In episode 1 last week, BIG DEER TV producer Justin, cameramen Bill and Christian and I embarked on a do-it-yourself hunt for Sitka blacktail on Kodiak Island.
Last October we flew into the town of Kodiak and from there took a bush plane to Larsen Bay, where we met up with Mike Flores, our captain and transporter. We boarded the 47-foot Arctic Endeavor, our home for week, and motored out into Larsen Bay and the waters beyond.
I had hunted in Alaska 5 times, but not for many years. And this was my first trip to Kodiak. As we motored out, the sky was clear and spectacular, the seas calm. Whales rolled alongside the boat. We spotted a few deer, and then a 1,000-pound brown bear on a beach. It was almost like we wrote a script for our Alaskan adventure.
Kodiak is big, rough, thick, wild and raw, the way hunting country ought to be. You sink in bogs, bust brush, climb hills and mountains that never end. You slip and fall and sweat and bleed and cuss, and you love every minute of it.
I trekked in that tough-ass terrain for a couple of days and shot a small buck, a meat buck, of which I was very proud because I worked to get him, and I made a clean, quick kill.
But there were bigger deer out there, hanging high on the mountainsides, and we wanted one.
Tonight in Part 2 of the adventure, Justin goes alpine for an old, world-class buck. In between hunts, we got to experience some awesome halibut fishing.
I also reflect on some of my Alaska wilderness hunts from decades ago.
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