Monday, January 26, 2009

SheepNuts Video

"Six days later, Jesus took the two brothers Steve and Scott and led them up a high mountain." -Matthew 17:2.
"As they descended the mountain, Jesus commanded them, 'Don't tell anyone what you have seen...'" -Matthew 17:9

Seems clear to me that Jesus intends for Scott and me to climb mountains looking for sheep and to then to keep the big ram hide-outs a secret. But, I'll go ahead and let you in on some of the fun. Here's a teaser from our 2008 sheep hunt in the Brooks Range. I don't know about you, but I'm sure pumped to get after some rams again.


Despite being born in the spring, we're naming our soon arriving daughter Autumn. There's a lot more to a name than when you were born. Autumn has always been my favorite time of year. The layers of beauty in the fall are amazing. The fall has particularly been a season of God's favor in my life and I seem to hear His voice most clearly in the backdrop of his creation. We see this little one as a huge example of God's favor in our lives. Fall is also the time when the earth rests. Its done producing for the year and yet it is at its most glorious. This is symbolic to me of how we don't always have to be striving and producing something to have value. After all, we are human beings, not human doings. My prayer for Autumn is that she will grow up confident in God's (and our) love for her and know that He loves her simply because he created her and she exists. Too often people spend their lives trying to please or somehow earn that love.

Besides, it will be fall in the southern hemisphere.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Sometimes I wonder what kind of hunter I would be if I didn't live in Alaska and have the opportunity to hunt Dall sheep. I bet elk would be my obsession of choice. My favorite hunting shows are the archery bull hunts where they call them in close. I spent my youth chasing them all over the coast mountains of Oregon. Maybe it's nostalgia for the animal that taught me to hunt that causes my hunting mind to drift from rams occasionally. Maybe it's the towering branched antlers. For sure the eery, high pitched bugling that seems such an odd sound from the regal bulls sends chills down my spine. I never did kill one but their memory haunts me and every time we go to Oregon I look forward to seeing a few on the hoof. This last trip I even bought myself a "hootchie mamma" (a cow elk call) so I can close my eyes and pretend I'm in the dark timber with a herd of the tawny ghosts all around me. And if you are ever walking the forests of POW and hear a bull bugling, there's a better chance I'm nearby than you're really hearing an elk.

I posted a hunting picture of my dad a few days ago and thought I'd better give him some more props for his prowess as a hunter. This is a pic of him many moons and fewer gray hairs ago with a Roosevelt elk he killed with a bow and arrow.

My bother got the spike bull in fall 2007, his first bull.

And finally, there's a picture of a herd of elk at Jewell Wildlife Meadows in Oregon, where after nearly every unsuccessful hunt we'd go and ogle the big bulls as they thumbed their protected noses at us.

More Ketchikan

I guess not everyone enjoys staying in Ketchikan.


Ketchikan is the closest "big city" to us. About 4,000 or so call it home, but the population swells every day in the summer as cruise ships spew up to 12,000 people a day to buy gold nugget jewelry and halibut fish & chips. It's about 75 miles to the east of POW. You can get there from Craig via a 3 hour ferry ride or about a 45 minute ride in a beaver on floats. The weather can be brutal at times (200 inches of rain) making travel difficult and the ferry only comes and goes once a day, so often a trip "outside" (that's anywhere in the lower 48 for you cheechakos) includes an overnight in Ketch on the way out or in or both. On our way home from our Portland Christmas trip we got to spend New Years day there. Here's a few shots.

Friday, January 9, 2009


I found this note atop 8,000' Bold Peak in Chugach State Park during a fall 2007 sheep scouting trip. I just found it again going through my pictures. Thanks for the reminder Paul Irving Holcher.

My Hunting Heritage

Jack was the father of Tom, who grew to be a mighty warrior on the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord; that is why it is said, "Like Tom, a mighty hunter before the Lord." - Genesis 10:8

My dad Tom played a large role in getting me started in hunting. Here he is with his most recent kill. Moles are efficient predators and can wreck havoc on a lawn. It takes a surprising amount of patience to kill one on a fair chase, spot and stalk hunt.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Staying Fit

Time magazine recently did a write up on Oscar De La Hoya, the "most popular fighter in the world." Oscar says two of the ways he stays fit are chopping wood and eating deer. Maybe I should take up boxing.

The whole firewood thing is shaping up to be one of the activities that I really enjoy here on the island. We heat the house entirely with the woodstove. We do have a back-up oil furnace, but at $3.50 a gallon for heating oil, we try to keep that thing turned off. Gathering firewood accomplishes for me several things I enjoy. I'm saving money, all it costs to heat the house is a little gas money and chainsaw maintenance (Not to mention how fun it is to run a chain saw). It is keeping me fit. Cutting, hauling, splitting and stacking all that wood is hard work. And it guarantees me time in the woods. In Anchorage all I had to do was press a couple buttons to heat the house. There is something infinitely more satisfying with the wood stove. It's a very tangible evidence of providing for my family and gives me a strong connection with the land and the forest. I've earned this warmth we're enjoying and Amy recognizes the effort it takes for me to provide that. That's a very satisfying feeling. It's a very similar feeling of providing food through hunting.

Blue Dot Wood

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:" -Ecclesiastes 2:7

On POW October is the season for collecting firewood. The bucks have mysteriously vanished in preparation for the rut,and the woodstove has developed an insatiable appetite, so my buddy Isaac and I took advantage of a rare dry day and headed for the clear cuts to collect a winters supply.

It's a Girl

This post is way over due but in the words of Brooks and Dunn...

You ain't livin' the good life

Til you put a girl in it
You aint got nothin
What's it all worth
Without a little lovin'
Put a girl in it
Some huggin and some kissin'
If you're world's got something missin'
Just put a girl in it

Back Online

Amy and I haven't had internet service the last two months due to the move, but we're connected again so stay tuned for more FCOL.