Alaska

I just got back from a trip to Prince William Sound in Alaska to hunt with some friends who are residents and own a charter boat company. The plan was to live onboard their new boat for six days while hunting for Blacktail deer and to fish. This trip was going to be different than any other trip I had taken to Alaska as there was no trophy animal objective. Instead, we were going to help fill their freezers with venison to sustain them through the winter. I was going to embed myself with the locals, hunt and fish alongside them and document it all on video. I would be hunting with a bow and my Alaskan friends would rifle hunt. In truth I was looking for a four point buck or better and was there mostly because I wanted to share in their lifestyle.

The first two days were quite an adventure as the weather this time of year can be quite unpredictable. I took some long hikes on islands only accessible by boat but didn’t see any deer. My friends did manage to take a few deer with a rifle and all was good. On the third day we heard reports of a storm coming so we sailed to find a safe cove out of the brunt of the storm. We anchored in a fairly secure cove, but the winds were blowing at about 30 knots with gusts up to 40 knots.

Then around midnight we heard what I can only describe as what sounded like a freight  train, and an 80-knot gust rocked the boat and ripped us from the anchor. Thankfully the instruments on the boat have a perimeter sensor that sound if the set perimeter is breached, and they were all going off. Then it was all hands on deck. It was a helpless feeling to me, to be drifting in the dark relying on the instruments to keep us off the rocks. My friend, who is also the captain reset the anchor numerous times throughout the night only to have the wind blow us loose again.

We all took turns watching the instruments to let the others get some sleep, only to have to wake them again when the boat let loose. I don’t think I have ever been so happy to see the dawn. The right image is a shot of where the boat was that night. The dashed line shows the travel, where it is dark and congested is where the anchor held, and the boat was blown from side to side.

After the storm the winds remained strong so unfortunately, we couldn’t hunt. We ended up losing two days of hunting on our six day trip. The last two days we managed to take 4 more doe making a total of six for the trip, and also caught a pile of Halibut throughout the week.