For many of us hunting is a year-round endeavor; planning, scouting, training, and finally the opening day is upon us. February of 2016 began no different for me, as I started training for the upcoming season. Hauling a fifty-pound bag of sand in my pack up the local “bitch hill” a few times a week, is my training of choice for upcoming backpack hunts.
Having explored most of the mountains near our homes, my hunting partner and I were ready for the challenge of unfamiliar terrain. Pictures and online videos of huge bucks — for Sitka Blacktails at least — from alpine hunts in the southeast sent to us by friends had been in the back of our minds for far too long.
In the hunting community — particularly with those who aim their pursuits at more mountainous terrain — talk of planning is omnipresent. You cannot escape reference to this, whether in conversation at your local bow shop or in the media and content you consume.
A lot of folks in this industry ask which is better, first or second focal plane. But the truth is it’s simply a matter of finding the right tool for the right job. Neither one is better than the other. They both have pros and cons based on the application of the system.
Hunting during the prime months of the year—August through October—can have its challenges, but for the most part, the gear list is reasonably straightforward. Depending on species and location, there are a variety of ways to skin the proverbial cat, regardless of the budget you’re working with.
As the coaches and clients that train at the Mountain Tactical Institute looked deeper into the physiological demands and effects of rucking, interesting questions guided us to interesting answers. As you might imagine, when certain questions are answered, more questions arise.
The low-lying Alaskan sun began to feel warm on my neck as we slipped into a moss-covered boulder field from the thick alder patch below. Arrow nocked, I glanced at the sparse grass blades rustling beside me, indicating that the morning thermals continued to strengthen.
It has taken me a while to wrap my mind around what drew me to mountain hunting and what continues to bring me back. I may not ever fully understand this love, but I believe I am getting closer to some level of comprehension. Like most others, I have gone through numerous phases in life.
I’ve made the trip up the James Dalton Highway, The Haul Road, a half dozen times and will certainly do so at least that many more before I ever leave Alaska. Each Haul Road venture usually has a different objective in mind as I attempt to learn every angle of hunting along its path.
On March 13th, 2018, the Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) was notified by Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) officials that Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae (commonly referred to as M.ovi) has been documented in at least 4 Dall’s sheep and 2 mountain goats in Alaska.