What does muktuk mean?
Mutkuk is an Inuktitut word meaning whale blubber.
Frank Turner named his dog kennel Muktuk because his friend Victor Kisoun of Inuvik brought him muktuk to feed his very first group of dogs. As with the whale hunt, where the work must be shared, so is the harvest where nothing is wasted.
Muktuk is the outer layer of fat found in Beluga and Bowhead whales which are hunted along the Arctic shores of Alaska, Yukon Territory, and Northwest Territories. This part of the whale has the texture of egg whites with a nutty flavor that dogs love.
Mutkuk was traditionally set aside to feed Inuvik sled dogs as a highly nutritious treat for these hard-working and vital servants who provided the primary means of transport to their first keepers.
Since 1995, Muktuk Adventures has provided visitors with whatever sort of experience they feel ready for: a walk-about the ranch, an afternoon visit, an overnight stay, or a full-on winter camping and sledding expedition. The choices are many but ultimately the choice is yours.
Muktuk Ranch is owned and operated by Yukon Quest Legend Frank Turner and his wife Anne Tayler. Both have carefully shaped their acreage into an ideal location for mushing in the winter, and canoeing, swimming and hiking in the summer. They share their property with about 125 Alaskan Huskies who are born, raised and retired at the ranch. Many Muktuk dogs serve a tour of duty as sled dogs.
Frank Turner is one of Yukon’s most accomplished mushers, having attempted the Yukon Quest 24 times in 25 years. He has crossed the finish line 17 times, placed in the top six 10 times, and won the 1,600 km wilderness race once.
Frank arrived in Yukon in 1973 from Toronto with a Masters degree in Social Work. He worked for various local agencies, always running dogs as a hobby. Anne worked as an instructor at Yukon College and the two married in 1993. After winning the Yukon Quest in 1995, Frank and Anne started their ranch, building up the business year after year to its present day status as one of the most respected, most ethical, and most environmentally-sensitive tourism operators in Canada’s North.
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Anne Tayler arrived in the Yukon in 1973 with her two daughters. Having completed graduate studies at UBC in Literature and Rhetoric, Anne settled in Whitehorse and taught at Yukon College for 20 years. She became involved with numerous arts organizations and was active in local environmental work. In fact, Anne was a co-founder of Raven Recycling and also helped form the Yukon International Storytelling Festival. In addition to working with Frank in managing Muktuk Adventures and their ranch operations, Anne also works with the Champagne Aishihik First Nations’ Executive Council. Of the many things which Anne is passionate about, top of her list is her children, stepchildren and granddaughters, growing herbs, and, of course, caring for the family of dogs at Muktuk.