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Thursday, October 04, 2007

More Elk Hunt

Here are some more photos from our elk hunt on Afognak last week. Beautiful country but tough hiking. We carried a lightweight tarp for a tent and when we slept on shore we used bivy bags - very minimalist camping gear. That way if we did get an elk we could still carry both elk meat and our camping gear.

In the bottom two photos we are carrying elk meat back to the boat on the last day. One photo shows Justin 'bustin' through the alders and salmonberry while the other is of me carrying the elk's back leg. The back quarters of our elk all weighed well over a 100 pounds. I included a picture of the elk Justin harvested to give you an idea of how big the elk are on Afognak. More like harvesting a horse or cow than a deer. The elk on afognak are almost twice the body size of the elk in the rocky mountains. According to ADF&G bull elk on Afognak reach up to 1400 pounds - that's the size of a big moose!

In the camping and hiking photos (4rth, 5th, and 6th down from the top) Mike checks out the fields near Thorsheim Lake while in the other Mark and Mike contemplate life in our minimalist camp. It was sunny when we began hiking that day, but of course it ended up raining at night. The landscape pan is of the country we walked through the day after camping to rejoin Jim on the boat. We hiked across Afognak from Malina Bay all the way to Paramanoff Bay - crossing over two mountains on the way. Good way to find the elk!

Finally, the top three photos depict life on the boat and the start of the trip. The top one is of the crew and boat while still in Kodiak boat harbor. Note how clean cut we look. No one has been broken down by the rigors of Afognak .. ... Yet. Note the beer on the deck. The next one is of Jim skippering the boat while Mark watches. Jim has satellite radio so while we motored Mark could keep up on Cal football games (Mike is big cornhuskers fan while Justin is a tortured Michigan supporter). The third photo is of the skiff behind the boat at dawn. It seems Justin caught the best sunrise photo. Patrick

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