Web Extra: Hunting bearded seals in Barrow, Alaska

Photo by Lori Townsend, APRNBack in early June, Lori Townsend and Annie Feidt traveled to Barrow to host Alaska News Nightly (June 4 and June 5) from the northernmost city in North America. They covered the opening of the Barrow Global Climate Change Research Facility, the U.N.’s World Environment Day, and gathered stories from the local area to share with the rest of the state.

While in Barrow, Townsend and Feidt spent time in town and on the ice with researchers and locals. One local hunter and guide was Perry Anashaguk, who helped guard against polar bear attacks as Townsend and various researchers ventured onto the sea ice (see attached photo).

Anashaguk has worked for the North Slope Borough’s wildlife department for 19 years. Driving the road running parallel to the arctic ocean, Anashaguk described how he hunts for ugruk, or bearded seals. Bearded seal hides are used for covering umiaks, the skin boats used in traditional whaling.

CAUTION: If you’re upset by descriptions of hunting, you might want to skip this audio and move on.