well the fall season has come to a close for me. it was a good year, filled completely with lots of adventure, new adventures with return clients, new adventures with new clients, new friends made, and great success and time well spent in my favorite chunk of country on this planet: western alaska.
bears are my favorite as many of you allready know, and this last hunt was a blast. Ignacio and Gregorio Rodriquez (a father/son) team accompanied me to our coastal country for 18 days (supposed to be ten, but we got weathered in) and i was able to get the hunting done by day six. was able to guide both gents to two beautiful bears. gregorio turned 76 years old this year, and while still in great shape for that age, his mobility was limited. the boss and i made an exception for the old gentleman from mexico city and i allowed him to shoot a seven and a half foot sow (something we definitely try to avoid) a short distance from camp. he was elated, and it was an awsome hunt. during the stalk we ran out of cover and as i advanced: the bear made us. we still had the wind though, and as is sometimes the case she chose not to trust her eyes and actually advanced towards us first out of curiousity, then later in definite predator mode. when i instructed my spanish speaking client to shoot at seventy yrds i wasnt exactly sure who was hunting who at that point. maybe it was mutual! a very average, though very beautiful seven and a half foot sow, gregorio's sone ignacio translated to me later that afternoon that his father was very proud of himself, and that indeed: even at seventy six years of age, he was still quite man enough to hunt oso (spanish for bear) in fair chase, on foot. i was inwardly very bummed about taking a sow, but in my job, sometimes its about the people...and this was definitely one of those times.
ignacio was a different story. an exception had been made, he was in adequate shape, and i made it very clear after allowing his father to take that female that no exceptions would be granted him. we would look for a mature boar, or he would go back to mexico without a bear. three days later we got it done, and after a two mile stalk connected with a grand boar that squared 9'7 with a skull somewhere between 26 and 27. it was an awsome stalk, a great chase...but thats a whole nother story, best told in detail, at a future date.
i've been blessed this year, and between spring and fall successfully guided five brown bear, one grizzly, a wolf, and three moose. me and a buddy got a sheep together, and i had alot of adventure and fun on a few wild rivers in western alaska chasing rainbows and charr this summer. i feel truly blessed once again this season for the ability and drive to chase my dreams in this gorgeous state, and as always, i remain extremely humbled and appreciative of alaska and all she has to offerDSC01591.jpgDSC01601.jpg.