Pacifica (autumnwinds) wrote,

Marmota marmota

Barbecues and potlucks are a common social event here, and one of the items that frequently shows up is game meat. I thought about this before coming here and concluded that many of the major reasons I'm vegetarian do not apply to game meat. So, while I'm here, I'll occasionally indulge in a bite of venison here or there.

Tangentially, the marmot situation here is still epidemic. A visitor to the station who traps invasive opossums in New Zealand set up snares for us at the entrances to their burrows. We caught one right away and safely relocated it a few miles downstream (with a spot of pink paint on its head so we can recognize it if it comes back), but we didn't catch any more after that. They quickly learned what the snares were about, and started pushing the wires away with their paws instead of going through the loops.

It was decided that more drastic measures were needed, and shortly thereafter, two people went out and shot seven of them. Nearly all ended up being female, although they specifically did not target any lactating mothers or young. We had an educational session down at the creek in which they were all carefully skinned and gutted, after we soaked them to get rid of the fleas (bubonic plague risk...seriously).

We decided to have a marmot barbecue that night. Tyler boned one marmot for me, and I cut up the meat and made marmot curry. The remaining marmots were grilled over a fire, save one that's going to be slow-cooked with hot rocks later on. The curry turned out well, and once I got over my squeamishness about eating giant rodent (I had a friend on SAS get horribly sick over poorly-cooked capybara), it was actually pretty good. It was tough, but savory with a little bit of fishy flavor.

Yay for new experiences.

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