I had an old-timer in Wells tell me years ago that porcupines are really delicious. He said he had eaten many of them over the years while running his winter trap line. I always wanted to ask him what they tasted like, but he probably would have said chicken.
I know some of you probably wrinkled your nose up at that, but they are very clean animals. They eat the layer of wood just under the bark in the winter. They like salty things and do a nice job on ax handles and boat oars as well. Actually, they eat plants all summer, making them a tasty dish when lost and hungry or in a pinch.
While hunting in the Adirondacks one winter day, I carefully made my way through a snow-covered swamp along the Kunjamuk River, looking for a deer that might be hiding in the lowlands. In a small clearing, I came across the carcass of a deer that was probably shot by another hunter earlier in the season. As I approached it, a fisher came up out of the body cavity. It was eating the deer from the inside out. He ran off after seeing me, but I’m sure he returned to eat for several days after that. Things are not often wasted in the wilds.
So with porcupines in the treetops and deer on the slopes, I’m off for another day of skiing. After all, spring has arrived and the snow won’t last too long.
Rick Brockway writes a weekly outdoors column for The Daily Star. Email him at email@example.com.