We left on Friday Aug 29 to moose hunt up in Fairbanks. My former deckhand, Tom, got a cow permit, so I went up with his dad and uncle to hunt north of Fairbanks, the first place I knew in Alaska when I came up to college in 1983.
Tom helped build a summer camp in his hunting area for a local church, so we were able to stay there while hunting. Myself, his dad and uncle drove up from Haines with his uncle’s jet boat so we could run the Chatanika river.
We drove the 700 miles to Fairbanks from Haines, traveling to Haines Junction in the Yukon, then on to Beaver Creek in British Columbia, then on to Fairbanks. Just north of Haines we saw a lynx, and shortly thereafter a coyote. We saw numerous moose along the road on the way to Fairbanks, as well.
We left Haines about 8 am and arrived in Fairbanks at Tom’s cabin about 9 pm or so, and stayed there. We talked his roommate Travis, another Juneauite, into joining us.
The next day we headed out to the Chatanika, and launched the boat for a reconnasance run. We saw a bull moose on the bank on the return to the boat launch, and cows and calfs along the roadside, so it looked promising.
The next morning, we headed back for the Chatanika before first light. On the way there, we saw a cow moose just off the road, and without a calf. Thus ended the easiest hunt I’ve ever had. Tom made a good shot, 5 of us butchered the moose, and it was a short distance packing the meat to the truck.
We hunted the next 2 days, but no one ever saw a bull. We returned to town, dropped off the boys at their college pad, and headed home. We made it to customs, just as a rerun of Rudi Guliani and then Governor Palin was showing on the TV at the border station. We continued to Snag Creek, pitched the tent, and had a good dinner and sleep. The next day we left for Haines and arrived about 2 pm.
Roy called a few of his buds over, and 5 of us processed the meat. In a few short hours, we had it all packaged and in the freezer. I left for Juneau this morning on the 930 am ferry, and arrived at 2 pm or so.
Of course, there were emails with my take on Governor Palin as the VP on the Republican ticket.
We talked often of her husband Todd on the moose hunting trip. How he must be missing it, and if she wins the presidency someday, he’ll never let them have a Republican Convention the first of Sept ! (opening day of moose season!). He works up on the slope where I do now, too, in the oil patch.
So, we’ll see how it all goes. I just got done watching the Friday Night political shows on PBS. Seems it’s way more talk about Palin than McCain. I also had an extensive interview with an Alaska Fishermans Journal reporter about our issues with our state DEC and Palin’s appointee. That and my letter to the editor of National Fishermen are my last throes after this issues, I fear. At some point you have to let the bastards win or turn into one yourself.
Mark Stopha and Sara Hannan
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
Wild Salmon and Salmon Pet Treats
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801