Follow along with team members and brothers Austin & Auggie as they go after Dall Sheep in Alaska’s rugged backcountry.
Follow along with team members and brothers Austin & Auggie as they go after Dall Sheep in Alaska’s rugged backcountry.
This is what Mission Alaska is all about…. THE ADVENTURE! Created by Premier Frontier Productions this video footage was compiled from adventures across the entire state. For more information check out http://www.premierfrontierproductions.com. Ever dreamed of exploring this beautiful place? This video gives a great sense of the raw beauty and rugged terrain this state is known for.
Thanks for the great music Noble Firs, “Night Driving” rocks the forests in this video. (From the Album Rockoon)
Special gear thanks to Pretty Fly for a White Guy, Barney’s Sports Chalet, Alpacka Raft, and Campbell Cameras.
There is a explosive wild pig epidemic attacking the United States. Due to wild pigs adaptability and high reproduction rates, they have now been seen in 47 states and their numbers keep growing. Wild pigs devour crops, uproot pastures, destroy wildlife habitats, spread disease to humans and animals, kill trees and even knock over cemetery stones. Hunters play a big part in monitoring and helping to control wild pig numbers. Wild pigs also give DIY hunters great opportunities to hunt. Wild pigs are in a lot of states and are a main concern for land owners. Most states have unlimited seasons and tags are cheap. Polite and respectful hunters can have great success asking a local land owner if they can harvest a pig from thier land. Most people will say yes and go out of their way to make you successful. Two years ago, I hunted hogs in the Louisiana and they tasted great. There are not a lot of wild pigs up north and I have been craving wild pork ever since.
Austin recently harvested some Hawaiian Jungle Bacon, with his longbow, and was generous enough to give me 4 pounds of the wild pork. When Austin gave me the meat, I immediately had the idea to try making breakfast sausage. I am a big “breakfast person” and love sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches as well as my favorite, biscuits and gravy.
What sets sausage appart is mainly the spices and seasonings. I looked at some recipes online and ultimately made my own combination of my favorite spices. I also took advantage of some donated fresh sage and rosemary from friends. I chose to go with brown sugar, rubbed sage, salt, rosemary, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and chilly powder.
Once we got the meat cubed and the seasonings measured out, we combined both together and were ready to start grinding. You dont have to have or spend a ton of money on a fancy grinder to make your own burger and sausage. I bought this old school, hand crank, meat grinder for $20 and have used it for 3 years now and it has handled all sorts of wild game creations.
The key to sausage to to finely grind it and to grind the seasoning into the meat. I started grinding with the large opening plate, then switched to the smaller, more course, grinding plate. We ground the 4 lbs of pork 4 times to achieve desired consistency.
Once we ground it all up, it was time to test the seasoning. We made two small patties and fried them up to test the seasoning balance. They tasted great and we didn’t have to change anything.
I believe more people need to look to the wild pigs as a food source and learn how to harvest them. They are everywhere and make great table fare! By harvesting wild pigs, we can help control numbers and feed our families great meat.
Interesting information on the growth of hunting in America, over all there have been some large movements in the self sufficient community. In 2007, the New Oxford American Dictionary selected locavore as the “Word of the Year.” “individuals who go afield for reasons of self-sufficiency and a desire for organic, local, chemical-free meat.” as explained by the Responsive Management (http://www.responsivemanagement.com/download/reports/Hunt_Fish_Increase_Report.pdf) a report conducted by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Southwhick Associates. In this excellent article written by Ben O’Brien, Steven Rinella, Andrew Zimmern, and Georgia Pellegrini weigh in on why hunting is such and important part of our culture. Hunting is on the rise in America, check out the links for some great information on the benefits of this lifestyle.
People hunt for many different reasons, some for the meat, some for the antlers or horns, and some for the pure benefit of challenging themselves. Rifle, muzzleloader, bow, spear, if it’s legal don’t discourage the method. We all enjoy the sport, tradition, and culture of hunting in different ways by different methods. For whatever reason you are hunting, please do it safe, responsibly, and ethically and ensure our culture of being stewards of the land as sportsmen sticks around for generations to come.
I personally hunt, as always, to fill my families freezer and eat the most healthy organic meat known to man. I also hunt for the adventure, its a great way to personally challenge myself. Harvesting a big bull moose will provide our family with many meals, the true value is not placed on the antlers but the several hundred pounds of red meat for the dinner table. Don’t get me wrong, a big bull moose looks great on the shed but you definitely cannot eat their antlers.
Cheers to a good hunting season this year.
Dreaming of big bulls and hunting season.
Photos courtesy MA of Google Images.
Alaska Hunting: Wildman Lake Lodge The “Rose Bull” 81 inches wide.
Starting to dial in my hunting plans for the upcoming 2014 Alaska bear season. Harvesting one of these beautiful animals takes a large amount of homework, a serious amount of physical/mental stamina, and a bit of luck. Over the years I have found several great DIY locations to find bears coming out of their dens. South facing mountain slopes have provided the majority of success on past bear hunts, this year will be no different.
Keep grinding out there you DIY’ers.. This year should be better than ever for those dedicated individuals willing to put in the time to find a brute nasty boar.
Good hunting Alaskans!
What a wild….exhilarating….crazy a$$ experience. Running through the mountains of Maui, weaving through the rainforest chasing jungle bacon couldn’t be any better. Feeling like Tarzan, sliding down wicked tree roots and swinging from vine to vine, a couple of traditional archery mountain men from Alaska endured the experience of a lifetime.
Joining the Pokryfki family for their almost annual vacation to the Hawaii, I was extremely excited to be apart of the family enjoying the white sandy beaches of Maui. Doing some research prior to the trip I learned obtaining a hunting license required a few hoops to jump through. After contacting the Hawaii Department of Hunter Education and emailing them a picture of my driver’s license and Alaska Hunter Education card, I was awarded my Letter of Exemption number. This exemption number is issued to hunters who have completed their Hunter Education Certification course; you need this in order to hunt on any of the Hawaiian Islands. ALL non-resident HUNTERS (even 55 year or older) must have completed a hunter education course in order to receive this “Letter of Exemption form”. And no, bow hunter education cards do not suffice for proper validation. Most definitely a pain in the backside to get your proper paperwork in order to have the privilege of hunting in paradise. Once you receive your letter, you can go the Hawaii’s DNR page and purchase your license for $95 dollars online.
More research told me there were several places where a DIY guy could hunt some pigs, goats, sheep, and or axis deer. You can basically take two animals of every species, so bring plenty of ammunition and make sure to check the local regulations of bag limits on your particular island. All you need is your weapon, a knife, your rental car (extra insurance plan recommended), your license, a good map, binoculars, and whatever else you need to make you feel like you’re “all that is man”.
The adventure started in an archery only area of Maui, rising at 4am and heading toward Haleakala Crater the public land hunt would begin at sunrise. After Vince and I almost got stuck on the volcanic dirt road we were driving the hunting location chose us, we didn’t choose it. Leaving the car on the southeast side of the 10,000ft mountain, I strung my bow and headed up the small creek drainage adjacent to us. Finding relatively no sign near the water source, we continued to move upwards towards tree line. Nearing tree line, Vince and I were rewarded to the shrills and squeals of some kind of pigs working their way through the small drainage. Getting quickly into position, I knocked an arrow on my take down “Dan Ryan” longbow. Feeling very confident at 20 yards, a Polynesian piglet was about to wonder into my danger zone.
Noticing the volcanic dirt all around me was rooted up and still moist, I knew the pigs couldn’t be very far away. Getting the feeling in my stomach that something was close and about to happen, I could feel the adrenaline begin to creep up my spine. Waiting….waiting….waiting the pigs never showed. I suspect they winded our location and gave us the “slippidddeeedooooda” heading towards the safety of the thick brush below. After several hours of glassing for goats and whatever else moved, we returned to the car un-successful but very happy with the experience. The scenery, the colors, vegetation, and raw beauty of the landscape below us were enough to satisfy my need for an escape into nature. It was just so incredible to be hunting such a beautiful piece of paradise and doing what I love most….being a wild man.
Not being a hunting vacation, it was time to kick back with our gals on the beach. Taking in a few well deserved brewskies and playing in the waves was a great way to thoroughly enjoy our family vacation. Vince a true Alaskan, who has pioneered more locations and interesting sports in Alaska than anyone I know, is always a treat to spend time with. Using his customized inflatable stand up paddleboards, we/he uses to navigate the wild rivers of Alaska, we managed to show up…blow up… and surf a few waves. This vacation couldn’t be any better. Our beautiful babes soaking up the sun and watching their men play in the surf….life is so tough. We all ended up taking turns on the stand-up paddle-boards having several very cool encounters with grazing sea turtles, moments none of us will forget.
After of few more days of RandR, Vince and I decided to try a different area of the island. After hiking up several thousand feet, we planted our bottoms on volcanic rock and let our binoculars do the rest of the walking for us. No animals or sign was spotted on this micro-adventure on the west side of the island, a place we would not return. However we were rewarded with one of the most beautiful sunsets over Molokai, another Hawaiian island, I have ever seen. As the sunset, we scurried back down mountain towards our car and decided we needed a new game plan. On our way back to our château we spotted a very interesting home adorned with animal antlers galore. Being two very curious and interested hunters from Alaska, we had to stop and get the inside scoop. Walking up to the door a voice from above, like one from the Wizard of Oz, yelled out asking us our business. We told him we were curious hunters from Alaska looking for a friend and some Hawaiian hunting wisdom.
Suddenly keys were throne from the sky, and the voice said “common in!” Opening the door and walking into what appeared to be a western themed museum, we met an extremely generous a friendly man named Glen. Glen showed us around his place and became an instant friend, one we will visit many times in the future. A man that has truly seen it all, a retired fireman turned entrepreneur taxidermist deluxe. A man with the most impressive collection of trophy sized elk I have ever seen in my life, boasting one double beamed giant that scored 406. After many laughs and lots of information shared Glen sent us on our way with the contact information for his grandson Mickey. He says Mickey might be able to take you guys out for a day of hunting, if he can manage a day off from work. He said Mickey has dogs and dogs are the key to hunting the jungle beasts that roam here.
Mickey ended up giving us a ring and said we were welcome to come hunt with him and his dogs for one morning. Excited to hunt with a local, Mickey was about to give us the thrill of a lifetime. Meeting in a mountain town outside of Haiku, we meted and greeted and got straight down to hunting business. Knowing Hawaiian cultural traditions were to use knife and dogs, I asked Mickey if longbows were allowed. He said he didn’t mind the fusion of cultures and using a bow would be fine as long as we didn’t shoot one of his dogs. Deal. Mickey signs us in to the hunter check station and lets his GPS collared dogs loose. Three whip-its (looked like mini greyhounds) and two Brittany pit-bull mixes tear off through the jungle like greyhounds at a racetrack. Slipping and sliding through the rainforest , an episode of George in the Jungle just began. The dogs barking and signaling us to the location of the pig they just found, Mickey takes off sprinting leaving Vince and I in the mist. Following the sound of chaos it wasn’t long before we found the barking dogs.
Adrenaline rush from 0-10 in a heartbeat, the fight has just begun. One of the larger dogs comes up besides me and is already mangled and bleeding from the first encounter with the pig. The dogs battling the pig for about two minutes prior to our arrival gave them a few flesh wounds and a taste for the fight. Arriving to the source of the barking to see no dogs or pig, deciphering the tangle of downed tree was the most difficult part. Crawling across logs over a small pool made from a rainforest creek the downed trees were slicker than moose snot. Making one misstep towards what looked like green vegetation and firm ground, my foot found air and my body found water. Falling into the source of the commotion, I couldn’t see anything other than Vince and two dogs that were in the same predicament I was in. A pool of water with no bottom, swimming like wet cats towards dry land. As I perched myself upon another log, managing to pull the larger dog from the water towards the fight, I caught my first glimpse of the jungle dwelling “monsta”. Bigger than black bears I have shot in the past, the massive beast emerges from under the tangle of downed logs with two whip-its clinging to his haunches.
Mickey had circled the endlessly deep pond, the water source Vince and I had yet to find the bottom of, he fearlessly ran at the boar enticing the beast to turn and fight. As I swam across the water and got to shore, clutching my soaking wet bow, I knocked an arrow and joined the fight. One of the dogs was knocked nearly unconscious and was fighting to keep its head above water; Vince with no regards for the iphone in his pocket jumped back in the water and swam to the dogs rescue. The last glimpse I got of Vince as I drug myself from the pond was of him shot-putting the dog onto to dry land and to safety. Turning back towards Mickey and the battle, I readied myself for a shot. The monster pig did not squeal and invited the dogs to duel with him until death. Shucking the dogs like a human does to insects, this large brown boar was not singing “ hakuna-matada” this pig was going down and he planned to take us with him.
Snapping his large tusks and lacerating dogs to the bone, I waited for a clear shot free of harming the dogs worse than the pig. Mickey grabbed the pig’s foot in an attempt to distract him from the dogs, at that moment the boar swung his massive head, larger than a grizzly bears skull, towards my guts. Seeing my stomach centimeters from these impressive animals tusks, I knew the battle needed to end quickly. I came to full draw as the pig spun and sent my Zwickey shafted arrow through the giants’ lungs. The arrow finding its mark, the pig had only seconds to live. Those seconds of life meant this animal was still very dangerous and he proved his viciousness with once last bite on Jaws the Brittany pit-bull mix. As the life let the pig, he managed to produce one last horrifying laceration to the dogs shoulder. A scar that will stick with the dog the rest of his life.
Administering first aide to several of the dogs and doing quick size up of our own injuries, we knew we had to get back to the truck quickly. After grabbing a few quick pictures we hiked back to the truck as fast as possible. Moving slowly to a road nearby, carrying the 161-pound field dressed boar was difficult to manage while walking through the thick rainforest. Meeting a friend of Mickey’s at a nearby road to whisk us quickly back to our vehicle. After a short ride to Mickey’s beautiful home, we cleaned and administered care to all of the dogs. We had to put several medical-staples in the two larger canines, and make sure the wounds would heal cleanly and correctly. The dogs jumped up after we stapled them up, licked out faces and walked humbly back to their kennels for the next battle. Mickey’s family cooked us an authentic Hawaiian breakfasts consisting of eggs, spam, and rice while we took care of the dogs. A well-earned meal that has never tasted so good! The dogs were the true champions of the day and I will forever admired there sweet demeanor and excellent hunting skills.
Mickey, the dogs, and Vince showed mountain warrior courage and I can honestly say I would go to battle again any day with my “brudda’s”. What an epic unforgettable adventure with a twist of cultural traditions mixed with beautiful Hawaiian scenery. I can’t wait to go back next year.
Thanks again to Sammye and Vince for an awesome christmas vacation, and thanks to Mickey the “Boar Masta” and his gang of hounds for showing us how to do it Hawaiian style. Big thanks also is in order for Mickey’s entire family in including his fabulous wife, daughter, and grand father Glen… You guys are da best!
Hunting Season: 2013
The hunting season is creeping up quickly now and it’s about time we as hunters pull out our gear and go through our rituals prior to the harvest. My entire living quarters has been brought back to life in a dead sense, literally. Part of my rituals is to pull out and clean my entire hunting kit, including my exterior frame meat pack. My hunting pack, that has had more meat in it than a meat market, smells exactly like an old dead moose hind quarter. Good thing my lover doesn’t have a problem with my stinky rituals…
-Purchase hunting/fishing licenses/ with appropriate tags
-Calendar all fall hunts and cross reference state appropriate game regulations.
-Scent wash clothes
-Sharpen broad heads
-Re-tune bows, rifles, and arrows. Practice shots
-Purchase new gear
-Check then re-check gear
-Comb topographic maps
-Fiddle with the GPS
We all have rituals to become successful hunters. What are some of your rituals?
If your anything like me then you have probably exhausted all your hunting buddies ears by calling non stop and chatting about details of your upcoming hunts. Non stop! The hunt goes well beyond the field, and preparing for the hunt is 75% of the battle. Hope everyones hunting season goes well this year, remember hunting rituals are a good thing!
Happy safe hunting everyone.
Here is a few pictures from my adventures over the weekend competing in the Regions Archery tour in Warren Pennsylvania. I had a complete and total blast shooting arrows all day and throwing back BBQ ribs all night. I want to thank everyone in Warren county for their hospitality and generosity and for showing me a great time. I also want to give a few special shout outs to the staff and organizations running the archery tour, they all showed extreme professionalism setting up the best “world class archery tournament” I have personally seen. I also want to thank John Papalia and his family for hosting me, sponsoring me, and showing me an immense amount of kindness.
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!
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