Here are some pictures from the latest USA episode. Enjoy!
Archive for the ‘Hunting with Camera’ Category
Tags: Bering Sea, Longbow Hunting, Nunivak Hunting, Nunivak Island, Nunivak Island hunting, small game hunting
Nunivak Island Hunting and Gathering: New Ultimate Survival Alaska Airs Tonight June 16th at 9PM ET
Well its safe to say that my longbow was used throughout tonights episode. The eight of us land on Nunivak Island in hopes of providing some much needed protein for our nutrition. Hunting on Nunivak Island has been part of their culture for thousands of years. Very cool place to visit and the people of Mekoryuk were extremely friendly and most helpful. Be sure to catch the new episode tonight for the how to on hunting with a longbow. Humans have been on a mission to put protein in the pot for thousands of years….What’s your mission?
Thanks again to everyone in Mekoryuk, you made this leg of the adventure my personal favorite! Don’t forget to tune in tonight at June 16th at 9PM ET. For behind the scenes look at Ultimate Survival Alaska check out the twitter updates and facebook posts, find us on twitter @MissionAlaska, and @austinmanelick, #ultimatesurvivalalaska.
Tags: carribou, mountain goat, sheep mountain, state of alaska
After graduating with Austin from Penn State, It was our mission to gain experience in the outdoors, test ourselves as young men, and do the trip of our dreams. We wanted to do a low budget, non-guided hunt, using different means of transportation; through-out the state of Alaska for the “Alaskan Big 5″, Caribou, Dall Sheep, Mountain Goat, Moose, and Bear. The Mission Alaska Expedition was an amazing adventure, and one that Austin, Jordan Auggie, Sarah, Natalie, Bryan, and I will never forget.
As the lower “48′er” of the crew if was definitely a trip where I was out of my element. As I watch National Geographic’s ‘Ultimate Survival Alaska’, it brings me back to that expedition. The TV cameras make it look a lot easier than it is. They cannot adequately describe the tussocks, wetness, trench-rot, or blisters that come with successfully filming back-country travel. I wanted to share some thoughts on traveling the remote terrain as a real outsider, a non-Alaskan.
It was definitely like nothing I had encountered in the lower 48. It looks a lot like Kansas or North Dakota, but the wetness and endless tundra of the Alaskan arctic, make it like walking on a 3-5 foot wet sponge layer. Tussocks are hard plant root clumps that make the ground very unstable and a nightmare on your knees and ankles.
I will never forget how foreign the environment felt. After leaving our pick-up truck, we might might as well been walking on another planet. We only had to go 5 miles, but it felt like 20!
As I have been watching ‘Ultimate Survivor Alaska’ on National Geographic, I have been captivated by the scenery of the show and the crew’s ability to capture those images in the remote wilds of Alaska. I have filmed in Alaska and can assure you that the Alaska terrain is the enemy of any electronic device. The wet and the cold can make it very difficult to keep the cameras rolling, SD cards filled, and batteries charged. My hat is off to the Nat Geo production crew for capturing the raw and wild beauty of Alaska.
While Alaska can afford some beautiful weather with amazing views, definitely be prepared for cold and wet weather anytime of the year. Do not cheap yourself on gear! While you can sometimes get away with it in the lower 48, bad gear will ruin your trip and can endanger your life in Alaska. Make sure to check the Gear and Apparel page to see Mission Alaska’s gear tips, reviews, and suggestions.
There are all sorts of terrain in Alaska and a trip suited for everyone. Not far outside of the metro areas of Anchorage or the Mat-su Valley are tons of foot accessible areas. You dont always need planes and helicopters in Alaska to experience a real adventure. A lot people come to Alaska and take to bush planes to get out to remote areas. This can leave those areas crowded and areas that are hard to hike to, but not as far out as the planes go, open to anyone who wants to work for it. I had a mission to further test myself and went on a solo black bear hunt. What a great challenge and feeling of accomplishment.
The Mission Alaska Expedition was for sure the hardest thing I have ever done and the trip taught me a lot about myself, life, and Alaska. I encourage more Americans in the lower 48 to go and experience the last american frontier. It is still very real and alive today. Read ‘John and Joe’s Philly to AK Adventure’. Just like Nat Geo’s ‘Ultimate Survivor Alaska’ shows, for those who want it, adventure lies waiting around every corner.
Mission: Bike to the head waters of the “Marathon River” and Pack raft back to the vehicle.
Just got back from an epic Alaskan mountain biking pack rafting adventure in the Copper River Basin. The bike ride in was a full marathon in distance which is 26 miles. That meant fellow adventurer Brigder, my dogs Pickle, Crixus, and I had a beautiful 26+ mile class 3 river to pack raft to get back to our vehicle. This adventure was part hunting, part training/exercise, part recon, and a whole lot of fun. The pack rafting part of the adventure was definitely the highlight, and if you ask Bridger if he got wet he will be sure to tell you that we both took a few “tall drinks”. The dogs were awesome companions on the trip, and handled the rafting part of the adventure like total bosses. We were looking for potential brown and or black bear to harvest along the way, however that was wishful thinking. We ended up seeing a very large bull moose that just began growing his antlers, we also saw a sow grizzly bear with a lone cub. We didn’t find any animals to take down the river with us, other than Pickle and Crixus. It is always so humbling to be in nature and experience everything mother earth has to offer. One step in nature and a close encounter with a grizzly bear really tells humans exactly where they sit on that food chain. More pictures and videos to come shortly, make sure to tune back in to Missionak for weekly updates. Click the subscribe button on MissionAK’s home page to receive free email updates for any new blog post updates. If you haven’t already liked MissionAK on Facebook and twitter check us out!
Can’t wait for the next Mission…What’s yours?
Tags: Austin Manelick, Hunter, hunting, National Geographic Channel, Ultimate Survival Alaska, van favorite
You know who Mission Alaska is going to vote for!
Check out the interactive map on National Geographic’s webpage for Ultimate Survival Alaska. Scroll to the bottom and make your vote heard for the number one fan favorite!
The premier is May 12th at 10pm EST, don’t forget to tell your mom happy mothers day!
You can find Mission Alaska as well as Austin Manelick on Facebook and Twitter @
Here is the link to cast your vote.
This is possibly the coolest youtube video I have ever viewed. This video shows world champion archer Arthur Young on an epic expedition across the state of Alaska subsisting with only a traditional longbow and arrow. He takes on dall sheep, moose, brown bear, small game, salmon, and basically everything in between. Arthur shoots a moose with his longbow, then uses its hide to build a canoe and float down the freezing Yukon River. He spends times hunting with the Alaskan Natives on the his way to hunt brown bears in Kodiak. This black and white video is awesome, watch legendary bowmen Art Young take on Alaska “old school” with only stick and string.
Image Courtesy of http://www.stickbow.com/stickbow/history/ArtYoung.html
Check these links out if your interested.
The first step to becoming a hunter is to sign up and complete your states standard hunter safety course. Chris Pearson and Bryan Peters have been interested in hunting for a few years now. Bryan Peters has joined me on several hunting trips acting as videographer and second set of eyes. Chris and Bryan decided that tonight they would complete the online portion of their hunter safety course. Hunting is a fun way to enjoy the outdoors while simultaneously filling your freezer for the upcoming winter months.
Hunting is our sport, its a lot of fun, and we suggest you try it.
DISCLAIMER: I am writing this article on a foriegn keyboard so I apoligize for spelling errors and anywords that are autocorrected.
Whether it is a week long hunting trip, a three night camping trip, or a day hike the same questions seems to always arise: Who are you going with? If you are anything like me then thats the most despicable question you will ever encounter.
It is my belief that to truly enjoy the outdoors and completely immerse yourself in the beauty and raw power of Mother Nature you have to cut ties with all forms of civilization and really go by yourself. Now some people would say that is a death wish and call me ignorant and stupid. I call it adventerous and exhilerating. With that being said going hunting or camping with someone can be just as fun, but you absolutely need to find that perfect fit. Going hunting with someone is not as easy as it may seem. You need to trust that person completely with your life because if you dont, their true colors will come out in a time of most need. Perhaps not on the first or second trip, but when it does happen it could very well be fatal. When looking for someone to explore the wild with you there should be several componets that they possess such as physically fit, mental strong, a good attitude and a good personality. These are just a few, but the most important one is their morales and ethics. These two things are above all the most important things that you should look for when you find that someone who you will be outdoors with.
You want to be confident that your partner will not take Mother Nature for granted and disrespect her or any of the animals that she allows to live in her kingdom.
With that I leave you to ponder, but stay updated with missionak and spread the word, posts will be coming weekly hopefully so stay updated!
Tags: 2012 Bear hunting, Alaska bear hunting, bear hunt, Bear hunting, bear hunting 2012, black bear hunt, black bear hunting
Alaska Spring Bears 2012
Alaskan adventures if survived, tend to leave individuals smarter than when they embarked. That being said, the Alaskan learning curve is basically vertical, and surviving means adapting and learning very quickly. Do it yourself adventures bring a whole new challenge and dimension to any hunt. This year’s DIY spring Alaskan bear hunt proved just how difficult, yet rewarding these self-planned adventures can be. The mission of this three-leg journey was to successfully harvest a black bear, a brown bear, or both.
The first leg of the three part adventure across South Central Alaska was with fellow Sourdough (Alaska resident) Vince Pokryfki. Vince and I headed north of Talkeetna, Alaska in his riverboat. We worked our way up a network of connected rivers to our destination; Game Management Unit 16A-16B. Our objective was to thin out several bears from his moose hunting area. This would allow more moose fawns to live, meaning more trophy bull moose to chase in the fall. For this hunt, Vince wanted to settle the score on his terms. Vince was equipped with his custom “Dan Ryan” primitive bamboo-back osage long bow and self-made port orford shafts and double bladed Eskimo Zwickey 125 grain broad heads. Vince then proceeded to hook me up with 6 home made Grizzly Stick shafted arrows with Zwickey double bladed Death Wish broad heads. I accompanied Vince with my own home-made longbow to settle the terms of our claw-to-stick fight.
I named my home-made long bow “Hybex.” This bow was made back in my high school days in collaboration with Vince Pokryfki and Bowyer(bow maker) Dan Ryan. I also brought my trusty 416 iron sighted Remington Magnum, a gun my Dad used back in his registered Alaskan guide career. This massive caliber could do the trick if necessary to back Vince up if anything were to go wrong. I kept the 416 shouldered across my back as means of back up. All members including the videographer, were packing heat. Vince also had a 454 Cassull on his hip, and I had a chest holster equipped with a 44 Magnum. It’s safe to say that we had one small arsenal of weaponry that we planned to employ if necessary.
The reason we came so heavily prepared was due to the fact that Vince has much experience with the wildlife in that area. Vince has taken many moose via longbow in this area over the years. Most of these years he has came back the following morning to find brown bears on the moose carcass. Not only have his hunting grounds been invaded, his fishing grounds have as well. Last fall a bear charged Vince at his secret fishing hole in broad daylight. In Alaska you have to learn to co-exist with wildlife in their habitat. Vince has learned to do just this; he fishes during broad daylight hours and leaves mornings and evenings alone to let the bears have their turn at the fishing hole. The charge occurred during a blue bird sunny afternoon. Vince has never hunted brown bears until now. This is interesting because he has had the opportunity to take many bears in the past. He has made the decision to finally hunt bears because. He has over 20 years experience with not just the bears, but all of the wildlife in this area. He takes family members to these areas, and he wants to make sure they are safe. I want to help Vince in this area and do our part in bear management. Taking our quota of bears in the big picture is minimal. However, hunters such as Vince and I can make a difference in the population of a particular area. Collective groups of hunters need to be successful in many regions across a GMU to make an effective difference on animal population.
In essence, Vince and I are attempting to do our part. The adventure for this journey began at Fred Meyers, to get our hunting tags/licenses and secondly to get food for the trip. We gathered our favorites, including Oreos and granola bars and off to the boat launch we went. We got to the boat launch that Vince described as an “Alaskan boat launch.” We arrived on a steep gravel road access to a boulder farm style riverbank. The closer we got to the river, the worse the launch looked. Vince was confident the whole time, I followed suite and was excited to finally start this bear hunt from the riverboat. Vince expertly flung the boat in the water as I held the rope tied to the front of the boat. The boat swung to the side of the rocky riverbank, Vince parked the truck and we both jumped in and fired up the Evinrude. There were a few moments of silence as Captain Vince pushed the throttle forward and threw that baby on step. We were cruising up river and hunting bears in no time.
At any given point you can see game animals or bears in Alaska and we were prepared. We cruised up river to the point of attack, where last year Vince was charged by an aggressive bear. We found a suitable flat spot where Vince has made moose hunting camps in the past and set up our camping site. The tent and kitchen were up and running real quick. After camp duties were taken care of, we grabbed our bows and off we went. During spring time, bears are not usually concentrated to food sources such as salmon streams or berry patches. Bears can roam up to 50 miles per day in search of food. Coming across one of these post hibernating bears is basically the combination of perfect timing and a great location. Vince and I did not hunt over a bait station, but hunted via spot-and-stalk.
We walked what seemed like endless miles of braided out river until we stopped to glass for meandering bears walking the river beaches. We found many black and brown bear tracks, however we hadn’t spotted the owners of the tracks. After two days of walking the river beaches with no luck, the game plan had to change. Instead of walking the rivers silently, we cruised the river and searched for bears from the boat. Not a bad game plan, the only down side would be the noise from the boat’s engine. This noise would alert any predators of the dangers that our longbows poised. Our bows would be rendered useless at this stage, as the element of surprise had flown out the back of the boat. On the third and final day, I switched from my longbow to the iron sighted back up rifle.
With the new game plan in mind for the final day of the adventure, we ambled on up-river. If a bear showed himself, we would have to park the boat, bail out of it and set up on the river-bank for a long shot. Hopefully a bear would be tolerable of our presence and stand just long enough for an iron sighted shot. Extending the distance of my “smoke bow” fumed new excitement into the air. A close encounter was long overdue.
“Hey Vince, is that a boulder bear?” I asked, thinking I had been fooled by a dark colored rock. The rock started to move… “BEAR, BEAR, BEAR!” I whisper yelled to Vince. He immediately steered the boat towards the rocky riverbank, and in a moments notice I flew out of the boat like I was storming the beaches of Normandy. The videographer (Bridger VanNess) was in close pursuit and I sprinted along the rocky beach to an abstruse log, an excellent shooting bench. The large sized black bear was around 170 yards away and was moving up a large embankment towards a thick, endless grove of crisscrossed spruce and alder trees. The bear paused for a moment. I aimed the front pin of the iron sited 416 Rem Mag toward the bear; covering much surface area of the black dot. The black dot stopped near the top of the alder choked hill, I took a breath and slowly pulled the trigger doing my best to steady the steel bead. “BUHHHDOOOOOM” said the 416 Rem Mag. The bear paused another second looking stunned before bolting deep into the “peanut butter” like alders.
The bear looking unfazed by the 250 grained bullet, I didn’t feel confident with the shot and felt it was a 100% miss. Although I wasn’t confident with my shot, I wanted to be the ethical sportsman and check the surrounding area for signs of a wounded animal. After a short boat ride and a three-minute hike, I found myself standing in the bear’s footsteps. After circling the area multiple times and conducting a thorough investigation for any signs of a wounded animal, Vince and I concluded the bullet never found its mark. The bear was safe, however the bear learned to fear humans now more than ever. I was extremely bummed, as any hunter would be, feeling like I let myself down as well as my hunting partner. Missing an animal is a hard feeling to describe, only a hunter who has been there and done that can know the feeling. A clean miss is better than a wounded bear, and any hunter who hasn’t missed hasn’t been in the woods long enough. Knowing the animal was not wounded helped relieve the large burden I was carrying. It was now the last day of the hunt and our focus turned to taking down camp and preparing the boat for our departure.
Just before leaving, Vince and I took a few moments to reflect on the trip. Even though there was no kill during this trip, Vince and I still had positive morale in the special memories we both made on that trip. Hunting with an iron sighted rifle is difficult, and hunting with long bows is even more difficult. Vince and I both believe that the kill of an animal is the physical representation of the memories made on a hunting trip. However, in no way does the kill of an animal represent the endless laughs and fun times Vince and I spent together. To say the very least, Vince, myself, and Bridger had an awesome time together. We made memories that will last a lifetime. I want to personally thank Vince for taking several days away from his family and work to take me on an unforgettable journey. I will never forget the delicious camp food, the authentic Alaskan stories, the real life facts, and the camaraderie that Vince shared with me. I already asked Vince when our next hunting adventure would be. He said he is always game to go play in Alaska.
With seven days left of my spring bear hunt, I set my sites to a new hunting area. I drove eight hours to Valdez, stopping only at my home base in Palmer to exchange rifles. I needed to switch from the iron sighted 416 to the 350 Remington Magnum with a 4-14x Leupold scope. Now we were off to Valdez in search of beach combing monster black bears. I had spoken with several locals in the area who all said “bears are literally everywhere down here, some of them live in the streets.” With a scoped rifle to extend my shooting range, a new excitement came over me. Venturing to Valdez was the second leg of this three-part journey….
…..Stay tuned for the rest of this three part spring bear hunting adventure….
Tags: Big Deer Blog, Camera, Go-Pro, hunting camera, hunting with a camera, Mike Hanback, Mike Hanback Big Deer, Mike Hanback Big Deer Blog, outdoor filming
Ever wanted to have your hunt captured on film, but couldn’t convince your buddy to sit in your tree stand with you? There is a new revolutionary piece of technology in the outdoor industry that is changing the game as we speak. Go-Pro the Outdoor Edition, the all weather, shock proof, ultra small, mega High-Def, bad-to-the-bone camera sees the world as you see it and is the easy answer to all your filming needs. The Go-Pro takes outdoor videography to the next level. Throughout my experience as an outdoor field producer (vid cam dude), I’ve found the Go-Pro camera to be my go-to tool in my hunting arsenal.
Its small size and weatherproof casing makes the camera the world’s most versatile; taking on anything mother nature throws at you. No tools required for the endless attachments provided with the Go-Pro including chest mounts, handles bar mounts (works nicely for custom barrel or archery shots), suction cup mounts, adhesive mounts, helmet or head strap mount, allows the user to film easily and achieve a variety of shots including close-mid range kill shots. The wide angle lens records the perception of your point of view. This allows you to be as creative as you want, or a simple as you want. The attachments for this product make the Go-Pro extremely user friendly and can take a zero to a hero over night.
Seamless transfers to your computer in an easy MOV file, the Go-Pro records to secure digital cards (SD) 2GB,-32GB (gigabyte) cards. Depending on the SD cards storage size, you will be looking at one-two hours of HD filming. Closer to the pricing of the mid level game cameras such as Bushnells 8pixel Trophy Cam, the Go-Pro is a steal. For $299 Go-Pro hooks you up with the HD Hero 2 Professional camera package with all the basic attachments to get you in the field and filming with the press of a button. When compared to higher end videographer camera rigs(costing thousands), with use lighting equipment, wireless microphones, additional camera lens, tripods, boom microphones, the Go-Pro has all of the above combined in a mini user friendly camera. The Go-Pro has advanced settings with a manual book so you can customize your camera to your preferred setting. However, it’s ready to film out of the package after a quick charge.
Throughout my experience as an outdoor videographer, I have purchased one Go-Pro that has traveled with me from Alaska, to Pennsylvania, to south Texas and everywhere in between. This product is rugged and reliable, period. Field producing many outdoor TV shows in the past few years, I have been privileged to meet some of the coolest people in the world. Take for example Mike Hanback, the dude is the real deal on and off camera. We have made a couple whitetail episodes out of Texas with our buddies Sarge and Brandon. Each year several of the Go-Pro shots will make it to the silver screen. Also, each videographer I’ve met in dual cameramen hunts had at bare minimum of one Go-Pro. In my opinion the Go-Pro has revolutionized the way outdoor television productions are filmed, allowing for a very unique list of shots. This product no doubt makes the average Joe a hero, all with the press of a button. The price is affordable for the American working man, and if your lucky maybe this year you’ll get an early Christmas present from a loved one.