMAS MORTON: There’sour countenance. HEIMO KORTH: I gottacut that skull off. The skull has to be broughtto the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. I mushed up the skull bad. Ooh. THOMAS MORTON: These are allshots that are gonna give me ordeals. HEIMO KORTH: It’s notso gory this highway, you know what I signify? OK, push it down like this. OK. There. One, two, three. Once we get on with the snowfall, it’ll be easier.THOMAS MORTON: It is easier. JOHN MCSHANE: Funeral processionfor a bear. HEIMO KORTH: To there. That’s good. OK. Well, let’s go check snares. THOMAS MORTON: When do you startgetting really busy with the capturing? Like when does that kick in? HEIMO KORTH: November. THOMAS MORTON: November? And how long does it last-place? HEIMO KORTH: Until March, I’ll be really busy, catching every day. Nothing? First one empty-headed. See it? Right down now. See the snare you positioned there? David’s is empty. Ooh. Too much fox and wolverinehanging around. THOMAS MORTON: So that’swhy we don’t have– HEIMO KORTH: That’s why thebunnies– you know, they either killed’ em, or else thebunnies taken away from to Timbuktu.Because they ain’t gonna standaround with all these wolverines and foxes around. Who adjusted this one? THOMAS MORTON: Um, perhaps me? HEIMO KORTH: You got a bunny. There’s part of dinner. THOMAS MORTON: Look at that. These things are really big. Wow. I snared my first bunny. HEIMO KORTH: Yeah. THOMAS MORTON: Oh, I’m sorryit was a struggle, but I’m happy we have food. HEIMO KORTH: Christ, recognize, thisguy, he caught a fish, and he got a bunny. THOMAS MORTON: Heimo got abunny, but it’s alive. How are– how are you going to dispatchthis bunny? Is that the– is that the final–? I got to admit, that wasa little bit rough.HEIMO KORTH: What’s up? What was? THOMAS MORTON: You know, it’skind of like, buying it at the supermarket, was the first timethat we just– we met it and it was, the deedhad already been done. HEIMO KORTH: And thistime I had to do it? THOMAS MORTON: And this time, you had to do it, yeah. So you have to– I’d have to get used to that. HEIMO KORTH: Well, Igrew up like that. THOMAS MORTON: Does it ever– does it ever change you? HEIMO KORTH: Bother me? THOMAS MORTON: Yeah. You ever feel bad for– you ever feel badfor the bunny? HEIMO KORTH: Well, it didn’t suffer.I mean– THOMAS MORTON: No more thanit would in the wildernes. HEIMO KORTH: Oh, god , no. THOMAS MORTON: I intend, Iorder rabbit on menus. Just because I don’t see ithappening doesn’t mean it’s not happening. And it’s probably happening alot worse than what the hell are you did. HEIMO KORTH: You’redarn title, it is. Hey, I’ll show you formerly. And then the nextone, you do, OK? THOMAS MORTON: Ido myself, OK.HEIMO KORTH: OK. Wet your hands a little bit. Right where this jointis, there, just– time in that seam neighborhood, pull it like this and the skin’ll pop. THOMAS MORTON: Wow. No knife trims. HEIMO KORTH: No pierce parts. Stick your paw right here, goright to the butthole area, and come up and around. You grab the whole tail part andeverything, the poop trough and all that, pullit like this. THOMAS MORTON: You know, therewasn’t a time when, like, all us animals hung out together. We treat them– HEIMO KORTH: All animalsare not parties. That’s a Disney world. I signify, people that say, my cat, or else my hound, that’s my kid, that’s my child– that’sa bunch of rubbish. It’s not even close. There. OK, time cut up , now. Cut up. Up. They can have theirdogs and babies, you know what I’m saying? I signify, that’s not goingto come close to another human being.You can’t rate an animalwith a human. That’s not right. There. Skinned and guttedyour first bunny. THOMAS MORTON: Yeah. HEIMO KORTH: You guys ready? Ready? Of we go into the wildblue yonder. THOMAS MORTON: Can youtell me where we’re walking to right now? HEIMO KORTH: Oh, we’re going togo up in the bank, by our daughter’s cross up there. The daughter we lostout here, we introduced blooms there every year. So that’s what we’re goingup there for now. THOMAS MORTON: Heimo and Edna’sdaughters, Krin and Rhonda, are thriven and livein Fairbanks now. Heimo and Edna, however, hadanother daughter mentioned Coleen before either ofthem was born. When Coleen was two, she and herparents were crossing the Coleen river in a canoe whenit tipped over and she was cleaned apart by the current. EDNA KORTH: We were floatingdown to the lower hovel. We had that sweeperon the bank. It tip us over. She drowned and floated. We couldn’t reach her in time. The only thing we acquired fromher was her little boot. We call it Goroy Mountain. We mentioned it afterour daughter. We used to call her, in Eskimo, little pigs that devour a lot, “theyre saying”, goroys. THOMAS MORTON: Did you try tohave this mound renamed? HEIMO KORTH: Yeah. You gotta go through acouple committees. The nation said that she didn’tdo anything significant. THOMAS MORTON: That’s awful. HEIMO KORTH: They said. EDNA KORTH: She would have been2 7, 28 times this year. HEIMO KORTH:[ ESKIMO] That’s the Eskimo wordfor “come.”[ ESKIMO] HEIMO KORTH: Say it, Mom.EDNA KORTH:[ ESKIMO] THOMAS MORTON: Sound a lotnicer when she says it. EDNA KORTH: I “ve told you”, you impel things yours. HEIMO KORTH: Oh, is everything all right. Well, this is something we weregoing to do whether you guys were here or not. We had to do it before thesnow got too deep. And it’s a beautifulday for it. HEIMO KORTH: I don’t know howto use one of these things. EDNA KORTH: Just press. HEIMO KORTH: Oh, there. HEIMO KORTH: You require this? Yeah. You want this? There, there “theres going”. She’s a real squeamish eater in thebeginning, but once she starts, she won’t stop. THOMAS MORTON: Does it bum youout that there aren’t a new generation of Heimos andEdnas to come out here? That once you guys are gone, there probably won’t be– in ANWR, there won’tbe another– another set of beings. HEIMO KORTH: Anotherfinal frontiersman? THOMAS MORTON: Yeah. HEIMO KORTH: I signify, the youthnowadays, very few are interested in the outdoors. And a lot of them don’t knowsurvival abilities, which is sad. Because they could run into asituation where they need that to save their life, you know? Because you never know what’sgoing to happen in life. THOMAS MORTON: Lastday of tent. We get little gifts from Edna. She made us– mine is a fox skin chain toggle, which I’m pretty excited about. Gonna miss this old cabin. All right, this is it. Supposed to be snow coming intonight, and the seasons are about to change in areally major way. It’s going to get a lotcolder than it’s been when we’ve been here. And hunting season’s going togive way to trapping season. Kinfolks like Heimo and Edna, andthe bush pilots out here, they’re some of the last peoplefrom whom you can learn this dying skill set. They ain’t supermen. They’re ordinary people wholearned how to do it and then went out and did it.I’m now capable of feasting offrabbit that I have caught. These are all, you know– these are all skillswe can rediscover. HEIMO KORTH: All freedom, guys. THOMAS MORTON: Bye. HEIMO KORTH: Take care. THOMAS MORTON: Havea good winter. HEIMO KORTH: Yeah, you too. THOMAS MORTON: We will. HEIMO KORTH: All claim, bye-bye. Me and Edna, we got our– whenwe go, you know, I told her if I going in, where to give me. I intend, if they findme out here.That’s the thing. If they find me. And then my ashes are goingto be way up in there. That’s where I required them. And then Edna said she wantsto be here, you are familiar with.

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