This May I'm headed for the Alaska Peninsula to spot, stalk, and shoot a brown bear with a recurve bow (you'll be able to find full coverage of this trip on Live Hunt). As I get physically and mentally prepared for this hunt, I can’t help but think back to some of the bear stories I’ve heard.
The southern coast of Alaska, loaded with toothy predators the size of Volkswagens, is where bear stories are born. My friends Luke and Josh Randall of Afognak Wilderness Lodge have no shortage of these stories, as they have been guiding and hunting some of the largest land predators in the world for most of their lives. When I was down at the lodge hunting deer last December, Luke told me one such story that would send shivers down any hunter’s spine.
The hunt started out normal enough … [ Read Full Post ]
If you want to get an earful of opinions here in Alaska, just ask people about their favorite bear backup gun. You’re likely to get anything from a .50 BMG to a buddy who runs slower than you. Alaska is a place full of big bears and tall tales, but the right backup gun can save your life. The best calibers for big bears are obviously large caliber rifles, but it’s not always convenient to carry around a crew-served artillery piece.
I’ll soon be headed down to the Alaska Peninsula to hunt brown bears with my recurve bow. Needless to say, it would be foolish to make a go of it without having some type of backup firearm. So what do I take? [ Read Full Post ]
Alaska attracts a certain type of person, and with Fairbanks (my hometown) being literally the end of civilization, that fact is more evident here than anywhere else. Fairbanks is full of hardy, freedom-loving people who often “don’t fit the mold.” Although the modern world is here and creeping ever deeper into The Last Frontier, there are many of us who dream of an older, wilder time, and have to find a way to keep in touch with that. [ Read Full Post ]
The photo at the bottom of this blog looks like it could have come from the set of a horror movie. But don’t blame Wes Craven: This picture was taken by my buddy, JR, while he was out on his trap line this winter.
One day in early March, JR cut across the tracks of a frantic yearling caribou running down a riverbank out of the woods. The caribou wasn’t alone though. JR could see another animal was putting a paw down every few yards, hanging on in a death grip to the fleeing caribou.
By backtracking, he found out what was taking place, reading the tracks as if it were still happening. He found where the caribou had been traveling along the riverbank, and a large lynx had waited in ambush. [ Read Full Post ]
The hazards of trapping in Alaska are numerous and include breakdowns, overflow, and bitterly cold temperatures. In these arctic conditions, the line that separates normal and dangerous is pretty thin. The line that separates dangerous and deadly is even thinner. A common saying here is, “In Alaska, little problems can become big problems very quickly.” I’ve had quite a few close calls over the years, days when everything seems to go wrong, but there’s one that easily tops my list of near-death experiences. [ Read Full Post ]
Outside of Alaska, there are few places where you can impress women by telling them a story about trapping a wolverine in a wolf piss set. Don’t believe me? Well, here’s at least how you get the story…
A pack of wolves prowled through our lynx trapping area earlier this season, but we hadn’t been able to pattern them, so we focused our effort on the cats.
But then, on a late February solo trip, I saw that a pack of 3 or 4 wolves had run down our trail for about two miles. I found several spots where they had peed along the trail to mark their territory. These spots would be surefire places to catch a wolf if the pack came back through. I didn’t have any wolf traps left in my box, so I decided to backtrack and pull an Alaskan No. 9, resetting it where the wolves had passed. [ Read Full Post ]
The 2011 hunting season, brought to you all last year via Live Hunt, was the best hunting season of my life.
We started off hunting black bears with traditional archery gear in Interior Alaska, where I was able to take a Pope & Young bear on the first night. August took me to the Arctic, chasing Dall sheep in the northern Brooks Range. After a long hike in, and hours behind the glass, my partners and I were able to harvest three beautiful rams on opening day. [ Read Full Post ]