FIRST HOME IN MUNGER VALLEY 1947
FAMILY FUR FARMING STARTED IN MI
JOE MUNGER’S FIRST FUR HARVEST 1947
REFLECTION OF SLOPE MOUNTAIN
Alaska Pioneers Joe & Jim Munger buy Silver Salmon 100 mile trapline for $300.00 in 1947
Fur Farming Mungers establish 5 line cabins to provide top quality furs to Hudson Bay Furriers 1947-1975
Salmon Fishing Joe marries Sally and they run six salmon fishing nets at Silver Salmon Creek 1952-1990
Sally Wins Big king competition
JOE MUNGER COMMERCIAL SALMON FISHING SNUG HARBOR 1948
CONTENTS Letter from the Editor
Mountains & Valleys
Gary Ervin Managing Editor www.gde91.com
Nicole Flothe Publisher
Letter from the Editor I am the nephew of Joe & Sally Munger. My first trip from Michigan to Alaska was for eight months in 1965. I fell in love with Alaska and Joe and Sally wanted me to stay on. However, I went back to Michigan and completed my college at MSU. Grandma Munger, Joeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mother, was a favorite of mine. We went bluegill fishing even when she was over 90 years old. I would go to Munger Valley twice a year from Michigan to help Joe and Sally go to fish camp in the spring and return to Munger Valley in the fall. The passion for fishing and hunting grew, and in 1984 my family and I moved to Alaska. This Alaska Pioneer story is dedicated to Grace and George Munger, Jim Munger, and Joe and Sally Munger. Visit www.gde91.com for news on upcoming issues.
Cheryl Flothe Editor
Hunter Ervin Advisor
Suzanne Ervin Art Director
*All photos are under copyright protection. Any unauthorized use will be subject to penalty.
- Gary Ervin
Alaska My Alaska 1st Home in Munger Valley
Joe & Sally’s log cabin built by hand
Jim Munger and his fur trade
Joe & Sally’s vegetable garden 2
Many years of fur harvests sold to Hudson Bay Furriers 1947-1995
Joe Mungerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1st harvest 1947
Line cabin Johnson River
Jim Munger stands with fox, mink, & blanket beaver furs
Joe and â&#x20AC;Š Sally lived out their lives fur farming. They spent 30 days at a time in a 10x10 line cabin, catching and preparing the fur for the market. The money made from fur farming paid all their expenses for the year allowing them to commercial fish and travel.
Joe Munger fur farming
Sally with winter catch 1952
Fox, beaver, martin, mink, and wolverine were some of the annual catch. They traveled most of the time by snowshoe through the swamps and trails of Munger Valley. 4
Commercial Fishing was from May till September and was full of excitement, hard work, with large and small catches. Sally held the big king catch record and she was very proud of Joeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s handcrafted boat building. He cut the knees and the ribs of the boat from tree roots.
Set netting was used to catch thousands of pounds of fish off the beach at Silver Salmon Creek run by Joe Munger, and later by Jerry Bernas.
Sport fishing allowed Joe, Sally, & Suzanne to hand can salmon on a wood stove.
Commercial fish were turned into Nova Lox and also as fresh frozen seafood. 6
Mountains & Valleys
The many faces of Munger Valleyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;5 am marble sky sunrise, fields of fireweed, and wildlife.
Mountains & Valleys 1.
1. Joe hiked up Silver Salmon Creek. 2. Sally loved her fur parka. 3. Joe cuts timber in the valley. 4. Handcrafted Scrimshaw knife made in Munger Valley. 5. Sally has lunch with the winter scarecrow waiting for Joe to come home from the trapline. 6. Jerry Bernas flies the valley sightseeing. 7. Joe picks salmon berries along the streams and swamps. ***Visit www.gde91.com for news on upcoming issues. 8
Joe Munger educated Gary Ervin, his nephew, on Alaskan Brown Bear dangers. The guidance Joe passed on to Gary was to ALWAYS understand that the Alaskan Brown Bear is a killer and protector. They kill to eat and sows will protect their cubs in a fast and targeted manner. The two signals you must react to quickly are: if you surprise a sow and cubs and the sow begins to snap her back jaw bone and or swing her head back and forth, she is telling you she is about to take action. This sow brown bear picture was taken by Gary up Johnson River. Gary startled the sow and she saw him as a danger to her cubs. The cubs were in the grass right beside her and she began snapping her back jaw and swinging her head back and forth. Gary was about 60 yards from the 800 lb brown bear. When he saw her actions he dropped his camera, gun, and pack and climbed 15 feet up a tree that happened to be 5 feet away from him. Everything happened so quickly and the sow was at the base of the tree in seconds. After the sow was satisfied her cubs were out of danger, she took them into the berry patch to enjoy blueberries. Alaska Munger Valley Pioneers will be published quarterly. Each issue will share many stories of the pioneers, more pictures, letters, and Jim Munger cartoons of life in Alaska on an Alaskan trapline, fish camp, and more. Go to www.gde91.com and subscribe for future issues!
BROWN BEAR SOW 1965