Traditional Archery Hunting Oregon 2013

alaska, alaska hunting expedition, antler, antler hunting, archery hunting, arrows, bears, coyote attack, DIY hunting, Field Producer, grizzly bear, Hunting Culture, meat, public land, Survival, The next generation, traditional archery

Tag soup is not my favorite meal, but as a hunter I will tell you I have had my fair share of it. Striking out as a hunter and coming home with no animal to show after a long arduous hunt can be very discouraging and hard on a sportsmen’s morale. I always dream of harvesting big game animals in different locations across the country, hunting in new locations is always fun and there is plenty of DIY opportunities through out most of the United States. I have had many aspirations to perfecting my traditional archery game on the beautiful animals that roam North America and beyond.

20131219-130944.jpg

This year I decided to take an old commercial fishing buddy up on his offer to chase elk in Oregon with bows in hand. Kalen told me about Oregon’s over the counter tags for elk and deer, I said “I’ll bring my take down long bow and a quiver full of zwickeys headed arrows.”
We discuss plans over a fishermens dinner in port of Naknek Alaska, dreaming of big bull elk and possibly a mule deer in the mountains of Oregon.

20131219-130908.jpgFast forward to August, the early archery elk season has begun and Kalen and I take to the woods. We meet up in Portland and begin the long road trip east, before long we had made it to a small sporting goods shop and picked up our elk and deer archery tags.   Kalen had the drop on a few good locations from past experiences while hunting with family and friends, so we had a few places to start.  (Thanks Mike and Jacob!)

20131219-130712.jpg

Hitting up a new piece of national forest is always a little daunting at first, new territory keeps you on your feet and you must be aware of your surroundings or risk getting lost/in an emergency situation.   I like hunting new areas because I have to be acutely aware of all of my new surroundings as I am at a severe disadvantage with my shooting distance, the animal sense of smell can detect me over 200 yards as they have evolved to survive.  All of my shots must be under 25 yards or I risk missing or wounding a game animal.  I am stepping completely out of my element of hunting the back country of Alaska, applying my skills to a new hunting area…….SOOOO EXCITING.  This hunt is going to be awesome, about a week to get it done before I head off back to Alaska in search of bull moose and grizzly bears.

20131219-130648.jpg

Hunting Alaska is no doubt one of the most physically, mentally, I repeat physically difficult hunt in the entire world especially if you are a DIY hunter who packs his own meat out.  Exlporing, hunting, and harvesting all over the counter game animals across much of Alaska, I thought this Oregon elk and deer hunt would relatively be a piece of cake.  Thinking nothing can be more difficult than a DIY moose or a grizzly bear hunt, I figured, “I’ll just slip in this (over the counter tag area) new territory in Oregon, put on the old slipideeedoooooo daaaa on an unsuspecting elk  and harvest a beautiful bull”.   “Then while I’m packing my elk out to my vehicle, I will see a mule deer buck right next to the car and tag out.”  aha lol.   All joking aside, I figured Kalen had a compound bow and an equal or better chance at harvesting an elk or a deer, so at least we would be successful.  Even harvesting one animal out of all four of our tags, I would have counted the hunt as a complete overwhelming success.20131219-130550.jpg20131219-130532.jpg

We begin to hike the rugged mountains of eastern Oregon, we break through tree line and I feel at home again.  Wind in our face dirt under our feet we marched to a prominent ridge with the plan to bivy out  on our perch high in the mountains and in the morning we would catch the elk sneaking back into their beds in the thick timber below. Potentially we could run into an unsuspecting deer as we hunt for elk.  Well our technique worked, better during the evening hunts than the morning, but we had encounters by staying high and hunting the elk herd above treeline.

20131219-130417.jpg

We also saw many deer, one day as I began to do the old slipideedooo da and creeping whisper quite towards the creek ravine where we saw elk I was startled by an explosion from four yards away.  Sneaking to stealthily for my own good, I managed to sneak unknowingly within 4 yards of a giant bedded mule deer buck. Kalen said “all I heard was thuda thuda thud thuda, booooomb” He could hear the deers hooves beat the earth before he could see his majestic framed bone white antlers take off towards Montana.  We both watched the buck from different locations on the mountain, galloping across the wicked terrain with mind blowing ease and grace.  Even though a shot opportunity never presented itself, seeing that deer bound across the mountain was a cool encounter one I will never forget.

20131219-130313.jpg 20131219-130249.jpg

We decided they were not coming to our calling set ups as the breeding season or “rut” had not kicked off yet and the bulls were seemingly un-interested.  Thats not to say that we couldn’t call in an unsuspecting  bull before the rest of the hunting community started throwing hoochey mama calls at them.  We tried every trick in the book, we even went all “Cam Hanes” on those elk commencing “beast mode” on a least several occasions while hammering after elk.   We ended up scaring the wapiti(elk) off in the next county with our aggressive tactics. We decided to completely switch up our game, we would set up mini natural ground blinds and wait for the elk to cross a pinch point.  Pin pointing the elk herds movement to cross a saddle every evening on their way to a wallow, we knew exactly where to sit and await the ambush.   20131218-181553.jpgSeveral days later after we had patterned the elk movements, Kalen and I split up, he would stay  high upon the mountain top and I would go slide into the timber line and wait on the saddle.   Like clock work the elk came over the saddle, and I was ready.  I had also chosen the wrong game trail as the elk ended up crossing the saddle 80 yards away from me closer towards Kalen’s position.   Kalen had the majority of the herd walking directly towards the rock outcropping where he was hiding.   The spike and the branch bull we had spotted from our binoculars several days before was no where to be seen.  There were two groups of elk feeding directly towards Kalen and away from me, a spike crested the the rocky outcropping just outside Kalen’s effective range.   They ended being slightly curious of Kalens cow call, however they fed directly past his location with the spike elk not presenting anything but an extremely far shot.  Walking out of danger an into greener pastures, that spike would live to see another day.  Our tag team ambush tactic worked as we had a close encounter, although we were not able to seal the deal on an elk, I felt as if I had earned my moneys worth of the 500+ dollar over the counter tag.  The exhilarating expeience of having several close encounters in a new DIY hunting destination was priceless and in retrospect the cost of the license was worth the hunt alone.20131218-181751.jpg

20131219-130813.jpg

Elk combo deer season was a blast in eastern Oregon, we closed the distance on a few elk and one branch bull however we couldn’t get closer than 80 yards of legal bull. We had encounters nearly every day and saw great numbers of cow elk and doe mule deer failing to find the antlered monarchs until we switched up our game.  Finding what formula worked best for us on our early season archery hunt was difficult to say the least, but challenging in a very rewarding way.  Not only did we find several new locations to chase elk and deer next year, but we will carry our new found confidence and early season tactics into the next elk season.  Driving back to Portland was a very sobering moment, we hunted elk and deer as hard as possible for a week straight leaving with a better understanding of the public land bulls that make remote Oregon mountains their home.   I didn’t have much time to dwell as I was heading north back home to Alaska in search of rutting bull moose and one of the largest land predators in the world (grizzly bear).  Knowing very well that elk season and deer season were not completely over, and that eastern and western Oregon had open hunting GMU’s (game management units); there was a good chance that heading back to Oregon for one or two more shots at the venison or wapiti would be in in my near future.

Coming back to Oregon for one last shot at an elk combo deer hunt before the archery season closed, I searched out new areas to look for potential honey holes almost using these last few days to scout for elk and deer more than hunt.   Late season public land hunting entails pursuing animals that have already seen a lot of pressure, I turned to the game regulations in an attempt to find areas with minimal hunting activity or something close to it.   I found a few interesting areas in the Oregon game regulations that are traditional archery hunting only my co-driver, hunting partner, best friend, and fiancé Jordan P (who by the way is a dead eye with traditional archery equipment) Said “lets go there”.   A traditional area makes sense as the majority of the hunters would probably be unsuccessful leaving scores of antlered beasts to chase.  We did not find any elk so to speak, but we were treated to some of the finest deer hunting in the world.  I saw 25-50 deer per day for the last couple days of the season, even having a few encounters with some Pope and Young giants, but no shot opportunities under 60 yards.  The highlights of the trip was spending time with Jordan and our two dogs, they all were such awesome hunting buddies.   Jordan would drop me off at the top of a National forest road and I would meet her at 1/2 mile increments every hour at the road, doing my best to still-hunt as much area as possible.  Once again, we left the hunting grounds empty handed as no shot opportunities under 60 yards presented themselves.   Again though, the cost of the archery tag for deer season had been well worth it, the over the counter tag provided me with a few animal encounters and an awesome date/mini vacation for my gal and I.
20131219-130610.jpg

20131219-130347.jpg

After contacting ODFG and confirming that my archery tag was indeed good for the western deer hunting season, I decided to give deer hunting one more shot.   Only hunting in western Oregon is a completely different ball game.  The area of western and eastern Oregon are completely different in regards to terrain and vegetation, and a hunter has the unique opporuntity to harvest a Columbia blacktailed deer what is said to be one of the most difficult species to hunt in North America.
20131218-181422.jpg

The vertical line that divides the mountain ranges that separate eastern and western Oregon provides a unique habitat where blacktail, whitetail, and mule deer can coexist and potentially hybridize.   That thought of all three species living in the same vicinity of each other blew my mind and is another awesome reason to purchase this hunting tag.  For the particular GMU I targeted to hunt, the western season opened up November 16th and on the opening day I was gonna head out with stick bow in hand.   I chose some national forest hunting land a couple hours outside of Portland, with a game plan to hunt an open area with access to “all” hunters.  Being the very late archery season, post gun season, I knew that this hunt would probably be the most difficult hunt out of all of my Oregon archery tags.   But I was not discouraged as I knew this GMU was an any deer unit, and hopefully with a little luck I could fill my freezer with a little blacktail venison back strap.   Weather in the late season was a factor that came into play for my advantage, finally  things are going perfectly right.

20131218-181244.jpg

20131218-181347.jpg

20131218-181402.jpg

Hunting the opening morning of the western deer season provided provided me with several advantages, one was the fact that other hunters would be in the woods moving deer.  Two the season opener had perfect blacktail deer hunting conditions  misty, snowy, cold, and nasty.   Oh baby, I started to feel really confident as the fresh snow gave me the chance to track deer in the Cascades Mountains.   I drove a two wheel drive car deep into the national forest as far as the car could go, I almost got stuck going up a steep hill.  The best decision was to turn around to avoid getting stuck and missing the season opener.  I hung my head out the window until I found fresh deer tracks and decided to pull over. 20131218-181436.jpg  I parked the car, strung up my take town stick bow, and charged after the deer tracks.   After about an hour of doing the old “slipperybob, slippideee kiiii yeaaaaa, not to be confused with the slippaaaruski, aka cat walking, #stealthy, #stillhunt, #spotandstalk, etc”  Basically I was tracking what appeared to be a buck as silently as I possibly could, using the fresh snow and wind direction to my advantage.   I noticed the animal tracks we extremely fresh, finding warm scat and recent wet (not frozen) scrapes.   Excitement and anticipation began to build enormously, I slowed my already cat like approach to snail speed.   After 20 more minutes of feathering my way through thick brush, tracking this buck through rabbit like undergrowth the tracks began to bound more than 10 ft apart.  This only meant one thing,  the buck had saw me before I saw him and he made a great vanishing act these houdini deer have been known for.

20131218-181456.jpg

20131218-181522.jpg

Switching direction towards other fresh tracks in the area, I put my nose to the ground and knew this tactic was going to work.   “I could feel it in my bones” that a deer was very close to me and if I didn’t spook them that I could possibly get a shot.   I followed the new tracks for a few hours, sitting down during mid day around 11am to take in some beef jerky and water upon a downed tamarack tree.   Staying in the field on the hot new deer trail proved to be the final ingredient in having a shot opportunity under 25 yards.

20131218-181648.jpg

20131218-181732.jpg

20131218-181824.jpg

The tracks surprisingly had circled back towards the national forest logging road I was parked on, and headed directly towards the first set of tracks I had followed.   Commencing to snail speed I knocked an arrow and eased more slowly than ever towards a group of coniferous trees where the tracks had led.   Using these trees to my advantage I slowly crept around the snowy branches being careful not to brush the limbs revealing the location of the heavy footed predator trailing the prey.  Rounding the edge of the tree and stepping into another thick snow covered fern patch I noticed the arc of a deer back just 30 yards away.  Not moving a muscle I stood frozen, the deer stood up keeping a tree stump halfway between me and it and began walking towards my location.

20131218-181907.jpg

The stump keeping the animals vitals hidden I could only see a glimpse of what appeared to be a large, healthy, and unaccompanied blacktail doe with no head gear.   Slightly curious the deer began doing the head bob back and forth, the “did I just see a shadow” “some kind of movement” ” what was that”  “maybe I see another deer?” curiosity head bob.  The creatures patience began to wear thin, she turned to walk away and took three steps up hill quartering away at 30 yards I could not take a shot as she was just out of my effective range.   As the doe moved up hill, I fumbled in my pocket and pulled out a “Primos Doe esterous can call” and hit the call once as I  simultaneously crept 2.5 steps closer to the stump separating me from the back straps.

20131218-181944.jpg

The doe stopped in her tracks, turned and was curious as to what made the deer noise.   She took three steps toward the stump once again and stopped at about 24-25 yards facing me directly.   This was the closest I had been to any deer yet this season, as a traditional archer and longbow huntsmen I decided I was going to shoot if the deer was under 25 yards.  The gig was up and she had had enough, turning her head to walk away was all of the distraction I needed.  Instinctually guestimating the yardage to 25ish yards, coming to full draw, I picked a tuft of hair directly behind her shoulder releasing the arrow with impeccable form just as practiced thousands of times before.

20131218-181957.jpg

This is where the witchery of archery comes into play with the traditional archer…  “As I watched the arrow in what felt like super slow motion, I could see the archers paradox flexing the Zwickey shafted arrow bending and correcting itself to fly true.”   The arrow’s trajectory sent the arcing projectile high above the animals back, silhouetting itself perfectly against the white blanketed back drop.  The arrows flight was simply beautiful, in my mind I saw the arrow flying over the animal’s back, but in the last mili-nano second of slow motion the arrow lost forward momentum and began to fall as if guided by a higher power.  The white and red fletched arrow flies silently as the wind and does not interrupt natures perfect harmony.  Slicing through snow, fog, and mist connecting with flesh, blood and bone.. 20131218-182026.jpg

The arrow finds its mark, the doe trots off slowly and lays down for one final nap.   Watching the animal lay down, I knew the deer had been delivered a fatal blow and it was only a matter of seconds before she passed.   I slowly tracked the blood trail towards the location I saw her lay down.  Still practicing the art of the hunt, I tracked the beautifully painted blood trail across the vibrant white snow.

20131219-130209.jpg

Finding both halves of my arrow, I was ecstatic.  The blood trail started to be on both sides of the animal, which means the arrow went completely through the animal or part of the arrow (hence the broken shaft).   After about 80 yards of tracking this blood trail to the location where I saw the animal lay down, I could see the deer belly up another 15-20 yards down the mountain.  She died on her feet completely unaware of what happened and slid about 20 yards down hill to the base of hemlock tree.   There lay one of the hardest earn trophies of my hunting career, a beautiful public land blacktail doe taken with true stick and string.

-Austin Manelick

Thanks to everyone who was part of the hunt this year, shout out to Jake and Mike M, Kalen K, and Jordan P I had a blast hunting with you guys this year and thanks for all your assistance.

Brookes Range – Gates of the Arctic – “The Arrigetch”

alaska, alaska hunting expedition, antler hunting, archery hunting, artic slope, bears, big game hunting, bow and arrows, Camera, camping, DIY hunting, extreme hunting, grizzly bear, guns, hunting, Hunting Culture, National Geographic, Ultimate Survival Alaska, Uncategorized

Brookes Mountain Range – Gates of the Arctic – “The Arrigetch” – Bob Marshall

Need I say more? The names mentioned above are legendary, well-respected, and admired in the Alpinist world of exploration. The Gates of the Arctic are truly wild; nestled among some of the gnarliest mountains Alaska has to offer. To begin above the Arctic Circle and end in South West Alaska with nothing but the gear on your back is a daunting task. The challenge set forth by Nat Geo was to embark on this expedition in an “old-school” style, i.e. no fancy technology. This expedition was a throwback to the early days of Alaskan exploration; a journey that traces the pages of history and an ode to the past explorers who came to Alaska and explored the last frontier with minimal gear and technology.

Bob Marshall was an Alaskan explorer who came to the state after exploring a large portion of lower North America. Bob said it best, “I like it among these rugged mountains better than anywhere else in the world.” I relate to the past explorers who came to this state in search of the majestic beasts that roam this fabled land. Traditional archery hunters such as Doctor Arthur Young and Fred Bear will forever be my heroes. Their accomplishments inspired me to follow their footsteps and live and adventurous lifestyle. For the first leg of the expedition the “Elite 8,” which consisted of survivalists, outdoorsmen, climbers, skiers, dog mushers, and mountaineers, began the journey in the Brookes Range. The Nat Geo expedition was the third time I have made my way into the Brookes Range. All three experiences within this epic mountain range were very different, but equally unforgettable.

My first trip to the Brookes Range was several years ago. My brother August and I flew out to hunt dall sheep. The time spent in the north-eastern part of the Brookes was so incredible and also humbling. I cherish the moments my brother and I spent together in field chasing white ghosts with golden horns. We had a close call with a gnarly feature on one particular mountain top. The terrain taught us valuable lessons in survival…always bring rope with you…at some point you will need it. We ended up rappelling off 50-100 foot cliff faces until we ran out of rope. We were faced with a real moment of survival, we had to adapt or die. We ended up climbing down the last 1000 feet in reverse 4-wheel drive with automatic death to the right and instant death to the left. You can read all the survival guides in the world but unless you go outside and experience them first hand, it’s all for nothing.

DSC02516 DSC02538 DSC02586 DSC02582

The wilderness puts an individual’s ability to cope with their surroundings to the test. It was during hunting adventures like these that my brother and I learned to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Our goal always being to turn our weaknesses into strengths. Together we learned new ways to solve simple problems. These experiences inspired my survival mantra; “team work makes the dream work.” I was much more prepared for my second and third trip to the Brookes Range.

On my second trip to the Brookes Range, my brother, John Dykes (college rugby buddy), and I set out on a quest called the “Mission Expedition”. This expedition took us from the Acrtic sea above the Brookes Range all the way to the Kenai Peninsula, and several locations in the interior. The mission of this expedition was an attempt to fill the freezer with beautiful, free ranging, no hormonal, wild game meat. Being an Alaskan resident we have the unique opportunity to hunt for the big five game animals that call Alaska home. Hunting these animals every year is a part of our Alaskan culture, not to mention the incredible taste and gratification recieved by filling your freezer on your own terms. This second trip would prove invaluable as I learned the terrain, topography, and easiest methods of travel in the Brookes Range the key being the waterways.

My past experiences in the Brookes Range taught me many valuable lessons to take with on the Ultimate Survival Alaska Expedition with National Geographic. I learned mainly that waterways are your friend, and to follow this path of least resistance. Using rafts to minimize the distance of our caribou pack out on a previous expedition, I understood the advantage of bringing along a pack raft. Bringing along a raft would at least provide us the ability to forge and cross rivers, if not to float the entire river to the landing zone. Being as this was a team mission, having a solo packraft would only let me float to the LZ and leave my partners behind. Understanding their need for river crossings help, I stuck with the mantra of “team work being dreamwork” and stayed with the group to help them forge rivers. That being said, I look forward to future adventures with my team members and would do this leg of the expedition all over again.

Check out the gear list below, with these essential items and a basic knowledge of how to use them an individual would be ready to survive just about anything.

Survival Guide Gear List:

-Magnesium Fire Starter

-Knife -full tang

– Fishing kit: Line with various hooks and spinners.

-Tarp 8×10

-Pack Raft

-Back pack or external pack frame

-Water Bottle or container

-Longbow, rifle, pistol, self defense weapon

-Sleeping bag -0 rating

-Bivy Sack

-Plenty of socks

-Food (coffee, oatmeal, rice, beans, whiskey, ramen noodles) what ever you can carry. If you can pack as much calorie dense food as possible.

Facts Courtesy of Wikipedia: Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is a U.S. National Park in Alaska. It is the northernmost national park in the U.S. (the entirety of the park lies north of the Arctic Circle) and the second largest at 13,238 miles (34,287 km²), about the same size as Switzerland. The park consists primarily of portions of the Brooks Range of mountains. It was first protected as a U.S. National Monument on December 1, 1978, before becoming a national park and preserve two years later in 1980 upon passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. A large part of the park is protected in the Gates of the Arctic Wilderness which covers 7,167,192 acres (2,900,460 ha).[3] The wilderness area adjoins the Noatak Wilderness Area and together they form the largest contiguous wilderness in the United States.

History Courtesy of Wikipedia:

Nomadic peoples have inhabited the Brooks Range for as many as 12,500 years, living mainly on caribou and other wildlife. The Mesa site at Iteriak Creek has yielded evidence of occupation between 11,500 and 10,300 years before the present. Later sites from around 6,000 years before present have yielded projectile points, stone knives and net sinkers. The Arctic small tool tradition (ASTt) of about 4,500 BP has also been documented.A late phase of the ASTt from between 2500 and 950 BP, the Ipuitak phase, has been documented in the park at the Bateman Site at Itkillik Lake.[10]

The earliest Inupiat people appeared about 1200 AD at the coast and spread to the Brooks Range, becoming the Nunamuit.[10] The Nunamiut people existed essentially unchanged until World War II brought outsiders into Alaska, which was at the time a strategic outpost of the United States. Some of the nomads began to settle in small communities in the mountains, particularly at Anaktuvuk Pass.[11] TheGwich’in people, a Northern Athabaskan group also lived in the area in the last 1000 years, moving south of the park in historic times.[10]

The Alaskan interior was not explored until the late 19th century, shortly before discovery of gold in the Klondike brought prospectors to Alaska. Some encampments of explorers and survey parties have been identified in the park. A few small mining operations were established in the early 20th century, never amounting to much.[10]

The park’s name dates to 1929, when wilderness activist Bob Marshall, exploring the North Fork of the Koyukuk River, encountered a pair of mountains (Frigid Crags and Boreal Mountain), one on each side of the river. He christened this portal the “Gates of the Arctic.” Marshall spent time in Wiseman during the early 1930s, publishing an account of the place in his 1933 book Arctic Village. In the 1940s writer and researcher Olaus Murie proposed that Alaskan lands be preserved.[12]

Proposals for a national park in the Brooks Range first emerged in the 1960s, and in 1968 a National Park Service survey team recommended the establishment of a 4,100,000-are (41,000 ha) park in the area.[11] That year, Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall recommended to President Lyndon B. Johnson that Johnson use the Antiquities Act to proclaim a national monument in the Brooks Range and other Alaskan locations, but Johnson declined. By the 1970s the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) prompted serious examination of the disposition of lands held by the federal government. A series of bills were proposed to deal with the settlements required by ANCSA, but the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA) was held up in Congress in the late 1970s. President Jimmy Carter used the Antiquities Act to proclaim the proposed parklands under ANILCA as national monuments, proclaiming Gates of the Arctic National Monument on December 1, 1978. In 1980 Congress passed ANILCA, establishing the monument lands as Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve on December 2, 1980.[12]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gates_of_the_Arctic_National_Park_and_Preserve

Find the Gates of the Arctic on facebook @

https://www.facebook.com/GatesOfTheArcticNPS

20130518-124306.jpg

20130518-124349.jpg

20130518-124454.jpg

20130518-124552.jpg

20130518-170108.jpg

20130518-171055.jpg

20130518-171303.jpg

Legendary Archer: Arthur Young World Champion Archer Takes on Alaskan Expedition. Video

alaska, alaska hunting expedition, archery hunting, arrows, bears, big game hunting, bow and arrows, caribou, grizzly bear, hunting, Hunting with Camera, meat, moose, public land, traditional archery, trout, Trout fishing

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.

Spring Bear Hunt 2012: The First Leg with Vince P

alaska, alaska hunting expedition, archery hunting, big game hunting, bow and arrows, camping, caribou, DIY hunting, grizzly bear, grizzly brown bear, Hunting with Camera, moose, public land, traditional archery

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.

Brown Bear

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.

Vince and Austin with flannels and bows

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.

Vince P Moose Hunting Picture

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.

Vince caught this “Chromer” salmon at his secret fishing hole.

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.

Boat in action, on step and moving up river.

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.

River beaches and endless miles to 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.

Austin carrying Bridger across the creek. Team work is dream work.

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.

Austin and Bridger near the boat landing ready for the stalk.

“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.

Vince backing me up with his custom long bow.

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.

Tent and campsite.

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.

Coffee and laughs with Denali

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….

Boat ready for launch.

…..Stay tuned for the rest of this three part spring bear hunting adventure….

Go-Pro’s Make Outdoor Heros

alaska, alaska hunting expedition, bears, big game hunting, Camera, DIY hunting, extreme hunting, Field Producer, Go-Pro, grizzly bear, hog hunting, hunting, Hunting Culture, Hunting with Camera, nature, public land, Rifles, Uncategorized, Videographer
Trick Cam Stick Cam POV, picked up the stick cam pole while on a 14 day 2011 Alaskan Spring Bear Hunt.

Trick Cam Stick Cam POV, picked up the stick cam pole while on a 14 day 2011 Alaskan Spring Bear Hunt.

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.

Go-Pro Helmet Cam POV on hog hunt at La Frijolia Ranch with Hidden Antler

Go-Pro Helmet Cam POV on hog hunt at La Frijolia Ranch with Hidden Antler

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.

Go-Pro Stick Cam on Mountain Bike ride to Dall Sheep Hunt

Go-Pro Stick Cam on Mountain Bike ride to Dall Sheep Hunt

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.

Go-Pro Stick Cam POV on Dalton Highway Caribou Hunt.  There was a full caribou on each of our backs in this photo.  The Go-Pro did all the cameraman work..

Go-Pro Stick Cam POV on Dalton Highway Caribou Hunt. There was a full caribou on each of our backs in this photo. The Go-Pro did all the cameraman work..

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.

-Austin Manelick

www.missionak.com

Spring Bear Hunting Alaska 2012

alaska, alaska hunting expedition, antler, antler hunting, archery hunting, arrows, bear charge, bear maul, bears, big game hunting, bow and arrows, camping, DIY hunting, extreme hunting, grizzly bear, grizzly brown bear, hunting, Hunting Culture, meat, nature, public land, Rifles, shed hunting, The next generation

Image

This picture is from August’s and my 2009 spring bear brother hunt.  August and I, (as well as videographer Jon D) took to the spring hunt as if it was our last.  We hunted six hard days, deep in the Alaska wilderness and managed to harvest this beautiful black bruin on film.  Bears taste better during the spring, as they have yet to change their diets to the salmon runs of summer through fall.  August and I would eat plentifully off of bear backstrap after this harvest as we were nearing the end of our food supplies.

Image

This is a photo of me cutting bear back strap (in preparation of our beast feast over open flame) on a moose antler found during this 2009 spring bear hunt

I’ll be partaking in the traditional Alaska spring bear hunt again during this 2012 season.  To some hunters in Alaska, bear hunting is part of their culture.  I am proud to say that this tradition of spring bear hunting in Alaska has shaped my culture and parts of who I am as an Alaskan.  Every year since the sixth grade (12 years ago), I have been gifted  the ability to hunt bears in Alaska.  This is a blessing to be apart of such an awesome outdoor culture.

Hopefully after this spring I will be able to secure valuable bear meat to add to my 2012 collection of wild game fare.  I can see it now……Smokey bear jerky….. Bear stew…..Bacon wrapped bear sizzled on the grill w/ avacado….   You get my drift…

I can’t wait to head to the field.

-Austin Manelick

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

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

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.