A backpack hunt in Alaska will test you--and your gear--to the utmost.

By Craig Boddington

Donna and I just returned from a backpack hunt in northern Alaska, where we were treated to unseasonably horrible weather. In mountain hunting you must be able to see, and we had day after day of rain, snow, and low clouds. Hey, that happens, but it was a good exercise (with lots of exercise). As I think back, it’s been a long time since I did a pure backpack hunt in steep country; maybe too long! Now at sixty-something and five years post-heart attack, it was a great feeling to realize I could still do it. For Donna it was a new experience, and an equally good feeling for her to know that she could handle it.


Hunters, anglers, and other conservationists continue to fight a proposed mine in Alaska's game-rich Bristol Bay region.


by J. Wyatt Abernethy, Dallas Safari Club Life Member

Flying over southwest Alaska, I’m surprised at the sparseness of the landscape. It’s not the jagged mountains and snowcapped peaks I’ve been imagining since Scott Hed of Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska invited me to come along on a fact-finding  trip to King Salmon, Alaska. The tundra, pocketed with lakes and cut by rivers, looks more like Minnesota than the alpine environment I imagined.


These magnificent mountains in southern Alaska are a sheep-hunter’s mecca.

by Ron Spomer

The state of Alaska is larger than many countries. You’d need a fat book, if not a small library, to describe all of its lands and many hunting opportunities.

Let’s limit our exploration to just one small corner of The Great Land, the Chugach Mountain Range, which covers an area “only” 300 miles long by 100 miles wide, running west to east from Anchorage to the Canada border. That’s roughly 30,000 square miles of floor space and considerably more if you add the vertical terrain—and most of the terrain is vertical.


A self-guided caribou hunt in Alaska’s western Arctic region.

Story and photos by Mark Nelsen

As the small formation of single-engine aircraft disappeared into the heavy skies, the sounds of their high-pitched engines--the last sounds of civilization--followed them. That’s when it started to sink in: thirty-five years of dreams were coming true. I was on an Alaskan wilderness adventure!

Since the age of twelve, when I started reading every outdoor magazine and book I could lay my hands on, I had longed to experience the Alaska bush, to hunt in the footsteps of the legendary hunters: Jack O’Connor, Russell Annabel, Fred Bear.

And here I was, standing at the base of the Brooks Range, farther than I’d ever been from any civilization, on a weeklong hunt for caribou.