Oral History Interviews:
Bob Uhl grew up in California during the 1930's and 1940's. He was drafted into military service immediately after high school. Bob chose to be stationed in Alaska. He was assigned to a platoon commonly known as the Alaska Scouts. The group was composed of hunters, trappers and Alaska Natives. The other men in this platoon began Bob's education in outdoor skills. While stationed in Kotzebue, Bob met and married an Eskimo woman. Her family continued Bob's education for the next several decades. He credits their patience for his acceptance and success with the extended family.
Bob describes animal behavior, hunting techniques and population changes for animals ranging from belugas and bearded seal to caribou and arctic foxes. Their diet consisted of fish, caribou, beluga muktuk, and a variety of birds and plants gathered in the area. Bob explains the use of dog teams, kayaks, firearms, traps and spears in conjunction with their hunting, fishing and trapping activities. Bob shares his opinion on the cause of a major shift in the beluga population of Northwest Alaska.
Bob's keen insight and interpretive skills give his comments added credibility. He pays homage to those who shared the knowledge and skills necessary to survive the harsh coastal environment. This humble man portrays numerous admirable characteristics. Many of us would benefit from emulating his example.