In Nikiski, middle school teacher Jesse Bjorkman has been teaching his students how to hunt and property field dress a moose. It is a lesson that is almost certainly unique in the country — a nation that increasingly shields children from the slightest perceived risk and where “triggers” are a learned response to things unpleasant.
That “majoring in moose” lesson, complete with Bjorkman shooting the moose in front of his watchful students, is in the New York Times as feature story that marvels at and celebrates the thought of middle schoolers going on a hunt with their teacher, and then passing around the still warm heart of a freshly killed moose.
Bjorkman also serves on the Kenai Borough Assembly, where he represents Nikiski. In September, Bjorkman and other conservatives on the borough advanced a resolution declaring their opposition to vaccine segregation, mask mandates and vaccine mandates. The bill was ultimately tabled. But before that vote, Bjorkman spoke to his opposition to government overreach. He fits right in in libertarian-leaning Nikiski.
“After a couple of hours of skinning, cutting and bagging the moose, the students and volunteers brought the severed limbs to the home of Dylan Hooper — a Nikiski Middle & High School teacher who teaches the outdoor-education class with Mr. Bjorkman — to be hung for two days, to tenderize the meat,” writes Kenai Peninsula and New York Times food author Victoria Petersen. The story is illustrated in all its step-by-step bloody detail by Alaskan Ash Adams, who has a stunning portfolio documenting traditional life in Alaska.
“When it came time to butcher, the students were walked through all the things they needed to know: how to sharpen a knife, how to safely hold and glide it across the flesh, where to cut, and how to trim the fat and tendons off the meat,” Petersen writes.