Alaska has some of the best fishing in the entire world. Have you been lucky enough to wet your line in the land of the midnight sun?
Just got back from yet another awesome Alaskan experience, commercial fishing in Bristol Bay for the past three weeks was a blast. Being off the boat and on land has me extremely excited for fall hunting season. Had plenty of time to mentally prepare for my annual hunting expedition across the state while I was out fishing. Really looking forward to chasing some critters and filling my freezer with my bow this fall. Thanks Mission AK’ers for being patient while I was off the grid, more posts, pictures, and fun soon to follow. Back on the grid and back to the grind.
If you are interested for more content on my past Alaskan adventures and expeditions make sure to check out the archives to past posts on the left hand side of this screen. Happy and safe hunting everyone.
Recently a few college buddies of mine called me up and asked me if we could go on mission, a mission in Alaska. John and Joe had never been to Alaska, and this winter wonderland was the perfect setting for ice fishing, snow mobile riding, and majestic views of monstrous mountains.
Here are a few of the pictures from Johnjoe and Joejohns Alaskan adventure.
Ice fishing: Mission complete
Winter Archery: Mission complete
Snow machineing: Mission complete
Cabin trip: Mission complete
It’s safe to say that we all had a great time playing in the wilds of Alaska and it was awesome to catch up with old friends. I can’t wait till the summer when we can go on pack rafting missions, midnight hikes, salmon fishing adventures, etc….The list of missions and possibilities goes on endlessly in the land of the midnight sun.
John and Joe’s mission was safe, successfully, and mostly stress free(outside of John getting his sled stuck in an overflowed river..). They completed their mission to Alaska….What’s your mission?
D_A_ PRO LLC is a full service media marketing provider, specializing in filming of remote and extreme shoot locations. DA PRO’s, enlist a full staff of professional videographers willing and ready to shoot HD footage in the hardest most unforgiving terrain possible. State of the art High Definition filming and audio recording equipment travels with each member of our globally experienced team of videographers. D_A_ PRO, LLC is the next generation of video production, bringing revolutionary visions to the television industry.
Follow this YOUTUBE link to watch the production highlight video a sample from the D_A_PRO LLC Library.
-THE PREMIER FRONTEIR PRODUCITON COMPANY.
If you have been reading missionak or following at all, then you would know that MA is all about the next generation and spreading the word on how “cool” the outdoors is. I have been talking with every person I know personally and contacting all of the youth I have met over my lifetime of friendships, in attempt to spread the good word of the outdoors.
I want to thank all of the readers and followers of Missionak, since summer of 2011 MA has grown greatly and viewer numbers are through the roof! I want to thank you again for following and reading my personal message to the woodsmen in all us. If you have or feel like you want to be more involved on missionak.com, please feel free to do so, in fact please help me!
If you have any pictures, videos, stories, anything that you feel appropriate for missionak.com, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Once again, I would love for anyone to send me interesting photos they have found on trail cameras, taken on hunts, taken on fishing trips, taken on antler shed hunting trips. Tell me a story, it doesnt have to be a trophy buck that you have taken I would be just as happy with a picture of a readers first deer harvest of a doe than of a monster 10pt buck.
I want to connect with my readers, help me!
SEND ME PICTURES AND STORIES!!!
Man cave: 303-838-7869
Mission Alaska is not just a blog about the outdoors and my conquest to sojourn the Alaskan wilderness. This blog will also pre-log my past adventures and experiences in different places across the world in which I have experienced different cultures while hunting.
I had an awesome opportunity to experience an African dream hunt at the age of 12, for several years I saved up my birthday and christmas requests in order for my father to come good on his safari promise. He kept his end of the bargin and for my 7th grade summer I would spend a month in South Africa hunting 11 plains game african Animals.
Very spoiled indeed, I did not argue with my fortune of being able to go on an unforgettable life changing adventure. Many men dream of going on hunts to the dark continent, I am very lucky to visit such an amazing place at such a young age.
Over time, sprinkled throughout this blog you will find old school pictures of myself from childhood till now. Each picture represents the memories of the outdoors I have lived which have formed my traditions, shaped my culture, and made me who I am. This post look back at my life, retrospectively gives the reader a sense of exactly who I am and what I have become through my passion in the wild. The outdoors is who I am, this blog helps to explain my method of madness.
Ever since my father took me trout fishing in a local stream after my first day as a kindergartner at Pioneer Peak Elementry School, I was hooked for life. I had recieved a new telescopic (totally BA) trout fishing rod set up and I could not wait to test my new implements of attack upon the majestic rainbow trout. My dad picked me up after school and we headed to Wasilla Creek. It wasn’t too long before we found ourselves 50 yards from the road, in a perfect trout hole. My Dad rigged me up with a small spoon lure and told me to cast in the dark, deep hole behind the log…. I did so expertly, as if I had been a bass master my entire 5 year old life, after my third of fourth perfect cast I felt my pole tip jerk directly toward my line..
What happened next was almost unexplainable, to this day I still have a hard time finding words for it. My tiny stomach lurched forward and downward at the same time, and for a split second I swore I was levitating. For a brief moment, my body seemed to have defied gravity. I did not know what was happening but I knew I had a trout or something on my line and I did not want it to get away. After landing the trout my dad and I shared a moment of silence and awe at that little trout flopping on the bank. My body let me feel the ground once I got a hold of my very first self caught trout. My body experienced one of my first adrenal highs. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but if fishing could give me that knee shaking experience….then I would catch more fish!!!! At a very young age I knew I was a thrill seeker, and believe it or not fishing gave me that thrill. It was only later that I experience hunting for the very first time, which brought the thrill to a completely different level.
Everyday after school, between sports and home work, I would head to the woods or the streams carrying my fishing pole on my mountain bike. Later that bike would become an ATV.. Yeah sure I had video games, but getting to the next level was not gratifying for me because I knew the next level would always be there and I would always be able to beat the game. There wasn’t too much fun in video games for me, deep down when I played them, I knew there would be a monster trout sitting under that log that I wasn’t fishing. The outdoors was a challenge for me, every time I left the house I knew I would have to be clever enough to outsmart a fish or a squirrel. My next personal metaphoric “video game level” would be my next small animal target, or my next dream hunt for Moose or Dall sheep. After many years of small game hunting, I wanted to challenge myself, I wanted to to start hunting big game animals.
I will not tell a lie, the outdoors gratifies me beyond words. The only way to break the experience with nature down such as catching a fish, harvesting an animal, or even seeing an animal, is the chemical response in the brain linked to adrenal release. Adrenaline so to speak is what I chase, this chemical is released when your “rod tip jerks” or when you spot a grey squirrel and you’re hunting for dinner, or when you’re hunting for bull moose and a trophy 60 plus incher walks out with a rack thats wider than a door frame. Your body’s natural instinct is to release this super human chemical giving you seemingless power, you must seek a thrill to experience it. The harvesting of an animal is not the thrill, I get just as much satisfaction releasing a 26 inch rainbow trout as I would harvesting and eating the fish. The kill is not as important as outsmarting the game animal, for instance letting a legal but small antlered animal walk by you instead of needlessly taking a life just because you can. The taker of a life involves maturity and respect for the animals as well, close relationships are formed with the animals we pursue. A last second buzzer beater, a half court 3 pointer shot with no time left to beat the other team, that feeling as the ball goes in the hoop is a similar feeling to the experience of catching or harvesting an animal.
I don’t discriminate. I follow each U.S. state Fish and Wildlife regulations and within law, pick several legal game animals to pursue whether it’s big game or small game the thrill is the same. I have been an accomplished big game hunter most of life, in part to a father who at one time was a Master Alaska Guide. We have hunted both big and small game together and to me the adrenaline rush is nearly the same. More exciting to me than hunting or fishing for myself, is sharing the sport with someone new, sharing the experience (the rush) of animal encounter with someone who is interested. This last winter I decided to take my best friend and high school sweetheart Jordan Pokryfki small game hunting.
In high school her father, Vince, would teach us how to make port orford cedar arrows and osage orange self made D-bows. We both had a love for the bow and making beautiful arrows, it was now time to put these arrows to action in the next challenge. Noticing that Jordan was deadly with a bow I suggested we purchase a hunting license together, she asked me if we could actually hunt legally if she had purchased the license. I told her yes we could hunt small game (Snow shoe hare, ptarmigan, red squirrel, and spruce hen)because thats the small game open this season and off we went.
Our first time out, we definitely looked deadly, however we spotted no bunnies during our snow shoe adventure. Un-deterred we decided we would head back out to a different bunny hunting location the following weekend, and this time we would use snow machines to get further from the road and deeper into bunny country.
Our new game plan, using snow machines to get further into bunny country worked! Jordan and I would succesfully harvest several bunnies this day, and had a blast doing it. Jordan liked it so much we decided to go the following weekend to the same place, this time we would bring her dad and have equal success.
Like I said, I don’t discriminate in the adventures I go on, the satisfaction I received would only be comparable to the happiness of Jordan and her first successful hunting experience. Seeing Jordan come to full draw with her home made refinished bow as bunnies zoomed through the willows, would bring me to a full draw smile and many awesome memories.
This year big game hunting is essentially coming to a close, and the populous of hunters are beginning to find themselves in a hybernation type pattern. This is the exact time when the hard yards are earned help you have succusfull 2012 hunting season. If you have ever dragged a deer from the woods or packed out a bull elk, or bossed up a 200+ pound moose hind quarter then you know that you must be in not the best, but a pretty good shape to safely bring your quarry from the field. It’s to often that you hear a hunter tell a story of how he busted his ankle, or threw his back out, pulled a hamstring, the list of injurys goes on and on. Being healthy and fit for the outdoors can only help to make you a more successful hunter, going further to help you get to that secret spot you only wish you get during the rut. No matter if your a tree stand whitetail hunter or a back country elk hunter, being in shape both mentally and physically are factors playing into a successful hunting season. Besting game this day an age takes hard work and perseverance, this is why I enter my hunting seasons as a professional athlete would enter his pre-season training camp.
I begin my pre-season hunting workouts during the winter, starting with an alternate cycle of a month of heavy weights with light conditioning such as non-weighted hikes or back country snow boarding hikes. The second alternating month is an anaerobic high intensity high repetition excercise which is a simliar variation of the popular work called CrossFit. Crossfit, focuses on a combination of different excersise in non-step repetition with little to no rest between exercises. I made up my own variation of cross fit and p 90x, I like to call my workouts Wilderness X because its a combination of the outdoors with functional workouts. The work out is similiar to what a hunter would go through during his time in the field(think spring bear on an Alaska hunt deep snow), I begin a snow shoeing hike with a weighted pack and enter one mile onto a pre-designated national forest trail in the middle of no-where Colorado. Once a mile up the trail I pulled out my 40 pound dumbbell and begin the work out doing a combination of 5- 10 exercises between 15-30 repetitions each. Once I finished this I would pack my weight away and hike back to the base of the hiking trail.
This work out mimics a spring bear hunt by placing the hunter in a game time situation such as a bear that is spotted, then stalked, then harvested. Long periods of heavy walking with a pack leading into several high intensity moments followed by another long period of walking.
-The Wilderness Work Out
One Mile Hike with weighted pack (I chose 40 pounds)
Standing Triceps extension-20
Push ups 20
lunges 15 X each leg
Push ups 20
Standing Triceps extension 20
One mile hike down with weighted pack
This one way I prepare myself for success, some would call it a little crazy but each hunter has there superstitions. How do you get ready for your hunting season? Do you work out or go through some other form of ritual? To each his own, what has helped you have you most successful year ever, and what will make you have the most successful 2012 season?
Stay tuned for the next post, the youtube video of the actual work out.
Stalking animals with primitive archery equipment takes stealth to a whole new level. An animal taken with any kind of archery equipment is, in my opinion, a true trophy. An animal taken with primitive equipment means dinner, not to much argument with food on the table. Any legal hunting means to ethically harvest an animal should never be discouraged, to each his own. Respect other hunters, fishers, and outdoorsmen methods as you would enjoy others to respect you. Compound archery, traditional archery, primitive archery, rifle hunting, muzzle loader hunting, or even spear hunting try to enjoy others successes regardless of take method.
I have never fully understood my fathers obsession with trees and his infatuation with planting acorn after acorn, especially now when reaching a mature age in life. He has always had a scrupulous love affair with two kinds of trees, the red and the white oak trees. He would always convince me, some how, to channel my efforts in the woods like busy squirrel with winter fast approaching to gather, collect, and plant as many acorns as I possibly could. He would promise me that in my future years of life, I could sit under the very same trees I had planted and reap the benefit as monster Pennsylvania buck after buck would pass directly under my tree stand; within bow range of course. All I had to do was plant acorns and all my big buck dreams would come true. It is now in life after these buck dreams have come true, I must plant a different type of acorn.
My personal life message is geared toward the youth and the next generation of outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen, there is clearly a decline in the numbers of purchased hunting and fishing licenses in most of the United States. My message is to the youth, “GO OUTSIDE”, next challenge yourself. ”I dare the youth to catch a fish”. I have played video games, and I have caught trout on fly rods and I promise you the thrill of catching a fish is much greater than acheiveing the next level in a video game.
The revenue associated with video games, does zero to help with fish and wild life. Meanwhile, the money raised from the purchases of hunting and fishing license directly helps to maintain abundant game animals in the states that we hunt and fish. The costs of hunting/fishing licenses funnel directly into the state and wildlife agencies such as each U.S. State departments of Fish and Game, the money from these licenses staffs wildlife experts and biologists who are in charge of regulating game animal and fish numbers. In essence, hunters and fishermen subsidize the costs associated with staffing and employing professionals to maintain healthy hunting and fishing for the next generation of hunters and fishermen. These professional are paid to keep our resources abundant and our forests healthy, purchased fishing and hunting license are vital to sustain our natural resources period.
With a decline in hunting and fishing license sales across the U.S., who will pay for true conservation in order to keep our game and fish numbers healthy? The answer lies within role model type outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen who take a member of the next generation of hunters and fishermen outdoors with them. The answer to the future sales of hunting and fishing license start with a very small seed, the gardener who plants this seed must be some type of influential outdoorsmen. The seed planted, metaphorically, would be taking a child or teen into the outdoors and getting them “hooked” on fishing or hunting. How do you do this? Simple, you take an interested young person or friend outdoors and help them catch their first fish or harvest there first animal. Next show them the process involved to be an ethical fishermen or hunter, including respect for the animal or fish, and help them to prepare a cleanly and tastey meal of wild game.
The simple act of having a fish on your line, or having your first whitetail walk under your hunting stand evokes an adrenal response from the surrounding environment. This interaction with nature releases serotonin a chemical in the brain linked to pleasure and satisfaction or the well being and happiness of an individual. Receiving pleasure response from a nature encounter will only help to make the acorn of the next generation of outdoorsmen or outdoorswomen sprout into a beautiful red oak tree. A red oak tree that will, hopefully in the future when reaching fruition will go forth and produce more acorns to ensure a healthy forest.
After all of these years I have come to some understanding as to why my father loves his trees so much, the trees he loves will be around for hundreds of years after he is gone. Those very same trees will be enjoyed by his grand childrens children, a pleasure he will only be able to smile down upon. I have yet another challenge, this is to the role models who find themselves reading this article and who can make some kind of difference. I challenge you to gain the interest of a young person into the active lifestyle of the outdoor world, to take a young person fishing, or an interested person antler shed hunting. I challenge you to plant a metaphoric red oak acorn, after all, the acorns that grow into beautiful red oak trees will be around much longer than we will be.