A Reflection on the Past Year
A Guest Blog by: Daniel Vitalis
Another trip around the sun, this one my 38th — and what a year its been! This was the year I became a hunter-gatherer. Well, I was already a gatherer, but this year I became a hunter too.
As spring hit, and Maine’s brooks and streams opened, my good friend Arthur Haines introduced me to the subtle art of brook trout fishing, and I’ve been non-stop ever since. Soon I’d connected with some local Turkey hunters who initiated me into spring hunt, and I was able to successfully harvest two gobblers!
Soon the spring greens emerged, leaves and shoots of plants like dame’s rocket, ostrich fern and bracken fern fiddleheads, bitter cress, and wild leek. I was feeding my body and stocking my kitchen with the best wild food ingredients on earth — all from my local landscape.
As the fishing season progressed I continued to supplement my diet with both fresh water fish and those from the ocean, learning different techniques and angling disciplines. I was catching — and eating — brook trout, bass, and brown bullhead.
Next, in early summer, came the strawberries, pine pollen, and reishi mushroom harvest, all of which brought me out onto the landscape in my constant quest for rewilding. Mid-summer brought chartered deep-sea fishing for cod, pollock, haddock, and cusk. Late summer brought the annual bear hunt, and I harvested my first black bear, which I have been eating gratefully ever since.
Now, as the wild and feral fruit trees hang heavy with apples and the black cherry, I am sighting in my bow and preparing for the deer season. My birthday each year falls at the autumnal equinox, and I’m preparing to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. So much to share about what the future holds, and you can bet I will be talking all about it in the ReWild Yourself Podcast!
Thanks for all you do to support me and my work, SurThrival, Find A Spring, and the rewilding community! Your love and support makes this all possible for me… my dream of being a modern day hunter-gatherer. Some of you are walking this path with me, out in the wild lands of your enviroment, and some of you observe, living it - as closely as you can - from the urban environment. One thing is for certain, we are all in it together.
I am so enthusiastic and optimistic about what this next year holds for me! In the mean time, thank you for coming along on the journey!