Howard Luke is almost 86 years old, born in Nenana (just south of Fairbanks, Alaska) and raised in a traditional Athabascan, Alaska Native lifestyle. He says his mother put the lower foreleg bone of a Dall sheep around his neck when he was about 5 or 6 years old, so he would be a runner. She started making him run about 1/2 mile every morning, bare foot, when he was 8 or 9 years old.
He was about 18 or 19 when he ran down the fox – it was a cross fox worth about $90 in those days and he brought it to his mother. She had taught him that he could run down fox “because they get winded”. He did this on snow shoes, and could see the fox the whole time he was running it down. He said it was also kind of soft trail, so he could also see the tracks if he needed to. He killed it when he caught up with it. He shared this story with me spontaneously when (after reading your book) I asked him if he knew anyone that had ever run down an animal.
When I asked, he knew of one other guy that ran down animals, but he said the old timers probably did it more, since they knew all these things about animals – how they got winded and all.
Howard used to race sled dogs, and was famous for running in moose hide moccasins. He could run so fast he could change out dogs without even stopping.
He’s written a book called My Own Trail. He says if you are interested he can send you a copy.
He’s a very amazing person. At his age and with a Feb. hip replacement, he still gets out most every day for a long walk in the woods or on the sand bar by his camp – the Gaalee’ya Spirit Camp. He works with the University of Alaska Fairbanks a lot in many different ways.
He’s given his permission for me to write all this to you, and is willing to talk with you too if you are interested.
That’s about it for what I know. I really enjoyed your book and had a hard time putting it down – a book has to be really good for me to feel like that.
Let me know if you would like to try to connect with Howard directly.