Spring Riding & The Denali Dog 140 Sled Race

alaska, bears, Camera, camping, caribou, Field Producer, Go-Pro, grizzly bear charge, guns, hunting, nature, public land, Rifles, shed hunting, Uncategorized, wildlife

 

IMG_8406

With warm weather plaguing much of Alaska this spring, snow machine riding could be considered dismal….. Unless your a powder hound chasing endless fields of untouched snow high in the mountains of Alaska’s back country….(or follow your untracked trail to a secret winter wonderland around the back of the cabin)…  This spring is no different for the writers of Mission AK as we took off on a hunt for fresh untracked snow.

IMG_8593

Riding up the Denali highway we stumbled across one of the coolest and newest dog sled races in Alaska. The Denali Dog 140  race was a last minute brainchild that gathered some of Alaska’s best mushers and set them to compete on the Denali Highway for two days covering 140 miles of Alaska’s vast wilderness. The mushers only had three weeks to prepare themselves and their teams to go head to head in this first annual race across Denali’s rugged landscape. IMG_9889The race consisted of veterans such as Lance Mackey ( Four-time winner of the Yukon Quest & four-time winner of the Iditarod.) and new comers making their first dog racing debut such as Timothy Muto.IMG_9881 Dog racing in Alaska is a lifestyle that requires endurance, dedication, and selflessness which Mission AK contributors (Kalen Kolberg and Austin Manelick) were lucky enough to experience first hand.

IMG_9917

After the mushers got their dogs fed and put to bed we all got to enjoy good conversation and a hot meal at the Alpine Creek Lodge (Race checkpoint and turn around location).

IMG_9463

After only a couple hours of much needed cat napping the mushers had to head out and to continue their race towards the finish line.IMG_9894

The next morning we woke up to a hot breakfast and several cups of coffee (much needed after trying to keep up with the mushers all night). After chatting with the locals on spots to check out we geared up in search of  high mountains packed with fresh pow lines, inevitable putting our sleds to the test.

IMG_1154

IMG_1143

What was suppose to be a back country snow machineing trip turned into dog mushing spectacle that we all enjoyed thoroughly, acting as their biggest fans and photographers it was awesome to see these athletes behind the scenes.   It’s not to often you run into Iditarod champions and those inspiring to be the best at one of the most difficult(HARDCORE) sports in the entire world and share a cup of hot coffee at 12am midnight at an authentic Alaska lodge.   After the teams left we headed high into the mountains to finish our mission and find the goods. A 12 mile ride into a deep north facing drainage provided what we were looking for….endless pow.

Mission complete: 150 miles round trip.

 

-Team Mission Alaska

 

 

Huge shout out and big thanks to  Alpine Creek Lodge, check them out for a cool place to base any Alaskan adventure.

 

 

 

 

D_A_PRO LLC Production Highlights- presents Mission Alaska

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, coyote attack, DIY hunting, extreme hunting, fishing, grizzly bear, grizzly bear charge, grizzly brown bear, guns, hog hunting, hunting, Hunting Culture, Hunting India, India, India Culture, meat, moose, nature, Pennsylvania hunting, Pike fishing, public land, Rifles, salmon fishing, small game, Small game hunting, snow shoe hare, texas whitetail, The next generation, traditional archery, trout, Trout fishing, Uncategorized, unguided hunting, Whitetail hunting, wildlife
DA PRO owner Austin Manelick pictured with Major League Baseball MVP Texan Ranger Josh Hamilton and family.

DA PRO owner Austin Manelick pictured with Major League Baseball MVP Texan Ranger Josh Hamilton and family.

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.

PRODUCTION HIGHLIGHT VIDEO PRESENTS MISSION ALASKA

Follow this YOUTUBE link to watch the production highlight video a sample from the D_A_PRO LLC  Library.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72hU5wKa72s

                                                                                                 D_A_PRO LLC.

-THE PREMIER FRONTEIR PRODUCITON COMPANY.

Mission Alaska: You can help

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, coyote attack, DIY hunting, extreme hunting, fishing, grizzly bear, grizzly bear charge, grizzly brown bear, guns, hog hunting, hunting, kudu, meat, moose, nature, Pennsylvania hunting, Pike fishing, public land, Rifles, salmon fishing, small game, Small game hunting, snow shoe hare, texas whitetail, The next generation, traditional archery, trout, Trout fishing, Uncategorized, unguided hunting, Whitetail hunting, wildlife

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!

-AM

SEND ME PICTURES AND STORIES!!!

Contact

austinmanelick@gmail.com

Man cave: 303-838-7869

New Age Thrill Seeker

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, coyote attack, DIY hunting, extreme hunting, fishing, grizzly bear, grizzly bear charge, grizzly brown bear, guns, hog hunting, hunting, meat, moose, nature, Pennsylvania hunting, Pike fishing, public land, Rifles, salmon fishing, small game, Small game hunting, snow shoe hare, texas whitetail, The next generation, traditional archery, trout, Trout fishing, unguided hunting, Whitetail hunting, wildlife

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.

alaska, alaska hunting expedition, archery hunting, artic slope, bear charge, bear maul, bears, big game hunting, caribou, coyote, coyote attack, DIY hunting, extreme hunting, fishing, grizzly bear, grizzly bear charge, grizzly brown bear, guns, hog hunting, hunting, meat, moose, nature, Pennsylvania hunting, public land, Rifles, salmon fishing, texas whitetail, The next generation, trout, Trout fishing, Uncategorized, unguided hunting, Whitetail hunting, wildlife

Sheep Hunting 2011

alaska, alaska hunting expedition, archery hunting, artic slope, bear charge, bear maul, bears, big game hunting, camping, caribou, DIY hunting, extreme hunting, grizzly bear, grizzly bear charge, grizzly brown bear, guns, hunting, meat, moose, nature, Rifles, The next generation, Uncategorized, unguided hunting, wildlife

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?

alaska, alaska hunting expedition, archery hunting, artic slope, bear charge, bear maul, bears, big game hunting, camping, caribou, coyote, coyote attack, DIY hunting, extreme hunting, fishing, grizzly bear, grizzly bear charge, grizzly brown bear, guns, hog hunting, hunting, meat, moose, nature, Pennsylvania hunting, public land, Rifles, salmon fishing, texas whitetail, The next generation, trout, Trout fishing, Uncategorized, unguided hunting, Whitetail hunting, wildlife

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.

Grizzly Charge on Team Mission Alaska’s 30 day Expedition for Alaska’s Big Five Animals Fall 2011

alaska, alaska hunting expedition, archery hunting, artic slope, bear charge, bear maul, bears, big game hunting, camping, caribou, DIY hunting, extreme hunting, grizzly bear charge, grizzly brown bear, guns, hog hunting, hunting, meat, moose, nature, public land, Rifles, Uncategorized, unguided hunting, wildlife

This clip is of a grizzly bear charge in central Alaska during an expedition style hunt for Alaska’s big 5 animals. This charge happened to be in the middle of our 30 day expedition on our second leg of the journey, the Dall Sheep portion of our expedition. Having no All Terrain Vehicles to take us 10 miles off road to the base of our dall sheep mountain location, we decided to use manual man power and the use of mountain bikes to get to our base camp. These mountain bikes provided a stealth like entrance to our Dall Sheep location, we biked upon a wolf and several bears during our bike ride. The squeaking wheels and rusty bike chains seemed to bring the bears to us! The bikes worked dually as a predator call and a deadly mode of transportation. This clip sent chills down the camera mans spine as he realizes that the only thing protecting him is the camera he’s holding in his hands. No doubt, this encounter could end fatally be sure to watch this heavy action moment when the host stands his ground in attempt to not become part of the bears lunch menu.

Follow the youtube link for the video to the grizzly charge.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcKIL22nVnw