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

Vote for your fan favorite on Nat Geo’s Ultimate Survival Alaska

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Vote for your Fan Favorite on Nat Geo's Ultimate Survival Alaska

You know who Mission Alaska is going to vote for!
Check out the interactive map on National Geographic’s webpage for Ultimate Survival Alaska. Scroll to the bottom and make your vote heard for the number one fan favorite!

The premier is May 12th at 10pm EST, don’t forget to tell your mom happy mothers day!

You can find Mission Alaska as well as Austin Manelick on Facebook and Twitter @

@missionalaska
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mission-Alaska
or
https://www.facebook.com/david.austin
@austinmanelick

Here is the link to cast your vote.

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/ultimate-survival-alaska/interactives/interactive-map/

D_A_PRO LLC Production Highlights- presents Mission Alaska

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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 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.

Hey…

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.
Regards,

Vaivhav Todi 

www.thegreenerpastures.com 

 

My response:

Vaivhav,

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!

-AM

SEND ME PICTURES AND STORIES!!!

Contact

austinmanelick@gmail.com

Man cave: 303-838-7869

Mission Alaska meets Africa

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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.