Mission Alaska Reaches Across the Globe to India

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This is an email I recieved after I posted an article asking for your thoughts, opinions, articles, pictures, etc.  This email comes from an individual from India, who runs a blog site called  greenerpasturesind.wordpress.com.  He writes me connnecting my blog with one of his adventures in India, and he shows us hunters in India are viewed with more respect and prestige with more animal skulls on the wall.  Here is the email and pictures, humans continue to amaze in our ability to share connections.


First of all, awesome blog guys. I only reason I read about your hunting adventures, is because you guys respect the wild, and more like a part of it. Hunting is perfectly normal, if you do it in a sustainable way and not harming the nature.
I live in a tribal land, Northeast India. Here, hunting is a part of the culture, and at the same time, the tribes have a deep respect for nature which only a person like you or me would understand. But things have been changing recently. A lot of hunting takes place, so that the products go to China, where they make perfumes and what not, out of majestic animals such as Tigers, Leopards, Rhinos..etc..
Anyways, I am the admin of greenerpasturesind.wordpress.com. Received your recent mail asking for people to submit stuff.
Well, I think I have a picture which you would like, which I have attached with this email. It was taken inside a Mishmi tribal house, located somewhere far away in the mighty Himalayas. The skulls are hung like trophies in their house, and the more trophies you have, the more prestige and respect in society. I have also sent the picture of he tribal, who is the owner of the house. All respect to him. He’s been there, done that.
Please feel free to use the pictures.
And keep up the great work.

Vaivhav Todi 



My response:


Firstly I wanted to note how awesome it is to have someone from across the world such as yourself reading my blog and interacting with me.  I noticed your blog activity after you comment on my posted article about the mountain goat burgers I made.  Thanks for following up withmissionak.com! I appreciate your email and it will be going up today!
This is very fascinating about your views on hunters and the way of life “in your neck of the woods”.  It is very sad and a shame to hear of the destruction that “poachers” not hunters, such as the tiger, rhino, and leopard killers you speak of have committed.  You know, as I, that this illegal black market where valued animal parts from tigers etc are taken and sold as aphrodisiacs or health remedies, and is viewed as normal by those who consume the goods.  The decrease in many species in places like Africa, Sudan, India, China, has led to an increase in demand for animals products on the Black Market.
In the USA, we have many rules and regulations that must be followed by a hunter or consequences and citations will be given.  Poachers and people hunting illegally in the US, who do not obide by the hunting laws set forth by each individual state will be regulated by authoritative figures.  Each state has many counties and cities, the wild game in these cities is protected by Game Wardens basically wildlife police.  Game laws are very serious in the USA, and individuals must abide by these rules or they will receive punishments.  There is an intricate system that ensure that the wildlife in the United States is cared for and payed for, payed for by the hunters licenses and tag fees it cost to hunt the animals.  In essence, hunters pay for the conservation of animals(to hunt legally), and work with wildlife agencies such as each States department of fish and game to ensure that a heatlhy population of animals exist for the next generation of hunters and fishermen.
Secondly, your mission statement and your blog greenerpasturesind.wordpress.com has an authentic and real message, a message that I can relate to, understand, and commend even being from a different side of the world.  Your adventures are amazing and I encourage you to spread you message to receptive ears and minds.  Who wouldn’t want to find themselves in a greener pasture?  I seek new green pastures every day of my life, everyday is an adventure in my eyes.
The man in your pictures is what I like to call a “grizzled vet” , as in, a person who has veteran experience gained through physically and mentally demanding experiences.  Like you said, a man that has been there and done that.  Here in the US, trophies are viewed in many different ways, some are disgusted by it, some are fascinated by it, some are jealous, some are happy.  I am very proud of each trophy on the wall, not because I feel powerful, or prestigous, or manly.  I never place emphasis on the kill of each hunt, as killing is not what hunting is about.  The adventure and experience is the catch for me, the harvest or trophy value of the animal is purley in the edible meat to be consumed over a long winter.  The kill of an animal is simply put, a physical representation of the memory had on the adventure pursued.
I only wish hunters were viewed here in the United States with more respect and prestige in society, considering their hunting license costs recycles directly into the wildlife programs set forth by the state to keep the environment healthy.
Thanks again Vaivhav, your email has been awesomely informative and perfectly placed into the right hands.  Keep pictures like these coming, I would love to hear more on the culture of hunters in India and your culture in general.
Truly great to hear from you,
Austin Manelick

Mission Alaska: You can help

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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.

Men enjoying the culture of the great 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 austinmanelick@gmail.com

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!





Man cave: 303-838-7869

Mission Alaska Expedition Frontier Fall 2011


This is a behind the scenes look at the expedition style hunt Auggie, Jon, and I went on last August 2011.  Just published this to youtube, now everyone can see just exactly what happens when 3 guys head across Alaska’s wilderness attempting to harvest the big five animals.  August and myself(Austin) are residents of the state of Alaska and do not need a guide to hunt the majestic animals who live on this raw fertile land.



Pennsylvania Supports Youth Outdoor Engagement


Pennsylvania game commission has always been a strong supporter of the youths engagments in the outdoors.  I came across this article and wanted my missionak followers to see what some states are doing in the name of the next generation of hunters and fishermen.  This ladies and gentlemen is not your tax dollars at work, these are hunters, fishers, and true conservatives of nature that believe in planting planting seeds that will grow past our lifetimes.

This article follows my message to the role model outdoorsmen,  saving the future of the outdoors by planting acorns (metaphorically and physically) to ensure the next generation follows our roots.

Wild life for Everyone WrotePA Game Commission Programs

“Seedlings in the Schools has been a great outreach effort for the Game Commission, and is made possible by the hard-work of Theresa Alberici, Wildlife Conservation Education Specialist, and all of our Howard Nursery employees,” said Carl G. Roe, Game Commission executive director. “However, we would not be able to fully deliver this program if it were not for the financial assistance of the Wildlife For Everyone Foundation, and very much appreciate their annual contributions.”

Howard Nursery has done a service to the state of PA by providing all of the seeds needed for children in PA schools to participate in this program by planting seeds across the local habitat surrounding the school and local area.  Thanks you Howard Nursery for your service to the American population, you care about the next generation of our youth and their involvement in the outdoors.

I think many more companies should attempt to be more giving and donate to charitable causes such as “Seedling in the Schools”.  I also think more states should attempt to implement this type of program into their schools, not only more states, but more countys and cities, the only US for that matter.

Do you think programs such as Seedling in the Schools will help the future of outdoormens and outdoorswomen? I do….it all starts with one little acorn…

Mission Alaska meets Africa

Africa, Africa Big Five, Africa big game hunting, African Hunting, alaska, alaska hunting expedition, archery hunting, arrows, artic slope, bear charge, bear maul, bears, big game hunting, bow and arrows, bow fishing, camping, caribou, coyote, DIY hunting, extreme hunting, fishing, grizzly bear, hunting, kudu, meat, nature, public land, Small game hunting, The next generation, traditional archery, Uncategorized, wildlife

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.

Young predator, small but dangerous

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.

New Age Thrill Seeker

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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..

Trout Killer: the Great Northern Pike found in my secret trout fishing lake

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.

Jordan and austin

Bunny Hunting

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.

One bunny, one zwickey doubled bladed broad head.

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.

What a beautiful Alaskan winter day, an amazing moment.

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.

Camp and Caribou on back.

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.

That pack has a 40lb dumbbell inside

-The Wilderness Work Out

One Mile Hike with weighted pack (I chose 40 pounds)

Sumo Swings

Standing Triceps extension-20

Push ups 20

lunges 15 X each leg

Push ups 20

Sumo Swing

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.

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Sheep Hunting 2011

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Sheep Hunting 2011

This picture was taken last August during the Dall Sheep portion of my 30 day hunting expedition. Who would have thought we would find mountain caribou at the summit of our Dall Sheep Mountain, apperently the mountain caribou are just as nimble as sheep or goats.  We ended up spotting 70+ different sheep with only five rams among those numbers, none of the rams would be “full curl” and deemed legal to harvest thus we ended up striking out on this sheep hunt.  However, we did get some awesome footage of animals and a grizzly bear charge on film, check out the grizzly charge on youtube.com at this link Grizzly Charge.

Primitive Archery: Whats your method?

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Primitive Archery my usual poison

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.

Hunter, Fisher, or Outdoorsmen?

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We should all take a lesson from the squirrels planting acorns.

More acorns need to be planted

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.

The acorns planting really did help, thanks to the squirrel.

PA Whitetail

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.

Rainbow Trout caught on a flyrod.

Trout fishing

Colorado Creek

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.

Future fishing license sales, the acorn.

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.

Caught on Pokryfki boat the "High Life"