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”
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”
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”
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”
Even today every rainbow trout I catch, large or small, is measured against a time when I was very young and the world was new and everything that happened came as a surprise.
So, what do I do with those bunnies I hunt? This time, it’s Bunny and Dumplings – good, old-fashioned comfort food. Three bunnies made for a huge pot. Braised for three hours in chicken stock with onion, carrots, celery, garlic, potatoes, some thyme and pepper, the dumplings were added at the end. The meat (whichContinue reading “BUNNY & DUMPLINGS FOR DINNER”
Successful hunts are perfect conspiracies of preparation and good luck. By Ken Marsh I’d arrived late in the day, after a long drive followed by a hike into the hills. By the time my tent was pitched and camp organized, little time remained for hunting, maybe half an hour at most. Already dusk rose fromContinue reading “The Hunt”
Roads are few in Alaska’s remote Copper Basin, but the Gulkana River makes passage as simple – and wonderfully adventurous – as stepping into a raft or canoe. By Ken Marsh We’d rafted downriver from Paxson Lake a bend, maybe two, our five-day float trip barely begun, when the splashes of feeding grayling drove usContinue reading “River of Quiet Renown”