Traditional broiled beaver tail

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Video eating beaver tail

From the parents and family Florence Running Wolf

I dozed off while writing this recipe. I woke when I heard a jet overhead, then I heard somebody talking in a sharp strange tribal language which I didn’t understand. I sat up. Opening my eyes, it was my brother-in-law’s large tezi making those noises at the kitchen table. I told him to take that stomach to a tribal council meeting where they would understand it, agree with your tezi, begin crafting a Plan A, and use the sound from your hind end for Plan B.

Busy, busy describes a beaver. It swims by my fishing lines while we’re at the Buffalo Tongue River that comes out of Wyoming, pushing a wood branch full of leaves downriver to its house. Or it’s on the river bank having lunch at a cottonwood tree. Once while we were going to one of our fishing spots, a large chapa stood up, waved at us from across the river, and we waved back. That’s a good Indian name, “Waves at Beavers.” I might give that name to one of our grandchildren or an in-law.

Sometimes, when I’m about to throw my first fishing line in, a beaver splashes the water with its tail, warning everybody: other beavers, fish, deer, ducks, geese and the drunks up the river; that we’re here.

I’m now going to tell you how to cook and eat that beaver tail.

Be friends with a trapper or shoot a beaver on the river bank and have your brother-in-law wade across the river to get the beaver.

A good beaver shooter is a scoped .22 Hornet Ruger bolt-action. A bolt-action is better for putting a bullet where you want it. A wounded beaver taking off under the water is not good. I was taught to eat everything you shoot at and in the proper season of the year, when the meat tastes the best. I told my daughters and sons, “If you shoot at that, you better eat it.”

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I only know cottonwood-eating beavers. Respect the Beaver Nation (Chapa Oyate). They can change the course of a river for the better. For now, I would steer clear of pine tree beavers. That’s a different tribe of beavers. One never knows what they do up in the mountain heights.

This is a beaver-tail recipe and not a beaver recipe. A beaver recipe involves sharp knives, skinning a beaver, gutting, hide stretching, an oven, a turkey pan, roasting and spices. So we’re not doing that in this recipe. In a way, we’re beaver tail gourmets like those mushroom gourmets we see on TV.

Preservatives are not involved. No food coloring, no growth hormones, not even salt and pepper are in this recipe. It’s your fault if you’re not eating properly.

I already taught you vegetarians how to cook dry meat in past recipe articles. In this recipe, boil the dry meat and potatoes. Leave out the salt pork. Always use good water, don’t use that spring water that tastes like manure. Note: We drink and cook with spring water around here, straight from Grandma Earth.

Use your thumb. If you’re an old-time bull rider, use someone else’s thumb. Feel for a notch where the tail meets the body. Cut the tail off at the notch. No skinning involved.

Always use a sharp knife. Better to use one that stays sharp for a long time. The blade should be as long as your index finger (your pointing finger). As you use the knife, you realize the blade length fits you. It’s not polite to point at anyone but we do it anyway.

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Wrap that tail in silver paper. Broil it until done. There is no rare, rare-medium, or medium-done in this recipe. It is only well-done. Beaver tail coating/skin will crackle. There is no need for spices, as I mentioned before, not even salt and pepper.

Eating instructions: Take a bite of dry meat, chew it, swallow, then take a bite of beaver tail.

Don’t eat the crackling skin, eat the fat. Repeat. Eat potatoes, slurp in dry meat soup and have coffee. Then doze off. Maybe your brother-in-law’s tezi will tell you a juicy story about any of your sisters-in-law.

Don’t be bothered if someone says you eat beaver tail. It’s better than boiled gray wieners.

Ingredients: cottonwood-eating chapa (beaver’s) tail, pot of dry meat and potatoes.

The joy of life.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>