Author Topic: Holy Shit!  (Read 1440 times)

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Offline BottleFed

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Holy Shit!
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2011, 01:33:30 PM »
From Tamarack Song:

I was out tracking a Bear yesterday with a visitor and I
asked if he'd like to see the most important winter survival food. Of course
he did, so we took a couple of steps into the bog and I showed him some nice
aged Waboos (Snowshoe Hare) scat. Deer and Moose are just about as good. The
Cree will boil up Caribou scat to stave off hunger. Scat can contain up to
60% intestinal flora, which is nourishing plant and animal life. Most
animals' digestive systems are inefficient, as with Bears, who pass 40% of
what they eat right through them undigested.

A few years back I did an article on the subject in Wilderness Way, and I'll
include the text here. Unfortunately, you don't get the pictures of the
gourmet fare.


One day last week I came home to find a few staff members
hanging out in the yard. I joined in the conversation, nonchalantly nibbling
on what I had in my shirt pocket.

"What's that you're eating?" asked Ben.

"Deerberries," I replied, "Would you like some?"

"Deerberries?" asked Ben, "I never heard of them."

"Here," I said, as I held a few out to him, "I've got plenty."

"Tamarack, you've got to be kidding--you're not really eating
those things..."

"Sure am, and they're delicious--taste like Grape Nuts."

It's hard for me to shock the others anymore, but Ben is so easy
that I couldn't resist. My underlying motive was to introduce the staff to
another survival skill, and I had just returned from the woods with some
"Deerberries" I gathered for testing. But first some background:

Natives of the Northcountry--the vast region of Canada, Alaska,
and the northern states--have some practices that might not be considered
pleasant dinner conversation. Tanning with urine and partying on fermented
seal oil are one thing, but the edible and medicinal uses of animal
excrement? Now that's quite another matter.

Take the practice of mixing scat with berries to make a
sustaining food. Don't turn the page yet--you'd actually find it quite
tasty. Rest assured: I'm not talking about any old pile of black, gooey
ca-ca, but a special type of aged dung, used for a very important

If you were lost in the Canadian wilds and cranberries were all
you could find to eat, it wouldn't be long before you'd try mixing anything
with them. You might have loved them with turkey last Thanksgiving, but now
they sting your teeth, burn your stomach, and come right out the other end.
Next to lemons, cranberries (pH 2.7) are the most acidic common fruit.

Winter herbivore scat to the rescue! Generally having a pH of
6.0 and higher, it acts as a mild buffer when mixed with acidic fruit. Being
nearly pure fiber, it gives needed bulk and acts as a binding agent. This
keeps the fruit in the stomach longer and slows its movement through the
small intestine, which allows for more nutrient absorption. And it cures

Only aged winter herbivore scat should be used. It is nearly
pure finely-ground fiber, leached of bile and other impurities, and the risk
of parasite infection is low. Here's what to do:

* Gather scat from high, dry, open locations, where it was able to
dehydrate rapidly and be cleansed by sun and rain.
* Choose old scat that is bleached, dry, and light in weight.
* Break several open to check for rot, mold, and worms. It should have
no odor.

(Text Box Insert) Scat in moist, shaded locations must be avoided, as it is
an ideal medium for the growth of potentially harmful microorganisms. (End

We have tested the winter scat of White-Tail Deer, Snowshoe
Hare, and Ruffed Grouse (see picture) for their pH, buffering, and
neutralizing properties, and have found them all to be effective, with Deer
outperforming the others by 10%. Field testing (yep, eating) confirmed the
lab results. The more finely ground the scat, the more effective it was.

Historically, Moose, Elk, Caribou, and Arctic Hare scat were
also used. I believe the scat of many other herbivores could work as well.

Now for the recipe. For most fruit a 50-50 mix works well,
whereas acidic fruit such as cranberries may need double or triple the
amount of scat. Increase your water intake, as scat will absorb a
considerable amount.

And by the way, I wasn't just teasing Ben about the flavor. The
next time you're starving and strung out on fruit, you can feast on the best
wilderness cereal substitute there is!

Warning: This information is intended for use in survival
situations only. Any other use could imperil your health. Consult local
health officials to determine potential risks.

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