Hunting and Trapping Tools and Technologies (Symposium)

Animals are core resources for cultures worldwide, and there is a huge variety of cultural and technological aspects that have been employed through the ages to harvest animals and the resources they provide. From theory to tools and techniques, primitive to modern, several of our instructors have specialized knowledge related to effectively and respectfully harvesting animals in different ecosystems and situations. This is a perennial favorite symposium that is sure to change how you understand ancient and modern use of animals.

Bushcraft

Wilderness Navigation and Weather Prediction - Bob Love


Bob will be sharing his techniques, tips, and rules-of-thumb gleaned from years of study and training. From analyzing spider webs to predicting the weather to finding ones way by the stars, there is something for every level of adventurer. Weather prediction will be a fireside evening presentation, while navigation will be a daytime regular session class. If you often visit the backcountry or travel off the path, this is one you won’t want to miss!

Introduction to Fiber and Cordage - Amy Schmidt


Amy will teach you the basics of making string, rope, and lashings from wild plant fibers including bark, plant stems, and leaves. Cordage is one of the fundamental skills of human technology, and string can be made quickly with no tools. Learn the basics with various fibers, from harvesting and preparing to making string and rope and thread, this is a skill you do not want to be without.. This is also a great introduction for those who want to do  more advanced fiber arts with Mike Miller at his twining and netting class.

Setting Up a Wilderness Camp - Ben Piersma


Ben is an expert at the tools and techniques of wilderness camping, and in this workshop you will work with him to set up a basic wilderness camp with accommodations like a raised bough bed, tarp shelter, and crane system for hanging pots and cooking. Nuances like camp site selection, fire maintenance, and other often neglected but important considerations will aslo be covered.

Traditional Resin Adhesives and “Dop” Hafting - Bob Berg


Bob is an expert at mixing and formulating natural adhesives. His mixture for use with “dop” hafting is an eye opener for those familiar with the “notch, glue, and bind” styles of hafting - allowing one to simply glob-glue a flint flake-blade to the side of a stick and use it as a drawknife or crooked knife. You will be amazed by these tool’s ability to remove wood rapidly and efficiently, with full-power durability.

Birch Bark Wigwam Rolls - Jijak Foundation and Gun Lake Tribe Staff


Join staff members from the Jijak Foundation and Gun Lake Pottawatomi Tribe to craft traditional birch bark roof panels used for covering wigwams. Wigwassi pekwewen are large flexible birch bark panels sewn together with spruce roots to form the overlapping “shingles” for covering a variety of traditional native homes and structures in the Great Lakes Region. These lightweight and waterproof panels are ingeniously designed to be rolled into tubes that are used for protecting and securing gear and belongings when traveling between seasonal villages and harvesting camps. This in depth, hands-on workshop will focus on interweaving Pottawatomi language, terminology, and oral history with the complete process of preparing and assembling the birch bark, spruce roots, and white cedar splits.

Cree Style Woven Rabbit Fur Blankets - Daisy Kostus


Made by preparing and weaving rabbit skin “yarn”, these intricate and unbelievably warm and soft blankets are a staple of traditional hunter-gatherer peoples of the north. Daisy will teach you how to properly skin the rabbit, process the fur into long strips, and weave these iconic and practical fur blankets. Of course, she also has some great rabbit recipes and traditional teachings relating to rabbits and all of the gifts they provide.

Crafting the Tumpline Burdenstrap - James Blake


The tumpline is a specially made strap that wraps around the forehead to help stabilize a load carried on the back. Practical and easy to use, they are also an functional historic art form. James will guide you through the process of making a beautiful tumpline using traditional tools and techniques including a combination of twining and fingerweaving with specific weaves and methods necessary to make the transitions and components of the strap.

Traditional Resin Adhesives and “Dop” Hafting - Bob Berg


Bob is an expert at mixing and formulating natural adhesives. His mixture for use with “dop” hafting is an eye opener for those familiar with the “notch, glue, and bind” styles of hafting - allowing one to simply glob-glue a flint flake-blade to the side of a stick and use it as a drawknife or crooked knife. You will be amazed by these tool’s ability to remove wood rapidly and efficiently, with full-power durability. BTW - That picture is a flint blade stuck to the side of stick (with a glob of pine-pitch-based adhesive) and being used as a crooked knife! This workshop will widen your perspective of the surprising possibilities available for hafting stone tools.

Brain Tanning Hides and Furs - Zac Fittipladi


Zac will conduct a three day continuing open format class that anyone can visit, learn, and assist at their leisure while he works. Brain-tanning is an ecologically responsible and traditional process of preparing, softening, and preserving animal skins that has been practiced by many cultures around the world, and Zac will be sharing invaluable tips and insights as he start-to-finish tans multiple deer skins, with plenty of hides for everyone to learn. This class is a great opportunity to learn the skill and will give you the confidence and knowledge to successfully tan hides at home.