So here I sit. Patiently waiting for the text to come it. The one that says meet us...here(super secrete no one in the world knows) moose spot. Am fixin to head out and meet Tony, aka, Top for another hunting adventure.
While I wait I decided I should tap out a quick story of our trip this spring. One of my most memorable in this state. 4 days on his ocean boat in PWS out of Whittier. WOW what an amazing beautiful and rewarding experience
I was looking for something to do that weekend and comtemplating hunting with another friend in Anchorage and meeting up with Kotton as he was so kind to show me the ropes should I make it down.
That's when I got the text from Wasilla, be here by 0600 on Friday, I got a spot open on my boat. Shrimping, fishing, hunting and some fine eating! My reply was...see you then!
The crew, me, Joel, Ben, Tony and his boat Else
I made it to Tony's a few minutes late and cross loaded my gear. Met Joel, Tony's neighbor. Very good guy and it was great to meet him and hang out for the long weekend.
Once loaded we headed to pick up Ben. Again this was the first time I had met him and another great guy. Ben was the hard worker of the crew. He was on the shrimp pots and fish cleaning and bear killing quick!
After we made it out of the Anchorage traffic we stopped for gas and hit the tunnel at just the right time. That thing always amazes me.
Whitter bound, boat in the water and loaded up and were off. This trip just starts of amazing. For those of you that have been down there you know what I mean. This country is absolutely beautiful.
First day out we hit Tony's shrimp pots and jackpot! Gonna have a great dinner tonight. Another first for me. Shrimp straight out of the ocean. What a cool deal.
Ben was quick on the shrimp pots and it was pretty evident this wasn't his first time!
aahhhh the fruits of his labor
and I was quick to learn the head twist and pull and toss in the ocean.
We cruised back to a spot they had established a bait earlier in the week to check it out. Ended up not being hit but again what scenery. Pretty much everywhere we went I was in awe. The bait was along a freshwater creek that drained into the ocean. Easily accessable at high tide in the small zodiac they had.
This is from the creek, huge amounts of snow still around.
That night under the expert hand of the Captain
we anchored up and spent the night on the boat. Tight accommodations but worked out great.
The food was the best I've had to date. Sure beat MRE's(which I was chastised for when I tried to bring a few on the boat. I was pretty much told either they stay in my car or I don't get on the boat! Aahhaha) I found out why at dinner that night. Not only do these guys have a great meal prepped but they have a complete menu by day. Breakfast lunch and dinner!! And they stick to as to stay out of trouble with V, the one who prepares it for them.
Wow corn on the cob, moose steaks, fresh shrimp and good wine.
After dinner we sat around and had some good laughs and some more wine.
Next morning we pulled more shrimp and were able to get Ben on a bear. This was my first time with the dingy drill, pull the boat off the roof, drop it in the water, put the motor on, climb in. Was I comfortable in this tiny boat in that HUGE ocean..uhhhhhh nope!!
But they knew what they were doing. Was very happy to accompany Ben as this was his third trip and no bears to date.
We beached the raft and had to make a pretty good stock up a very steep hill side. We can down to where we thought the bear was but realized we had to move to another ledge. Once there we lost site of the bear. I knew it was there though.
There were large rocks that could hide it from view. As we watched Ben stood ready. The wind swirled and out from the rocks walked his bear. He was on it quick and the next thing you know he had won the game. Third times a charm and Ben had his bear! We loaded the bear and back to the boat. Congrats Ben!!!
Ben and I wen to shore at another spot to get a couple pics and skin the bear. And to burn some trash. This was the trip that I learned to use the WHOLE fire starter, not just a couple pieces that I was thinking they ment to break off. Hahahaha, it worked though.
At one point there was a huge ice field that Tony had to navigate through. Very very cool. I was wanting to get out on an iceberg and get a pic, but probably not a great idea. Didn't do it.
After a great breakfast of chorizo and eggs on tortillas we fished the next morning and had a great time pulling in halibut and cod and a few skates.
Joel here fighting a monster! How big was that fish Joel...10lbs! Hahahaha
and Ben, not sure what the Captain is doing, he looks perplexed!
Me holding a cod that either Ben or Joel caught. I forget who. Im gonna eat it though!
Fishing was great although I couldnt hook anything. I kept getting fish after fish on the line and loosing em. Of course I was being snickered at as they thought it was my lack of skills. Maybe it was but after Tony finally gave me a decent size hook I landed all the rest!! What a cool way to spend the day. Halibut fishing, bear hunting and shrimp pot pulling! Well Ben did all of that, again.
We stopped to grab some ice for the cooler.
We found a couple more bears and Tony accompanied me on my trip in to shore in the zodiac. Did I mention that this thing feels pretty small out there in the big ocean! We made a perfect stock but the bear was just to small. Needed a couple more years to grow up so back to the boat.
On the way back we have a couple dall porpoises jump out of the water right in front of us! WOW...now the zodiac feels even smaller! What a cool thing to witness though.
Joel spotted another bear and decided to go after it. I went along and what a cool stock. This bear is on a small flat. We landed on the off side and started sneaking in on it. There were some rocks for us to move behind and Joels spots the back of the bear above a rock maybe 40 yards away. He was on it but needed to wait for a good shot. We moved to another rock closer and waited for the right time. Very patiently he stayed on the bear. It fed out to a perfect broadside shot and the rest is history. One shot...dead bear. Not a monster bear, but a very cool hunt to be a part of! Congrats Joel!!
We got some pics and did the dirty work and headed back to the boat. Ben came over to help.
Tony's boat in the background
I have taken a lot of trips here in AK but this is by far one that I am very happy to have participated in. I will try to come back and do it again. Being on the ocean like that for the first time was amazing. The sites and the experience were new every day. All I can say is WOW.
Of course spending the time with these three really made the trip. If you have never got the chance to hang out with Joel and Tony you are missing out. I have only one other friend(John) that can even come close to talking the amount of junk these two do! All in fun and game of course.
There was one time that Joel wasn't talking trash, here it is
HAHAHAHAHHA just kidding
Same goes for Tony, here is him being quiet!
All joking aside...great trip with great friends. Thanks for the invite Tony. We will talk about the moose hunt next!!
I started this story a while back, am sitting in Valdez now, patiently waiting on the weather to let me get on the ferry! Enjoy.