Page 1

FISHING • HUNTING • ADVENTURE

ADVENTURE IS CALLING! Yukon Rams Kenai Billies Panhandle Bruins

AKSPORTINGJOURNAL.COM

ALASKA THE HE LAST FRONTIER

How TV’s Kilcher Family Does Turkey Day

PEBBLE MINE UPDATE New Coalition Fights Back

Misty M isty R Raney aney

HOMESTEAD RESCUE’S Wonder Woman

USAF Colonel’s Cold War

POLAR BEAR HUNT


2

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


4

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

5


6

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


aksportingjournal.com ak aksp s orti t ngjo tingjo ngjo ourna urnaal.co ur l.co co c m | NOVEMBER NOVE NOV NOVE OV VEMBER MBE 2017 20 201 017

ALASKA ALA LASKA SK KA SPORTING KA SSP P PORT ORT OR RT TIING N JO NG JJOURNAL OURN URNAL AL

7


ALASKA

SPORTING JOURNAL Hair On and Leather Tanning • Taxidermy

Volume 9 • Issue 6 www.aksportingjournal.com PUBLISHER James R. Baker ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Dick Openshaw GENERAL MANAGER John Rusnak EXECUTIVE EDITOR Andy Walgamott EDITOR Chris Cocoles WRITERS Paul D. Atkins, Scott Haugen, Tiffany Haugen, Conrad Jungmann, Jr., Jeff Lund, Mike Lunde, Bixler McClure, Krystin McClure, Troy Rodakowski, David Zoby SALES MANAGER Katie Higgins

Englewood, Colorado (303) 293-2882 www.rockymountaintanners.com

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Nancy Ekse, Mamie Griffin, Mike Smith, Paul Yarnold PRODUCTION MANAGER Sonjia Kells DESIGNERS Sam Rockwell, Jake Weipert WEB DEVELOPMENT/INBOUND MARKETING Jon Hines PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Kelly Baker OFFICE MANAGER/ACCOUNTS Audra Higgins ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Katie Sauro INFORMATION SERVICES MANAGER Lois Sanborn ADVERTISING INQUIRIES media@media-inc.com ON THE COVER In the rugged terrain of the Yukon Territory, Terry Rodakowski and his son Troy covered a lot of ground riding horses and wearing out their bodies while hiking in search of an elusive Dall sheep that finally was taken by the elder Rodakowski. (TROY RODAKOWSKI) MEDIA INDEX PUBLISHING GROUP WASHINGTON OFFICE 14240 Interurban Ave South • Suite 190 Tukwila, WA 98168 (206) 382-9220 • Fax (206) 382-9437 media@media-inc.com • www.media-inc.com OREGON OFFICE 8116 SW Durham Rd • Tigard, OR 97224 CORRESPONDENCE Twitter @AKSportJourn Facebook.com/alaskasportingjournal Email ccocoles@media-inc.com

8

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

9


YOUR SOURCE FOR AR-15 BARRELS

WWW.SPINTAPRECISION.COM


CONTENTS

VOLUME 9 • ISSUE 6

FEATURES 20

A HOMESTEAD RESCUER’S TALE Misty Raney is a chip off the old block in the mold of her dad Marty Raney, who we profiled last year as the patriarch of the Discovery Channel series Homestead Rescue. But Misty can more than hold her own with her father and brother, whether it’s fishing, mountain climbing or helping overwhelmed off-the-grid residents get back on track.

93

PREDATOR CALLING PRINCIPLES Scott Haugen’s Alaska adventures have included hunting critters like wolves, foxes – even wolverines. Indeed, there’s no shortage of predators to hunt in the Last Frontier. Scott shares calling tips for them, while Tiffany Haugen, the other half of our Field to Fire team, whips up a healthy, protein-rich snack to keep you fueled up while pursuing furry fangers this winter.

99

WHAT BLADE IS BEST? You’ve downed that trophy Alaska moose or caribou and now the clock is ticking on getting your animal field-dressed. Better have a good knife handy for all the work and ensure you get that meat packed before any predators show up looking for a handout. Paul Atkins covers a wide range of knife styles and brands available for your shopping and slicing pleasure.

109 WHEN IRISH EYES ARE SMILING A Homer-based charter boat service, DeepStrike Sportfishing, operates two vessels that plumb the Gulf of Alaska’s depths for salmon and bottomfish. Our Dave Zoby tagged along aboard the F/V Irish Mist to see if the luck of the Irish works when it comes to fishing in Alaskan waters.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE 33 47 73 86 121

How the Alaska: The Last Frontier’s Kilchers celebrate Thanksgiving Retired U.S. Air Force colonel recalls an epic polar bear hunt – on Russian ice Hunting Seward mountain goats Three buddies and a pair of Panhandle black bear Last-chance Interior fall fisheries

DEPARTMENTS 17 45 45 83

The Editor’s Note Protecting Wild Alaska: Bristol Bay/Pebble Mine disputes continue Outdoor Calendar Big Game Spotlight: All about Alces alces – moose

59

THERE’S NO EASY RAM Troy Rodakowski and his dad Terry (pictured) headed into the vast and rocky terrain of the Yukon Territory in search of a full-curl Dall sheep. Using Norwegian fjord horses and their own two legs, it was a grueling hunt for father and son, who both suffered aches and pains along the way. But when the prize is a trophy ram, nothing is going to get in the way of these hunters. (TROY RODAKOWSKI)

Alaska Sporting Journal is published monthly. Call Media Inc. Publishing Group for a current rate card. Discounts for frequency advertising. All submitted materials become the property of Media Inc. Publishing Group and will not be returned. Annual subscriptions are $29.95 (12 issues) or $39.95 (24 issues). Send check or money order to Media Inc. Publishing Group, 14240 Interurban Ave South, Suite 190, Tukwila, WA 98168 or call (206) 382-9220 with VISA or M/C. Back issues may be ordered at Media Inc. Publishing Group, subject to availability, at the cost of $5 plus shipping. Copyright © 2017 Media Inc. Publishing Group. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be copied by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording by any information storage or retrieval system, without the express written permission of the publisher. Printed in U.S.A. 12

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

13


14

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


Oregon Big Game

RAFFLE HUNTS Winners get:

Extended season, including the rut Hunt with any legal weapon Expanded hunt area

DEER • ELK • DEER/ELK COMBO • ROCKY MOUNTAIN GOAT PRONGHORN ANTELOPE • BIGHORN SHEEP

TICKETS ON SALE DECEMBER 1, 2017 For information visit www.OregonRaffleHunts.com or any Oregon POS license agent. NEW THIS YEAR: Additional 30 days extended season aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

15


16

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


EDITOR’S NOTE

Alaskan Misty Raney is fighting the good fight for off-the-grid residents in desperate need of help to survive the challenges of homesteading. (DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

I

t’s been a tough few weeks of headlines for women in light of the disgusting allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault pointed at disgraced Hollywood big shot Harvey Weinstein. Kudos to those models and actors – from A-listers like Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Beckinsale to those without household name recognition – who came forward and exposed the now-infamous Academy Award-winning producer as a lecherous predator. Now for some good news for women: We think you’ll enjoy our profile this month on Misty Raney, who is part of a family trio that travels to visit and assist off-the-grid residents on Discovery Channel’s series Homestead Rescue. “It would be nice to have families that have all their ducks in a row, but we don’t,” Raney told me. “We see families at their lowest point. It is so hard.” We introduced you to Misty’s dad, Marty Raney, in a previous issue. But I’m glad I had a chance to chat with Misty, who – even if she would probably humbly refuse to believe this – is a role model. Actually, it was Misty who finds inspiration in every wife, girlfriend and mom she encounters when she, Marty and her brother Matt show up to provide some guidance to clearly overwhelmed, underprepared or unlucky homesteaders desperate for a lifeline. As you’ll discover, it’s the women she interacts with who are the real role models. She still keeps in touch with many of them, usually through emails and letters. “I’m so inspired by these women; they have no idea” Raney said. Keep up the good work, Misty. –Chris Cocoles

REFUSE TO FISH ORDINARY. FALL 2017 ITEMS. IN STORES NOW.

9” Bubba Shad

7” & 9”

Magnum Octopus

WWW.AAWORMS.COM aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

17


18

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

19


THE MAGIC OF MISTY HOMESTEAD RESCUE STAR’S CONNECTION WITH THE OUTDOORS STARTS WITH FAMILY

BY CHRIS COCOLES

W

hen she’s working to help up struggling off-the-grid families from rock bottom, Misty Raney usually finds a connection with the matriarch of the house. And that makes sense; Raney is a strong, tough, relentless and stubborn woman after growing up in an unforgiving Alaskan environment in a family of hearty outdoorsmen and -women. As one of three Raneys – with dad Marty (Alaska Sporting Journal, July 2016) and brother Matt – taking on the toughest of living crises on the Discovery Channel series Homestead Rescue, Misty can’t help but get attached. “People are patting me on the back and giving me props, telling me, ‘It’s amazing what you’ve done.’ But actually, I say to look at these women and how they’re living their lives,” she says. “They are made of a material that doesn’t exist, because any normal woman would have given up years ago.” But Misty, 36, won’t let them throw in the towel and abandon the choice they made to trade city life for the wil-


“I love Alaska … It’s a challenging place that expects a lot out of you,” says Misty Raney. “Growing up in Alaska I think I was destined to have a good time.” (DISCOVERY CHANNEL) aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

21


The Raney family is extremely tight, especially the Homestead Rescue trio of Misty, brother Matt and their dad Marty. (DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

derness and all the challenges that go with such a drastic change. Underneath the tough love the Raneys must dish out as their subjects deteriorate into desperation territory, there is also unfiltered affection and admiration. Misty, now a wife and mom herself, can relate to what’s going on. “I get incredibly emotionally attached. I’m not just blowing smoke; they truly are an inspiration to me. Some of them are older than me, right?” she says. “So there is that bigger sister effect, and I’m in awe. I want to be that woman when I get older.” “I just wanted to make it easier on them, because this lifestyle is not easy. Let’s not forget about the hard work for a second; it can be really taxing on you. But you’ve really got to have your head on straight, because every day is a challenge; every day is an inconvenience. Women like convenience and we like nice things and to be taken care of. But this lifestyle is not going to give you those things.” 22

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

But it’s also the lifestyle that’s made Raney’s life such a thrilling ride, one that she wouldn’t have traded for any luxury downtown penthouse or suburban mansion.

IF YOU WERE TO use one word to describe Misty Raney’s childhood in the Alaskan bush, don’t let it be the “T” word. “I don’t like the word tomboy because I’m not a certain type of person. I’m just Misty. But it was normal for me to do all the boy things. You had to have that edge,” she says. And in Marty and Mollee Raney’s isolated home, you got to play hard, but only after you worked hard. Misty, who besides fellow Homestead Rescue sibling Matt also has a sister (Melanee, the owner of a Girdwood, Alaska rafting company) and brother (Miles, a mountain biker and adventure traveler), was sometimes wondering what her friends did when the kids were helping with the building materials of their dad’s Wasilla-based business, Alaska Stone and Log.

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

“When I was a kid, our buddies, they’d go out and do who knows what. But we were working all the time. My whole childhood we worked – all the time – and I look back at how important those expectations we had at a really young age,” Misty Raney says. “The older I got I really enjoyed building. In the early days I would say, ‘I don’t want to use a chainsaw or chop wood.’ But then it became my favorite thing to do when I was like 12.” And there was a trade-off to the sweat equity the Raney kids built up making their contributions. The Alaskan backdrop provided quite the playground to explore. All the kids learned their dad’s survival skills after Marty was attracted to the wide-open spaces of the Last Frontier. Misty’s forever pastime became fishing, whether for fun or subsistence reasons (not like there was much of a difference between the two). But since these were the Raneys, it wasn’t like many of the fishing trips


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

23


lacked thrills and chills. She, Marty and Matt once were dropped off along the silty, fast-moving waters of the Chitina River to dipnet for Copper River sockeye. “My dad and me and Matt had to sleep on this side of the cliff for a couple hours, with no tent, of course, and we only had one sleeping bag,” she says. “And we had to think about it really logically. We’d say, ‘OK, Dad, you’re the biggest and you go on the bottom, because you’re going to roll down on top of us.’ Matt was in the middle and I was on top, and we were just sandwiched in. I don’t what the point was because you don’t sleep; you just close your eyes for a second.” But these were the days that made her home so special. “Alaska is a very challenging place; it’s very harsh and cold. Maybe we don’t know any better but it’s the best place on Earth; it’s paradise. Even now when you do know better it’s still a special place. No place for the weak, that’s for sure. It takes a special type of person to love it in their hearts,” Raney says. “I love Alaska. It’s your home. It was really challenging. It’s a challenging place that expects a lot

24

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

out of you. Growing up in Alaska I think I was destined to have a good time.”

GAME NIGHT AT THE Raney house was always a hotly contested matchup that pitted stubborn, independent kids and stubborn, independent parents. “Yelling and fighting and shouts of ‘I’m not talking to you for the rest of my life!’” Misty recalls with a laugh. “We’re all so competitive. But I think it’s good to be competitive. It really makes you try harder; you see something and say, ‘I can do that.’” Then again, in an interview last year, Marty Raney said his is as close-knit of a family as he and Mollee could have hoped for. “I don’t know if we hold the patent on a nice, close Alaskan working family, but I will say this: If anybody did a little research on my wife and I and our four kids, they would be blown away,” Marty said. “Everyone gets along and I’ve never seen my kids fight. We’re just not that type of people and everyone’s pretty mellow and easy going. But when it comes to adventure or a task, they’re incredibly

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

Misty’s passions are fishing and family, and now she’s introducing son Gauge to the outdoors. (MISTY RANEY)


7.62 x 51/.308 RIFLES DZT-USAR10-20G2

7.62 x 39 16" FLUTED BARRELS

MSRP $2,839.00

MSRP $225.00 DEZTacticalArms.com aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

25


26

intense and some are fierce competitors.” Misty’s older sister Melanee left home at a young age to get married, leaving Misty to spend a lot of time with her younger and older brothers. But it’s her parents who’ve had the biggest impact. “My mom is the toughest person that I know, and a lot of us think she’s the toughest one in our family. She’s this beautiful, soft-spoken woman and she’s made of nails,” Misty says. “She’ll be the last one fishing and she’s out there hunting the longest. I don’t know, man. Everybody knows my dad; he’s very tough. To have those two be our parents … I was raised (to be) incredibly independent and to problem solve and figure things out on your own.” Of her dad, Misty says, “I’m still learning from him. I think, ‘How did I not know that?’ And there are some episodes that have aired and some to come where he has so much up that pirate shirt sleeve – you are just shocked at how many tricks he has up that sleeve.” Misty and Marty have incredible chemistry together on Homestead Rescue, which

is anything but a surprise to either one, nor to those who are close to both. Count Misty’s husband Maciah Bilodeau among the believers (Maciah,

IOSSO PRODUCTS

www.iosso.com

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

Marty, Misty and Matt have shared a lot of adventures traveling the country to visit homesteaders in need, but some of Misty’s best memories are fishing with her brother and dad. (DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

Misty and their 6-year-old son, Gauge, split time between Alaska and Maciah’s home in Hawaii). “My husband, in a not so weird way

888-747-4332

Made in USA


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

27


– or maybe it is weird – calls me ‘Little Marty,’ which is painful to hear,” Misty says with a laugh. “It’s such a compliment at the same time. I don’t know what your relationship is with your dad, but it’s so important. That’s from who you learn how to do everything – how to love everything. He’s an all-in type of guy and he’s the hardest worker you’ll ever meet and he has really high values and morals. He loves the outdoors and the mountains. He just takes so much joy at working really, really hard.”

WANT TO KNOW WHAT puts the Mist in Misty? Ask her about the families her family has visited on Homestead Rescue. One such case seen earlier this year were the Crums, a couple overwhelmed by their new home in the Montana wilderness and the medical condition of the husband, Jay. “I remember having to say goodbye to Pattie Crum. I loved her ... I was the first one to talk and just burst into tears,” Misty says. “You spend so much time with them – side by side – in these crazy places. You become so incredibly attached to them.”

28

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

REACHING THE SUMMIT Marty Raney’s biggest passion is mountain climbing. As a guide and otherwise he’s summited Alaska’s mighty Denali multiple times. But one ascent was memorable for both Marty and daughter Misty a few years back. Here’s how she described her first climb of the tallest peak in North America: “There were nine Japanese people, my dad and me. The craziest part is my dad ended up getting altitude sickness and we stayed at 14,000 (feet) for like 10 days. The weather cleared and we moved, but then my dad ended up getting sick.” (Editor’s note: The ordeal was made into a documentary back in Japan.) “We had this crazy conversation where he said, ‘I want you to come back with me.’ And I was like, ‘What?’ He said, ‘I’m not going any further and I don’t want you going up; the mountain will always be here. You’ll have the rest of your life to climb it. ‘I’m not going back, Dad’ … We were all roped together, and to unclip from my dad was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.” “It meant more than just unclipping and climbing this mountain. It was really just letting go. I think later it blew his mind; he said, ‘You really are an independent person.’ When I unclipped I was fighting back the tears. He’s had so much experience having grown up mountaineering. And I just had a handful of experiences and I’d never been on Denali …” “I knew I was old enough to make my own decisions, but I rely on my dad still. And all of that experience I had to let go and totally believe in myself and my own abilities … I’m still surprised that I unclipped and told myself, ‘I’m going to do this. I want to see what I’m made of.’ And we ended up getting caught at 17,000 (feet). But we ended up summiting and we ended up getting separated for five-plus days … So he watched and waited and waited, and finally I strolled in and he was so stoked and pumped. I’ve never seen my dad so happy.” ASJ

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

29


And given her family’s swashbuckling lifestyle and personal choices to live off the grid, the heartbreaking reality of Homestead Rescue is this: Not everyone is as steadfast and prepared to handle the harsh environment of the wild. “One of the biggest things people who watch our show say to me, they’re really hard on these families. I think it sounds easier than it actually is,” Misty says. “A lot of people think, ‘I can do that. Why would they do that?’” “This is their last chance. All their money, all their this and all their that, is crammed into this measly, broken little homestead. And they’re just doing their absolute best with what they have. For me to enter that world, I try to work as possibly hard as I can … We have this crazy job where we help people fix their homesteads. It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of.” ASJ

Misty has never been shy about the outdoors or rolling up her sleeves, traits which make her a perfect fit on Homestead Rescue, which provides problem solving for struggling offthe-grid families. (DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

Editor’s note: New episodes of Homestead Rescue can be seen on the Discovery Channel starting Wednesday, Nov. 9. For more, go to discovery.com/tv-shows/ homestead-rescue.

30

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

31


32

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


A KILCHER FAMILY THANKSGIVING

Living on Alaskan homesteads and spending much of their time growing, fishing and hunting for their food, it’s rare that the Kilcher family of TV’s Alaska: The Last Frontier is able to get together, which makes their annual Thanksgiving episode a special reunion. (DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

HOW THE ALASKA: THE LAST FRONTIER CREW CELEBRATES TURKEY DAY (PERHAPS WITH SOME BEAR STEW?) BY CHRIS COCOLES

B

y the time Nov. 23 rolls around and we celebrate Thanksgiving, grocery stores will have been pilfered by the masses and their cavalcade of carts, coupons and checkstand lines four and five deep. It’s a quick process that usually means supermarket runs a day or two before the holiday, and then it’s over save for the cleanup and the multiple meals the leftovers will provide. But how does a homesteading family like the Kilchers of Alaska: The Last Frontier give thanks? It’s a traditional meal that’s planned and harvested months in advance. The Discovery Channel series usually treats viewers to a Thanksgiving-themed episode, which is held at someone’s homestead (or in one instance, at the family’s revered and hallowed “barn” originally built by patriarch Yule Kilcher). Not surprisingly, Thanksgiving with these folks doesn’t include store-

bought turkey or instant mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie. In an earlier season episode, the menu included food caught, grown or shot by the family, highlighted by the turkey raised by Eve and Eivin, Atz Lee’s black bear shepherd’s pie, Jane’s silver salmon dip, and a beef dish from Otto’s beloved but aging cow. “I think (the stories) make it really fun, and it makes everyone stop for a moment and it serves as kind of a blessing before the meal,” says Atz’s brother Otto Kilcher. “It’s about giving honor to not only to whoever cooked it but for that one critter that may have lost its life to give us our bounty. It’s really an important tradition for me.” We chatted with Otto and his wife Charlotte Kilcher for an inside look of how the Kilchers roll on Turkey Day.

Chris Cocoles Thanksgiving is important for my family and me – my dad always hosts his brothers and their families – but I get the sense that it’s sacred for the

Kilchers and how much planning it takes.

Charlotte Kilcher I get what you mean. We’ll do different focuses for the (Thanksgiving episodes) each year, but really it could almost be the same. We do grow a lot if not all of our food. For us, if you’re going to have a turkey for Thanksgiving, you’re going to have to think about that in the spring. Or for your vegetable garden you have to be planting the seeds. It’s such a long-term preparation compared to if you’re just going to go to the store. You’re working through the whole year for that wonderful family meal. Otto Kilcher Our family is so scattered, and Thanksgiving is one of the times of the year when we do get together. It is sort of a time when almost all of us are together, compared to just a few here and a few there. It’s a celebration of all the projects you’ve done … I think we just take that moment to appreciate where our food came from, and sometimes we hear some pretty crazy stories.

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

33


You never know what kind of wild game, fish or grown crop a Kilcher holiday meal could include. One highlight of Thanksgiving is the Kilchers telling stories about how they hunted, fished or gathered the ingredients for a particular main or side dish. (DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

CC Otto, what are some of your early memories of Thanksgiving with your mom and dad? OK Of course, our Thanksgiving dinners growing up were in the family cabin, which isn’t allowed to be on television because of the family’s personal reasons, but the barn (next to the cabin), we lived in that barn for quite a few years. And there, also, was a place where we all could get together. The meals were more than just the usual fare. It was a time when you could eat that goose you’ve been saving all year. You’d eat that special cut of moose meat or maybe somebody got a sheep. The meat was special and usually the bread was baked special. It was the best (food you had). And boy did we look forward to that.

prepared or harvested that brings back a Thanksgiving memory? OK Probably for us it would be some kind of yam or potato dish because Charlotte is a vegetarian, so it wouldn’t be furry or feathered. CK I do eat fish, and usually at the family Thanksgivings there’s a turkey or some kind of fowl, and usually we’ll have some kind of salmon and I’ll eat that. But usually I’ll bring a vegetable dish and our Thanksgivings are always potluck. That way no one has to take the responsibility of cooking everything for that many people. OK If it’s our house and Charlotte cooks a big vegetable dish, I’ll save a prime rib of some old cow or some choice cut of meat. On Thanksgiving at our house, no one will ever go home hungry.

CC What kind of cooks were your par-

CC And your menus run the full gamut.

ents, Yule and Ruth? OK My mom was an absolute excellent cook. She hardly ever used a recipe and did everything in her head. And really I learned about cooking from her skills. Dad was pretty much a meat, potatoes and stew guy. And later on, after Mom was gone, he was sometimes awesome and sometimes awful. He came up with some of the best and some of the worst stuff for dinner. But he loved to bake his own bread – the nettle bread. But he was one of those meat-and-potatoes cooks. CK He was really good (making) sourdough.

One year’s episode I saw Atz Lee made some shepherd’s pie from black bear and a brown bear stew. OK He could have that bear (laughs). I don’t really eat a lot of bear. There’s not very much that I won’t eat, but I don’t like bear.

CC Do you have a holiday dish that you 34

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

CC Have you eaten some moose and caribou Thanksgiving dishes also? OK Oh, boy, there’s almost nothing better than a real succulent moose roast. That would be my choice. But for me, I don’t really feel a need to shoot a moose; I love seeing them around, so Charlotte’s rubbed off me on a little bit in that regard.


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

35


MAKE EVE’S KILLER CORNBREAD STUFFING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Cookbook author Eve Kilcher provides a delicious cornbread stuffing recipe that’s sure to be a hit with your Turkey Day bird. (EVE KILCHER/ HOMESTEAD COOKING)

Otto and Charlotte Kilcher’s daughter-in-law Eve (Alaska Sporting Journal, November 2016), married to their son Eivin, has taken her cooking skills to the publishing world with a cookbook, Homestead Cooking (available at most retail outlets, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.). “She really knows the local plants and makes good use of all the local spices and seasonings,” Otto Kilcher says of Eve. “Especially compared to me; I’m just a meat-and-potatoes-with-saltand-pepper kind of a guy.” The following recipe is reprinted with permission from Homestead Cooking, published by Penguin Group LLC:

CORNBREAD STUFFING Makes about 10 cups, enough to stuff a large turkey 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil, plus more for the baking dish Four celery stalks, finely diced Two garlic cloves, minced Four carrots, finely diced 2 cups finely diced onion One recipe of whole wheat cornbread (see below) Four fresh sage leaves, minced 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley ½ cup dried sour cherries ½ cup pine nuts 1½ to 2 cups homemade vegetable or chicken stock Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-14-inch ceramic or glass baking dish. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the celery, garlic, carrots, and onion and cook until they are tender, about 10 minutes. Crumble the cornbread into a very large bowl. Add the sautéed vegetable mixture, sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley, cherries, and pine nuts and mix 36

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

well. Add the stock and stir together to make a moist mixture. Spread the stuffing in the prepared dish. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown, stirring once after 15 minutes.

WHOLE WHEAT CORNBREAD Serves six 4 tablespoons (½ stick) salted butter, plus more for the baking dish ⅔ cup plus 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour ½ cup organic fine cornmeal 1 tablespoon baking powder, sifted ¼ teaspoon salt 1 cup fresh, canned, or thawed frozen corn kernels ½ cup heavy cream 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup Two large eggs ½ cup sour cream Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. With butter, generously grease an 8-by-8-inch baking dish or 9-inch cast-iron skillet. In a large bowl, mix together ⅔ cup of the whole wheat flour, the cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In a small pan, melt the butter over

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

medium heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour and whisk until the roux begins to smell nutty and has a nice light brown color, about three minutes. Add the corn and cream. Whisk until the mixture thickens; this should take only a couple of minutes. Mix in the honey and remove from the heat. Let cool slightly. Add the creamed corn mixture, eggs, and sour cream to the bowl with the flour and stir the ingredients well to combine without overmixing. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

RECIPE NOTES: You can also bake the bread in a loaf pan, but you’ll want to increase the baking time by 15 to 20 minutes. For a little added sweetness, a homemade honey or maple butter is the perfect topping for this cornbread. A word to the wise: It’s a good idea to double this recipe, because you’ll surely want to consume one loaf fresh out of the oven, leaving nothing to serve later. ASJ


10% OFF ®

USE DISCOUNT CODE:

®

ASJ17

CLEAN BORE CLEAN SCORE COMPLETE RIFLE PISTOL SHOTGUN

GUN CARE “Bore Tech products are proving that Clean Bores win matches!” - Bob Bock, US F-Class

WWW.BORETECH.COM aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

37


CK And we’re not really as big of hunters as others are in our family. But on our Thanksgiving table we’ll usually have other types of game besides the meat from what we get from Otto’s cattle. CC And I saw a previous episode when Otto got very emotional after you made the decision to take the meat from one of your older cows that was with you for a long time but was near the end. What was that like for you? I got kind of choked up when I saw it. OK It was hard but you came to the realization that this cow would suffer (had it stayed alive through the winter), and you feel thankful and appreciative. I feel that you’ve almost done this animal a favor. It’s ironic because we’re talking about Thanksgiving. But a good way to say it is, it ain’t easy.

CC I live in a big city and grew up in a big city, so grocery stores become a necessity to get our holiday dinners. But you must take so much pride that you can grow and harvest what you put on your Thanksgiving meal.

38

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

CK Yes, I think that’s a very satisfying feeling that we do that year-round, but definitely when you have Thanksgiving and you’re thinking about being thankful and thinking about the food and how it got onto the table. And that adds so much to it when you’re able to have that lifestyle and be so close to the food that you’ve raised. There’s something about the experience of collecting that food. OK And I have to say also that we’re all so busy all year and everyone is doing his or her own thing. But a real big thing to be thankful for, our food is a symbol of people taking their time and not being too busy to come over. To some degree, Thanksgiving probably does symbolize that – hey, let’s stop and for everyone to put any little arguments aside.

“A real big thing to be thankful for, our food is a symbol of people taking their time and not being too busy to come over,” says Otto, (right) with his wife Charlotte. “On Thanksgiving at our house, no one will ever go home hungry.” (DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

CC As parents, do you two and Atz and Bonnie get emotional when you see your kids and grandkids all together for the holidays? CK Definitely. I think we’re so grateful to have our kids living nearby and our grandkids are right next door and that we can share much more than just one or two

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

holidays. We can celebrate life with them.

CC Is (daughter-in-law) Eve [see sidebar] the best cook in the family? CK She probably has earned the name as the family cook. But I have to admit, there are a lot of good cooks in


G N I D L BUI

ETT B A

ON I T C A R E

Come see us at SHOT Show booth #1928!

U T I S VI Find Us On Facebook!

E N I L N SO

(402) 782-2884 www.BighornArms.com

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

39


the family [laughs], but Eve definitely has a flair for it. She takes such pride in the ingredients that she uses and in preparing all her own food. She’s very dedicated to the homesteader life. She’s an amazing gardener.

CC Do you appreciate that so many of the Kilcher kids have embraced the homesteading way of life and choose to live near their parents? OK Absolutely. Charlotte and I have four boys between us and we feel so blessed that we have them among us. We all like to be around each other. I know I can’t imagine a better blessing than that. CK I’m super proud of my kids and the fact that they are living this life with us. Some of them are really dedicated homesteaders, and all of them really appreciate their roots and that they grew up this way. They could still apply that no matter where they went and the knowledge that they gained.

CC Any sneak preview to what you’ll bringing to this year’s Thanksgiving dinner?

After a summer and fall of working hard to ensure plenty of food for winter, the culmination of all the Kilchers’ hard work is gathering as a family for holiday celebrations. (DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

CK Probably a vegetable dish [laughs]. And Eivin and Eve, every year they raise two turkeys and name one of them Christmas and the other Thanksgiving. So I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a turkey from those guys.

CC And I guess given the bounty of what’s available, the menu is always a grab bag and full of surprises. CK For sure, people bring stuff each year. I feel like I’m in a bit of a rut with what I bring. And I’m probably the most in the

rut. But although you can’t grow yams in Alaska, I can’t imagine a Thanksgiving without yams. So I’m always the one bringing yams. OK You know, for me, I’m always good for a big cotton-pickin’ roast. ASJ Editor’s note: New episodes of Alaska: The Last Frontier air on Sundays at 9 p.m. (check your local listings). For more, go to discovery.com/tv-shows/alaska-the-lastfrontier. Follow on Twitter (@AlaskaTLF) and like at facebook.com/AlaskaTLF.

WORLD’S LARGEST Track Dealer Tatou T4S Tatou UTV 4S1 Commander ATV WS4 Commander UTV WSS4 Camso DTS 129 TJD X-Track TJD X-Gen Camso (Formally Camoplast) Tatou T4S • All Season

Bercomac, Snowblowers and Plows for ATV and UTV

STAY IN THE WOODS LONGER WITH TRACKS!

For more info, email us: info@atvtracks.net Or give us a call: 866-243-8359 40

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

41


CDNN Outers’ 51 Piece Gunsmithing Screwdriver Kit is great for gunsmithing, installing sights or scopes, or everyday use around the home. It includes a molded driver with magnetic tip, 15 flathead bits, 10 hex bits (inch), nine hex bits (metric), four Phillips bits, nine torx bits, two extra-long Phillips bits and one hex-tosquare adapter. You get all of this for only $9.99. WWW.CDNNSPORTS.COM

Add a little intelligence to your culinary war chest this year. The Bradley Smart smoker is capable of monitoring your food’s temperature and notifying you when things are done, or needing attention. WWW.BRADLEYSMOKER.COM

BRADLEY SMOKER

The Lewis Winch 400-MK2 K2 is the most versatile portable winch nch out there and will pull 4,000 pounds in a straight line using the right ght size 5cc), an nd chainsaw (5 cubic inch/85cc), and up to 8,000 pounds usingg onee Lewis Winch Snatch Block.. WWW.LEWISWINCH.COM M

NOMAR

LEWIS WINCH NCH

Nomar’s Waterproof Gun Scabbard is made in Alaska for that off-the-beaten-path hhunting adventure. Offering waterproof, padded protection for your favorite hunting rifle, it measures 15 inches by 57 inches overall and will hold a scoped rifle up to 47 inches long. TThe top rolls and cinches closed to protect the gun. Soft-sided and float-plane friendly, it has Th D-rings to add a carry strap and is priced at $109.00. WWW.NOMARALASKA.COM

BORE TECH Bore TTech’s Bore ech’ ec h s superior supe p rior gun care products are the perfect holiday gift. Keep those thos shotguns clean with our technologically advanced Shotgun Blend and exclusive Shotgun Jags. A must-have for every serious shotgunner, these innovative products make cleaning stubborn fouling a breeze. Are your shotguns Bore Tech clean? WWW.BORETECH.COM

JL BILLET JL Billet’s MBS (Modular Billet Stock) is a patented, all-aluminum modular buttstock designed to fit AR-15 and AR-10 Mil-Spec collapsible buffer tubes. We start with 6061 T6 aircraft-grade aluminum and precision CNC machine each piece to ensure an exact fit and perfect function. WWW.JLBILLET.COM


Looking for the perfect gift for the boater in your life? The Kwik-Pull Anchor Retriever (ITD5100) is it. To retrieve your anchor, just install this handy device to your anchor rope and buoy, simply drive the boat forward and your anchor retrieves itself. To find out how it works, go to Fishfighterproducts.com and watch the video. This is one device that’s revolutionizing how people retrieve their aanchor. nc or. Made ade inn thee UUSA, SAA, it comes co es with th our our 100-percent 100 pe ce money-back o ey bac guarantee. guuar a an ee. CCalllll ((208) Ca 2 8) 20 8 580-1904. 5800 -190 1904. WWW.FISHFIGHTERPRODUCTS.COM

VANSTARR ARM CHAPS FISH FIGHTER HT

OUTFITTER SATELLITE The Iridium Extreme is the best choice for satellite communication beyond where cell phones can reach. The Extreme operates on the Iridium network, with truly global coverage anywhere, including extreme polar regions. Gift yourself and your family peace of mind for your next hunting excursion with the Iridium Extreme. WWW.OUTFITTERSATELLITE.COM

The perfect gift for those who want to avoid the cuts and scratches common in many activities, especially for those who have thin skin or bruise easily. Don’t stop doing the activities i you want to do – instead, just get the comfortable, durable protection you need. WWW.ARMCHAPS.COM

WESTERN RANGE CAMPS Western Range Camps are the ultimate hunting lodge on wheels. You get the comfort of a wood-burning stove and the durability of handcrafted American workmanship. We provide the perfect solution for getting you deeper into the wild, while keeping you warm, safe and comfortable. For more, call us today at (435) 462- 5300, write to Western Range Camps, 1145 S Blackhawk Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, UT 84647, or find us online. WWW.WRCAMPS.COM aksportingjournal.com | MAY 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

43


44

ALASKA A ALA LASKA LA SK KA A SPORTING SSP PORTING JOURN JOURNAL RN R NAL AL

NOVEMBER 2017 | ak aksportingjournal.com ksportingjournal.com


NEW COALITION BRACING FOR MORE PEBBLE MINE FIGHTS

PROTECTING

WILD ALASKA

BY CHRIS COCOLES

I

f there was going to be one guarantee about the Pebble Mine fight – regardless of whether you were pro-mining or pro-salmon – it was that it was going to go the distance. “(It’s) been a decade fighting this fight,” Brett Veerhusen said in an email. “The gift that keeps on giving.” Veerhusen is a Seattle-based commercial fisherman who makes a living fishing Bristol Bay’s sockeye salmon-filled waters. His fight is to protect those waters from a proposed mine that contains valuable amounts of copper and gold but is also in the headwaters of so many salmon spawning rivers. Veerhusen is one of the directors for a recently created coalition, Businesses For Bristol Bay (b4bb.org). Northern Dynasty Mineral’s Pebble Limited Partnership, now the sole backer behind the project, doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. “It’s an approach all Alaskans and all Americans should support,” company CEO Tom Collier said earlier this year in a press release, “because it has the benefit of maintaining the high standards for environmental protection for which the state and country are known, while attracting investment in projects that create high-wage jobs and other much-needed economic benefits in our country.” President Donald Trump’s new lead-

Brett Veerhusen, a commercial fisherman seen here speaking at a 2014 anti-Pebble Mine rally in Seattle, is one of the directors for a new coalition, Businesses for Bristol Bay, fighting to protect Bristol Bay’s salmon runs. (CHRIS COCOLES)

ership at the Environmental Protection Agency would seem to agree. After Scott Pruitt, administrator for the EPA, met with Collier in the spring, he announced plans to reverse Obama Administration measures to protect Bristol Bay under the Clean Water Act. “This is the jewel in the crown of America’s fisheries resources, this salmon. If you don’t think this is worth saving, what is? If you don’t think that (a gold and copper mine) is going to constitute a threat, what would?” University of Washington professor Thomas Quinn told CNN. “To me, if you don’t draw a line in the sand here, there’s none to be drawn anywhere. You’re

OUTDOOR CALENDAR Nov. 1 Nov. 1 Nov. 1 Nov. 1-14 Nov. 1-14 Nov. 1-14 Nov. 15 Nov. 15

Late deer season in Game Management Unit 5 (Yakutat) Resident goat season opens in GMU 8 (Kodiak-Shelikof) Resident brown bear season opens in GMU 9 (Alaska Peninsula) Late goat season in GMU 7 (Seward) Bow-and-arrow or muzzleloader-only deer season in GMU 8 Late goat season in GMU 15 (Kenai Peninsula) Late elk season opens in GMU 3 (Etolin Island) Moose season in GMU 5 (south of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park)

Editor’s note: For more specific information on hunting regulations, refer to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s handbook (adfg.alaska.gov).

saying that no resource, no matter how valuable, is off-limits to development – no matter how obviously deleterious.” In October, Pebble Partnership unveiled “A New Path Forward” as part of its initial plans, though even the miners understand we’re still years away from actually following through, long after the White House and EPA will have gone through changes again. But that’s fine with Veerhusen, who’s got a decade of time in the ring. Veerhusen’s Businesses for Bristol Bay lineup includes power hitters like Orvis CEO Perk Perkins and renowned Seattle-area chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas. “Conserving the one-of-a-kind resource we have in Bristol Bay is not only economically savvy, but it is also aligned with conservative values that emphasize long-term welfare over short-term gain,” Perkins said. “If we are to truly put America first, we must take action to prevent the Pebble Mine. The region’s economy and culture are rich, and its currency is salmon. If we take care of the salmon and rivers, that wealth will support communities and American jobs forever.” One thing is for sure: Nobody on any side is going away anytime soon. Too much is at stake. ASJ

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

45


You want quiet?

WE HAVE QUIET! INTEGRALLY SUPPRESSED RUGER MK II/III/IV, 10/22, 77/22* ABSOLUTELY QUIETEST AVAILABLE**

HI-VEL AMMO RUNS SUBSONIC. CYCLES MOST AMMO, INCLUDING MANY SUBSONIC. COMPACT, ONLY EXTENDS 7” BEYOND GRIP FRAME ON RUGER PISTOL.

WWW.SRTARMS.COM 522 Finnie Flat Road, Ste. E, PMB 138 Camp Verde, AZ 86322 Ph: (928) 567-2588 * Customer must supply host firearm for modification.

46

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

**Results of US Army testing of several competing brands.


THAT TIME A USAF COL. HUNTED POLAR BEARS ON SOVIET ICE

A RETIRED AIR FORCE OFFICER RECALLS A MEMORABLE 1963 EXCURSION ON THE FROZEN CHUKCHI SEA BY CONRAD JUNGMANN JR.

I

n March 1963, memorable and life-changing events were unfolding across the globe. Martin Luther King Jr. was campaigning in Birmingham; the Beatles were releasing their debut album; still eight months before his fateful trip to Dallas, President John F. Kennedy was peacefully meeting with Central American leaders in Costa Rica. In Alaska, Cold War tension nearly went “hot” several times as U.S. and Russian military planes infringed on each other’s airspace. And at headquarters for the Alaska Air Command, Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Col. George T. Boone and his hunting partner Bill were busy packing for a once-in-a-lifetime polar bear hunt. “I had just finished my MBA at Northwestern and, at first, I did not want to go up there, but it turned out to be one of my

favorite assignments,” recalls Boone, now 84, who arrived at Elmendorf in 1961 as base chief of transportation. He would eventually serve 26 years in the military. “Hunting and fishing became our passion. Together, Bill and I bought a Stinson aircraft with a 190-horsepower engine to give us access to good hunting and fishing areas. We hunted moose, bear, sheep, caribou and goats. Hunting polar bear was something we always talked about doing,” he says. But there is nothing easy about hunting the Arctic giants – or at least was up to 1972, when sport hunting was banned. Access to polar bears is greatly affected by shifting ice conditions and unpredictable, sometimes violent weather. To add to the complexity, polar bears are wanderers. Sometimes travelling in pairs – but mostly alone – they move constantly with the northern ice flows and traverse hundreds of miles at a time in a continual

George T. Boone, a retired U.S. Force Air Force colonel, didn’t lack for adventure during his time in Alaska, which included a polar bear hunt “in Russian territory.” (GEORGE T. BOONE)

quest for food. The best time to hunt them is in the late fall and early spring, when the bears are concentrated where seals are abundant – near marginal ice edges and pressure ridges. Even though recreational hunting using aircraft was common from 1951 to 1972, very few had success on their own. “We had been up in the Nome and Teller Mission area looking around and quickly realized that there was a lot we did not know about polar bear hunting,” Boone says with a laugh. “Everything was white as hell for as far as the eye could see, and our compass was useless that far north. To navigate, you just about always had to follow a coastline or a river. We nearly always carried two 5-gallon

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

47


cans of gas – just to be sure. Our aircraft also had a built-in survival kit that could keep you going for a week or two in case of an emergency. Most people have no concept just how hostile it is up there.”

IN 1963, 20 TROPHY-HUNTING polar bear pilot and guide teams were operating in Alaska; three of them used the Teller Mission as base camp. Most airplane hunting targeted the Chukchi-Bering Sea bear population, which was shared by the United States and the then-Soviet Union, which banned polar bear hunting in 1957. Kotzebue was the major hunting hub in Alaska, but guides were also working out of Point Barrow, Point Hope, Wainwright and Teller. Regardless of where they started, polar bear hunters had to go a considerable distance out across the ice sheet before getting a chance at a bear. According to historic Alaska Department of Fish and Game records, average distances in miles that bears were killed from shore by airplane hunters at primary hunting bases included 118 from Kotzebue, 86 from Point Hope, 87 from Teller, and 54 from Barrow. “After we found a guide outfit that we trusted, we flew to Nome and met him and his partner at the North Star Hotel,” remembers Boone, although he could not recall the guide’s name. “From there we flew in their two aircraft north to the Teller Mission, where the guide had rented us a couple of cabins for the night. Being

Today, polar bears in Alaska are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection and Endangered Species Acts. A limited subsistence harvest is still permitted, but sport hunting is prohibited. All aerial hunting has also been banned in Alaska since 1972. (TERRY DEBRUYNE/USFWS)

in the military, I had government-issued Arctic clothing – everything from mukluks to world-class parkas – and even insulated underwear. Even with all that on I remember it was still cold – very, very cold.” Today, as it was 55 years ago, Teller remains a remote and treeless Inupiat Eskimo village nestled on the lower spit that extends north into Port Clarence Bay on the Seward Peninsula. The 60 or so families that make up the permanent resident population rely on subsistence hunting and fishing to survive. Harvesting whales, walrus, seals and polar bear is something their ancestors have been doing for as far back as anyone can remember. Polar bears, or

THE COLONEL’S CAREER George T. Boone began civilian flight training in April 1953 and purchased his first aircraft the same month. He received his civilian pilot’s license in October 1953. He began U.S. Air Force pilot training in September 1954 and was awarded his wings as a single-engine jet pilot in August 1955. His military career covered 26 years, during which time he piloted single-engine jet and reciprocating-engine aircraft, multi-engine jet and -reciprocating-engine aircraft, single-engine float and ski-equipped aircraft, plus aircraft with combinations of jet and reciprocating engines. In 1972 Boone was the USAF test pilot on the Boeing 747 and Douglas DC10 experimental tanker program. Following his Air Force retirement in 1980, he managed Illini Airport and Flight Service in Urbana, Illinois. In June 1982, he became the director of Monroe County Airport and concurrently served as a pilot for Indiana University and Great West Insurance Company. Boone has been an active pilot for 60 years and currently owns and operates a Cessna 170B. He has logged over 6,000 hours as a civilian pilot and was an USAF Command Pilot, and in July 2013 the FAA gave him the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for over 60 years of accident-free piloting. CJ

48

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

Nanuuq as they call them, are significantly important, both spiritually and culturally, to this indigenous community. “The guide and his assistant really seemed to know their work – no fooling around, all business,” Boone recalls. “They thought we would find bears far from shore where the ice was moving, so at daybreak the next morning, I got in one of the Piper Super Cubs with the main guide and Bill got in the second aircraft with the other.” Common procedure in those days for hunting the northern ice sheet was to use two ski-equipped light planes flying together. One would land and create a runway on the ice before radioing to the second that it was safe to touch down. On long flights, like some of the ones from Kotzebue to beyond the International Dateline, one aircraft would simply fly cover for the other and perhaps carry extra gasoline. More frequently, both aircraft would carry gas reserves and each would transport a guide and hunter. “We followed the frozen coastline north because it was the only way to navigate,” Boone says. “As soon as we made it to Tin City (radar station), we veered east out over the ice sheet to search for open water. Eventually, we crossed over the Diomede Islands, and it started to look very promising for bears.”

TWENTY-FIVE MILES FROM the mainland and in the middle of the Bering Sea, the


Choose quality Alaskan-made gear when planning your next adventure.

GUN SCABBARD waterproof gun bag

ATTENTION ASJ READERS:

Shop nomaralaska.com to see all the gear we make for outdoor adventures.

MENTION THIS AD FOR A FREE CARRY STRAP WITH PURCHASE OF THE GUN SCABBARD

Homer, Alaska • 1-800-478-8364 • nomaralaska.com aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

49


two isolated Diomede Islands symbolize the official boundary between the United States and Russia. The eastern one, Little Diomede, contains a village of about 80 people living in roughly 30 clustered dwellings on a steep hill on the western coast. One of the world’s largest walrus populations migrates through each spring, and its harvest is so important to the community that they have adjusted their school schedule to accommodate it. A steep grade from the shoreline rising 100 feet in elevation levels off to a flat plateau on top of the 3-square-mile hard and cold granite rock. Two and a half miles to the west, Big Diomede marked the beginning of what was the Soviet Union and is today the Russian Federation. After World War II, the native population was forced off the island so it could accommodate a military base. That base was fully staffed when Col. Boone and his hunting party flew past it in 1963. Both islands are thought to be one of the last exposed portions of the Bering Land Bridge. Together they form the southernmost boundary of the Chukchi Sea and the

50

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

Bill, Col. Boone’s Alaskan hunting partner, shows off Boone’s polar bear skull after Native villagers cleaned it. (GEORGE T. BOONE)

beginning of good polar bear hunting. Most guides in those days would fly 200 or 300 feet off the ground, searching for bear tracks in the snow. Once found, guides would judge whether the animal that made the track was of trophy size. If so, and if snow and light conditions were good, the track was followed until the bear was found.

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

“Close to some open water where the ice shelf had broken off we spotted some nice bears hunting along the open water,” says Boone. “We were a long way out and in Russian territory. My guide picked out a landing spot behind some big ice chunks about a quarter mile from the bears. It looked smooth from the air but it wasn’t. The ice was


aksportingjournal.com aksporti aksp orti tn ngj ng ngjo g gjjjo gjo o ourna urrrn urn u urna rna naal.co n l.co co com | NOVE NO NOV N NOVEMBER OV O OVE VE VEM MB MBE MBER BER BE B ER ER 2017 201 20 2 017 01

ALASKA ALA AL A LA L ASSK ASKA SKA KA K A SPORTING SPORT SP O ING JOURNAL

51


very rough under the snow. After we stopped, we stamped out a runway with our snowshoes so Bill and his guide could safely land. It was very cold work. After we were all together we started working our way towards the bears.”

POLAR BEARS HAVE NO natural enemies, and it’s easy to see why when considering that mature males weigh 800 to 1,200 pounds and are 8 to 10 feet in length. The largest can weigh more than 1,600 pounds. Big bears mean big appetites, and ringed seals, walrus and beluga whale are the bear’s main sources of food. “They’re not scared of a damn thing,” says Boone, who was about to find out from really close up. “The ice was pretty broken up and there were plenty of blocks 5 to 8 feet high, so it was easy to traverse through the area without being seen by the bears. After what seemed like forever, the two bears suddenly appeared about 100 yards in front of us, 20 yards apart. We got as near to them as possible and then made our shots. I took a shot with my Winchester Model 70 in .300 H&H

52

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

“There is no doubt that the polar bear hunt was my greatest hunt in Alaska,” Boone says. “They’re not scared of a damn thing.” (GEORGE T. BOONE)

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

53


and thought I hit him, but he came toward us rather than run away. I took a second shot and dropped him for good. Bill always used a .30-06 for everything we hunted and he and his guide kept working through the ice pack. About a half-hour later, he too got his bear. Bill got the smaller of the two bears. His was about 5 or 6 inches shorter than mine.” The colonel grins when telling this story. His bear was just 2 inches short of 10 feet.

DURING THIS PERIOD, POLAR bear hunters were required to report kills to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, although many subsistence hunters did not. According to the 1963 official “estimated” harvest report, only 138 polar bears were taken from the Chukchi-Bering Sea population that year. Just 188 were harvested statewide. So this was a unique experience for Boone. “The guides then really went to work, with us helping. They did not mess around. They had all the necessary equipment in their backpacks – knives and

saws,” Boone says. “In no time, we had the pelts removed with the skull still in place, all rolled up and back at the aircraft.” “We had to sit on top of the bear hides on the way back to Teller. Daylight was just about gone when we got there, but our work was done. I always regretted that I had no pictures of the hunt, but the guides probably wouldn’t have messed around with cameras anyway.” When the hunting party arrived back in Teller, Native Alaskans removed the fat with traditional crescent-shaped ulu knives and delicately skinned the feet and mouth. “The Natives seemed to know what to do. They cleaned up the hides, scraped the fat off, and prepared everything for the trip back to Nome,” Boone says. “The next day we flew back and shipped the hides to Jonas Brothers Taxidermy in Anchorage to be made into museum-quality rugs.” Today, polar bears in Alaska are protected under the federal Marine Mammal Protection and Endangered Species Acts. They’re managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in cooperation with

the Alaska Nanuuq Commission. A limited subsistence harvest is still permitted, but sport hunting is prohibited. All aerial hunting has also been banned in Alaska since 1972. Today, the worldwide population of polar bear is estimated to be between 20,000 and 25,000. The days of polar bear hunting are mostly over, but for Boone, it was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. “There is no doubt that the polar bear hunt was my greatest hunt in Alaska. I would have extended my stay for another year, but the 9.3 earthquake of 1964 put an end to that plan,” Boone says. “After that, my wife said it was time to leave Alaska.” ASJ Editor’s note: Conrad Jungmann Jr. was introduced to Col. Boone after he purchased the polar bear rug described in this epic hunt. A lifelong outdoorsman, adventurer and writer, he lives in the Seattle area with his wife and three children. Conrad just finished writing his first novel, Edge of Redfish Lake, a mystery-thriller set in the commercial salmon fisheries of 1980s Alaska.

GUN VAULT on Fox Hill

www.gun-vault.com 207.834.6470 gunvault1@fairpoint.net 54

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


NEW PRODUCT Arm Protection for Home/Work/Recreation With Arm Chaps ® • 100% High Quality Cowhide that’s tough, but soft! • Continue doing the things you enjoy... but Protected! • Helps prevent bruising, cuts, scratches, and burns. • Ideal for those who Bruise Easily or have Thin Skin. • Perfect for working with thorny/needled plants & trees, clearing brush, etc. • Easily worn under regular gloves or over sleeves. • Comes in various sizes and colors for Best Fit.

Helps prevent this!

• 100+ uses for this product!!

651-492-4830 • www.armchaps.com

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

55


G AL L E RY

GUNS & ACCESSORIES

SRT ARMS

DEZ ARMS, INC

Ruger 77/44 suppressor See us on page 46

16-inch, 7.62x39mm match-grade fluted AR-15 barrel See us on page 25

RUBBER CITY ARMORY

Low-mass competition bolt-carrier group See us on page 28

SPINTA PRECISION 4.5-inch 9mm barrel See us on page 10

R&S PRECISION AR15

See us on page 52

56

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


JL BILLET Custom .308

See us on page 58

THE BEST OF THE WEST The Best Th B t off the th West W tH Hunter t Elite Elit See us on page 103

NOWLIN ARMS

CDNN SPORTS

Match Master Pistol, .45ACP See us on page 101

Savage Hunter XP Bushnell Combo See us on page 105

BIGHORN ARMS

Invisi-Nut Torque Wrench See us on page 39

CENTURION ARMS CM4 upper

See us on page 92

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

57


If You’re Not Using PrOlix® You’re Working Too Hard! N E S T EP ALL IN O

DRY LUBRICANT • Improves Accuracy • Prevents Jamming • Won’t Flash Off • Will Not Freeze • Non-Hazardous • Reduces Fouling • Won’t Harm Wood, Primers, s,, or Old Guns • Bio Preferred by USDA • Non-Petroleum

ProChemCo LLC 801-569-2763 | 800-248-LUBE (5823) www.prolixlubricant.com 58

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


THERE IS NO M EASY RAM

BY TROY RODAKOWSKI

A FATHER-SON DALL SHEEP HUNT IN THE YUKON FEATURES GRUELING HIKING AND RIDING

ore than 200 miles north of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Jack London would easily find plenty of adventure and inspiration for storytelling near the small lake and cabins that Widrig Outfitters makes home. It takes the wranglers and guides nearly two weeks in July to trail in supplies and horses to the two Canadian base camps, where they hunt sheep, caribou, moose and grizzly through October. The trail is rough, horses have died and most folks dare not take the wild lands lightly. The Yukon Territory is a very magical place where the rivers run wild, cold and clean, lakes freeze solid, and animals survive in some of Earth’s harshest conditions. Scarcely touched by humans, most only dream to travel into the remote backcountry where grizzly bears, fox, wolverines and wolves prowl in search of food beneath the glow of the northern lights. Moose, caribou and sheep roam the valleys and high reaches of the shale mountain peaks that stretch toward the heavens. Most outdoorsmen and -women travel here to find solitude, tranquility, enjoy nature, drink from glacier-fed creeks or hunt the wild animals that traverse these untamed lands. One might even be lucky enough to cast a line and catch a trout or Arctic grayling to cook over the fire for supper.

MY FATHER AND I had prepared all spring

Hunting high-elevation game like Dall sheep in the rugged wilderness of Canada’s Yukon Territory means steep, punishing climbs, but success comes by learning to endure the pain and keep pushing towards the rams. (TROY RODAKOWSKI)

and early summer for our Dall sheep hunt here. We put in plenty of time in at the gym, on hikes and organizing our gear as we meticulously readied ourselves for the hunt. Both of us had been to the Yukon once before, so we pretty much knew what to expect. No matter your physical condition or strength the Yukon will take its toll on your body. Riding horseback into the backcountry for six to 10 hours at a time will make for some very sore muscles. No treadmill or weight regime can fully prepare your body for an intense hunt into the backcountry. The only thing that will truly prepare a person is to be there and do it or find some moun-


tains that simulate the conditions you will encounter. My dad, Terry Rodakowski, had the Dall sheep tag in his pocket and I opted for a grizzly permit to use once we had bagged his ram. Our main focus was to find a full-curl that was over 35 inches with good mass and around 10 years old. Guides Ryan Widrig and Dan Gunton made it clear we would be riding into some rough country where we’d set up our spike camp. From there we would saddle horses, glass sheep through our spotters and hike into remote canyons in search of secluded rams. We couldn’t wait to get there.

ONCE OUR FLOATPLANE LANDED, we had about an hour or so before we loaded up our pack string. We took this time to organize our gear and shoot our rifles. The mounts were mostly Norwegian fjord

60

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

Horses, including Norwegian fjords, provide the main mode of transport in the Yukon. Using the pack and riding animals helps to preserve the natural landscape and leave the land undisturbed for the most part. (TROY RODAKOWSKI)

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

61


horses that were muscular, sure-footed and tough, which was perfect for the rugged country. Red Man, Nash, Olga, Garth, Ella, Windy and many others would be our transportation and haul gear for 10 days. “Have you ever done anything like that?” I asked Dad, following our first hike into a remote basin. “Heck no, that was pretty extreme!” he replied. To be honest, there were a couple times that if I had lost my footing, I might have been hurt badly, or even worse. This is intense hunting, and for my father, a retired Navy SEAL from way back during the Vietnam era, to say it was “extreme” meant it was just that. On our third day, Ryan was able to spot a ram on a small plateaued meadow surrounded by tall outcroppings of rock and sheer drops on every side. There was

GEAR CHECK FOOTWEAR: PANTS: JACKETS: THERMALS: HEADWEAR: PACKS: OPTICS: RIFLES: AMMO: KNIVES:

no way to access the sheep unless you rapelled or parachuted to the spot. Through our spotters we watched him for two days, hoping he would move from his location; unfortunately, he disappeared instead. It was then that we decided to break camp, load the horses and ride 11 hours to another spike camp

Terry Rodakowski glasses for rams in the heights. The first the hunters spotted was in an impossible spot to reach, and didn’t move for two days, forcing them to change locations in hopes of better luck. (TROY RODAKOWSKI)

62

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

Zamberlan Outfitter GTX; Salomon Quest 4D Northern Hunting Brand Aslak Teit bottoms; Skjold Arn bottoms Northern Hunting Brand Skjold Aki jacket; Roar jacket Cabela’s insulated bottoms and tops; Under Armour Base Protection Northern Hunting Dry beanie; Under Armour; Huntworth; KUIU Slumberjack Hone daypack; KUIU Phantom pack; Eberlestock pack Vortex Razor spotter and field glasses; Swarovski field glasses MOA Evolution .300 Winchester Magnum Rifle; Ruger .338 Mag. Berger 210-grain VLD Custom; 210-Grain Federal Safari Grade BTSP Havalon; Kershaw; Buck; Custom

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

where we hoped to see more sheep. Unfortunately, this move would take an entire day and that meant it would also waste a day of hunting, but the move was necessary. Our new camp was located near the border of the Northwest Territories, in the Mackenzie Mountain Range.


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

63


Wildlife was abundant, and below the heights the hunters ran into a bull caribou taking a drink from a cold stream. Grizzly bears were frequently spotted throughout the trip too, but the author was unable to find a mature male to put his tag on. (TROY RODAKOWSKI)

The guides had seen several groups of sheep in the area on a scouting trip, so we were quite optimistic that our move would pay off. We had also seen some grizzly bear and caribou on the way, which made me hopeful that I might fill my tag within the next several days. Through it all, the riding and hiking were beginning to take a toll on our bodies. Both Dad and I had aching muscles

64

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

and were occasionally getting cramps from hiking the intense terrain, and we also suffered some minor saddle sores. The sheep were found anywhere from 3,000 to 9,000 feet, and luckily we’d be hunting some lower elevations from our new camp. As we sat around the willow fire that evening, all of us were optimistic at the prospects the following morning could

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

bring. Tired, the hot meal of ground moose meat, green beans and rice hit the spot before we crawled for our tents and I my Slumberjack SJK contour bivy. We needed the rest for what was coming.

BELLS FROM THE HOBBLED horses and clucks from feeding ptarmigan awoke us somewhere after 5 a.m., and fortunately the cowboy coffee was already


LODGING


perking over the fire. Dan had the horses wrangled and Ryan was working on breakfast: eggs, bacon and hash browns all cooked over the fire, our usual meal. If we were lucky, there might even be a piece of burnt toast available. Believe me, this is considered fine cuisine out here in the backcountry and is much-needed fuel, as we were all burning 7,000 to 10,000 calories per day. We chowed down on the breakfast and loaded our packs with energy bars and a couple sandwiches for the day. The horses were saddled and ready as we departed for a location where sheep had been spotted a few weeks prior. An hour into our ride after seeing

only a few ewes and lambs scattered in the rocks, we spotted a bachelor group of seven rams. We tied up our horses, set up the spotters and began to look them over. We found that three of them were very nice. One in particular was really enticing, featuring a fantastic curl, great mass and easily over 35 inches. “That ram might even be pushing 40!” Ryan said in a hushed whisper. Our blood was pumping now and we devised a plan to stalk the sheep up a steep ridge and position my dad across from them for a shot. Three of the sheep had bedded and Ryan thought they’d stay down long

A DIFFICULT BEAR HUNT This trip only confirmed to me that grizzly hunting is tough. Though there are a good number of the bears in the Yukon Territory, and believe me, we saw our fair share, I did not have the opportunity to chamber a round. According to the Yukon Fish and Game Association, in a 4,000-square-mile section of the Yukon, there are only around an average of 200 bears. That being said, harvesting a sow decreases tag numbers for outfitters and other hunters. It is important to remain very selective on the particular bear a hunter decides to harvest. TR

enough for the hike that was pushing at as much as three hours. But once we were in position for a shot and settled, the sheep began to move away. There was no time to waste. The G7 rangefinder read 352 yards and Dad was now dialing in his Nightforce scope that topped his MOA Evolution .300 Winchester Magnum Rifle. The big ram wasn’t making this easy since he was facing away from the party. My dad patiently waited as the sheep gradually increased the distance. “I’m waiting for him to turn before I shoot,” he whispered. By now the ram had moved past 450 yards. “Can you make that shot?” Ryan asked, and it didn’t take long for the answer to come as Dad’s .300 broke the silence. “I don’t know if you hit him; shoot again.” The ram began to stumble downhill as the second shot cracked. “You got him! You got him! You got your ram!” Ryan hollered. The 210-grain Berger Custom VLD load connected with the big ram as he began to somersault down the shale

THE PERFECT DESTINATION FOR YOUR ALASKAN ADVENTURE WELCOME TO THE YAKUTAT LODGE One of Alaska’s finest world-class fishing destinations, we offer affordable vacations where you can tailor a trip to your “taste and budget.” Easy access, with daily jet service right to the lodge door, river and ocean guides, a full-service restaurant and cocktail lounge, and comfortable yet rustic to downright fancy lodging accommodations in rooms or cabins, at our airport facility, or on the bay. ŚljƃȢɰɁȃƃʤljƃɽƃƺȟȢljɰȃɁɥӗǼȈǹɽɰȃɁɥӗƃȶǁɰljȢȢˎɰȃȈȶǼȢȈƺljȶɰljɰӗƃɰʥljȢȢƃɰ arrange vehicle rentals. Let our staff welcome you home, and our professional and experienced guides and captains “Share Alaska with you!”

THIS IS WORLD-CLASS FISHING, AS GOOD AS IT GETS!

STEELHEAD | SOCKEYE | PINK SALMON SILVER SALMON | DOLLY VARDEN RAINBOW TROUT | HALIBUT | KING SALMON | LINGCOD | PACIFIC ROCKFISH

66

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

1-800-925-8828 yakutatlodge.com


LODGING All-Inclusive Pack ages: Food/Lodging & Guided Fishing

TRUE ALASKAN CHARTERS is located in beautiful .HWFKLNDQ$. For more than a hundred years and four generations, my family has EHHQJXLGLQJ.HWFKLNDQÀVKLQJFKDUWHUV)URP$ODVNDEHDUKXQWVWR .HWFKLNDQKDOLEXWÀVKLQJZHKDYHDOOWULHGWRPDNHDOORIRXUJXHVWKDYH DQH[SHULHQFHRIDOLIHWLPH,ILWLV\RXUÀUVWWLPHRUKDYHEHHQRQD ÀVKLQJFKDUWHUEHIRUH\RXFDQEHVXUHZHZLOOGRRXUEHVWWRJLYH\RX D7UXH$ODVNDQ([SHULHQFH

2018 Complete Pack age R ates Available M ay-September

3 nights / 2 day fishing --- $1699.00

R ates do not include sales ta xes, gr atuities, alcoholic bever ages and fishing license. Based on double occupancy.

5 Nights / 4 day fishing --- $2599.00

4 nights / 3 day fishing --- $2149.00

6 Nights / 5 day fishing --- $3049.00

7UXH$ODVNDQ&KDUWHUVWRJHWKHUZLWK&DSH)R[/RGJHRIIHUV\RXDQDGYHQWXUHWKDWFRPELQHV FRPIRUWVW\OHDQGYDOXHZLWKLQFUHGLEOHÀVKLQJWRFUHDWHWKHXOWLPDWHDQJOLQJH[SHULHQFH It’s our goal. It’s our commitment.

Complete Pack ages

Lodging

P.O.Box 23173, Ketchikan, AK 99901 1-866-882-2979

800 Venetia Ave., Ketchik an, AK 907-225-8001

www.truealask ancharters.com

www.capefoxlodge.com


Terry and son Troy, the author, were all smiles after working very hard to bag a trophy ram of a lifetime. The sheep hunter’s 10-year-old Dall measured 37 inches. (TROY RODAKOWSKI)

cliff and came to a crashing halt over 300 yards down the next drainage.

IT TOOK NEARLY SIX more hours to get over to the ram. When we arrived we found that both shots were fatal hits. After field dressing and taking measurements, the 10-year-old ram was measured at 37 inches. It was a happy day in a place that is more special to us than most will ever know. You form bonds and make friends in this remote land where memories bind us together for eternity. ASJ Editor’s note: For more information on hunting the Yukon and a trip with Widrig Outfitters go to widrigoutfitters.com. Special thanks to Northern Hunting, Slumberjack SJK, Huntworth, MOA Rifles, Berger Bullets, Ruger, Vortex, Black Sheep Aviation and everyone at Widrig Outfitters. 68

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


LODGING


LODGING


LODGING Southeast Alaska

The Annie Mae Lodge IN GUSTAVUS AT GLACIER BAY Y

B FO OOK R 2 IN 018 G N SE OW AS ON !

(Full Service Lodge in a Beautiful Setting)

World Class fishing! • Pacific Halibut • Salmon • Rock Fish

Call us for Custom Packages!

800- 478-2346 Toll Free (907)697-2346 Fax (907) 697-2211 Email: reservations@anniemae.com P.O. Box 55, Gustavus, AK 99826

www.anniemae.com Down Home Comfort & Hospitality

Reference code ASJ2018 when inquiring for a 5% discount


LODGING


Mountain goats love hanging around steep terrain. Hunters? Not as much. Searching from their boat, the authors weighed not only how feasible it would be to shoot a billy but get it down and back to the boat. (BIXLER MCCLURE)

OUR BOAT, OUR GOAT THE CHALLENGE OF TAKING AND RETRIEVING A RESURRECTION PENINSULA BILLY BY KRYSTIN AND BIXLER MCCLURE

H

ow about that one?” “No.” “Why not?” I stood on the deck of our boat, Missing Lynx, with my eyes on a nice billy perched on a cliff just above an inaccessible wooded precipice. It was lying down, enjoying the drizzly day while we bounced around in the swell contemplating the shot. Bixler said he would go for it, but my calculations said otherwise. As an engineer, I’m very fanatical about where my shots go and where the animal will eventually end up. A goat stuck on an inaccessible cliff is not something I want to deal with. However, that is the nature of goat hunting. An animal standing on a cliff above the water seems like an easy target, until you start thinking about the logistics of retrieving the goat. In February, I drew the coveted DG346 tag for Resurrection Peninsula, which sits off our home port of Seward.

We have been putting in for this tag for years, since our summer days are spent observing goats walking all over the landscape. As soon as the hunt opened, we started combing the entire peninsula by boat to look for an easy goat. “Easy” quickly became an understatement. True, there were a few goats perched on low cliffs, but then we started asking questions like “Where will it fall?” and “Do goats float?” I made a mistake of passing on some easy goats on the first day. The weather turned and for nearly a month the ocean became a nasty maelstrom. Goat hunting from the boat was out of the question until the weather cleared, which wasn’t until the end of September. Bixler expressed his frustration by offering to pack the animal down if I shot it. We had Lynx, our nearly 1-yearold son, to contend with during this hunt. We refused to bring him in his hiking carrier on the peninsula’s steep, slippery terrain, so he would need to stay on the boat with one of us while

we shot and then the other dressed and packed out the goat. Along with the lousy weather, this added another logistical curve ball to the hunt.

AFTER THE WEATHER FINALLY cleared, the goats seemed scarce the first few days we went out, but as September moved toward October we started to see them lower along the cliffs out near the cape. Following a few unsuccessful boat trips and one unsuccessful stalk, we decided to head out on a calm day for the last goat hunt. If I was unsuccessful, there was a good chance the registration hunt would open in November and we could try again then. Frankly, we were tired of driving the boat around in circles looking at inaccessible goats or attempting to land our packrafts along mossy cliffs. We headed out towards the cape to check out some usual spots. We saw a nice billy on a cliff but passed initially to check out the goat activity in Day Harbor. Three goats were perched along an exposed cliff but climbed

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

73


They look low enough, but the mountains of Cape Resurrection and the Resurrection Peninsula are every bit as steep as much higher ones elsewhere. That’s where goats live, though. (BIXLER MCCLURE)

quickly into the spruce forest as the boat approached. “I guess I’ll try for that other goat we saw back in Resurrection Bay.” Bixler sped the boat back into Resurrection Bay, rounding Cape Resurrection and heading north to an unnamed cove where we had seen the goat browsing. It was still there and it had moved into an even better position. I visualized that if I shot it, it would fall into spots that were all accessible. I told Bixler I was going for it. I lowered myself into my packraft off a point and paddled into a small rocky

74

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

cove. Thankfully, the tide was high so I could easily push the packraft up into the woods. I took my .338 out of its waterproof case and went ultralight through the forest. Unfortunately, the forest turned out to be a mossy mess. Each footstep was like walking on pillows 3 feet thick. Eventually, I made it to a slippery cliff that I could not climb, so I followed around the edge until I found a drainage I could walk up. My goal was to get to a knoll above the treeline and hope for a long shot on the goat. I found the top of the knoll and climbed hand-over-hand

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

to reach the top. As I peeked over, I did not see the goat. I set up my tripod and had started to position my gun when the goat appeared around a hemlock. It was looking at me dead on and trying to figure out what was making such a commotion, since I blended in with the forest in my full camo. I guessed the shot would be over 150 yards and my range finder confirmed it as 165. It was the longest shot I would have ever done, and after a quick calculation of where the goat would fall, I took it. The goat stood for a second, then


LODGING

KODIAK RUSSIAN RIVER LODGE Bed & Breakfast Easy Access To A Variety Of Outdoor Activities: Fishing, Hunting, Sight-seeing Walking Distance To The Ocean, Sergeant Creek, Russian River!

Subscribe Today! aksportingjournal.com

11322 South Russian Creek Rd., Kodiak AK, 99615 907.487.4430 • kodiakrussianriverlodge.com


BILLY GOAT STUFFED – SPICY SAUSAGE RECIPE (Adapted from Home Sausage Making by Susan Mahnke Peery and Charles G. Reavis) Congratulations on your goat! What better way to celebrate than to turn all the odds and ends into sausage, like this exotic merguez sausage traditionally made with lamb from North Africa. If you live in a small town like we do, chances are you will be ordering some of the spices off the internet to make it work. We used sheep casings, which are smaller and more frustrating to stuff, so feel free to substitute with hog casings. We highly recommend using these sausages in place of gyro meat! If you want to make more than the recipe calls for, keep the ratio of meat to fat the same and up the spices accordingly. Sheep or hog casings 3½ pounds goat meat 1 pound pork fat or fat from goat (we used a mix of both) 3½ tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon coarse salt 1½ tablespoons ground sumac 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper climbed, then fell. Bixler would later say he could hear the distinct sound of a goat splat from the boat. The goat tumbled a short distance down and ended up against a stunted hemlock. Step one was complete.

I QUICKLY RETURNED TO the boat and Bixler saddled up to get the goat. I explained in detail where the goat was from my vantage point, since he had only seen it from sea level. After much searching, Bixler tied a rope to a tree and lowered himself a short distance to a cliffy edge

A zesty merguez-style sausage will give your goat a spicy kick. (BIXLER MCCLURE)

1 teaspoon ground anise seed 1 teaspoon dried oregano ½ teaspoon black pepper ½ teaspoon quatre épices (Note: quatre épices can be made with equal parts white pepper, ground cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger) One clove garlic, finely minced ¾ cup cold water Prepare casing according to instructions on the package. Usually, this means soaking for a half hour in warm below him. Immediately he saw the goat. With lightning speed, Bixler fielddressed it. He rigged up a second rope to pull the quarters up to a high point and piled everything in his bag. By the time he was done, the sun was dipping below the horizon. Bixler used a GPS to mark his route up and carefully followed it back down. As sunset turned to darkness, I could see his headlamp marching down the mountain. Before Bixler had left to go get the goat, I explained to him the drainage deep in the forest I had found

TAKE YOUR BEST SHOT Goats, by nature, live in difficult-to-reach places. Some items such as several long lengths of rope, crampons, and an ice axe will work wonders in helping cover the inhospitable terrain they call home. Think twice, or even three times, before taking a shot at a goat. Think of where it will end up; don’t assume that it will fall to an easier-to-reach place or stay put. When in doubt, pass on the shot! KM/BM

76

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

water. Cut meat and fat into chunks. We recommend freezing them first to make it easier to grind. Using a coarse grind, grind the meat and fat. Mix well to evenly distribute fat and meat. Combine all spices and water into a small bowl and mix well. Add this slurry to fat and meat mixture and mix well. The mixture should become slightly elastic. Stuff into casings. Make links approximately 8 to 10 inches long. Cool for one day in fridge. Use or freeze immediately. KM/BM that dumped into a cove nearby with a slightly shorter route. He followed the new route down to meet up with me at our rendezvous point that I had scouted. By then, the tide had dropped dramatically and he found himself high above a rocky cliff. With another section of rope, he lowered his pack down on the rocks and climbed down himself. I inched Missing Lynx into shore and threw the second packraft to Bixler. He loaded up the goat and himself into the raft and returned to the boat exhausted and stinking of goat. “We need to go and get the other packraft,” he said. By now it was pitch black. Lynx was long asleep, as it was way past his usual bedtime. I wrapped him up tightly in a blanket and turned on the boat heater while I was waiting for Bixler. I moved the boat back off the point and Bixler jumped into the packraft. Unable to see, I guided him to shore


LODGING 5DWHGRQHRIWKHWRS$ODVND¿VKLQJ ORGJHVXQGHUN

...and in the top 10 Alaska lodges E\ZZZP\DODVNDQ¿VKLQJWULSFRP • • • • • • •

:RUOGFODVV$ODVNDÀVKLQJORGJHIHDWXULQJDOOVSHFLHVRI3DFLÀFVDOPRQ )O\RXWWURSK\WURXWÀVKLQJLQIDPRXV%ULVWRO%D\:DWHUVKHG )O\LQDFFHVVRQO\VHFOXGHGORFDWLRQ 5HWXUQUDWHRIJXHVWVDWWRSHUFHQW WRJXHVWWRJXLGHUDWLRJXHVWVPD[ %HVWIRRGLQLWVFODVV 1RZ$FFHSWLQJ5HVHUYDWLRQVIRU

www.AnglersAlibi.com | John@AnglersAlibi.com | 561.222.9416


After Kristin ďŹ lled her tag with a 165-yard shot on this mountain goat, husband Bixler ascended the mountain to ďŹ eld-dress and pack it back down to the boat, a “miserableâ€? but necessary chore. (BIXLER MCCLURE)

where he found the original packraft high above the waterline. Bixler climbed up the seaweed to grab the raft and dragged it all back to the boat. We killed all the lights on the boat so we could see logs in the water and sped

back to Seward. As we came in that very late September night, the lonely port’s lights appeared in the distance, the only illumination along the Alaskan coastline within a few hundred miles. “Oh my god, that was miserable,�

Bixler said with a tired sigh. “Yeah, it could have been a lot worse. It could have been raining. We may have never found it. It could have sunk to the bottom of the ocean,� I replied. “And you did say if I shot it, you would get it!� ASJ

aksportingjournal.com k i j l

@AKSportJourn

alaskasportingjournal 5ISJMMJOHTBMUBOEGSFTIXBUFSmTIJOHCZEBZ (PVSNFUDVJTJOFBOEmSTUDMBTTBDDPNNPEBUJPOTCZOJHIU!

Boardwalk Lodge is an all-inclusive Orvis endorsed resort in temperate Southeast $ODVND(QMR\WKHH[KLODUDWLQJĂ€VKLQJEUHDWKWDNLQJYLHZVDQGH[HPSODU\VHUYLFH WKDWPDNHWKLVZRUOGFODVVRFHDQIURQWORGJHDUHOD[LQJJHWDZD\IRUDOO

Call 800-764-3918 today for best rates and reservations. Check with us for last minute availibility

Alaska’s BoardwalkLodge.com

78

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

Ask for Special Pricing

800-764-3918


LODGING

Subscribe Today!

Revive! Hike! Book a week or three! Longest Stay 2017: 62 days by Andrew // 39 days by Martin N.

NEW All Inclusive Winter packages – Photography dream! Call now! Your Kenai Peninula Recreation Headquarters! Since 1952! Come Join Us!

FISHING •

HUNTING •

ADVENTURE

Viva Eva! NEW! Multi-Night Multi Nig ght discounts online! on Full Package Specials online!

Restaurant, Bar, G Gifts, iffts, Liq Liquor, quor, Cabins Bestt L B Location! ti ! B Book k DIRECT now and d SAVE!

M

OURNAL .CO

GJ AKSPORTIN

’BOU!

WHEN

ALMOSTHIST STMoRoseIG JUsin , Bears, g Cha Arctic! Pike In The

No Tricks, Just Treats

H O HI-H S SILVERS

Hunting Nelchina Caribou

Best Fall Coho Gear Be

Also Inside

OF BUCKS & BULLS Hunter’s AK Deer Mountain s Secret SE u Memorie pe Caribo North Slo Tips ak Grilling Ste n iso Ven

ws Egg On ’Bo With Beads l!

p From Hel

Fishing Tri

ARCTIC AR AD ADVENTURE Down Dow The ‘Kug’ Without A Paddle With W

SW S WIMBAITS

PLUS

Tundra Grizzly Extreme Blacktails

NOT N OT JUST FOR BASS Alaska A Al las Pike Love/Hate These TTh hes Huge Lures!

U|xaHBEIGy01370tz]v,:!

aksportingjournal.com


LODGING


KENAI PENINSULA KENAI 2 3

SOLDOTNA

COOPER LANDING

1

4

5 6

SOLDOTNA

7

SEWARD 8

HOMER

KEY 1.

Krog's Kamp

2. 3.

ON THE KENAI RIVER www.krogskamp.com

4. 5. 6. 7.

Fish for king salmon, silver salmon, sockeye salmon, rainbow trout, halibut, ling cod, and other bottom fish. 907-262-2671

8.

FISHING@KROGSKAMP.COM

Alaska Canoe & Campground www.alaskacanoetrips.com Krog’s Kamp www.krogscamp.com King Salmondeaux Lodge www.kingsalmondeauxlodge.com Gwin’s Lodge www.gwinslodge.com Diamond M Ranch www.diamondmranchresort.com Clam Gulch Lodge www.clamgulch.com The Fish House www.thefishhouse.net Kenai River Suites www.kenairiversuites.com

Located in the Heart of Soldotna, Alaska

• Kenai Riverfront Cabins • Bank Fishing • Over 700 ft. of River Frontage

907-260-FISH (3474) kingsalmondeaux33126@gmail.com www.kingsalmondeauxlodge.com

*Kenai Riverfront Suites *2 bedrooms w/full kitchens *Honeymoon Suite w/jacuzzi tub Open yea year round ou d *Ope

(907)) 262-1992 (9 2622 199 1992 92 www.kenairiversuites.com kenairiversuites@gmail.com

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

81


82

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


ALASKA BIG GAME FOCUS

BIG GAME SPOTLIGHT: MOOSE BY PAUL ATKINS

M

oose are a favorite of many hunters here in Alaska and beyond, as well as a formidable opponent. To hunt and be successful is not the easiest task, but when you do it’s an accomplishment that will sustain you throughout the year and fill your freezer to the brim. Moose are big bodied and longlegged, with a drooping nose, and are the largest members of the deer family. They range in color from golden brown to almost black, depending upon the season and the age of the animal. Full-grown bulls stand almost 6 feet

For Alaska hunters like the author who hope to fill the freezer before winter hits, a big bull moose will usually do the trick. (PAUL D. ATKINS)

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

83


GIMME FIVE: FACTS ABOUT MOOSE

Two-Unit Float Lodge $1M - Thorne Bay

Home & Dock $360K - Port Protection

Hilltop Home (Two Unit) $375K - Hollis

:DWHUIURQW/RGJH New D-Log Cabin in the Woods - $185K - Thorne Bay $495K - Port Protection

8QÀQLVKHG:DWHUIURQW/RGJH The Karta Lodge $960K - Craig - Port St Nick $275K - Kasaan

New Home & Garage/Shop $299K - Hollis

CELL 219-781-1825 OFFICE & FAX 907-826-6600

BROKER, PRINCE OF WALES ISLAND REALTY LLC EMAIL chucksrealestate@yahoo.com

www.alaskaislandrealty.com

1) Moose occasionally produce trophy-size antlers when they are 6 or 7 years old, with the largest antlers grown at approximately 10 to 12 years of age. In the wild, moose rarely live more than 16 years. 2) Moose are generally associated with northern forests in North America, Europe, and Russia. In Europe, they are called elk. 3) During fall and winter, moose consume large quantities of willow, birch, and aspen twigs. In some areas, moose actually establish a “hedge” or browse line 6 to 8 feet above the ground by clipping most of the terminal shoots of favored food species. 4) Moose eat a variety of foods, particularly sedges, equisetum (horsetail), pondweeds, and grasses. 5) Moose tracks are represented by two crescent-shaped halves with two dewclaws. The tips leave a deeper impression in snow or on soft ground.

–Alaska Department of Fish and Game tall at the shoulder, and if they are prime condition the big boys can weigh from 1,200 to 1,600 pounds. Even though I’ve seen some big cows, they are usually somewhat smaller and weigh 800 to 1,300 pounds. If you take a big bull that hasn’t been watching his calories, he will usually dress out at about 950 pounds and approximately 500 pounds of meat. Six thousand to 8,000 moose are harvested annually, which creates a lot of happy hunters and feeds many hungry families. The largest moose antlers in North America come from Alaska, the Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories of Canada. Trophy-class bulls are found throughout Alaska, but the largest come from the western portion of the state. Moose can be found in the northern forests of North America, and where there is suitable habitat in Alaska, they can be found and hunted from the Stikine River in the Panhandle to the Colville River on the Arctic Slope. ASJ 84

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

85


THREE BOWHUNTERS

Trying to ďŹ ll their black bear tags in Alaska's Panhandle took a lot of patience for author Jeff Lund and his friends from central California, Cody Lee and Zac Gann.


& TWO

BRUINS FRIENDS STALK BLACK BEARS IN SOUTHEAST ALASKA

STORY AND PHOTOS BY JEFF LUND

W

hen it comes to bear hunting, I’m not experienced enough to have a bank of credible intuition. I’ve seen lots of bear. Lots. But there’s a lot that goes into a hunting program. So when I left my California friend Zac Gann to peek downriver from where we were waiting, it may have been because I had reached my threshold for sitting, which is usually around 30 minutes unless there is something to watch. I can glass the alpine for deer. That’s no problem. But sitting on top of a little hill covered in berry bushes waiting for a bear … Yeah, I may have been a little bored or intolerant of having to wait for what we knew was around. I told Zac I was going to sneak back to the trail and look downriver. We were 20 feet above the water and hidden enough that my movement wasn’t going to smoke the operation. As soon as the lower section of the river was in view, I saw something black moving on the edge of the water. “No way.” Yeah, I actually whispered that. I waited a second to see how big it

was. Its feet were in the water but the body was thick – skull wide, shoulders strong. A shooter, no doubt. I moved back around to tell Zac. I waved my arms to get his attention and put my arms above my head like some sort of zombie bear was in the neighborhood. He got the idea and moved through the brush to where I was. The noise of the water disguised our movements to a clear area to shoot from. All we had to do was wait. Zac drew, I filmed and he sent an arrow through the bear. Just before sunset, we saw another bruin working up the shore toward where a creek dumped into the lake. It was 600 yards, well out of the range of another Golden State visitor, Cody Lee. We moved closer to the mouth and hoped it continued along its path. We waited. Waited. Waited. “There he is.” Cody didn’t hesitate. Two tags filled. ASJ Editor’s note: Ketchikan-based Jeff Lund is author of Going Home, a memoir about hunting and fishing in Alaska and California. Purchase is on amazon.com.

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

87


í˘˛ 1) 2) 3) 4) 5)

í˘ą í˘ł

6)

Commuting to the black bear hunting grounds via skiff is common practice in the island-rich Alaska Panhandle. It's a jungle out there – the guys, bows in hand, wade through brush in hopes of ďŹ nding an opening to sit in and wait for bears. The view across the river wasn’t bad either. The tools of the bowhunting trade. Bear sighting! Surely the guys got excited whenever a bruin was within shooting range. Success! The hunters from California, Cody Lee (left) and Zac Gann, grin over one of their Alaska black bears.

í˘´

í˘ľ í˘ś


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

89


í˘ˇ í˘¸

7-9) 10)

í˘š ě?…

90

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

As they say, the real work begins once the critter is down. Just hunting this part of the country with their friend Jeff was reward enough, but being able to notch their tags made the hard work, boredom before the shot and ďŹ eld-dressing chores all the sweeter for Cody and Zac, as well as the author.


Enter coupon code BWGC1117 for a FREE gift!

Your guns represent a major investment. Either as tools or as a collectable firearm, they deserve the very best guncare treatments available today. Whether you need gun cleaning solutions, rust removal, lubrication, finish protection or refinishing, Blue Wonder™ Gun Care Products deliver the very best in firearm maintenance products.

Blue Wonder™ Gun Care Products will provide the solution to the gun maintenance issues you are facing. 1585 W Sam Houston Pkwy N, Ste e 200 Houston, Texas 77043 Phone: 832-200-8005 / Toll Free: 866-GUN-BLUE Email: Sales@BlueWonder.us Web: Shop.BlueWonder.us

Lewis Winch proudly made in Canada

LEWIS WINCH 400 MK2 Chainsaw Winch Rugged cast-aluminum alloy housing Variable line speed of 60 to 80 ft/min. :SN[JWXFQ&IFUYJW0NYX‫ܪ‬YXFQQHMFNSXF\X 3 cubic inch (50cc): Min. Chainsaw Size

315A Levi Street, New Westminster, BC, Canada V3M 4N4

150 ft long 3/16” galvanized aircraft cable w/ a safety hook

The Lewis Winch 400-MK2 is the most versatile portable winch out there and will pull 4,000 lbs in a straight line using the right size chainsaw (5 cubic inch / 85cc), and up to 8,000 lbs using one Lewis Winch Snatch Block.

Phone: 604-524-6863 Toll-Free: 1-877-906-7711 Web: www.lewiswinch.com Email: info@lewiswinch.com 10% Off – Magazine Discount code LW400-1017 Lewis Winch now offering 10% off all on-line orders discount using usi ng g the di disco scount unt code. co de.

8RFQQQTLXKTW‫ܪ‬WJ\TTIUZQQNSLLFRJFSNRFQXKWTRWJRTYJQTHFYNTSXXQFXMHQJFWNSLUZQQFHFWTZYTKFINYHMFSIRTWJ

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

91


92

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


MAKE THE CALL FOR PREDATORS

ALASKAN FOXES, WOLVES, LYNX – EVEN WOLVERINES – RESPOND TO DINNER BELL BY SCOTT HAUGEN

R

ounding the corner of a rolling snowbank, the black nose and eyes of the approaching Arctic fox caught my eye. Its stark-white pelage blended so perfectly with the surrounding snow, it was difficult to decipher the outline of the fox’s body. But the closer it got, the more recognizable the fox became. Inside 20 yards, I gave one last blow on my diaphragm call, and when the fox stopped a single shot from my .22 ended the hunt. It marked a predator-calling dream come true, for since I was a boy I’d been enamored with these striking fox of the Far North. That hunt took place over 20 years ago, when my wife Tiffany and I lived in the tiny Arctic coast village of Point Lay. It was there that I learned to trap predators in extreme conditions and picked up a tip or two about calling them. The more I traveled the state in the years that followed, the more I realized just how rich it was in predator hunting options. Fox are just the beginning.

A THRIVING POPULATION

This blue-phase Arctic fox killed on Adak Island by author Scott Haugen is just one example of the diversity of predators roaming Alaska. (SCOTT HAUGEN)

In addition to Arctic fox, red fox thrive in parts of the Arctic. Not only are red fox prevalent but the cross fox color phase also abounds. Their striking colors are something to behold, and they, like the other fox in this harsh land, respond well to calls. A trapping buddy in Anaktuvuk Pass even trapped a silver fox one winter, a true bonus.

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

93


Tiffany Haugen’s Go-Go Bars are not only tasty but packed with energy, essential when putting in long hours afield.

FIELD

(SCOTT HAUGEN)

GO NATURAL WITH GO-GO BARS BY TIFFANY HAUGEN

B

side; these Go-Go Bars are the key.

eing out on the trail all day is no excuse to eat junk food. In the harsh conditions of an Alaskan winter, your body will be working harder than usual, so proper nutrition is important. Prepackaged foods may be easy to grab and go, but eventually they take their toll on your health. When planning for your next outdoor adventure, bring along some homemade snacks that are sure to keep your energy up and your empty calories down. These bars are easy to vary to suit anyone’s tastes. Once you start making your own bars, you won’t want to go back to packaged options. These easy snack bars have all the protein, fat and carbs needed to keep you feeling energized. While on the trail, minimize junk food consumption and you’ll find you not only feel better but your attitude stays on the positive

94

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

½ cup butter ½ cup coconut oil or peanut butter ¾ cup brown sugar 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla 2½ cups whole wheat or spelt flour 1 cup oat bran, wheat germ or flax meal 1 teaspoon soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup mini chocolate chips or raisins 1 cup shredded coconut ⅔ cup chopped nuts or hemp seeds Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together first five ingredients and mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and combine. Press into a greased, 9-inch-by-13inch pan.

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until top is no longer sticky. Cool on a wire rack and cut to desired sizes. For portability, wrap individually in wax paper or plastic wrap. Freeze for long-term storage. Recipe note: Any gluten-free flours or gluten-free flour mixtures can be substituted for the wheat flour in this recipe. Editor’s note: For signed copies of Tiffany’s popular book, The Power Of Flour, send a check for $20 (free S&H), to Haugen Enterprises, P.O. Box 275, Walterville, OR 97489. This and other cookbooks can also be ordered at tiffanyhaugen.com. Tiffany Haugen is a full-time author and part of the online series, Cook With Cabela’s.


and Ammunition Pistol Bullets and

Zero Bullet Company, Inc.

ZER

P.O. Box 188 Cullman, AL 35056 Tel: 256-739-1606 Fax: 256-739-4683 Toll Free: 800-545-9376 www.zerobullets.com

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

95


Wolves are the most controversial predators of the bunch, and Alaska is tops when it comes to hunting them. Focusing on winterkills, be it moose or caribou up north or deer and elk further south, are great starting points for callers. (JOHN HINDERMAN)

While deer hunting on Kodiak Island one winter, I dedicated time to calling fox. I brought in a dandy red fox on the first set-up, and later that day arrowed a prized silver fox that came to a call. Due to their rich seafood diet, the fox on Kodiak are the biggest-bodied red foxes I’ve seen anywhere in the country. Coyotes are also worthy of dedicated calling time in regions of the state they occupy. Interior Alaska is likely the best choice for coyote hunters to focus your efforts. As with foxes, coyotes stay active all winter long, and with competition for food high, calling them can be very effective.

HUNTING THE BIGGEST DOG The world’s ultimate canine predator, the wolf, abounds in much of the state. The wolf’s nomadic lifestyle makes calling one in challenging, for no matter how good you are, if the animals aren’t within earshot they aren’t coming in. Early winter is prime time to set up near caribou carcasses and call. Bull caribou that were injured during the rut are key targets for packs, and they’ll often travel valleys and drainages looking for lone, secluded bulls. As with hunting any predators, finding fresh sign in the snow offers a big advantage, which is most applicable to wolves that travel in packs and cover 96

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

several miles a day. Find a kill or herd of caribou – even high numbers of moose – and these food sources are what keeps wolves in an area, making for the ideal calling situation.

ELUSIVE WOLVERINES

travel in packs – makes it even harder to find them. Wolverines are tough. I’ve personally witnessed a single wolverine taking down and killing an adult caribou, confirming in my mind that pound for pound these are the ultimate predators. Don’t waste time calling a wolverine if you can’t see it. Cold calling, even if you see tracks, can be futile since wolverines cover a lot of ground quickly. Instead, have the calls ready; once a wolverine is seen, assess the wind, determine which direction the animal is moving, get set up and start calling. The hardest part of calling wolverines is finding them, then making sure they can hear your calls. Alaska is home to a wide range of fascinating predators. As pelts prime up and snow blankets the ground, get out and make the most of what this great state has to offer. Sure, predator hunting is far from easy; then again this is Alaska, where nothing comes easy to anything in the food chain, including man. ASJ

While the wolf is considered the holy grail of the predator hunting world, the wolverine is likely the toughest of all to call in. Wolverine are the epitome of hyper and never seem to stop moving as they search for food. The fact they travel alone or in pairs – unlike wolves that

Editor’s note: For signed copies of Scott Haugen’s best-selling book, Hunting The Alaskan High Arctic, send a check for $38 (free S&H), to Haugen Enterprises, P.O. Box 275, Walterville, OR 97489, or order online at scotthaugen.com.

FIND THE MISSING LYNX Another worthy predator is the lynx, which doesn’t cover near the ground as canine predators, making them an easier target. The key to successful lynx calling can be first finding their tracks in the snow to confirm you’re in their territory. Look for dense willow thickets holding snowshoe hares and ptarmigan and chances are good a lynx may not be far. When I lived in Anaktuvuk Pass, a trick I learned from my trapping partner, the late Ben Hopson, was to tie a ptarmigan wing to fishing line and hang it in the willows. Because lynx are curious, if they come to check out the moving wing, they’ll leave easy-to-identify tracks in the snow, confirming they are near.

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

97


98

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


WHICH ONE MAKES THE CUT?

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT HUNTING KNIVES FOR YOU BY PAUL D. ATKINS

I

was in awe as I stood on the steep incline and looked into the valley deep below. The boulder-strewn landscape we had just climbed went on forever, blended into the hillside and eventually up into the high peaks where we were. I tried to keep my balance and not fall and was still in shock, especially after taking the animal that lay before me. I only came back to reality when Andy handed me a knife and said, “Let’s get this done and get off this mountain.”

A HUNTING KNIFE MAY be considered a

The right knife depends on the job at hand and varies whether you’re gutting your kill, skinning and quartering it, or preparing the skull for a European mount. (PAUL D. ATKINS)

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

99


hunter’s best friend; for many of us, it was the first real hunting tool we received when we were young. Having a dad entrust you with your own knife meant you were one step away from your first gun, and for most of us it was about as important as it got at that age. Whatever the case or backstory that shaped who you are, no hunter should be without a good knife. You want something that performs in all situations, whether it’s as simple as cutting rope or complicated as skinning a grizzly, or deboning moose quarters or maybe even a goat. A good and reliable knife is a must-have on any hunt. Choosing a knife once was pretty simple, but with the vast array of options available today, hunters now have to make difficult decisions about what will work best for them. Here are some guidelines that I recommend you follow before purchasing one of your most important hunting tools.

FIXED BLADE VERSUS FOLDING Fixed blades are just like they sound: a blade fixed into a handle that usually comes with a sheath. They are, in my opinion, the easiest to use and one of the easiest to clean. Knives with a fixed blade are very popular; they’re rugged, reliable and are great for heavy-duty work that re-

One of Atkins’ favorite tools is the Muskrat, made by Alaska Knives. Its rounded end, sharpened all the way around, allows you to get into places that a normal blade won’t. (PAUL D. ATKINS)

quires a little more torque. The downside is they are bulkier and harder to transport. They can also be bit more dangerous when it comes to hunting, particularly if you’re hunting/hiking through rough country. I’ve carried a number of fixed blades, but only a few have performed to my expectations, especially on their second go-around. They work nicely out of the box, but have either been hard to sharpen or just don’t hold an edge. Finding a blade that works consistently on all occasions is the key to

Having the right knife in the field will put more meat in your freezer. (PAUL D. ATKINS)

100

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

a great fixed blade. Folding knives have also become very popular with many hunters. Their ease of use and storability are the biggest factors, particularly for those hunters who are trying to cut down on weight and want to keep things simple. Most come with a clip and can easily fit into a pocket or attach to the side of your pack. Most folding knives produced today are tough and can handle the most challenging of chores. Folders basically come in two types: pocketknives and the lockback. For hunting and safety reasons I recommend the lock-back. The blade folds out and locks into position, creating a rigid blade that can be used as a fixed blade. I find that they’re easy to use and maneuver, plus the ability to stick them anywhere is a huge selling point. Most lock-back knives come with a thumb spur or a hole that can be easily opened with one hand. This allows you to open the blade in one fluid motion. Spyderco’s Stretch model is a favorite folder of mine. This high-performance drop point is close to 8 inches in length and has a 3½-inch blade weighing in at a measly 3½ ounces – perfect for the sheep or goat hunter. Pocketknives are a great choice once the heavy work is done. However, I’ve seen a lot of hunters use a small pocketknife to field-dress an en-


WHEN ALL YOU HAVE IS WHAT YOU CAN CARRY, EVERY OUNCE MATTERS.

NEVER LOSE YOUR EDGE! ࠮Speedy Sharp^PSSZOHYWLUL]LY`RUPML^P[OHU`[`WLVMLKNLPUZLJVUKZL]LU:LYYH[LK)SHKLZ ࠮Speedy Sharp^PSSZOHYWLU)YVHK/LHK(YYV^Z(_LZHUK/VVRLK)SHKLHUK-PZO/VVRZ ࠮Speedy Sharp^PSSRLLW`V\YRUPMLZOHYWZV`V\JHUILZ\YLYOU WILL NEVER LOSE YOUR EDGE! Speedy Sharp 1410 E. Pine Ave. | Meridian ID, 83642 | 800-920-3094 | 208-884-0661 | speedysharp.com

MADE IN THE USA

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

101


tire caribou – and they do work! Tasks such as caping or skinning small game are ideal for the pocket variety, which keeps the chance of cutting yourself to a minimum. There are a wide variety of small pocketknives to choose from, so do your homework to determine what works best.

BLADES Like I mentioned earlier, when it comes to using a knife there is nothing better than a good blade that will hold an edge from start to finish. Knife blades were once limited to one or two types, but nowadays there are hundreds of styles to choose from and in a variety of steel types. If I don’t have my Havalon handy, I like to use a drop-point blade for skinning and just about everything else I do while I’m in the field. One of my favorite drop-points is the Diskin by Kershaw. It’s made in the U.S. and is ideal for field-dressing and just about any task a hunter will face. It has a slim handle, which provides a comfortable, secure fit into your hand. It’s a combination of function and elegance all rolled into a single knife. The Bill Moran Drop Point by Spy-derco is also a favorite. It has a midsized blade at about 4 inches and iss designed for optimal performance. I ve prefer the black-coated nonreflective model – an excellent choice for skinning and caping. The handle boasts a rubbery texture, which eliminates slipping and keeps the knife secure, even if your hands are wet, cold or gloved. Another popular type is the clippoint blade. This comes with a concave top and a fine point on the end. This blade is excellent for making small puncture holes or doing delicate work in tight places. Clip points can be used for skinning, but keep in mind that hunters must be careful not to accidentally cut holes in the hide if keeping a cape or skin for other reasons. Spyderco’s Enuff series are excellent clip-point knives that come with a heavy-duty sheath and are also made in America.

SPECIFIC-PURPOSE KNIVES Like choosing different broadheads for 102

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

Your decision about which knife to get should be based on your needs. Havalon’s new quick-change series (top) is called by some the world’s sharpest hunting knives and are great for just about any circumstance. Gut-hook knives (middle) are a compact tool to help unzip a critter faster. Brightly colored fixed-blades such as the Kershaw Field Knife (bottom) are designed to be a simple, well-made tool that simply work and are easy to see once you lay them down. (PAUL D. ATKINS)

bowhunting different types of game, there are knives made specifically for certain purposes. Many knives have gut hooks, which are used to unzip an animal and not puncture the intestines. Certain knives can be purchased with a built-in gut hook located on the topside of the blade; they are ideal for the all-purpose hunter. Kershaw’s Lone rock has a gut hook and also folds up

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

into a nice little package. It’s an ideal option for the hunter who wants the best of all worlds. One of my all-time favorite special-purpose knives is the Muskrat, made by Knives of Alaska. This caping and fleshing knife is specifically designed for getting into tight spots – specifically around antlers and other delicate areas. It has a sharpened


aksportingjournal.com aksp porti ortingjo ngjo ngjo gj urna urnall.co l.com com | NOVE NOVEMBER MBER 2017 2017

ALASKA ALA SKA SPORTING SPORT SP ORT O ORTIN RTING IN NG N G JOURN JJOURNAL JO OURN UR URNAL RNAL RN AL

103 03 3


edge extending around the top; once you use it, you’ll wonder how you did without one. One of the most popular cutting utensils these days is a replaceable blade-type knife, which is more like a surgeon’s scalpel and is crazy-sharp. The Havalon-type folder, with its replaceable-style blade, proves itself again and again on pretty much all big game. It folds and comes in variety of sizes for different applications. It’s become something I trust. I was a skeptic at first when I tried this type of knife. The small, thin blade looked flimsy, especially if I had a moose down and had to deal with that thick hide and bone structure. But I’ve learned to never knock it until you try it, so I did and it performed flawlessly. It actually made the chore easier and more enjoyable. If you break a blade, just replace it with another, which takes seconds and isn’t too expensive. Other knives come with saw blades that help the hunter cut through bone and other dense material such as tree limbs or even kindling for the fire. Still more have serrated edges that enable

the hunter to saw through thicker material and make cuts that sometimes get pretty difficult.

KNIFE HANDLES Probably one of the most overlooked aspects when choosing a knife is the handle. You basically have three types: wood, bone and synthetic. Wood and bone grips are pleasing to look at and can be featured in collections. I have many knives that have never seen blood but look great in my gun safe. If I were to use them, they would probably do fine. I personally like knives with a synthetic or rubberized textured grip. They feel good in your hand, ensure a better grip and, in some situations, feel warmer to the touch, especially when the thermometer drops. These handles are also cheaper in cost but not on performance. Also, the color orange has become quite popular since it’s easy to see and will allow you to spend less time trying to figure out where you left your knife after a long day of field-dressing an animal.

HOW MANY KNIVES DO I NEED? If you’re like me, you have several knives, each one bought for a particular reason; some were great and some ended up stored in a drawer or deposited in the trash. In the end, a couple will make the cut (no pun intended) and become your go-to knives. As hunters, we want a knife that will perform at all times and is trustworthy when it comes to taking care of business, especially after the last shot has been fired and the next step in the process begins. They become our trusted friend but need to be sharp and stay sharp. Like choosing a particular rifle or bow or even a hunting partner, we must choose our knives carefully, because they must perform in the field and, in some instances, that knife might even save your life. ASJ Editor’s note: Paul Atkins is an outdoor writer and author from Kotzebue, Alaska. He has written hundreds of articles on big game hunting and fishing throughout North America and Africa, plus surviving in the Arctic. Paul is a monthly contributor to Alaska Sporting Journal.

Breaking down an animal as big as a moose is a chore and requires multiple cutting tools that have to be sharp, tough and keep their edge throughout the long process. Subpar blades make the job of getting your prize home to your freezer more arduous. (PAUL D. ATKINS)

10 104 1 04 0 4

ALASKA AL ALA A L LA LAS ASSKA SK KA SPORTING KA SSP PO ORT OR RT R TIING IN NG N G JJO JOURNAL OU URN UR RN R NA NA AL L

NOVEMBER NO NOV NOVE N OVE O OV VEM V MBE MBER MB BER BER R 2017 201 20 2 01 0 17 | aksportingjournal.com aakkssp spo spor p po por or orttin ting ti iing in ng n gjjou jo jour ou our o ur n ur nal. na nal al.ll...com aal com cco om o m


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

105


Charter Spotlight

Alaska Wide Open Charters Craig, Alaska • Prince of Wales Island Œ-`XMZ\Å[PO]QLQVONWZ;ITUWV PITQJ]\IVLJW\\WUÅ[P

ŒaMIZ[M`XMZQMVKM Œ4WKITTaW_VMLIVL7XMZI\ML Œ+PMKSW]\W]ZJTWONWZÅ[PQVOZMXWZ\[ O NWZ Å[PQVO ZMXWZ\[

www.alaskawideopen.com • 907-965-0130


Charter Spotlight


108

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


LUCK OF THE IRISH BOATS OF THE DEEPSTRIKE FLEET MAKE HOMER FISHING FUN, PRODUCTIVE

BY DAVID ZOBY

S

hearwaters and kittiwakes flooded out over the flat calm seas as the Irish Mist powered through the rips near Perl Island. We passed the Red Can, a buoy marker that always tells me we’re really “out there.” The buoy was listing, straining against the tide. Near East Chugach Island, I heard the pitch of the engine change. There were only a few boats in sight, but seabirds of various genera were striking the surface. Here and there the water boiled with feeding salmon, and I saw their black backs roll on the surface. “Those are silvers,” said Hayes, the deckhand who had been preparing to troll with herring, but seeing the feeding

King salmon and rockfish were the prizes during an outing out of Homer on the Irish Mist, which carried author David Zoby and a group of California friends. (HASTINGS FRANKS) aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

109


The DeepStrike Sportfishing fleet includes the Irish Mist and the Grand Aleutian, with Capt. Kyle Hofseth overseeing the former boat – as well as the action on the northern Gulf of Alaska during Zoby’s outing. (DAVID ZOBY)

schools of coho he put a gold spoon on one rod instead. Capt. Kyle Hofseth told him to drop the downrigger to 35 feet. Hayes went to work, but before he could lower the spoon a salmon flashed behind the boat and line peeled off a spool. The only problem was that none of us knew whose fish this was. We stood around trying to be polite. “Somebody needs to grab this rod,” said Hayes, smiling widely, wildly. “I’m not going to fish for you.” There were eight of us fishing that day; seven were friends from California. In years’ past all had been aboard the Irish Mist’s sister vessel, the Grand

Aleutian. But this was their first time on the Irish Mist. As usual, I was the odd man out – the wildcard who played journalist/fisherman, snapping a few photos while trying to remain incognito. I hung out near the bait table, but the truth was that I wanted a few silver fillets for myself.

EACH TIME HAYES ATTEMPTED to get the spoon down to the 35-foot level, the clip on the downrigger popped and a silver or pink salmon ran the drag. He was working as fast as he could but still couldn’t keep two rods fishing. Capt. Kyle was mesmerized by what

IF YOU GO Getting a spot on either of DeepStrike Sportfishing’s charter boats is not guaranteed. You need to book early. Many of their clients are repeat customers who book way in advance. The word is out that both the Irish Mist and the Grand Aleutian offer high-end experiences with professional standards, and the latter boat has placed in Homer’s annual halibut derby several times. Their captains attract a lot of attention at the Central Charters fish board, when each day they display their catch. I was only able to get on the Irish Mist by being flexible with my dates. DeepStrike’s Ann Bayes worked with me until we were able to find a day that worked. You can contact Ann at info@DeepStrikeAK.com, or for more infomation, check out deepstrikeak.com or call (907) 235-6094. DZ

110

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

he saw on the fish finder. “The whole screen is lit up,” he said. “There’s rockfish and probably kings here too.” As if on cue, one of the anglers hooked a feeder king that burned line for over 20 seconds and wallowed behind the boat on the surface, thrashing its head back and forth – dog-like – trying to throw the spoon. Meanwhile, a nice rockfish came over the rail, and both deckhand and captain were doing the best they could to get lines in the water and allow everyone to fish, but the action was too quick. The Grand Aleutian, with Capt. David Bayes at the helm, pulled up and began to fish nearby. I saw them swinging nets and busily boating fish just as fast as we were. “This is crazy,” said Capt. Kyle. “I was thinking of going out to another place for silvers, but there are so many here I just had to give it a try.” The decision was paying off. I knew enough about fishing in Alaska to know that this was special. It’s not every day that the boats can make the 40-mile run from Homer to these remote islands, when the commute itself is a reason to go. You skip over kelp forests, unusual


Taking You Where Tires Can’t Go!

SAVE • Simple Bolt-On Installation For Most Vehicles • Amazing Performance - Affordable Price! • Reliable & Nearly Maintenance FREE • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

AMERICAN TRACK TRUCK, INC. P.O. Box 260 • Chassell, MI 49916 Toll Free: 800-900-0995 Local: 906-353-6330

$250

Ask about the Alaska Sporting Special! Valid on Purchase of Full Track Systems Only.

www.AmericanTrackTruck.com aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

111


A fat yelloweye was one of just many colorful fish anglers brought aboard the boat that day. (DAVID ZOBY)

rips and current changes that are as thrilling as they are intimidating. The isolated islands – Perl, Elizabeth, and East Chugach – straddle the demarcation where Cook Inlet ends and the Gulf of Alaska begins. These uninhabited, emerald islands boast not only humpback whales and orcas but serve as nesting areas for all sorts of seabirds: shearwaters, pigeon guillemots, kittiwakes, murres, and puffins. Among that group of birds, shearwaters are most fascinating to me because boat captains have told me that when the shearwaters are hitting the surface, it’s usually a sure sign of silver salmon. Out there, on the edge of the Gulf of Alaska, you have this feeling that anything can happen. I’ve only made it out this far a few times, when the weather was kind and the captain willing to spend the extra money on fuel. Capt. Kyle and crew had been hitting these spots regularly all summer for big halibut and rockfish. The silvers were just beginning to pop. Other charters from Homer were on 112

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

to us, though, and soon there were a handful of boats trolling along the rugged and iconic coast of East Chugach.

THE SHEARWATERS TOOK FLIGHT again and, from time to time, silvers crashed out of the sea with a shower of baitfish. Fish were crashing aboard the Irish Mist too, and one of the Californians noticed me with my camera and forlorn look. “Don’t you want to catch a few?” she asked. The next time the line popped out of the downrigger, I took the rod from the holder and felt a solid fish. Perhaps it was too solid. The fish planed out behind the boat and Hayes announced what I was already thinking: “Halibut.” Usually, I’d be thrilled with a nice halibut. But we were fishing on a Wednesday, the day when it is illegal for charter boat anglers to retain halibut. The new regulations have forced charter operators like DeepStrike Sportfishing, which owns and operates the Grand Aleutian and the Irish Mist, to search for alternative species and

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

new types of adventures. Part of my curiosity of doing the salmon/rockfish trip was to see how these skippers fish when halibut are off limits. Already, these trips have become extremely popular. It was just my luck too that we were on a Wednesday because the halibut was fat and healthy. He went maybe 18 pounds and Hayes released the fish. I picked up my camera again and went to the back of the line. Two hours into the bite and it was still impossible for the deckhand to get more than two rods fishing. Black rockfish, king salmon, silvers, pinks, a yelloweye rockfish, and a scrappy kelp greenling were some of the fish I could identify. Our host decided to try drift fishing for a while. Since this was a salmon/rockfish charter we were allowed five rockfish apiece (one of which could be nonpelagic, i.e., a yelloweye) and six salmon. We were heavy on salmon and a little light on rockfish. So drifting back over the same area with diamond jigs was the ticket. Immediately, I caught a lingcod that flirted with the 35-inch mark, so


aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

113


it got measured to be accurate. Legally it had to go back, but soon I had four hefty rockfish. These were all thick, hard-fighting fish that took the jig with gusto. Kyle handed me a spinning rod and told me to mooch for silvers. The spinning rod was baited with herring, with a red banana weight attached to get it to sink. Periodically, gangs of marauding silvers would flash under the boat. It wasn’t my best effort; I kept missing fish, and once I lost my herring to a silver, only to see the fish double back and hit the red banana weight. Finally, I stuck a salmon and made it count. By then, the deck of the Irish Mist was aflutter with rockfish and silvers. We possessed an embarrassment of riches. The time had flown by. One of the Californians offered me a beer, which I accepted. Capt. Kyle fired up the engines and we headed back towards Homer. The Red Can was slumping over in the opposite direction it had been when we passed it hours before. The tides

Like the aquatic world’s version of August’s eclipse, a golden ring surrounds the black eyeball of a freshly caught yelloweye rockfish. (HASTINGS FRANK)

were ripping the other way and we stopped once near a particularly stunning headland to photograph whales. It was a pod of Pacific gray whales, which are hard to capture at any distance. When I looked at my images, all I

could see was lumps of slate-colored sea. But when you’re out there on the edge of things, you don’t need to see them. You can hear the whales’ heavy, labored, prehistoric breaths that sound like nothing you’ve ever heard before.

FLEET IS POETRY IN MOTION David Bayes, owner of DeepStrike Sportfishing, has a sterling reputation as a charter boat captain. I‘ve been on the Grand Aleutian with Bayes and his deckhand, Hastings Franks. The former writes essays about Alaska sportfishing and the latter’s known for her pictures of wildlife (hastingsafranksphotography.com). They have a hilarious back-andforth routine that reminds me of a Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis shtick. You hear people all over Homer talking about incredible experiences they’ve had aboard the Grand Aleutian. Capt. Kyle Hofseth, who skippers the fleet’s other boat, the Irish Mist, and his deckhand Hayes are the newest addition to the DeepStrike fleet. Perhaps they are the underdogs, the newbies in the charter fishing fleet. But rather than comparing themselves to their sister crew, they have their own style of fishing and their own ideas about what makes a memorable experience for their clients. “David is the man, and there’s no way I’ll even know what he knows. I grew up here too, but just when I think

114

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

I am getting know a few things, David lets me in on one of his truly secret spots,” says Kyle. “He still has a bunch of places I don’t know – he’s holding out on me.” An English literature major in college, Kyle doesn’t try to compete with his boss. Rather, he brings a different twist to the Irish Mist. For example, there is a collection of poetry and short prose-like poems kept onboard. “This is just the second year for the Mist. We’re having an incredible year. We want to have our own identity here, so we’ve come up with some things that make us stand out,” Kyle says. Clients who want to contribute to the book are encouraged to write a few passages and send them to the crew. There are drawing and paintings. On the Grand Aleutian, it’s photography. I’ve fished on both of DeepStrike’s boats and I can say there is a different vibe on each. There are also similarities. “Like David, I stress professionalism. We want everyone to know that we are safe. We also want people to have memorable experiences while onboard. That’s

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

why you saw us pull up and look for whales. We want it to be more than just a fishing trip. We want it to be an experience people will remember,” Kyle says. The Irish Mist is unique in that it can fish eight passengers comfortably. It’s a 34-foot vessel that was built from the ground up with fishing Alaskan waters in mind. I appreciated the design of the deck, especially the padded gunnels. DeepStrike is a family-owned business. It is known mostly for high-quality combo trips and caters to people who want an extraordinary experiences with a twist. If you’re lucky enough to book a trip with them, plan on being on the boat for 10 to 12 hours. They also do overnighters, hunting trips and photo safaris, but mostly they made their reputation for big hauls of halibut. Both captains are local guides with intimate knowledge of Cook Inlet and beyond. David and Kyle also suffer from a particular obsession with Chinook. All spring and summer you can find them trolling just off the kelp beds of some faraway headland trying to see what turns up. DZ


LIGHTWEIGHT. The lightest 200-hp four stroke on the market

POWERFUL.

2.8L displacement and Variable Camshaft Timing give it the best power-to-weight ratio of any 200-hp four stroke

COMPACT.

Nearly 120 pounds lighter than our four-stroke V6 F200

THE ALL-NEW F200 IN-LINE FOUR.

FORWARD THINKING. Show the water who’s boss with the new F200 In-Line Four. Incredibly light, responsive and fuel efficient, it serves up plenty of muscle to handily propel a variety of boats. On top of that, its 50-amp alternator offers the power to add a range of electronics, and its 26-inch mounting centers and compatibility with either mechanical or digital controls give you the flexibility to easily upgrade your outboard or rigging. Experience legendary Yamaha reliability and the freedom of forward thinking, with the all-new F200 In-Line Four. ALASKA

WASHINGTON KETCHIKAN Alaska Outboard 1405 Tongass Ave. (907) 225-4980

CRAIG The Bay Company 1250 Hill Top Drive (907) 826-3341 www.baycompany.com

OLYMPIA US Marine Sales & Service 3525 Pacific Ave. SE (360) 455-0788 www.usmarinesales.com

HOMER Lower Peninsula Power Sports 61284 East End Rd. (907) 235-6341 www.lppowersports.com

YamahaOutboards.com/F200InLine

Follow Yamaha on Facebook® and Twitter™

REMEMBER to always observe all applicable boating laws. Never drink and drive. Dress properly with a USCG-approved personal intended to be an endorsement. © 2013 Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. All rights reserved.

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

115


Dare I say, you could feel them as they sounded and disappeared from view? We had miles to go to get back to the dock. The professional fish cleaners in Homer had one heck of a job on their hands with our varied and heavy haul.

BACK IN PORT, THE California crew and I stood around in the drizzle and drank coffee, while the fish cleaners flew through our catch. One of my boatmates told me to take as many fish as I wanted and to not be shy doing it. In all my days of charter fishing, no one has ever said anything so generous. But I only wanted a silver, a pink and the rockfish I had caught. I took my rockfish home and immediately made a plate of sashimi. Just a quick rinse in rice vinegar and a dash of soy sauce, and my dogs watched me eat the whole plate. I was happy to be on land but couldn’t help wondering what it was like back at sea off those islands and that ragged, stormy coastline. I kept wondering what the whales were up to. The next day, Thursday, after I had

116

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

With a haul like this and a happy bunch of anglers back ashore, cleaning all these fish makes it all worthwhile for the Irish Mist crew. (DAVID ZOBY)

recovered – I am, after all, an English professor, not a seasoned waterman – I wandered down to the slip where Kyle and Hayes were offloading a ridiculous haul of halibut and rockfish. Three huge halibut tails wavered over the lip of a 55-gallon drum. Other halibut were being lifted from the fish box. The clients – they sounded like Tex-

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

ans – were all having a shot of Irish Mist whiskey from paper cups. It seems as if some type of ceremony was taking place. Their wives showed up with cameras; there was laughter and lots of inside jokes. In a separate tote were rockfish of many designs, plus some silver salmon. Once again, Hayes and Kyle had found the fish. ASJ


SPECIAL ADVERTORIAL PREPARED BYY

Boat Review BAMF 25’ Excursion Bring aboard more fish with the new BAMF 25’ Excursion. It’s built to withstand some of the toughest weather Mother Nature has to offer, while providing the comfort and features that will allow you to stay safe, comfortable, and on the water. The BAMF 25’ Excursion starts with a hand-laid Kevlar-reinforced hull followed by a one-piece stringer grid bonded and filled with state-of-the-art

flotation foam. With positive flotation and low center of gravity, the BAMF 25’ Excursion is unmatched in safety and performance. No wood equals no rot. With an all-composite construction these boats are built to last a lifetime. Whether you’re into casual cruising or are a hardcore offshore tuna chaser, the new BAMF 25’ is the boat for you.

www.bamfboats.com

SPECIFICATIONS CONSTRUCTION: Hand-laid Kevlar-reinforced fiberglass LENGTH: 25 feet LOA (inc. swim step & pulpit): 29 feet 6 inches BEAM: 8 feet 6 inches DRAFT WITH ENGINES DOWN: 30 feet DEADRISE@TRANSOM: 18 degrees CRUISING SPEED: 25 knots ENGINES: (2) 150 hp outboards FUEL: 200 gallons FRESH WATER: 20 gallons CABIN HEAD ROOM: 6 feet 6 inches GENERATOR (optional): 3.5KW Next Generation DISPLACEMENT: 6,500 pounds SLEEPS: 4

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

117


THEY WRITE COUNTRY SONGS ABOUT MORNINGS LIKE THIS.

BUT AT 70 MPH YOU CAN’T HEAR THEM.

It’s a glorious sunrise, viewed in fast forward thanks to the power of your 250 ProXS. Because you need to get there while the fish are still eating breakfast. Learn more at mercurymarine.com or visit your local dealer, today.

118

ALASKA

WASHINGTON

WRANGELL The Bay Company 431 Front Street (907) 874-3340 www.baycompany.com

OLYMPIA U.S. Marine Sales & Service 3525 Pacific Ave SE (360) 455-0788 www.usmarinesales.com

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


Full Service Marine Facility SPECIAL REPOWER DEALS GOING ON NOW! We take trades. Enjoy the luxury of the Bayside Drystack

Boat Sales- New & Used • Parts Department • Service Department Drystack Storage • Outboard Motor Sales • Fun on the Water

Inboard/Outboard Specialist • Dockside Service • Boat Brokerage Services

Celebrating Over 100 Years of Best in Boating 17’ Alaskan XL

w w w.wooldridgeboats.com

1303 South 96th St. Seattle, WA 98108 (206) 722-8998 aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

119


BULLFROG’S UNPRECEDENTED FORMULA: UNSINKABILITY, STABILITY AND DURABILITY.

OFFSHORE RANGER 22’ 1RLQÀDWLQJQRGHÀDWLQJQRZRUULHV

The best rough water boat for its size! Whether you are a ¿VKHUPDQGLYHURUMXVWOLNHWR H[SORUHWKHFRDVWOLQH\RXFDQ H[SHULHQFHDZRUU\IUHHGD\RQ WKHZDWHULQWKHVDIHUHOLDELOLW\ RIWKLV%XOOIURJ SPECIFICATION LOA: 22� Beam: 8’6� Internal Length: 16’10� Internal Beam: 6’9� Draft: 1’2� Draft (motor down): 2’9� Weight (w/ motor): 3600 lbs Weight Capacity: 2000 lbs Max Passengers: 10 Engine: Single Honda 250 hp (twin engine option available) Top Speed: 52 mph (45 knots) Fuel Capacity: 70 gallons Hull: Aluminum (3/16�) STANDARD EQUIPMENT Hydraulic Steering Bilge Pump Bow Rail & Stern Rails Running Lights Non-Skid Floor

See more at www.bullfrogboats.com // (360) 714-9532

120

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


The waters of the DeltaClearwater River should have a lot of fall-run silvers this month, so keep those streamers and hoochie spinners handy! (MIKE LUNDE)

TAKE YOUR FINAL CASTS DON’T STORE AWAY THAT SUMMER FISHING GEAR JUST YET – HEAD TO THE INTERIOR FOR GRAYLING, BURBOT AND SALMON BY MIKE LUNDE

I

was up to my knees in the bone-chilling headwaters of the upper Chena River, and fresh mounds of snow cloaked the shorelines and covered the spruce ridgeline of the White Mountains. The temperature dipped below freezing, icing up the guides of my fly rod. I roll-casted a stonefly-indicator rig into the riffle and it drifted downstream. Seconds later, the white indicator vanished in the blink of an eye, and a sailfish-like dorsal fin thrashed on the aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

121


The Tanana River is known for its burbot, which can be caught using simple tactics and make for a good meal. (NATE ROUSE)

surface. The grayling cartwheeled a few times and was scooped into the net. Along with the snow and ice, my

122

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

semifrozen ďŹ ngers were sure signs of what late fall open-water ďŹ shing is like in Interior Alaska, where the action can

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

also warm you up. Besides the Chena River, here are two other Interior spots to get your line wet


ANCHORAGE Anchorage Yamaha Suzuki Marine 3919 Spenard Rd (907) 243-8343 www.anchorageyamaha.com BIG LAKE Big Lake Powersports 5120 S. Big Lake Rd (888) 796-2628 www.southportmarina.com KODIAK Emerson Boat Works 816 East Marine Way (907) 486-0602 www.emersonboatworks.com FAIRBANKS Northern Power Sports 1980 Van Horn Rd (907) 452-2762 www.northernpowersports.com

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

123


this November:

TANANA RIVER BURBOT As fall progresses and the temperature continues to cool, the water levels of the Tanana River subside, dipping to some of the lowest flows of the year. Although water temps have diminished into the 40s and eventually the 30s, burbot are still highly focused on intense, last-minute foraging prior to the arrival of winter. The places you find burbot now are identical to late spring or early summer after runoff has subsided, with deep backwater eddy pools being primary locations. Backwater sloughs – regardless of water clarity – that interconnect with the Tanana are productive burbot spots. Once locations have been determined, anglers use heavy-powered spinning or baitcasting rods spooled up with braided line connected to a barrel swivel. Use a large octopus hook (a 5/0 or greater) to secure your deadbait of choice. Round or humpback whitefish and lamprey are many anglers’ favorites, while others prefer herring, which

is widely available in comparison. This is simple fishing, much like Lower 48 anglers would employ for catfish. Just stick your rod into a holder on the bank and clip a bell to the top guide. This traditional technique developed in reservoirs and river systems of the Deep South and assists tremendously in strike detection. Any sudden strike by a burbot is detected when the bell rings. Slack line is reeled in slowly, followed by a rock-hard hookset. Reel up while keeping firm, steady pressure and a trophy burbot should soon be on its way from your line to stringer to frying pan and delicious tablefare.

DELTA-CLEARWATER RIVER SILVERS While most Alaskans are storing their salmon gear in the garage or attic for the offseason, some diehard open-water fishermen refuse to follow the trend and instead head out for autumn-run silvers arriving in the headwaters of Delta-Clearwater River to spawn. These coho swim 1,100-plus miles through the Yukon and Tanana Rivers from the Bering Sea. Despite the high

mileage accumulated on their fatigued bodies, they are still highly aggressive when they get a glimpse of a multicolored streamer dressed with flash or stealthy spinner. One mid-October morning, my friend Lee and I prepared 14-foot rafts and brought along articulated streamers and hoochie jigs. As we did so, our clients visiting from Texas threw on multiple layers of fleece and down jackets and inched their way into neoprene waders. After a quick safety briefing, we rowed upstream and rendezvoused towards the outside bend of a calm backwater and scanned the middle of the channel for the bright hues of these fire engine-red fish. One of the Texans cast his articulated jig upstream past a school of dozen silvers dressed in their spawning colors. The hoochie struck bottom and the rod tip soon buckled. After a quick hookset, the supercharged male displayed his aerial acrobatics of flips and cartwheels. Minutes passed and the drag sang a few times before the fish was tail-grabbed, pho-

“BEST KEPT SECRET ON THE WEST COAST OF VANCOUVER ISLAND”

2018 Charter All-Inclusive Package Special

“Bring Your Large Coolers. You Will Need Them When You FISH With US”

4 person Drive in Fishing/Catching $1400 ea. CA $$ / $1200 ea. US $$* • 4 Nights Lodging • 3 Full days of Guided Fishing/Catching Salmon, Halibut, Ling Cod & MORE • Includes All your meals from our restaurants menu while you are with us. *Limited time offer must be BOOKED by December 31, 2017 *US $$ at today’s exchange rate

(250) 934-7672 | info@westviewmarina.com | www.westviewmarina.com 124

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com


@GD;GE:K MARINE Specializing in Outboard Jets

REPAIR / REPLACE

$6,995

$14,900

$22,500

$14,900

CHECK OUT THESE GREAT PRICES MOTORS LISTED AS NEW

• 8hp High Thrust E.T. Long . . . . . . . . . $2,450 • 25hp M Tiller . . . . . . $2,850 • 30hp EL . . . . . . . . . . $3,850

• ‘05 50hp EL Tiller . . . • ‘05 115hp 4 Stroke EFI . . . . . . . • 15hp ELT / Garmin Auto Pilot . . • 8hp 4 Stroke Long . . • 15hp Long 2 Stroke . . • 115hp Long 2 Stroke Jet . . . . . . . . • 6hp Short . . . . . . . . .

$4,950

• 15hp Long P Trim . . • 8hp Short . . . . . . . . • 10hp Short . . . . . . . • 10hp Long . . . . . . . . • 8hp Long . . . . . . . . .

$2,850 $1,850 $1,450 $1,450 $1,450

$8,450 N/A $1,450 $1,450 $5,950 $950

ON THE COWLITZ RIVER AT BLUE CREEK 1307 Spencer Rd, Toledo, WA 98591 North Central Washington’s Wa exclusive exc ex xclusive ve source for fo Campion and Custom Weld Weld Boats We Boatts

509-884-3558 www.bobfeil.com The Place To Buy A Boat!

2131 Sunset Hwy. East Wenatchee Winter Hours: Mon-Fri – 9-5 • Sat – 9-2

(360) 864-6406 holcombmarine@msn.com www.holcombmarine.com

aksportingjournal.com | NOVEMBER 2017

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

125


Salmon fishing in Alaska is indeed almost over, but head up to the Interior for one last set of casts in November. (MIKE LUNDE)

tographed, and released back into the Delta-Clearwater system.

converted to the pursuits of the hardwater season, leaving ice-free watersheds with minimal or no fishing pressure. Despite the free-falling temperatures, don’t let the bitter cold transform you into a holiday scrooge. Refrain from

STILL FISH TO BE CAUGHT With the winter doldrums soon approaching, most Alaskan anglers have

that train of thought and transition into the peace and serenity associated with solo late-season fishing excursions. Chances are you will likely be the only angler on the water – and loving every minute of it. ASJ

2281 Industrial Blvd. Juneau, AK • (907) 789-4831 • williesmarine.com

Family Owned & Operated

WILLIE’S MARINE PROUDLY OFFERS:

BUNDLE UP FOR WINTER:

• • • • • •

SAVE 10% when you bundle two or more services including –

Snow plowing New and used boats Custom boat orders Boat and motor repairs Large inventory of parts Remote service options

Dealer of the Brands You Know And Trust

126

ALASKA SPORTING JOURNAL

NOVEMBER 2017 | aksportingjournal.com

• Winterizing • Boat hauling • Shrink wrapping • Dustless Blasting ®

DEALER, INSTALLATION, AND CERTIFIED SERVICE

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@williesmarine) for updates and special promotions


As 11 17 web