Personalized Guiding and Instruction

 
registered Maine guide.jpg
 

The Delta Institute of Natural History is offering individualized instruction to better meet the needs of students. The focus remains on building relationships with the other-than-human persons we share this planet with and helping people recover health and sovereignty through learning place-based skills. Humans are apex predators with a tremendous ability to alter their environment (called niche construction). While all species do this to a degree, contemporary humans have over-developed this trait and are causing tremendous losses of natural areas to urbanization. Given that food is one of the most fundamental ways we interact with the planet, the goal here has always been to to assist students and clients with learning how to secure the items they need from their local ecosystems as a way to develop an understanding of the value of these places and foster appreciation for them. See below specific offerings.


Polygonatum biflorum flowers2.jpg
Quercus cf x schuettei fruits VT1.jpg

FORAGING AND WILDCRAFTING MEDICINE

Plants, the Standing People, are a vital part of our diet, offering humans much more than just vitamins and minerals.  They are the storehouses of chemistry (called phytochemicals) that provide protective molecules against chronic disease, including cancer. 

There is no doubt that our industrial food system is producing cultivated plants that do not offer the defensive qualities that were once present in the diets of our ancestors.  Many, independent studies produced in peer-reviewed journals document the decline of nutrition and healing power in our modern plant foods.  Wild plants, those species growing outside of cultivation, allow us to regain this deep nutrition and connect (intimately) with our local landscapes. 

Unfortunately, many who have grown up in an urbanized populace have not had the opportunity to learn how to identify, locate, and collect wild species for food.  Equally as important, this country’s education system does not teach methods of reciprocal conservation, where both parties are benefited by the interaction between the gatherer and gathered. 

If you are interested in connecting with wild plants in a truly sustainable manner and discovering the many ways they can benefit our health, here is an opportunity to work with and be mentored by a plant biologist with 30 years of experience on the northeastern landscape.  The lessons will come from one who has written multiple identification manuals for the region and produced teaching resources used by many thousands of people to deepen their relationship with plants.

Prices (which include a location to camp with potable, running water)

Day of private or semi-private instruction — $350.00

For each additional person beyond 2 — $100.00

(For remote teaching at offsite locations, mileage reimbursement may be requested, especially for distances of more than 50 miles)


blob
31507789_283147372223898_6322914797197197312_o.jpg

HUNTING

Recovering our food sovereignty and connecting with our landscapes involves taking life.  There is no simpler way to state this.    We have grown up in a society where we pay others to raise our food and do the killing for us.  This leaves us with little ability to function outside of an industrial food system—a system that creates nutrient-poor food from lives raised in unethical conditions.

To be fed from your land involves more than pulling a trigger.  It requires you to read the story of the tracks and understand (actually immerse yourself within) the ecological fabric of place.  It involves learning to conceal yourself from the species you are hunting.  Beyond target shooting, there are decisions to be made about appropriate weapon choice and non-toxic projectiles.  After the hunt, field dressing, butchering, preserving, and meal preparation are also important aspects of the story of local food that needs to be told and learned.

If you are new to hunting, or would like to engage in the conscientious pursuit of animals that sees these lives as more than merely targets, I encourage you to contact me.  My goal is to help you understand your place in the wild, as an apex predator capable of interpreting signs on the landscape, making ethical kills, and offering gratitude for the lives taken.  Prices include everything—there are no trophy or butchering fees.

Prices (which include instruction in marksmanship, tracking, concealment, and animal processing)

Day of Guided Hunting (small game) — $300.00

For more information (e.g., pricing for additional people, cooperative partners, organic meals, lodging, optional smoking and packaging of meat), feel free to call or write

Guided Turkey Hunt (up to three days) — $700.00

For more information (e.g., pricing for additional people, cooperative partners, organic meals, lodging, optional smoking and packaging of meat), feel free to call or write

Guided Deer Hunt (up to four days) — $1000.00

For more information (e.g., pricing for additional people, cooperative partners, organic meals, lodging, optional smoking and packaging of meat), feel free to call or write

Guided Bear Hunt (up to four days, over bait or with hounds) — contact to arrange pricing


wapomeqok 2019.jpg
northern pike subnine pounds Sabattus.jpg

FISHING

Maine offers a wide diversity of fish, from cold-water to warm-water species, shallow to deep water bodies, native and non-native species, river and lake, and open water to frozen surfaces. Given that there is also a large array of poles, lures, traps, hooks, weights, and other tackle, it can be daunting (to say the least) to learn how to target fish in a specific water at a given time of year. Personalized guiding offers a way to approach this huge topic and break it down into manageable segments. Whether you are new to fishing or a seasoned angler who wants to target an unfamiliar species, mentorship can help you learn efficiently and help you put wild-caught food on the table more quickly than trial and error experiences.

For those who are interested in food sovereignty, fishing is one of the most useful avenues to acquire wild animal foods. Unlike many mammals, which often have very specific and short seasons and may require additional permit fees, fishing is open most or all of the year (depending on where in the state one is located) and has relatively minor permit fees. Wild-caught fish represents one of the most nutrient dense foods we can acquire on our landscapes, and can be used in a wide array of dishes. In the realm of wild food, Maine fish feature prominently, and help us understand why water quality is important for everyone to consider.

Guiding for brook trout, lake trout, brown trout, lake whitefish, landlocked salmon, freshwater cusk, rainbow smelts, alewives, small-mouth bass, white perch, chain pickerel, and northern pike available. Remote trips to northern lakes or family-friendly local ponds, you choose the destination. Angling gear, including fly rods and ice fishing traps, can be provided. The goal is always to teach you how to replicate successful fishing techniques.

Prices (which include a location to camp with potable, running water)

Day of private instruction — $250.00

For each additional person — $100.00

For more information (e.g., cooperative partners, organic meals, lodging, optional smoking and packaging of fish), feel free to call or write


willow shoot baskets.jpg
turkey fletching and novaculite point.jpg

ANCESTRAL SKILLS

Primitive technologies, or perhaps better referred to as ancestral lifeways, are the collection of techniques, methods, and material items used by hunter-gatherers for living in their location through the seasons. These were place-based technologies, using the natural materials found and procured around them, which were fashioned into tools, containers, hunting weapons, cordage, clothing, shelters, and so on. While the term “primitive” carries a negative connotation today, these are, in certain cases, complex skill sets requiring years to understand, implement, and transfer to the next generation. Therefore, here primitive refers to the archetypal (i.e., the original form).

The advantages of these technologies are many, including that they allow true self-reliance, freedom from domestication (and any other forms of subjugation), and are truly sustainable practices when used in the context of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Wisdom. But more than this, they are part of each and every person on this planet, having been practiced by the ancestors of every living human. Our physical form has been shaped by the ancestral technologies that were employed prior to appearance of agriculture.

While contemporary humans have largely forgotten the very tools that allowed us to be successful in our natural environments, we are a species that is healthiest when we use our original skills, and our landscapes benefit as well.

Prices (which include a location to camp with potable, running water)

Day of private or semi-private instruction — $350.00

For each additional person beyond 2 — $100.00

Bow making (creation of finished hunting tool) — $650.00

(For remote teaching at offsite locations, mileage reimbursement may be requested, especially for distances of more than 50 miles).


26685269_243613559510613_5889885409002566779_o.jpg
37529696_330367897501845_1691791071048105984_n.jpg
25734161_237725013432801_8877048929129201349_o.jpg

Contact us and let us know what kind of guided experience you would like.