Caribounty

I was fortunate to spend an evening and a morning in Denali Park this week with Polly. We didn’t have a permit, so were only allowed to drive into the parking area two or three miles short of Savage River (normally you can park at Savage River, but the lot is currently closed).Being industrious andContinue reading “Caribounty”

On the Prowl

Ever get the feeling while walking in the woods that something might be stalking you? Well, your Spidey senses may not be wrong … When I encountered this lynx crouched outside an Arctic ground squirrel den, it briefly turned its attention to me, stalking closer before hunkering down. A little closer … slowly … TheContinue reading “On the Prowl”

Spruced Up for Springtime

Springtime in Southcentral Alaska means breeding season for spruce grouse. Male spruce grouse, identified easily by their black- and white-trimmed throats and chests topped with scarlet eye combs, get dandied up in April and May to court hens. Although they’re not formal lekers, males can often be found concentrated in relatively small areas during breedingContinue reading “Spruced Up for Springtime”

RIDDLE of the WINNOWING SNIPE

Although the photo illustration is not the usual full-frame bird close-up, this blog post may be of interest to people from the northern United States, Canada, and Alaska who’ve been seeing – and hearing – a lot of common snipe lately. The picture captures a snipe diving from the cloudy sky near Anchorage, Alaska, thisContinue reading “RIDDLE of the WINNOWING SNIPE”

CAMPFIRE TALK

with TOMMY ANDREW AUTHOR’S NOTE: The following is a fictional story told by a young Alaska Native man, a Gwich’in Athabscan named Tommy Andrew. Tommy is a fictional character sketched by me – a real-life, white-guy writer and longtime Alaskan. As currently presented, Tommy Andrew has little formal education. He is, however, “woods smart” andContinue reading “CAMPFIRE TALK”

Who We Are

By Ken Marsh “In order to subsist this early man had to dedicate himself wholly to hunting. Hunting was, then, the first occupation, man’s first work and craft.”  – Jose Ortega yGasset, Meditations on Hunting The photograph was, at first glance, startling. It featured bright, sticky blood smeared on the brown cheeks and forehead of anContinue reading “Who We Are”

HUNTING FOR HEAVYWEIGHTS

Halibut in Alaska waters grow huge — the state sportfishing record stands at 459 pounds — and are rightly considered big game.  By Ken Marsh Forty fathoms beneath the charter boat T. Rex, in the murky depths of Montague Strait, the cargo pilot’s short, stubby saltwater rod seemed suddenly possessed. It bucked and wrenched and bentContinue reading “HUNTING FOR HEAVYWEIGHTS”

PRECIOUS SPECKLED TROUT

When I look at a cutthroat trout, I am reminded of a shy child, freckled, cast out of the mainstream because it is small, less aggressive. The name “cutthroat” is derived not from the creature’s disposition, but from its appearance. Cutthroats lack along their lateral lines the decisive red stripes of rainbow trout, wearing themContinue reading “PRECIOUS SPECKLED TROUT”