Eva Bromée, the hunter, the dog trainer, and the wilderness guide, is more outside than in. Spring, summer, autumn and winter – she lives in and off the nature.
It isn’t easy to catch Eva Bromée for a chat.
“Am out picking mushrooms for a few hours up by Kylträsk. Have no coverage there, but can text when I’m down again :D” Two hours pass and then a text appears on the screen. “Call you tomorrow! Pouring rain and hail. And dinner guests are now coming :D”
Our meeting would have probably gone more smoothly if I had jumped into a heavily-studded four-wheeler and sped up towards the Vindelfjällen mountains after her. Eventually, we sit down and talk. The hunt for chantarelles went well and the dinner guests were full and satisfied.
With a start point from Ammarnäs, where the stunning Vindel river makes a narrow curve, Eva combines a life as a self-employed hunter and wilderness guide with helping her Sámi partner Ola Johannes take care of his reindeer. The autumn and winter are intense for Eva. Grouse are to be tracked, elk hunted and dogs trained. Eva has pointer dogs for bird hunting and always uses the Swedish Elkhound to hunt elk. With the chocolate-brown coloured kelpie, a slightly different and exciting hunt can be done.
- The kelpie is on a leash. When we hunt, we sneak up to the prey together. Of course, it’s about being very quiet. It’s very special.
As a person from Stockholm who covets adventure, it’s easy to be jealous of Eva. When she tells of her upcoming adventure, I want to join her right away. Eva often moves about the beautiful, untouched Vindel mountains, during hunting, which most often takes places a few days without the group returning to civilisation. Still, Eva tries to restrict her packing.
– On a three-day tour, a 15-litre pack goes far. In it, you can pack all the food and equipment you need, says Eva, who chooses simple and functional living standards in the mountains. An ordinary mountain hut as a base is good enough. With the hut as a start, Eva preferably then stays in a lávvu, the traditional Sámi tent that works well in the winter and summer.
For Eva, the hunt is not about shooting for the sake of shooting. Sure, hunting gives even her an adrenaline kick. At the same time, when Eva describes how she lives in nature, it is as far from trophy hunting as you can get.
– I actually have no desire to kill. Sometimes I have to hunt, but then I never shoot more than what I need. I will never go out if our freezer is full, says Eva, who often prefers to let her rifle rest and instead observe the animal. To simply learn things about the animals. Lessons that she needs in her roll as a responsible hunter. Like the upcoming grouse shooting.
– If the weather is bad when the grouse are brooding, it will often be a bad year for grouse. It hailed a lot during the early summer when the grouse sat on their eggs. After the bad weather, I was out searching for grouse chicks to see how many had hatched. Then I wondered how they had managed so well.
– I think that it’s nice to just sit and look at a few elk, how they are with each other.
When Eva and her partner are in the mountains, they use nature’s resources and ancient, well-proven methods to conserve, store and cook food. Meat and fish is salted and dried. A cold spring will be a natural refrigerator. The meat from the hunt is always taken care of in the best way and Eva gets much of the recipe and inspiration in the cooking from her mother-in-law Ingrid. The constant presence of the Sámi culture, where Eva lives, has even influenced her own cooking.
– We usually make gurpi from the meat, a kind of Sámi sausage that is stuffed in small packets and smoked. You can also not bother smoking it, and simply take it with you and grill it in the mountains. It is the perfect mountain food. Fat and heaps of protein!
Living in the mountains year-round has made Eva into a hardcore user of outdoor equipment. Boots, pants, underwear, midlayers, shell jackets and quilted jackets. There are not too many garments that Eva does not have an opinion and view of. Sound and insightful as well. When it comes to boots, those with high shafts apply. The advantages are many, according to Eva.
– I think that high shafts are very comfortable. They give good support. I usually tie my boots extra tight and brace my feet almost like when you go on the ice in hockey, says Eva and praises the cellular rubber boots waterproofness.
– My high Syncro boots are very good for wading. That I can button together the boots with the pants to protect myself even better is perfect, says Eva, who also appreciates the advantages that Lundhags classic leather boots have ahead of many membrane fitted boots.
– They dry very quickly compared to a membrane fitted boot. Even if my boots are soaked in the evening, they are dry the day after. Just remove the soles and place everything close to the stove. But not too close, as I’ve noticed. They can shrink slightly if they get too warm, haha!
When winter is extra cold, as it often is where Eva lives, she has a good tip for the person who still freezes despite the boots being of the warmer kind. Freezing is extremely individual.
– Sometimes, it can be minus 30 degrees when we are outside working with the reindeer. Then I have boot-hay and home-made felted inserts in the boots.
For Eva, outdoor life does not end in the winter. It just takes place in another form. When she is not helping her partner as often as she can with the reindeer, she studies Sámi and tries to find time for fishing. Eva is generous with tips of southern Lapland’s best fishing waters during the winter.
– Gavasjaure and Tjålmejaure are excellent lakes. In the summer, Kylån is great, there are heaps of char and salmon trout, says Eva, whose best fishing tip is on the other side of the border.
– The biggest char are in Virevattnet in Norway.
I wonder, does she have free time and holiday? And where does Eva prefer to go? She explains that it is a little complicated. Time off is somehow included in work, like life that never takes a break.
– Leisure time can be when I can hunt a while by myself, she says and explains: If she had just time, she would travel abroad and reveals her dream trip.
– I wouldn’t say no to a trip to Greenland or Alaska, for the animal life!