This year, they were camped on Afognak Island northwest of the village of Kodiak, but Gene, 69, and his son, Karl, 44, and their two partners, Tom Frohlick, 44, and Steve Fitzpatrick, 48, both employees of Gene's concrete contracting business, motored their skiff across the straits and down about 10 miles to the lower end of Raspberry Island to hunt Sitka blacktails. Gene's plan was to position Steve on a ridge, move out about 200 yards, and circle to move a deer toward him. If by late in the day Steve hadn't gotten a deer, and Gene got a chance for a buck, he would take it. The rules called for the partner to be alert for the shot and then listen for the owl hoot. It would then be the partner's job to join Gene and watch his back during the field-dressing. About that time Steve dropped his cap's earflaps.