Over the years I’ve gone through enough knives to outfit a steakhouse, but most of them have been just another knife. That all changed the first time I used a Havalon. My buddy Steve let me use his to cape my Dall sheep, and I couldn’t believe how fast I was able to get it done. I was sold on it right then and there as a caping knife, but Havalon knives are much more than that. [ Read Full Post ]
After having a compound bow that did little more than take up closet space for several years, I got back into shooting traditional bows last year. I don’t have anything against compounds, but they aren’t for me. Traditional bows have a certain nostalgic appeal, and with all of the practice it took to improve my shooting with them, I’ve developed a certain attachment. [ Read Full Post ]
As most of you can probably relate, work too often gets in the way of the hunting I would much rather be doing, and from the day I got back from my Chugach goat hunt, it was 60- to 70-hour work weeks with little hope of escape. All summer I had been looking forward to hunting the late bow season for moose, during which my dad and I took a nice meat bull last year. It wasn’t looking like I would get much time to hunt it this year, but I was finally able to sneak away the last three days of September. After throwing some gear together, I headed up to dump my boat in the river. [ Read Full Post ]
After taking my goat on our second day in the mountains, we quickly realized what a lucky break we’d gotten. From the time we crawled into the tent, and for several days after that, the wind and rain became so bad we were stuck. The few times we did try to get out and glass, the wind would almost knock us down onto the ice. It would have been bad if we were on dry ground, but this was downright dangerous.
Moving around on ice littered with crevasses and holes into which a man could easily disappear was pretty frightening, especially since we could barely walk or stand up! We later found out that this huge storm had brought 100 mph winds to Anchorage, and I think we got every bit of that. [ Read Full Post ]
I don’t know if I would say I take pride in it, but I always do my best to be prepared for any challenges a remote hunt might present. I usually do pretty well, but my goat hunt this year gave me a big reality check. Just five days after returning from my sheep hunt, as I was packing my goat gear in my truck to head down to the Chugach Range, my uncle Tracy called and asked if I was taking crampons. I didn’t have any, so he said to come pick up an old pair of his, that he’s ended up needing them for every goat hunt he’s ever been on. I was sure glad I did. Due to weather, the pilots who were flying my buddy Steve and me into the mountains weren’t able to take us into the drainage we’d hoped to be dropped off in, and instead had to land us on a glacier! [ Read Full Post ]
When taking to the mountains, there’s certainly no shortage of gear to bring. Before every trip I go through a checklist in my head, covering everything from socks to stove to game bags. Now there’s one more item I won’t leave home without. [ Read Full Post ]
Packing and glassing are the two toughest tasks of a sheep hunt and, combined, they occupy the vast majority of the time you spend in the mountains chasing rams. They are arguably of equal importance, but glassing literally makes or breaks a hunt.
To get off to a good start glassing, quality optics are critical. For the last couple years, I’ve used Swarovski binoculars and spotting scopes, and they are hard to beat. In fact, most serious sheep hunters will have a pair of Swaro’s hanging around their neck. Their clarity, light gathering ability, and ruggedness are second to none. Quality optics are expensive, but without them, all of the other money invested in a hunt might be for nothing. [ Read Full Post ]