Tommy Sandal, A hunter in the wilds of Svalbad, Modern Huntsman, Volume 9

TOMMY SANDAL- A hunter in the wilds of Svalbard –

The following story was originally translated from Norwegian to English, taken from the book, “A Hunter in the Wilds of Svalbard.” For over two years, journalist Julie C. Knarvik and photographer Sverre Chr. Jarild chronicled the life and story of Svalbard’s last traditional hunter, Tommy Sandal.

Interview

Photos

Sverre Chr. Jarild

Read Time

5 minutes

Posted

It’s well camouflaged in this white landscape. Wandering on the ice where the white snow meets the gray sky, it emerges out of the mist. Tommy Sandal spots it a few hundred meters from land. A large male polar bear is ambling toward the cabin and the meat rack, from which seal meat and blubber are hanging. It is a powerful sight. Rusk, his large Greenland dog and polar bear guard gets a whiff of the animal. He barks furiously and pulls on his chains, rattling them loudly. 

Tommy Sandal, A hunter in the wilds of Svalbad, Modern Huntsman, Volume 9
Tommy holds back his Greenland dog, Rusk, as a polar bear approaches. In this land, the polar bear is king and precautions have to be taken to avoid conflict with the bears.
Tommy Sandal, A hunter in the wilds of Svalbad, Modern Huntsman, Volume 9
Tommy Sandal, A hunter in the wilds of Svalbad, Modern Huntsman, Volume 9
Tommy carries out one of the twenty-five reindeer he has on quota for the year. All but five of these will feed people in the restaurants of Longyearbyen; the rest he will eat during the long winter months.
Tommy Sandal, A hunter in the wilds of Svalbad, Modern Huntsman, Volume 9
Reindeer preparation. These carcasses will be picked up by the local coastguard, who will transport them to Longyearbyen, fulfilling orders from various restaurants.
Tommy Sandal, A hunter in the wilds of Svalbad, Modern Huntsman, Volume 9

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