March 11, 2020
Podcast Show Notes: Ep. 14: Captain of the Hunt
Podcast Show Notes
Date: March 11 2020
Title: Captain of the Hunt
Guest(s): Marshall Lowen
Show Link: Watch YouTube Video Here or Listen to the Podcast Here.
Blog Link: You can find our Blog post for this Episode Here.
Brief Summary of Show:
Silvercore has several contest and giveaways running right now and here is a reminder to check out the Silvercore.ca website to learn more about the current Glock gear giveaway as well as the postal match which is free to all Silvercore members across Canada with prizes which include firearms, steel targets, accessories, courses and more. Full details on the Silvercore.ca website.
If you are enjoying the Silvercore Podcast, please do us a favour and consider subscribing, liking, commenting and leaving a review. Likewise, if there is content that you would like to see featured on a future Silvercore podcast, let us know. You can also check out the Silvercore Club Facebook page and join in the conversation.
Today I sit down with long time friend Marshall Lowen as he recounts growing up in rural Manitoba and his adventures and misadventures while hunting and trapping across Canada.
Marshall spent over 44 years serving his country as a member of the Canadian armed forces, he is a firearms instructor, hunter education instructor a proud member of Metis society and served as Vice President of the Vancouver Metis society for many years and now sits as an elder who has been bestowed with the honour and responsibility of being selected the Captain of the hunt.
If you have a story that would be of value to the Silvercore audience, or know someone who does, email us at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you!
Topics discussed in this episode:
- Intro [00:00:00 – 00:02:31]
- Marshall Lowen’s background [00:02:32 – 00:04:30]
- Hunting gophers, coyotes & rabbits [00:04:31 – 00:09:10]
- First deer hunt with a 303 Lee Enfield [00:09:11 – 00:14:33]
- Duck, grouse & prairie chicken hunting [00:14:34 – 00:17:34]
- Hunting deer [00:17:34 – 00:22:11]
- Military background, rights fought for & love of marksmanship [00:22:12 – 00:30:37]
- Is the hunt a sport & respect for the animal [00:30:37 – 00:35:59]
- Flint knapping & exploration [00:35:59 – 00:38:57]
- Vancouver Metis Community Association & captain of the hunt [00:38:58 – 00:42:04]
- Ethical killing of the animal [00:42:00 – 00:45:54]
- Eating squirrel [00:45:55 – 00:50:21]
- Parasitology & hunting rituals [00:50:21 – 00:56:32]
- Providing a good example to young hunters [00:56:33 – 01:00:22]
- Being prepared on hunts & learned life lessons [01:00:23 – 01:07:42]
- Harvest of 6 point elk [01:07:43 – 01:09:45]
- Making jewelry with animal bones and beaver teeth [01:09:45 – 01:15:12]
- Using beaver tail to cook [01:15:13 – 01:16:35]
- Invitation to dinner for coyote burgers [01:16:35 – 01:19:07]
- Dietary rules when eating animals & animal cleanliness [01:19:07 – 01:28:47]
- Butchering your own meat [01:28:47 – 01:32:35]
- Outro [01:32:36 – 00:01:]
Explore these Resources
In this episode, we mentioned the following resources which may be beneficial to you:
- Silvercore [00:00:10] [00:00:21] [00:00:24] [00:00:31] [00:00:43] [00:00:48] [00:00:55] [00:01:05] [00:01:09] [00:01:22] [00:01:26]
- Canadian Armed Forces [00:01:48]
- Vancouver Metis Community Association [00:01:58] [00:39:52] [00:40:55]
- Cooey [00:04:41] [00:21:47] [00:21:56] [00:26:59]
- Lee Enfield [00:09:44] [00:21:08] [00:21:54]
- Ithica [00:27:01]
- Bisley [00:31:44]
- Connaught [00:31:45]
- Flint knapping [00:36:37]
- Hudson’s Bay Museum [00:38:01] [00:38:03]
- Hank Shaw [00:49:30] [00:49:59]
- Sierra Nevada [00:49:37]
- Meat Eater, Steve Rinella [00:50:18]
- Soopolallie [01:13:53] [01:14:05] [01:14:51]
Follow our Host
- Instagram: @ Bader.Trav
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Travis Bader: [00:00:00] I’m Travis Bader and this is The Silvercore Podcast. Join me as I discuss matters related to hunting, fishing, and outdoor pursuits with the people in businesses that comprise of the community. If you’re a new to Silvercore, be sure to check out our website, www.Silvercore.ca where you can learn more about courses, services, and products.
[00:00:29] We offer as well as how you can join the Silvercore Club, which includes 10 million in North America wide liability insurance to ensure you are properly covered during your outdoor adventures.
[00:00:43] Silvercore has several contests and giveaways running right now, and here’s a reminder to check out the Silvercore.ca website to learn more about the current Glock gear giveaway, as well as the postal match, which is free to all Silvercore members across Canada with prizes, which include firearms, steel targets, accessories, courses, and more old details on the Silvercore.ca website.
[00:01:08] If you are enjoying The Silvercore Podcast, please do us a favour and consider subscribing, liking, commenting, and leaving a review. Likewise, if there’s content that you would like to see featured on a future Silvercore Podcast, let us know. You can also check out the Silvercore Club Facebook page and join in on the conversation.
[00:01:33] Today, I sit down with longtime friend Marshall Lowen as he recounts growing up in rural Manitoba and his adventures and misadventures while hunting and trapping across Canada. Marshall spent over 44 years serving his country as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces. He is a Firearms instructor, hunter education instructor, a proud member of the Metis Society, and served as vice president of the Vancouver Metis Society for many years, and now sits as an elder who has been bestowed with the honour and responsibility of being selected the captain of the hunt.
[00:02:09] All right, so I’m sitting down with Marshall Lowen. I’m on location, so if the audio sounds a little bit different, we’re not in the studio this time. My head is spinning right now with all of the information that we’ve already talked about over the last couple of hours, and hopefully we can condense some of this into the podcast for our listeners.
[00:02:29] Thank you, Marshall, for having me into your home.
Marshall Lowen: [00:02:31] My pleasure.
Travis Bader: [00:02:32] Let’s get a little bit of background on you. You grew up in Winnipeg, did you?
Marshall Lowen: [00:02:37] Yes. I was born at a very early age in Winnipeg. My father at the time was a fighter pilot overseas. So I was, spent the first four years of my life at my grandparents’ house surrounded by women.
[00:02:56] My mother, my aunts, my grandmother, probably quite spoiled as a child, but I was sort of invested with the idea that it was my duty to look after people and consequently a pretty happy childhood. We get into sort of, you know, what are your activities as a child? Well, I was drawn to the outdoors, which can be inhospitable sometimes in Winnipeg, particularly in the winter.
[00:03:33] But any chance I got to, it was my mum taking me and my grandfather to the parks, to the different places. Got an early fascination with animals, wild animals, and sort of watching them and being interested in what they do. As I got a bit older, my dad came back from overseas with some souvenirs.
Travis Bader: [00:04:02] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [00:04:03] He brought back several handguns and a couple of rifles, and I’d already been sort of training with starting with a cork gun, going to the BB gun, going to the air rifle, improving it in my pre-teens, one of the sources of income was going after the gophers in the fields.
Travis Bader: [00:04:31] Tell me about that.
Marshall Lowen: [00:04:32] It was something that kept me busy. I generally did it by myself and off I’d go with a Cooey single shot 22. Which was convenient in the back porch along with the tobacco can with a fair bit of ammunition in it. And the idea was to eliminate the gophers. So the idea with the gophers was eliminate them and there was profit in it because the municipality had a bounty on gopher, on gopher tails.
Travis Bader: [00:05:10] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:05:12] So we didn’t have to bring the gopher into the municipal hall, but we had to bring the tail. So, shoot the gophers, cut off the tails and then head into town to the city hall and a municipal hall. And there was a clerk there who had an interesting job. I guess it wasn’t his sole job, but he would count out the tails you had and you got 2 cents per tail.
Travis Bader: [00:05:41] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [00:05:42] There was a bit of profit there because I think a box of 22 shorts at that time was about 50 cents. So made a little bit of money, but I remember my friend coming in with me and we came to the sort of, I wonder what they do with those tails. You know.
Travis Bader: [00:06:02] Yeah.
Marshall Lowen: [00:06:03] And we thought about it for a while and we couldn’t think that there’d be actually any practical use for those tails. So what we did was thought about it and he said, you know, I bet you they throw them out. I bet you if we come back on Saturday and go through the garbage cans, we can find the tails. So we got up early on Saturday and headed down, of course the office was closed and went out the back and started rooting through the garbage bags.
Travis Bader: [00:06:34] Yeah.
Marshall Lowen: [00:06:36] And sure enough, there was a paper bag and came up with the great idea of recycling. So we ended up carrying on for quite a while, but of course, after awhile then they started to smell. My mother was concerned doing the laundry, what, w w what I had in my jeans so a lot of them got thrown out, but it was sort of an early case of recycling.
[00:07:06] The, they paid more for coyotes, but it was hard to recycle coyote because they snipped the ears off the skin. But,
Travis Bader: [00:07:14] Did you get paid by tail for coyote as well?
Marshall Lowen: [00:07:17] No. Just got, I think it was like $2 for a coyote. But as I say, you couldn’t take it back twice. So they give you the skin and they just cut the ear, tips of the ears off. So if you brought a skin in with the ears. They knew you’d already been paid for it.
Travis Bader: [00:07:35] They were getting wise.
Marshall Lowen: [00:07:36] Yeah. You know, the recycling in those days, you know, they, they think recycling is a new thing, but, you know, having a wood fire and you know, my grandfather worked for the railway from the time he was 15 and you know, the wax paper that the bread came in was used to wrap the sandwiches and put in the lunchbox and it came back and when it was no longer good for that, it was okay for starting the fires.
[00:08:07] So recycling wasn’t something that was new. It basically all the milk bottles were glass, so they all got recycled, they all went back and got washed and reused.
Travis Bader: [00:08:18] Yeah. So you started hunting and trapping at a pretty young age.
Marshall Lowen: [00:08:24] Yeah, we, besides the gophers, I used to set up snares for the rabbits. They were mostly, they were either cottontail or snowshoe hares.
Travis Bader: [00:08:34] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:08:34] And I’d getting into going to school in the particularly in wintertime. I’d set out, go out in the evening and set out the snares and the runways in the snow, and then on my way to school in the morning, collect the rabbits that had been snared.
[00:08:55] And then for a change of pace on the weekend, I take my 22 and go out and hunt rabbits and take some tin for aluminum foil and some salt and pepper and a practice making the shelter eat the rabbits.
Travis Bader: [00:09:11] Well how old were you when you’re doing that?
Marshall Lowen: [00:09:13] Anywhere at that time, probably 10 to 12 I think. Shot, my first deer at about 14.
Travis Bader: [00:09:22] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:09:23] Was a expedition where I had an older friend who was like 15. So he was able to drive.
Travis Bader: [00:09:32] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:09:33] I don’t think he had a license, but it didn’t matter because we’re basically in the country and he had a little Austin A40. I, just acquired a 303 Lee Enfield.
Travis Bader: [00:09:46] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:09:47] I’d headed down to Army and Navy. They had them on, I think for $12 or something like that, and down in the basement of Army and Navy was racks of these war surplus 303’s. I think I had like $15 with me, no taxes in those days on sales tax. And anyways, bought the rifle ammunition was full metal jacket. It was in boxes, you know, 5 cents a round.
Travis Bader: [00:10:18] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:10:19] You know, take that and the only thing the clerk was interested in is, did I have the money. Wrapped it up in paper, got on the street car, took it home.
Travis Bader: [00:10:30] And no one batted an eye of course.
Marshall Lowen: [00:10:33] No, I mean, it was natural. It was a case of, you know, obviously a person wanted a gun, they needed a gun. What was the problem? You know? So from there, we basically saw the excess wood off it and sporterized it as they call it today.
Travis Bader: [00:10:54] Right, yes.
Marshall Lowen: [00:10:56] And file the tip off the a full metal jacket and we drove out into the country and soon we came across a buck standing on the side of down in the ditch, one shot. Boom, he went down. Shit, we better get outta here. So we dragged the deer into the back seat of the Austin. Piled that in, climbed in on top of it and drove to a cabin that we had and decided, well, we better gut it.
Travis Bader: [00:11:32] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [00:11:33] So hung it up, the wrong way. We figured, well do you hang it up feed first or headfirst?
Travis Bader: [00:11:45] Right.
Marshall Lowen:[00:11:46] Said, I think you hang it up headfirst. So that was easy, put the rope around the antlers, hoist it up. Now what do we do? Well, I guess we cut it open. Yeah, but isn’t going to make a mess. Well get a wash tub. Get a wash tub and put it under it.
Travis Bader: [00:12:02] You’re doing this inside.
Marshall Lowen: [00:12:03] Yeah inside. We didn’t want anybody to see us.
Travis Bader: [00:12:05] Sure, sure.
Marshall Lowen: [00:12:06] So. Okay, so, what do you do? I guess you just cut the stomach open, wrong. Suddenly the guts all over the kitchen floor.
Travis Bader: [00:12:16] Whoops!
Marshall Lowen: [00:12:17] Most of it hit the area. What we hadn’t noticed was there’d been a fresh snow and when are we driven in the animal would be bleeding in the car and there is a blood trail all the way from where we shot it down to where we were.
[00:12:37] So the next thing, okay, we got this, now we got to get rid of the guts. So we’re by a Lake, so let’s drag this down, chop a hole in the ice and throw it in. So we did that, but the guts floated and then they froze. So everything was sort of fine for the next day.
[00:13:01] We managed to cut it up and of course it’s freezing outside, so we wrapped it all in brown paper and stacked it out by the woodpile and, everything was going fine and fired up the cookstove, got some coffee going, got some breakfast going and looked out the door and who’s coming up the path, but the game Warden.
Travis Bader: [00:13:33] Your hearts just pumping at this point.
Marshall Lowen: [00:13:34] Well yeah and, but we knew him, he’d gone to school with my mom. He was a good guy.
[00:13:41] So, came in and hi Bruce. No, I’m Marshall. Oh, what you’re doing? Oh, hunting. What are you hunting? Oh, rabbits. Oh yeah, hunting rabbits, okay. So he looked around, we’d sort of cleaned up inside. He said, geez, you must have really got a shitload of rabbits.
[00:14:06] We said, what do you mean? He says, well all the blood all over the place. He said, what’d you do with the rabbit guts? Throw them in the Lake.
Travis Bader: [00:14:17] Yeah.
Marshall Lowen: [00:14:18] Oh, okay. So he had coffee with us and he left and I saw him go out to his truck and then head down to the Lake, look in the Lake.
Travis Bader: [00:14:31] Yeah. He didn’t believe you for one second.
Marshall Lowen: [00:14:33] No. And then he just went up, got in his truck, drove away, and years later I ran across him. I’d been overseas, I came back and I went up to the Lake, stopped in the coffee shop, and Bruce was in there. And he said Oh, been away for awhile, I said, yeah, I’ve been overseas. So he said, yeah, I heard. He said what are you up to?
[00:15:02] And I said, well, I’m going to hunt ducks. He said, yeah, yeah he said, there’s a real pile of ducks out you know on that little Lake. He said, but you know what, what the limit is for ducks.I said yeah. He said, well you know, there’s a real low load of them out there if you get too many stopped, by the ranger station drop off your extras.
Travis Bader: [00:15:28] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [00:15:29] I said, I don’t want you to get further down the road and-
Travis Bader: [00:15:32] Get yourself in trouble.
Marshall Lowen: [00:15:34] Get yourself in trouble. So this sort of the arrangement that we had with the game warden and my dad and I, every Thanksgiving, my mom would make Thanksgiving dinner and my dad would go to hunt rough Grouse. But this one season for some strange reason, Grouse season was opened late, but Prairie chickens were open.
Travis Bader: [00:15:59] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:16:01] So my dad and I, well that’s what we usually do. We go out anyways, we went out and, good shoot, we could maybe five or six Grouse and we’re coming back along the line cut and who’s coming up? Bruce, game warden. Yeah, hi, how you guys doing? Not bad. So what you got there. My dad without skipping a beat said Prairie chickens.
Travis Bader: [00:16:32] Yeah.
Marshall Lowen: [00:16:33] Bruce said yeah, he said imagine finding Prairie chickens up here in the Bush. He said, yeah, pretty fortunate. Yeah okay Bruce, we’ll see ya.
Travis Bader: [00:16:43] Oh I love it.
Marshall Lowen: [00:16:44] Bruce, Bruce was there, there was a family that did a lot of poaching in our area.
Travis Bader: [00:16:49] Mkay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:16:50] And Bruce had the habit of every once in a while, particularly on a Sunday, going over to these people’s house to visit. And he was a friendly type of guy and everybody knew him. And it’d be, you know, maybe a month before deer season opened and there’d be a venison roast in the oven cooking. And Bruce would go in there and sit there for a couple of hours.
Travis Bader: [00:17:20] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:17:21] And just to let them know that he knew what they were doing and by the time he left that venison roast was going to be well over done.
Travis Bader: [00:17:32] Ahh Bruce sounds like a good guy.
Marshall Lowen: [00:17:34] Yeah, he was, he was a great guy. We would, you know, pull little tricks every once in a while. And I remember once, I’d gone out and one of my friends said, look, I can’t get out can you knock a deer down for me? Here’s my tag.
Travis Bader: [00:17:52] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:17:53] Okay. Anyways, I went out and knocked the deer down for my friend and put his tag on it and his, you know I had his license and then dragging it out to the road and who comes along but Bruce. So, Oh hi Marshall, Oh hi. Oh, hi Bruce. What you got there? Oh four point white tail. Yeah, nice, nice one. Let me take a look, I need to see your license and your tag.
[00:18:27] And the tag was like a box car tag that went through the leg. It was locked on. So he made sure that the tag was locked and looked at my license, sort of looked at me, smiled, and as he’s going away he said, okay, have a nice day, Harry but, there wasn’t blatant po, there wasn’t blatant poaching going on.
[00:18:54] You know, there was a little bit here and there it, you know, I would say in the long run, probably the amount of poaching that went on was probably equal to the number of road kills.
Travis Bader: [00:19:05] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [00:19:06] The last deer that my dad got before he passed away, he’d hunted all week and he hadn’t got a deer and he was going home. Deer jumped out of the ditch and he hit it with the car and finished it off with a tire iron.
Travis Bader: [00:19:28] Oh jeez.
Marshall Lowen: [00:19:29] And so I’ve got quite a few pictures going back of my dad was, you know, hunted, my uncles hunted, everybody hunted, and there was a case where, you know, I think once my grandmother, I went out as a youngster and I was quite excited because I shot two deer.
Travis Bader: [00:19:52] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:19:54] And quite excited, got back to my grandparents and grandma got a couple of deer. Why? Why did you shoot two deer? Well, because they were there.
Travis Bader: [00:20:08] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:20:08] I, she said we only need one deer.
Travis Bader: [00:20:12] Yeah.
Marshall Lowen: [00:20:13] You know, you only, you only need to take one, then you take two, that’s greedy. So the idea was you take what you need, you know, not what you want.
Travis Bader: [00:20:24] Good learning lesson.
Marshall Lowen: [00:20:25] And again, you know, in those days I think basically there was ice box instead of a refrigerator.
Travis Bader: [00:20:35] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:20:36] But the nice thing about Manitoba is it’s cold enough that all you need is a shed outside.
Travis Bader: [00:20:41] Yes.
Marshall Lowen: [00:20:41] And the deer froze. My dad would hang up quarters of deer and then he had like a meat saw and basically go out there and saw of a steak or saw off a roast while it was frozen. You just had to eat the deer before it thawed.
Travis Bader: [00:20:59] I love it.
Marshall Lowen: [00:20:59] But it was, you know, it was a different age and I look at it and I go back that most of my hunting was done with a Lee Enfield 303.
Travis Bader: [00:21:10] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:21:11] Which when you think of it, was originally a black powder cartridge.
Travis Bader: [00:21:16] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:21:17] And it’s still in use today and it’s still effective. I don’t know any commercial guns that are still made for it. As you go around the country, there’s still a lot of people that it was the first big game rifle.
Travis Bader: [00:21:31] That’s right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:21:32] There’s a lot to be said about it. It’s accurate, it’s available, it’s simple, and it’s safe.
Travis Bader: [00:21:38] Yeah, no you still, it’s still in use in a lot of remote communities, it’s a.
Marshall Lowen: [00:21:42] So basically, you know, I sort of grew up with a single shot Cooey, 12 gauge.
Travis Bader: [00:21:50] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:21:50] 303 Lee Enfield and basically the Cooey 22, sort of the Holy Trinity of the gun ownership.
Travis Bader: [00:22:00] It really is, isn’t it?
Marshall Lowen: [00:22:02] You had that you basically had everything you needed, you know?
Travis Bader: [00:22:05] Yeah. Go to any local gun show and you’re going to see them out there and in spades.
Marshall Lowen: [00:22:09] The only other thing you needed was a good knife and then no way.
Travis Bader: [00:22:12] Yes. So you spent some time in the military.
Marshall Lowen: [00:22:16] Yeah. The military coming, my dad during the second world war was a fighter pilot. One of my uncles a bomber pilot, one was in the Navy, one was in the army. All my uncles, basically we’re in the military during the second world war. In the first world war, one of my uncles was killed, great uncles was killed.
[00:22:42] The other suffered injuries and ended up with what was called shell shock in those days, which would be PTSD today, died quite early in life. And coming from a military background that can be traced back to 30 years war in the 16 hundreds and then actually before that.
Travis Bader: [00:23:05] Wow.
Marshall Lowen: [00:23:06] I’m probably, because mainly of my experiences, I’ll probably be the last one in my line that will be in the military, I think it sent shivers of.
Travis Bader: [00:23:20] Yes.
Marshall Lowen: [00:23:21] But you know, the way the world is going and the, you know, the attitude of people. We have freedoms which people fought and paid for, and people don’t give a second thought to them today. That the right to protest, for example.
Travis Bader: [00:23:39] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:23:41] Wasn’t, you know, given to them by a bunch of radicals, those given to them by what was won in Wars with countries that wanted to deprive us of all those rights. So, yeah, I, because of my love of shooting, I got into cadets and I’d been in army cadets, air cadets, sea cadets, and what I excelled at was marksmanship.
Travis Bader: [00:24:07] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:24:08] And, you know, as a young kid who could do something well and adults were impressed and you had the mentors who could take it through you, through it and available to go into competition, plus all the free shooting and free ammunition.
Travis Bader: [00:24:24] Can’t go wrong there.
Marshall Lowen: [00:24:24] Can’t go wrong, you know? And, and again, it’s, you know, a little bit, I sort of used to joke that at the time that it was one of the few lim-, you know, Olympic sports you could do lying down.
Travis Bader: [00:24:41] It’s true.
Marshall Lowen: [00:24:43] All the others, when I got into coaching, which is natural progression from you know, marksmanship, I always thought that, you know, it’s kind of interesting that people get hopped up. If you’re going into most of the sports, you basically get pumped up.
Travis Bader: [00:25:04] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:25:05] And the coaches there to pump up his people, get them all excited and shooting coach is exactly the opposite. You’ve got to calm them down, get them relaxed and know almost a type of meditation to be able to go through it. And probably my best successes in marksmanship is after I started coaching, I guess I started to follow what I was preaching
Travis Bader: [00:25:31] Right, right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:25:31] Myself.
Travis Bader: [00:25:32] Funny how that works.
Marshall Lowen: [00:25:33] Yeah. And you know, I was competing against people half my age.
Travis Bader: [00:25:40] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:25:41] You know, and it’s not necessarily a young man’s sport. Reaction time is faster for the younger, but as long as your health, that you don’t have tremors and you, because the whole thing with marksmanship is, you know, not supporting with muscles, but supporting with bone.
Travis Bader: [00:26:02] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:26:03] And basically muscular, muscular has nothing to do with marksmanship. Well, as long as you’ve got muscles in your fingers.
Travis Bader: [00:26:11] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [00:26:13] You can squeeze a trigger. I did quite well in rifle shooting. I wasn’t that good was shotgun because it’s two different techniques. So if I ever go for geese or ducks, it usually takes me a little while to come up to speed that I don’t have the marksmanship skills in shotgunning that I, I do.
[00:26:35] An interesting thing, my dad was better with a shotgun than a rifle, but he was air force and they trained with shotguns plus in a fighter plane, they’re doing a similar thing, where they’re using deflection.
Travis Bader: [00:26:48] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [00:26:49] So he was good at that. And when I first started hunting with my dad, when I’d be about five or six. I had the Cooey single shot, my dad had an Ithica. The deal was the Grouse was on the ground. I had to shoot the Grouse, but I had to shoot it in the head.
Travis Bader: [00:27:10] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:27:12] If it took off, then my dad would shoot it with a shotgun, but his ethics were he would not shoot a sitting bird.
Travis Bader: [00:27:19] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:27:21] So now, just a couple of hunting trips ago, I was shooting, I now shoot us mainly 308.
Travis Bader: [00:27:31] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:27:32] The boys had just knocked down a couple of deer and I was going back to the truck to get some rope and there were a couple of Grouse, so two shots, I shot their heads off.
Travis Bader: [00:27:47] Still got it.
Marshall Lowen: [00:27:48] The boys came back and I got out to the boys and they said, what were you doing? I said, well, I shot a couple of Grouse. What with 308? Don’t worry.
Travis Bader: [00:27:57] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:27:59] And the amazing thing is a lot of people would think that’s really difficult, but technically it’s not.
Travis Bader: [00:28:06] No.
Marshall Lowen: [00:28:07] And it can be done providing, they don’t duck their heads or whatever.
Travis Bader: [00:28:13] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [00:28:13] I guess part of it was honing the skills at a young age with, you know shoot the head off of Grouse.
Travis Bader: [00:28:20] Well thats it. Yeah, a lot of practice.
Marshall Lowen: [00:28:23] For fun at the range, for years, I would shoot pennies at a 50 yards a 100 yards.
Travis Bader: [00:28:31] Wow.
Marshall Lowen: [00:28:32] And recently, I was wondering about, are my rifles getting bad, or is my shooting getting bad? So went down to Reliable and they had some Weatherby rifles that are now guaranteed one minute of angle out of the box.
Travis Bader: [00:28:52] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:28:53] For people who don’t know, one minute of angle is one inch group at a hundred yards.
Travis Bader: [00:28:58] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:28:59] Two inch group at 200 yards, et cetera, et cetera. So I thought, well okay, here’s a rifle that’s guaranteed, and now I’ve got a benchmark. I can, if I can shoot this rifle and my other ones are wonky. But again, a good ritual of cleaning your rifle, making sure everything’s tight on it, following your proper procedures of trigger control, breath control, whatever.
[00:29:26] So what it’s boiled down to in the last, I can go back probably 20 years and every year I get my deer or elk and it’s a one shot.
Travis Bader: [00:29:41] Yeah.
Marshall Lowen: [00:29:42] And people say, well, don’t you miss? And I said, yeah, I either kill it or miss it, but I don’t wound it.
Travis Bader: [00:29:53] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:29:53] And part of the answer there is I, I miss, basically won’t take a lot of shots, I pass him up.
Travis Bader: [00:30:04] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:30:04] No you know, no that’s not clear shot. A lot of people just, you know, I had a hunter with me once who, Oh, I took a shot at an elk at 300 yards. Why? Well, I wanted to see if I could hit it.
Travis Bader: [00:30:21] Nope.
Marshall Lowen: [00:30:24] Not a good idea on this hunt.
Travis Bader: [00:30:25] Yeah, no, exactly.
Marshall Lowen: [00:30:27] That’s a, you only take shots you know you got a reasonable chance of making.
Travis Bader: [00:30:33] Yeah, well the animals not the place to be testing your marksmanship skills.
Marshall Lowen: [00:30:37] No, exactly. And you see, this is the problem where, you know, with a lot of people, the question has come up, particularly on some of the Metis hunts, and people have asked me, is hunting a sport? And my thought on it is, no it’s not a sport. I do traditional hunting and it’s something we do. But to me, a sport is a competition and there’s a a prize given out.
[00:31:10] And from the traditional hunting aspect, it’s something that we do as part of our culture. And it’s yes, there’s a bit of a competition, but you’re competing against yourself.
Travis Bader:[00:31:26] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:31:27] And as far as a sport, I don’t think the animal would consider it.
Travis Bader:[00:31:33] No, no.
Marshall Lowen: [00:31:35] That. So when we look at it, you know, it’s, yes, shooting is a sport. I go to the range, i, I’ve certainly been at Bisley, I’ve been at Connaught, I’ve been a different shooting competitions, and yes, you’re competing against other people. But to me, killing an animal isn’t a sport, no more than, you know, growing up I would have to kill a chicken.
Travis Bader: [00:32:02] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:32:03] If you’re going to have dinner on Sunday, I didn’t consider it a form of sport.
Travis Bader: [00:32:08] No, not at all.
Marshall Lowen: [00:32:08] It was something that had to be done, you know? You catch your fish, you bunk it on the head, you got it.
Travis Bader: [00:32:16] Yeah.
Marshall Lowen: [00:32:16] Is fishing a sport? I guess you could consider that if it was catch and release.
Travis Bader: [00:32:23] Right. I’ve never been a fan of catch, or at least myself.
Marshall Lowen: [00:32:26] Well not me either because the thing is I enjoy fishing.
Travis Bader: [00:32:32] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [00:32:33] But again, you know, people have said, you know, what’s a good hunt? What’s a good fishing trip? And people will say, Oh, if it’s successful or whether it’s, if you get game or you get fish. And the thing is that the areas that I’ve gone and areas I’ve seen in British Columbia and elsewhere in the world. You wouldn’t see unless you went out there to do that.
Travis Bader: [00:32:58] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:32:59] Just the experience with nature and again, with the idea of the traditional hunt where you’re providing food for the community, food for yourself and your family. And you’re utilizing a resource that’s there and it’s a renewable resource. So we go through rituals that acknowledge basically the sacrifice of the animal.
[00:33:28] The respect to the animal, and respect is something that is also from hygienic point. We are very careful, we don’t contaminate the animal. One of the things I tell people when we’re, when we’re hunting is that, you treat the animal with respect.
Travis Bader: [00:33:51] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:33:52] You treat the meat with respect.
Travis Bader: [00:33:53] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:33:53] You wouldn’t, you wouldn’t take a meal and throw it on the floor, drag it across the grass. You know, treat it with disrespect. So we have to treat the animal with respect, and you have to when, when the meat’s there, it has to be treated with respect.
Travis Bader: [00:34:12] And that makes sense, but go to your local butcher shop and take a look at the animals hanging there that are covered in mud and debris and.
Marshall Lowen: [00:34:21] Well, this is it and I, we, we butcher all our own meat. Sometimes my wife says, you know, why do you do all that work? And you know, I said, because I care.
Travis Bader: [00:34:33] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:34:34] And if I come across something when I’m butchering that I don’t like the looks of, then basically that gets discarded. But again, the hide, which a lot of people throw away, we use, that’s where the drums come from. Even the hooves, a lot of people throw away, the hooves are cleaned out and they’re used for different regalia with natives or with Metis.
Travis Bader: [00:35:05] Now, I don’t think for the purpose of this podcast that we’ve established your, your background within the Metis community, you were, and I can always put a preamble in the, in the, in the beginning. But so the listeners know you had a very prestigious designation as captain of the hunt.
Marshall Lowen: [00:35:26] Yeah. It’s, it’s a combination of a journey and growing up being drawn to the outdoors and not being overly shy, I would approach people, particularly up in the Winnipeg river area, the Northern Ontario, and ask them. So I had mentors who would show me how to skin a Beaver.
[00:35:59] They would show me how to, this is how this is done. How do you set a trap for muskrat so they don’t suffer. They drowned, they drowned in traps. You know, there’s a, there’s a humane way to kill an animal, and there’s inhumane ways. And proper trapping methods, generally it’s a quick and merciful kill. I would learn these skills and some of the skills that I learned and the history and the background, it got to the point that I would learn things like Flint napping.
Travis Bader: [00:36:38] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:36:39] So, you know, how do you, how was that done?
Travis Bader: [00:36:42] You’d use a horn would you? Or an antler?
Marshall Lowen: [00:36:44] Basically the antler, or, you know, a piece of Oak.
Travis Bader: [00:36:49] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:36:50] I learned things from the elders, how to find the former campsites along the Winnepeg river.
Travis Bader: [00:36:59] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:36:59] It’s funny because that’s being passed on to my older son, and it seems to be something in the genes, I don’t know. But I was able to collect arrowheads and.
Travis Bader: [00:37:13] Wow.
Marshall Lowen: [00:37:13] Different artifacts. I knew the bush. When we went out to the cabin Saturday morning, seven o’clock, I was gone.
Travis Bader: [00:37:23] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:37:24] Funnily enough, parents didn’t seem worried about where you were as long as you were back for dinner.
Travis Bader: [00:37:29] A little different.
Marshall Lowen: [00:37:30] And I would explore and I would go into areas and I’d find stuff like Petroglyphs and go ask the elders that I knew, and they were usually guys living in cabins in the bush who were trapping. And so I learned that it was something, then when I was about 12 years old, I met a woman, Barbara Johnston in Winnipeg, and she was the curator of the Hudson’s Bay museum.
Travis Bader: [00:38:03] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:38:03] And the Hudson Bay museum at that time was in the Hudson’s Bay building.
Travis Bader: [00:38:07] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:38:08] And what she did is she held a program every Saturday for kids exploring the native heritage and you know, what was going on. And she introduced me to a lot of the traditions, a lot of the things. And at the same time, there was another fellow in the Manitoba museum, Dick Sutton, who was very friendly to kids.
[00:38:37] And I learned an awful lot from him. So I started to basically associate with other Metis and lot of my friends, I’d spend time with them and learn the language, learned the rituals.
Travis Bader: [00:38:57] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:38:58] When we moved over to BC I got together with a couple of people who said, we need a Metis organization in Vancouver. And a lot of Metis organizations, they were all about exploiting people basically for money or government grants or da-da-da-da. Luckily, I got into a group that was more interested in social issues.
Travis Bader: [00:39:31] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:39:32] And the question came up as to whether or not we were going to be political activists or social activists. So we decided to hell with the politics end of it.
Travis Bader: [00:39:48] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [00:39:48] That’s work with it. And we formed the Vancouver Metis Community Association. Now, a lot of people don’t understand that Aboriginal rights are not individual rights. They’re community rights.
Travis Bader: [00:40:07] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:40:08] And a person gets those rights by being a member of a community. So it has to be a person that has to be active in that community to get into it.
Travis Bader: [00:40:20] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:40:21] So at that time, the, I met a fellow Dan leFrance, who had been in, or was it that time, the provincial captain of the hunt. Which is a traditional role within the Metis community that any organized hunt has a captain and they’re in charge.
Travis Bader: [00:40:45] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:40:45] But it’s not an appointed position, it’s elected by the hunters.
Travis Bader: [00:40:50] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:40:51] So I became vice president of Vancouver Metis Community Association and captain of the hunt. What that meant was organizing the hunts, setting the rules for the hunt, conducting the hunts and distributing, you know, meat to the people in the community who couldn’t hunt.
[00:41:16] Not wouldn’t hunt, but couldn’t. I would get people who’d say, ah, I hear you guys are getting free meat. You know like, Hey, well why don’t you knock one down and drop it over at my place. And I said, well, do you think you can get off the coach and quit watching TV long enough? Yeah, I’ll knock an animal down for you.
[00:41:37] And then you can come up to the Kootenays and you can gut at it and drag it out to the truck and transport it back home and butcher it and-
Travis Bader: [00:41:45] Good for you.
Marshall Lowen: [00:41:45] Oh no, no, I don’t want, I just want the meat.
Travis Bader: [00:41:48] Doesn’t work that way.
Marshall Lowen: [00:41:50] No. You have to participate. And again, the lot of single mothers, elderly people, and you know, the, the whole thing is it’s a meat hunt.
Travis Bader: [00:42:04] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:42:05] And you know, as I explained to one of our young hunters, she said, Oh, well, you know, I don’t know if I can shoot an animal. I said, well, standing up it’s an animal, lying down it’s meat. You know, I said, you know just do it, you know, quickly and properly, and you know.
[00:42:26] And again, having friends who are in the butchering trade and you look at animals that are typically abused in transport, pork, beef, where they’re transported, and you know, people say, well, I think myself, if I had to go, I wouldn’t mind being shot.
[00:42:50] I’d like to be in a field thinking about something else, and then boom, I’m gone. You chase an animal, you stress an animal and all those hormones, all the adrenaline, all those hormones are pumped through the system. And butchers have told me about meat, particularly pork that’s inedible because the animals undergone tremendous stress before it was killed.
[00:43:21] And, you know, being starved, being transported, being moved from place to place. And I think, again, I look at quality of meat. I would rather take a younger animal, a yearling if I can. You know? And as far as ethics, it’s not that we’re out there slaughtering animals and, you know, blood lust. And the thing is that, with the prayers that are done afterwards, when you kill an animal. You basically do a prayer show, respect to the animal. And, we also, you know, use of either tobacco or sweet grass as a sacrament. And you know, make a significant gesture of what you’ve done, that it’s not just a casual stomping on an ant on a sidewalk and walking away, then you’ve basically extinguished the life.
[00:44:28] And one of the things in the rules of the hunt is we look at the sanctity of life and the permanence of death. And if you look at your steaks the same way.
Travis Bader: [00:44:41] Most people don’t.
Marshall Lowen: [00:44:42] No, it’s, it’s just, you know, so I think if you look at it and you realize where meat comes from, that it doesn’t, it’s not manufactured in the back of Save On in plastic packages. That, you know, it actually came from the living thing.
Travis Bader: [00:45:00] You’re mentioning earlier, before we started recording that you’ve got three rules that you pass on to the younger hunters.
Marshall Lowen: [00:45:07] Yeah. Well, a couple of things there. We, one of the things that we look at is that life is a precious thing and you don’t kill things needlessly. So I remember with one one young fellow, Hey, can I shoot that bird? Can I shoot that bird?
[00:45:26] Well why do you want to shoot the bird? I just want to shoot the bird. You going to eat it? No, no, no, I just want to kill it. Hey, three things. You can kill it if it’s going to eat you, you can kill it if you’re going to eat it and you can kill it if it’s out of balance and it’s causing a problem in basically in the environment. Otherwise, leave it alone.
Travis Bader: [00:45:54] Yeah. Good rules.
Marshall Lowen: [00:45:55] Okay, so we’re on one hunt and my friend, young daughter and son, I think his daughter was six and then the son was eight and we’d set up a little shooting range beside the, by the camp. And they were there shooting at tin cans. Don’t shoot at bottles, they break, tin cans, yeah they’re okay. Even more fun if they’ve got pop in them.
Travis Bader:[00:46:25] Sure, yeah yeah.
Marshall Lowen: [00:46:26] On a hot day. Anyways, a young girl came to me and she said, can we shoot those bloody squirrels? I said, well, why? Why do you want to shoot the squirrels? Well, they keep bothering us. So I sat down and I said, here’s the deal, you know.
Travis Bader: [00:46:48] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:46:49] Are they going to eat you, are you going to eat them or are they out of balance and what not? I said, got it? Yeah, no, I understand. So bout an hour later she, they came back with two ice cream pails full of dead squirrels.
Travis Bader: [00:47:08] There’s dinner.
Marshall Lowen: [00:47:09] So I said, what’s going on? He said, how do you clean a squirrel? And I said, well, you know how to clean a deer. Yeah. I said, well, it’s just a smaller package. Oh, okay.
[00:47:21] So they got busy with their knives and they gutted it cleaned the squirrels, skinned them. And they said, so I said, you’re gonna eat the squirrels? Oh yeah, that’s why we killed them. Okay. So that time we had elk hanging up and deer and my buddy and I were at the frying pan and the tepee and fire going and we’re cooking some tenderloin and onions and all that.
[00:47:49] That kids were busy. Little girl came to me and she said, do we have any toothpicks? I said, you know, there’s a whole forest of them out there. Oh yeah, that’s right, and off she ran. Came running back, so they had sticks with squirrels on them.
Travis Bader: [00:48:07] Yeah.
Marshall Lowen: [00:48:09] So I said, do you guys want some elk tenderloin? No, we’ve got squirrel tenderloin.
Travis Bader: [00:48:16] Proudest punch, I’m sure.
Marshall Lowen: [00:48:17] And they’d taken the tenderloins out of the squirrels and they’re like, as big as your little finger, and they’d done exactly that, what they, they, they all knew what to do with a deer.
Travis Bader: [00:48:29] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:48:30] So I said okay. So the next question came out, okay, we’re going to cook the squirrels on the stick, how do we know when they’re done? I said that’s a very good question. I said, she said, because, you know, I said, when you can pull the meat off, they’re done.
[00:48:49] Oh, okay. Got any barbecue sauce? Yeah, here’s the barbecue sauce. So they sat there eating squirrels.
Travis Bader: [00:48:56] I love it.
Marshall Lowen: [00:48:57] But again, the thing was nothing goes to waste.
Travis Bader: [00:49:03] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:49:04] And Oh, and then they wanted to know, could they eat the squirrels livers? And I said, no, I think we’ll draw the line there.
Travis Bader: [00:49:12] See I’ve never had squirrel liver.
Marshall Lowen: [00:49:14] I said, you know, you never know what the little devils have been eating. And I said, I’m not familiar with any known recipe for squirrel liver.
Travis Bader: [00:49:26] Yeah. No, me neither. There’s a chef in the States, his name’s Hank Shaw, he’s written-
Marshall Lowen: [00:49:30] Oh yeah, I’m familiar with him.
Travis Bader: [00:49:32] A number of books.
Marshall Lowen: [00:49:33] Yeah.
Travis Bader: [00:49:33] So, we had the pleasure of doing some foraging with them in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the topic of squirrels came up. And of course, I’ve eating squirrels that haven’t had squirrel in years. But when I was a teenager, I would go and hunt squirrels and preteens and of course had to cook up everything we ate.
[00:49:53] And, but he was mentioning that a very small percentage. And I went and I researched it afterwards. And sure enough, Hank definitely knows what he’s talking about. Very small percentage of squirrels will carry the Bubonic Plague.
[00:50:06] And that’s, that little tidbit of information was enough to just turn me off the idea of squirrels, although I do see them coming back and popularity. I know Meat Eater, Steve Rinella talks about squirrel all the time, but.
Marshall Lowen: [00:50:21] Well, there’s the dark side. I took a course in parasitology.
Travis Bader: [00:50:27] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:50:28] Now what happens is domestic animals, sheep, cattle, they get dewormed.
Travis Bader: [00:50:35] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:50:36] They go through, you know the, what they call it, the baths, and get rid of ticks and stuff like that. And so consequently, the average white tail deer has 10 different parasites in it.
Travis Bader: [00:50:53] In it?
Marshall Lowen: [00:50:54] In it and on it.
Travis Bader: [00:50:56] Right okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:50:57] And there’s everything from nose worms, brain worms, lung worms. Then there’s the whole set of intestinal worms.
Travis Bader: [00:51:08] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:51:08] And then there’s a leg worms. Generally in an animal, and most of the meat and even the urine is sterile. Any contamination of the meat comes from outside, this is why we’re careful. We don’t cut the gut back or intestines.
Travis Bader: [00:51:30] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:51:31] That’s where the majority of the bacteria, that’s where the e-coli, the listeria, all the bad stuff is. So that’s why we very chorus or cautious about it. So we minimize that. But most people who shoot, and basically do Deer. In England, there’s a great series called best practices.
Travis Bader: [00:51:56] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:51:56] And it’s available online and in England, because game is owned by the land owner. People can shoot animals and sell them on the open market.
Travis Bader: [00:52:10] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:52:10] So when you go to markets in England, you can see pheasants, rabbits, and small deer and even the supermarkets will be selling venison. So what happens is, in best practices, it shows how to examine an animal for, call it flaws or contamination. And it’s something that isn’t taught here.
Travis Bader: [00:52:39] No, it isn’t.
Marshall Lowen: [00:52:41] And when we were up in the Kootenays, when you’re, get a white tail deer and you knock it down, you’ll see little insects on it. And the insects are, they look like a tick.
Travis Bader: [00:52:56] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:52:57] But they’re not.
Travis Bader: [00:52:58] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:52:59] Okay. And this is where a little education comes in. A tick has eight legs.
Travis Bader: [00:53:03] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:53:03] It’s a member of the arachnid spider family. These have six legs. So there are bug, they’re an insect. And what they are, is there a fly that flies on to the deer, chews its wings off and then crawls around on it sucking blood.
Travis Bader: [00:53:22] Interesting.
Marshall Lowen: [00:53:23] And you’ll see them and they move a lot faster than a tick.
Travis Bader: [00:53:26] Yeah.
Marshall Lowen: [00:53:27] What’ll happen is they don’t cause disease. But again, you know, people look at and they go, it’s ticks.
Travis Bader: [00:53:37] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [00:53:37] No, ticks won’t be running. You know, there’ll be attached or crawling very slowly. So knowing this other stuff, and this is where, you know I sometimes find fault with our system where you can get a firearms license and you can get a hunting license without ever firing a shot.
Travis Bader: [00:54:00] Yeah.
Marshall Lowen: [00:54:01] And in Germany it could take you five years to get your hunting license, and you’re going to have to prove your marksmanship, and you’re going to have to know all about dogs, their diseases. And to go further, you’ve got to know hunting songs and the melodies and the procedures. They do a similar one over there, of the last meal.
Travis Bader: [00:54:27] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:54:28] Where it’s very similar to basically the Aboriginal, where they’ll put a twig in the mouth and they’ll signify, you know, that they’ve taken the life of the animal and show that respect. And that’s missing, basically in a lot of our hunting here.
Travis Bader: [00:54:46] Yeah. It really is.
Marshall Lowen: [00:54:46] You know, I think when you do something as significant as take an animals life, I think you should, you know, make a point of looking at it from a solemn point.
Travis Bader: [00:55:00] Well, that tradition that you practice is also passed down.
Marshall Lowen: [00:55:03] Yeah.
Travis Bader: [00:55:03] I mean, you could have that, you could have that in your head. It could be a solemn experience for you, but anybody else watching that might not share that same experience by actually enacting through the tradition. In going through it, you are ensuring that it’s going to be passed on to other generations.
Marshall Lowen: [00:55:20] We, we were on a hunt and I had a young boy with me, the son of one of the hunters, and he was very intrigued with our rituals of what we’re doing. And it was an anterless season and I knocked down a doe.
Travis Bader: [00:55:34] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [00:55:35] So I was teaching them the ritual. So the animal was down and I didn’t have any tobacco with me, it was in the truck. So he’s there and I said, you can always adapt. So I said, get a branch off of that spruce. So we got it, we put it in the animal’s mouth as the last meal.
[00:56:02] And then I did the prayer where I thank you brother dear for giving up your life for our sustenance. I thank the dear nation for giving up its member and we wish prosperity and whatnot. Anyways, little kid nudges me and says it’s a she, not a he. I said I don’t think it’ll make a difference.
Travis Bader: [00:56:30] Ahh got to love it.
Marshall Lowen: [00:56:33] But the kids will, like I said, follow what you do. If you do the wrong thing, they’ll imitate you. If you do the right thing, they’ll imitate you. So if you show them the right thing, and this is something with, with young hunters, this young boy had been hunting with us for, oh I guess since he was about five or six. And a first time he came out with us, he was just our watcher in the truck.
[00:57:08] Then he progressed to, we gave him a rifle with no bolt in it.
Travis Bader: [00:57:12] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [00:57:13] And all the time we were correcting watch where it’s pointed, keep your finger off the trigger. Now it didn’t matter because he couldn’t do anything, but we were teaching a procedure.
Travis Bader: [00:57:22] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [00:57:23] And he was very careful, diligent about, yeah okay he pointed in the wrong direction. But I always remember he was with us on a hunt and we were hunting for elk, and the funny part up in the Kootenays. You’ll see white tail deer in the vicinity of the elk, but you won’t see mule deer for some reason.
[00:57:50] And we maybe the mulies and the elk don’t get along, but the white tail seem to be integrated with them. So we’re driving along this bush road, it’s sort of an open area and slowing down, and there’s a bunch of white tail.
[00:58:08] So little guy says what are you looking for? What are you looking for? What is it? What is it? A white tail. Oh. So we get out and stalking up to see if there’s a good buck there. And he said, what are we looking for? I said, white tail. What, what, what about the elk? I said, there’s no elk. There’s white tail. So you don’t care about the elk?
[00:58:37] No, I don’t care about the elk. And then I looked down and I realized that he’s about three feet shorter than I am. So I put my head down to his level and they’re behind the spruce is a herd of elk that he can see.
Travis Bader: [00:58:55] Wow.
Marshall Lowen: [00:58:55] And I can’t. So it’s interesting that you know, when you’ve got the young people with you that they see things differently. And when we’re spotting and looking for things, sometimes as they say, a fresh pair of eyes or a new pair of eyes, they see things and of course with him from a different level.
Travis Bader: [00:59:18] Very different perspective.
Marshall Lowen: [00:59:19] And from a safe point, we then went where onto a ranch where there was a fence line and we’re looking for elk. So I, we knew there were elk in the area, so we set the little fellow up on the fence line. His dad went one way and I went the other way and I came back and I said, see anything?
[00:59:40] He said, yeah. He said, bull elk just came over the fence about five minutes ago. I said did you have a clear shot? Yeah. I said, why didn’t you take it? My dad’s over that way.
Travis Bader: [00:59:55] Good for him.
Marshall Lowen: [00:59:57] So again, the right answers. You know, a lot of times it takes more guts to not take a shot.
Travis Bader: [01:00:07] Oh yeah, well definitely.
Marshall Lowen: [01:00:08] Then to take it. And you know, the consequences of it you know, it’s, you know. I always say that a, a bullets like a word. Once you’ve let it lose, you can’t get it back.
Travis Bader: [01:00:21] Yeah, no, that’s very true.
Marshall Lowen: [01:00:23] So again, you look at teaching safety, you know, we all want to be safe and we, we’ve had some, you know, sort of bad accidents at times, but we’d been prepared. We had one where probably the worst scenario is knocking down an animal just before dark. But you’ve got to realize that a lot of the animals we hunt are most active just before dusk.
Travis Bader: [01:00:52] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [01:00:54] So we had one situation where a party of two, one of the elders and a woman. He just knocked down an elk and they were basically gutting it in the dark, which they weren’t prepared for. What had happened there was while he’s gutting, he’s pushed one of the legs out and yelled at her, grab this. And she reached out and he had his knife in his hand.
Travis Bader: [01:01:23] Oh no.
Marshall Lowen: [01:01:24] And she reached out, grabbed the knife and slashed her right across the palm. Now, the bad part about that was I’d made it back to camp and we carry radios.
[01:01:38] And anyways, I’ve got the radio on and cause everybody’s coming back and I get this call from her and said this is Jane. Yes, Jane, what’s going on? I’ve hurt myself. Where are you? I don’t know.
Travis Bader: [01:01:55] Oh jeez.
Marshall Lowen: [01:01:57] So I said, okay, what have you done? I’ve cut myself. How badly? Bad. Well, you know, okay who are you with? You know, I’m with Pete. Okay, I want you to lie down, get Pete to make a snowball, put that in your hand and I want you to lie down and hold your hand up in the air.
[01:02:23] Now where are you? Oh, I think we’re down down the power line road. Okay. How far are you down in the power line road? Are you past the cattle guard? I think so. I said, okay, I’m going to drive the power line road and I’m going to flash the headlights. I said, I’ll bring the other guys with, with you.
[01:02:49] Do you have a flashlight? Yeah. Okay, well I’m going to flash the lights when you see our, the headlights, you know, do it. So anyways, we got her out, but she was cut pretty bad and we ended up having to take her into Cranbrook hospital. The on, the only good part about that is when we gut animals, I like to have latex or nitrile gloves on.
Travis Bader: [01:03:18] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [01:03:20] And while we’re waiting in the emergency room, there were quite a few of those laying around in boxes so.
Travis Bader: [01:03:26] Good for you.
Marshall Lowen: [01:03:26] We got, we’ve got a supply for that. But prior to taking her to the hospital, just for a hit, they still have first aid stations on the highways. Really, and you’ll see signs first aid station. Certainly.
[01:03:42] But we were lucky there was a mill that was operating close by and they have industrial first aid people.
Travis Bader: [01:03:50] Right they do.
Marshall Lowen: [01:03:50] So we went to the mill first and they looked at it and he said, no you better get her to the hospital because we think tendons could be cut and it’s going to need some serious stitching.
Travis Bader: [01:04:00] Right. That’s a good tip, actually.
Marshall Lowen: [01:04:02] You know, so again, being prepared, and this is where I just shake my head and in the news that I think it was just recently a bunch of snowmobilers went up country and got snowed in. Right. Does anybody look at the weather forecast?
Travis Bader: [01:04:20] I know.
Marshall Lowen: [01:04:21] I had a, one of the situations with one of the youngsters one day. He came along and you know, it’s my turn to get a deer, it’s my turn to get a deer. We let them have turns.
Travis Bader: [01:04:32] Yeah.
Marshall Lowen: [01:04:33] I want to get a deer, I want to get a deer. Okay, but look at the sky. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, no, look at the sky. I want to get a deer, I want to get a deer. Okay, let’s go get you your deer. So we drive up to what we call the deer fields.
Travis Bader: [01:04:47] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [01:04:48] And, okay theres your deer, so get out and he’s a good shot. So down goes the deer and he says okay do I gut it? No, throw it in the back of the truck. Well, don’t you usually gut? Yeah, we usually, but look at the sky. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s, I got a deer, I got a deer. So we go back and there’s a snow squall coming in.
Travis Bader: [01:05:14] Yeah.
Marshall Lowen: [01:05:15] It starts with a rain and it’s going to be miserable. So we’ve got the tepee set up and my buddy and I go in the tepee and we take the two boys, throw the deer off with the meat cash, which is away from the tepee. And so, okay you’ve got the radios? Yeah. Okay.,Well, we’re going back then start to fire in the tepee. Oh bout 10 minutes later have you got it, you got it?
[01:05:47] Yeah, we got everything. Okay, so the next thing is, you guys, can you bring us some water? What do you need water for I thought you had everything? Well, no, we don’t, you know, Brian’s cut the gut bag on the deer.
Travis Bader: [01:06:02] Oh no.
Marshall Lowen: [01:06:03] Okay, we’ll bring you some water. So getting in the truck, couple of canteens throw out the window. At this time it’s pissing with rain and it’s really coming in. And next thing, we get back and, and it’s, okay how are you guys doing? Oh, pretty good. You got it hung up yet? Oh yeah, we’re gonna, you know. Okay yeah. Only about a hundred yards back to the tepee.
[01:06:29] They come in like a couple of wet rats. Okay, sit down, take your clothes off. You know, the fire’s going one thing and another. And I said, so what did you learn? What do you mean? I said, what did you learn. A couple of things I guess. Okay, so what was that? Well, when you tell us to look at the sky, we should look at the sky.
Travis Bader: [01:06:55] That’s number one.
Marshall Lowen: [01:06:58] And what’s number two? Oh, a number two, I guess, make sure you have everything and I said, yeah. Anything else? Mm, can’t think of anything. How about don’t cut the gut bag.
Travis Bader: [01:07:15] Life’s full of those learning lessons, isn’t it?
Marshall Lowen: [01:07:17] Oh yeah. Well, it was funny, we had a new hunter one of the last trips and he said, why are you guys so careful about cutting the gut bag? Why don’t you want to cut the cut the cut bag? What is it? So one of the other kids took them over and the guts are on the ground. He said, here, put your head down here, put his head down and.
Travis Bader: [01:07:37] Oh jeez.
Marshall Lowen: [01:07:38] Popped it. Oh, now I understand.
Travis Bader: [01:07:41] Hey, some people have to experience it.
Marshall Lowen: [01:07:43] Well, one of the, one of the other ones happened with my, with my son. And, he got the chance of his first six point elk.
Travis Bader: [01:07:54] Nice.
Marshall Lowen: [01:07:56] And we were on ranch land. And, you know, I think everybody should, they’re not great meat because they’re in the rut, but you know, they’re like, okay, yeah, I’m not a trophy hunter but I think, yeah okay, get one in your lifetime and say done. So, and they smell.
[01:08:19] So anyways, he takes a shot at this thing. Good shot. Sort of quartering away from them, goes right in, does like a heart shot on it, and it crumples into a barbwire fence. So we know we’ve got a six rack in a barbwire fence. So anyways, we extricated it from there and okay but we’re not supposed to gut it on the, on the ranch land, because if you gut, nothing will grow there for about a year.
[01:08:53] So we’re supposed to take it into the tree line, so get it into the back of the truck. So it takes us by this time, probably 20 minutes, half an hour and then we’ll start to bloat pretty quick.
Travis Bader: [01:09:06] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [01:09:08] So anyways, trying to get the elk into the back of the pickup truck and my son’s behind it, behind it.
Travis Bader: [01:09:14] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [01:09:15] Pushing.
Travis Bader: [01:09:15] Oh no.
Marshall Lowen: [01:09:17] And it gets into the back of the truck and lets this big elk fart out and right in, right into my son’s face. So we had, he goes immediately, he starts to gag and then goes over to a tree and throws his breakfast up. And so he’s got that now the epithet that, you know, one thing he can’t stand his elk farts.
Travis Bader: [01:09:45] No kidding! Oh man. Well, you were talking earlier about some jewelry that you’re making.
Marshall Lowen: [01:09:54] Oh, I dabble a little bit with, with different types of jewelry and one of the things that we do is we try to utilize whatever we can. The bones of the animals is kind of hard to deal with, however, not too hard. You can make stock with them. One of the things with game meat particularly is it’s the same thing with commercial meat. A lot of the taste is in the fat.
Travis Bader: [01:10:27] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [01:10:28] And pork fat tastes different than beef fat, which tastes different than lamb fat.
Travis Bader: [01:10:34] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [01:10:35] And what happens is venison or elk, the fat can affect the taste and when there’s a gamey taste, if you basically package up your meat with a lot of fat in it, the fat can go rancid.
Travis Bader: [01:10:51] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [01:10:51] And then it will give. So when we butcher, we try to eliminate the fat and and whatnot. With the stock, the stock usually is, isn’t, you know what, what we do is roast the bones first and then make stock with them. So you’ve got your venison stock. With the bones, we can take them and it’s kind of labor intensive, but we can make the bone beads.
Travis Bader: [01:11:20] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [01:11:21] The pipe beads. So I make those and, also the spacers out of the elk bone. I’ve made decorative jewelry by crosscutting the shank bone and make like a pendant.
Travis Bader: [01:11:38] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [01:11:39] With the beavers.
Travis Bader: [01:11:43] Yeah.
Marshall Lowen: [01:11:44] The Beaver teeth, which can be up to three inches long are the same, almost same profile as a person’s wrist, so you can make a really neat bracelet. So I’m always on the lookout for you know, the beaver skulls.
[01:12:03] When I was a kid, I would go to a lot of the trappers cabins, which they would usually take off in the summer, and they’d be there in the winter and there would usually be a lot of Beaver skulls hanging around, you know, around the property.
Travis Bader: [01:12:20] Great.
Marshall Lowen:[01:12:20] And we could get those. Muskrat was a little bit smaller, you could make a different type of jewelry out of it. What would happen is that with different types of bone beads and the glass beads, and sometimes we’d get to a. Like a old campsite. And if we sifted the sand, we could get the old trade beads and.
Travis Bader: [01:12:43] Oh very cool.
Marshall Lowen: [01:12:44] Different things. So one year I was up at our Arcacho, we’d been called up. The kids were shooting beavers and they needed some safety tips on how to shoot at a pond cause basically the beavers are in the water and there’s eventuality that a bullet could bounce off and keep traveling and they have to be aware that it could.
Travis Bader: [01:13:09] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [01:13:10] So they were doing quite, quite well and I got kind of friendly with one of the fellows, the young fellows and his mother, and casually asked him, I said, Hey, what, what, what do you do with the beaver teeth. Get oh, nothing, we throw them away. So I said, oh you know, have you got some? Yeah, yeah, yeah I’ve got some.
[01:13:37] I said, can I get them from you? Oh, okay if you want them, what are you going to do with them? Well, we’ll make bracelet. Oh, cool. Yeah, yeah, you can have them. So that night I got invited over to the house and we had dinner and a big pot of stew, you know, and Soopolallie, which was a Indian ice cream. It’s like a kind of an interesting, I, I really like it. Anyways.
Travis Bader: [01:14:03] Whats, sorry, what’s it called?
Marshall Lowen: [01:14:05] Soopolallie. It’s, it’s a dessert that’s made from, what do they call them? Buffalo Berry.
Travis Bader: [01:14:13] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [01:14:13] And it has a, like a sapalin in it, like a soapy thing and it can be beaten up into like a meringue thing.
Travis Bader: [01:14:23] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [01:14:24] And it has a taste sort of similar to compari and has that bitter sort of taste in it and they beat it up with an egg beater and sugar.
Travis Bader: [01:14:34] Interesting. Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [01:14:36] Very light dessert. They used to, what was the name that they had a couple of native restaurants here, I think, Macumuck was one of the earlier ones, they used to serve it. Anyways, the meal was sort of finished and we were having the Soopolallie and I said, said to the young fellow, so I said, so the beaver teeth, where are they? I think there was somewhere at the bottom of the stewpot. Fished them out.
Travis Bader: [01:15:04] Was that your first time eating Beaver?
Marshall Lowen: [01:15:06] Probably not. When I was younger, I’d always heard that beaver tail was a delicacy.
Travis Bader: [01:15:12] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [01:15:13] So one of my trapper friends, one day, he was skinning a couple of beavers and I said hey can, can I have the tails? What are you going to do with them? That was always the question. I’m going to eat them. Oh yeah, okay. So he cut them off and gave them to me and I tried cooking them and they didn’t really.
Travis Bader: [01:15:33] Never turned out eh?
Marshall Lowen: [01:15:35] Not the way I wanted, and I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, but.
Travis Bader: [01:15:41] I’ve heard stories on that, that it’s either absolutely terrible or they actually are quite good if cooked properly.
Marshall Lowen: [01:15:48] Well, there was an old native woman up at Cornell, she had a cabin. We used to go up hunting there, and she was quite an old gal, lived by herself, and she used a beaver tail for greasing the frying pan.
Travis Bader: [01:16:02] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [01:16:03] And she kept it hanging by the stove. I don’t know how old it was, but she would make pancakes.
Travis Bader: [01:16:10] With beaver tail fat?
Marshall Lowen: [01:16:12] Basically get the frying pan going hot, and then she’d have the beaver tail swooping around a couple of times. Get the pad greasy and then.
Travis Bader: [01:16:20] And the fat wouldn’t be rancid at that point?
Marshall Lowen: [01:16:24] I’m not sure.
Travis Bader: [01:16:25] Yeah. But she used it anyways.
Marshall Lowen: [01:16:27] Probably hung on. We didn’t throw up, so it was probably.
Travis Bader: [01:16:34] Passed that test.
Marshall Lowen: [01:16:35] Yeah. Well, as I say, it’s, you know, sometimes it’s a, I was on another expedition up North and a fellow invited me over there. They, they’re always good for inviting you over for dinner, and you know, my wife would, I phone in, you know, how are you doing?
[01:16:53] Are you eating? Yep, and my, my general rule for eating is that it has to be well cooked and other people have to be eating it.
Travis Bader: [01:17:03] That’s a good rule.
Marshall Lowen: [01:17:04] They’ve, I’d been sick either way where it wasn’t cooked properly or it looked okay, but for some reason nobody else was touching it and I was hungry. So I always make sure that there’s those, those two are met.
[01:17:18] I remember going to this fellow, and the other thing is, you know, dealing in native community, you don’t want to be questioning what they’re offering you.
Travis Bader: [01:17:26] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [01:17:27] You know, it’s a little bit insulting,.They won’t, what’s this thing in the air? You know.
Travis Bader: [01:17:31] Oh totally.
Marshall Lowen: [01:17:32] You know, if it tastes good, there’s a lot of stews and everything going on. And you know, as I say, if it’s well cooked, well, you know, it’s not going to hurt you, you know the worst, you’re going to have the runs the next day or so.
Travis Bader: [01:17:45] I love it.
Marshall Lowen: [01:17:45] So anyways, I got called over from, Oh, you got to come over for dinner, you know. So I went over there and of course, you know, brought a six pack of beer.
Travis Bader: [01:17:57] Yep.
Marshall Lowen: [01:17:57] And sat down and we were chatting about things, Oh, I’m going to make dinner, what do you got? Oh, I’ll make some hamburgers, not hamburgers as we know it, but basically fried hamburger.
Travis Bader: [01:18:07] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [01:18:08] So anyways, hamburgers, hamburger. Right. So anyways, we’ll go ahead and have a couple of these hamburger that’s really good. You know, lots of ketchup and you know, some beans with it and whatnot. Hey, where’s your outhouse? Oh, just out the back door. So I go out there and there’s a skinned half coyote hangin on.
Travis Bader: [01:18:32] You were just having coyote burgers.
Marshall Lowen: [01:18:34] Well, the sort of the sequel to that is, then I got into this little couple of days later, I got into this, sort of little restaurant going up, you know, up the highway. And on the menu was they had the different burgers and had a coyote burger and they had a wolf burger and buffalo burger.
Travis Bader: [01:18:57] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [01:18:57] And I’m thinking, is this just what you’re calling them or is this what they’re actually made up?
Travis Bader: [01:19:05] I can’t say I’ve ever had coyote.
Marshall Lowen: [01:19:07] Well I had a buddy I used to hunt with, I started hunting with out here and he shot a coyote one day, and he was skinning at, and he said, Hey, look at this. Hey Marshall, this meat looks really good. I said, yeah, but you know, I don’t eat canines.
[01:19:30] So he said, yeah, but look at it, you know, meat, it’s really good looking meat. So I said, well, what are you going to do? I’m going to take some of it. Make sure you cook it well. So anyways, this fellow Gord he’s, eats coyote, he’s eaten cougar. But you know, there’s a reason why people say, do you like vegetarians?
[01:19:59] I said, yeah, they’re the only kind I eat. You see, you look at bear, which is an omnivore. You look at pork, pigs are omnivores, and of course we can get tapeworm whatnot from them. And I was discussing this just the other day with the coronavirus that the fact that the major ancient religions, you know, Judaism, Islam. They had dietary rules.
Travis Bader: [01:20:29] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [01:20:30] And they were there for reason. They called pork unclean because of course, they didn’t know what the problem was in those days, but they knew that some people who ate pork got sick. Some people who ate shellfish got sick. So, Hey, let’s be careful. So if you look going back to the parasitology, if you look at the life cycle of parasites.
[01:20:57] What happens is if you vegetarians, like animal, vegetarian animals don’t have the parasites that are passed on to carnivores.
Travis Bader: [01:21:13] Right. Makes sense.
Marshall Lowen: [01:21:14] But carnivores who eat other carnivores will pass that on with the life, life cycle of them.
Travis Bader: [01:21:22] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [01:21:22] So I was asked a couple of trips ago to look at some elk liver. I always laugh and say, I’m an organ donor. You want my liver? You can have it. After taking the course and finding out what the liver does and certain things I became a little leery about eating liver. Upcountry, I take a look at this liver, I cut it open and it’s got cysts, not liver flukes, which are very common.
Travis Bader: [01:21:55] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [01:21:56] It’s got cysts in it called hydatid.
Travis Bader: [01:21:58] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [01:21:59] This has a funny lifestyle cycle. I get this out of a elk, it’s basically a herbivore.
Travis Bader: [01:22:12] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [01:22:14] Where did it get it? From eating grass that has the cysts on it.
Travis Bader: [01:22:21] Right. So a carnivore defecated on the grass or?
Marshall Lowen: [01:22:24] Yeah. So what happens is I can’t get hydatid from a vegetarian, but if those people were to feed that liver to a dog, I could get it from the dog shit.
Travis Bader: [01:22:46] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [01:22:49] The wolf carries it on by eating the liver, poops it out on the grass. It sits there for a while, and then the cycle is another herbivore comes along and digests it, and it goes through the cycle. So that’s sort of put me off on liver, and that’s why I say I’m an organ donor.
Travis Bader: [01:23:11] I guess so.
Marshall Lowen: [01:23:13] But that being said, they say you go back to looking at an animal and saying, you know, okay is there any sign here? Intestinal worms, well they’re going to stay in the intestine, lung worms are going to stay in the lung. So there’s very few parasites that are actually going to be within the muscle, with the exception of tapeworms.
Travis Bader: [01:23:40] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [01:23:42] And friend of mine, shot a bear last year and he said, how do I tell check for tapeworm in bear? I said, look in the diaphragm.
Travis Bader: [01:23:55] Okay.
Marshall Lowen: [01:23:55] Because the diaphragm, the muscle in the diaphragm is so thin that when you cut it out and you can hold it up to the light and you’ll see in.
Travis Bader: [01:24:03] You’ll see it.
Marshall Lowen: [01:24:04] Used to do freshwater fish also, we used to get jackfish, pike and pickerel, and again, they can have worms. And how you check them out again is hold the tail up to the light and you can see the cysts.
Travis Bader: [01:24:22] Oh, that’s a good tip.
Marshall Lowen: [01:24:23] So if you look at it that way, and again, I guess, but sort of the good news is, well cooked worm isn’t going to hurt you.
Travis Bader: [01:24:33] You know, thats-
Marshall Lowen: [01:24:34] So again, go back to cook it well.
Travis Bader: [01:24:37] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [01:24:38] You know, and again, you know, when I go through the horrors of commercial meat. Interesting story with my friend Gord. We were sitting on a hillside one day and we were talking about cleanliness of animals, and he said, you know, the creator was pretty smart and I’m used to Gord. Yeah, yeah Gord, okay, I agree. He said, you don’t. He put the arsehole behind them.
Travis Bader: [01:25:11] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [01:25:12] I said, you know, he said, that’s good placement. He said, no animal walks in it’s own excrement. He said they drop it behind them, he said, when you shoot a grouse, you smell its feet? I said, no, I don’t. You should he said, I do. He said, you should smell it’s feet. He said, his feet smell clean.
[01:25:41] Okay. He said, you ever smell a chicken’s feet? I said, not recently. So he said, chicken feet stink. He said, they walk around in their own poop. He said, that’s not right. He said, you ever see a stockyard? Yeah. He said, cattle are covered with poop from head to tail.
Travis Bader: [01:26:06] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [01:26:08] He said, do you don’t do that. Elk don’t do that. Wild animals are clean. Domestic animals are dirty.
Travis Bader: [01:26:17] Interesting observation.
Marshall Lowen: [01:26:19] So he said, then they piled them in a truck and they take them to the slaughter house. And he said they bop them on the head, kill them, and he said they all fall down on the floor. He said, then they pull the hides off. He said, all that poop is on the outside of the animal. He said, so you buy a whole animal and it’s, it’s okay. I said, he said, all the contamination is on the outside.
[01:26:59] He said, but you have to be careful because they also wash the inside. So he said, if you take a roast and you cook it, it’ll kill all the bacteria because none of the bacteria has gone inside the meat. Okay. He said, but they also grind to meet up and sell it is ground hamburger.
Travis Bader: [01:27:23] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [01:27:24] And he said, that’s why you have to cook a hamburger all the way through to kill all the bacteria because it’s been spread all through the hamburger.
Travis Bader: [01:27:36] Good observation.
Marshall Lowen: [01:27:38] So he said but, if you have a clean piece of meat that you’ve caught up yourself and you haven’t, like a wild animal, he said you can make hamburger and you can have a rare hamburger.
Travis Bader: [01:27:53] And that’s the best way to have a burger.
Marshall Lowen: [01:27:54] Yeah. So, you know, it goes down to the fact of, you know, things, sometimes customs were made for a reason. They’re not just a fluky thing. You think, okay, so kosher, you know, kosher food, it’s weird. No, there was a reason for it.
Travis Bader: [01:28:17] Sure there is. Yeah.
Marshall Lowen: [01:28:18] You know, and again, when we look what’s happening, you know, in China. With, you know, throw another bat on the barbie, one thing and another. You know, again, it’s cleanliness and hygiene. I’ve never known anybody to get food poisoning from wild game. There could be people out there, but the game.
Travis Bader: [01:28:45] Sure.
Marshall Lowen: [01:28:47] Most of it is dealt with. I do have a problem with some, I don’t go commercially to have my meat cut up. It’s not the fault, it’s the way, of the individual butcher, it’s the way it’s done. I always do head or neck shots on the animal. So my son took me back to Manitoba and he had some of it made up into sausage, took it to the local game butcher had it made up. So he phoned me and he said, I thought you shot that animal in the neck.
[01:29:26] I said, yeah. He said, well, I just got my sausage back, give it some of my friends, and there’s bullet fragments in it.
Travis Bader: [01:29:34] Wasn’t your animal.
Marshall Lowen: [01:29:36] I said, yeah. I said, well, you know, the butchers have to batch it so you don’t know what you’re getting. You know they need like 50 pounds to make sausage and you’ve only got 40 pounds. Put another 10 pounds in there and then, divide the sausage up the same way.
[01:29:57] That’s why, and for years and years, I was convinced that I never got the tenderloin back. The choice bits. So I used to have to tell my butcher, I want everything labeled individually.
Travis Bader: [01:30:11] Or it could be the other way. We had a group hunt recently, and I’m like you, I’ll butcher my own animal. We, I had the tenderloin at camp yet, when the butcher gave us back our meat, we had another tenderloin. So I guess we lucked out on that one.
Marshall Lowen: [01:30:29] They, at, a friend up up country Grant, who was captain of the hunt up in the Kootenays, and he worked on one of the ranches and they had buffalo on the ranch. One of the foreman one day said, Oh, Grant could you kill a buffalo for me. He said, yeah, I could, what do you want me to do with it? Well, I want you to take it into the butcher for me. He said well if I kill it I’ve got to gut it.
Travis Bader: [01:30:56] Right.
Marshall Lowen: [01:30:59] Yeah yeah, okay whatever. So anyways, Grant thought okay, so he went out, selected a buffalo, killed it, got the backhoe, brought it in, gutted it. Took the tenderloin out, took it home, took the buffalo into the butchers. So his boss went to pick the meat up, came back, and he says hey Grant. Yeah? I went to pick up my meat, my buffalo up, and there was no tenderloin. Grant said yeah that happens sometimes.
[01:31:36] Some of those buffalo don’t have tenderloin. He said, really? Yup. Oh, a couple more days went by, he said, came back and he said, I talked to the butcher, and the butcher said all the buffalo have tenderloin. He said ah, he’s probably lying to you, probably took the buff, took the tenderloin himself.
[01:31:58] A lot of those butchers do. A couple of days go by and comes back and he says, no, he’s convinced he didn’t take it. And he said, no. He said the tenderloin’s called the butcher’s cut. What do you mean? He said, I’m the butcher.
Travis Bader: [01:32:24] There you go.
Marshall Lowen: [01:32:25] So again, there’s a little difference, as I say, the difference between the squirrel tenderloin and buffalo tenderloin.
Travis Bader: [01:32:34] All comes full circle.
Marshall Lowen: [01:32:35] Yeah.
Travis Bader: [01:32:36] If you enjoyed this podcast, please do us a favour and consider subscribing. Until next time, I’m Travis Bader with The Silvercore Podcast.