Mission Alaska Will Be Back 07-15-2013

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Hey everybody, just wanted to thank everyone for stopping in and checking out http://www.missionak.com, this journey truly has been amazing.  Team Mission Alaska is “falling off the grid” for the next few weeks, meaning the site will not be posting content until late July 2013.   We are currently down planning, working, and honing in our fall hunting schedule.  Make sure to check out Ultimate Survival Alaska airing 9pm EST on National Geographic Channel! Stay tuned for fall 2013, happy safe hunting everyone.

-Austin

Vince P Traditional Archery for Small Game

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Vince P Traditional Archery for Small Game

This was actually a magical day in the woods. I took off from behind the cabin with longbow and a quiver full of arrows using the old Alaskan 56″ snowshoes to get around in. Up on the ridge I could see the entire Alaska Range and Denali. The alpenglow on the mountains was a photographers dream. I spooked a bird roosting in the Spruce and it flew away towards another stand not to far away. Sable (my dog) and I gave chase, off we went to find the grouse. As we approached, it flew again but this time I didn’t lose sight of it and saw where it landed. About 40 yards away high in another Spruce. I pulled the fluflu out of the quiver and let loose. The arrow tip penetrated all the way but the shaft stopped half way through the birds chest. The bird and the arrown took flight from the tree …. to be continued ..

Vince

Thanks for the picture and story Vince. Your adventures are incredible and you inspire us all to get out there!

Guess Where.

alaska, alaska hunting expedition, archery hunting, arrows, bow and arrows, Camera, DIY hunting, Field Producer, Go-Pro, Hunting with Camera, National Geographic, public land, Survival, traditional archery, Ultimate Survival Alaska, Videographer

Guess where this shot was taken….Ill give you a hint, it was during the filming of Ultimate Survival Alaska.

Rob and Austin

Rob and Austin

The picture is of Robert Seamen a shooter/producer and I.  Rob is one of the hardest working individuals I have ever met in my life.  This guy was very talented with his camera to say the least, he managed to keep rolling footage in the wet and inhospitable Alaskan weather.

Nunivak Island Pictures

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Here are some pictures from the latest USA episode.  Enjoy!

My new friend on the Bering Sea

My new friend on the Bering Sea

Director of Photography Brent Meske "The Man"

Director of Photography Brent Meske “The Man”

Who took my hat and arrows?

Who took my hat and arrows?

"Tarping on the Bering Sea"

“Tarping on the Bering Sea”

Nunivak Island Hunting and Gathering: New Ultimate Survival Alaska Airs Tonight June 16th at 9PM ET

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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?

Photo Courtesy of National Geographic

Photo Courtesy of National Geographic

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.

-Austin Manelick

A Lower 48er’s View of Alaska

alaska, alaska hunting expedition, artic slope, bears, big game hunting, camping, DIY hunting, extreme hunting, guns, hunting, Hunting Culture, Hunting with Camera, National Geographic, nature, public land, Rifles, Survival, The next generation, Ultimate Survival Alaska, unguided hunting, Videographer, wildlife

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.

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Endless amounts of “tussocks”.

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!

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A hard earned 5 miles out to the hunting area.

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.

Cameras dont like working in clouds.

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.

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A foggy August Alaskan view.

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Looking for sheep in ever-changing weather.

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.

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Solo black bear harvest

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.

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Whats Your Mission?

-Jon Dykes