All posts by Chris Cocoles

Alaska Longline Fisherman’e Association Gets Grant To Improve Fisheries’ Technology

The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association: 

The Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA) has been awarded a major grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to improve at-sea monitoring of Alaska’s longline fisheries through the use of electronic monitoring technologies.

At-sea electronic monitoring (EM) technology uses video cameras aboard fishing vessels to monitor catch and bycatch in lieu of a human observer.  Since many small boats do not have the capacity to take an additional person aboard during fishing trips, EM can be more operationally compatible for the vessel, and potentially more cost effective. After several years of research and pre-implementation, the North Pacific Fishery Management Council approved electronic monitoring as an option for small fixed gear vessels in the partial coverage sector of the Observer Program in 2016. The grant, awarded by NFWF, with funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Kingfisher Foundation, will provide ALFA $577,959 to improve Alaska’s longline electronic monitoring program for vessels participating in sablefish, halibut and Pacific cod fixed gear fisheries.

With this support, ALFA will assist the National Marine Fishery Service’s work to provide electronic monitoring hardware and field service support for vessels joining the EM program, and also support stakeholder engagement in the program’s development. The project will result in electronic monitoring of up to 120 hook and line vessels and will improve the utility of electronic monitoring data for fishermen and fishery managers alike.

“In Alaska, fishermen pay a large part of the at-sea monitoring costs needed to support our fisheries. By offsetting start-up costs and helping fishermen equip their vessels with EM systems, we can meet at-sea monitoring needs in a way that is more compatible with small vessels and improve cost effectiveness,” says Dan Falvey, Program Director at ALFA.

This is the second NFWF grant that ALFA has received to assist with EM implementation, which will help provide the equipment and field services needed to expand the program to the new vessels.

Over the next two years, 120 longline vessels in Alaska will use electronic monitoring while fishing.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundations’ Electronic Monitoring and Reporting Grant Program seeks to catalyze the implementation of electronic technologies in U.S. fisheries in order to systematically integrate technology into fisheries data collection and modernized data management systems for improved fisheries management. This year, it awarded a total of more than $3.59 million in grants. The 12 awards announced generated $3.15 million in match from the grantees, providing a total conservation impact of more than $6.75 million.

From Nashville To The North

Photo by Sub7


The following appears in the February issue of Alaska Sporting Journal:


He lives on a sprawling Tennessee farm, but Craig Morgan’s home is a quick drive from Nashville’s bright lights of the honkytonk joints of Broadway Street, the Times Square of the country music cosmos. 

But when Morgan, who has 17 singles that have reached the Billboard country charts – including a No. 1 hit and six more in the top 10 – wants to literally get away from it all, he heads to Alaska.

And while he finds it funny that his cabin in the Interior gets better cellphone service than his Tennessee property in Dickson, 40 miles west of Nashville, it’s about as wild a setting as a diehard sportsman like Morgan could ask for when he wants to unplug from his hectic life of making music, hosting an outdoors television show and running a family business back in the Volunteer State.  

“It’s one of those deals where if you’re there, you know that you truly are in the depths of Mother Nature,” the 53-year-old says. 

He’s been hunting and fishing in Alaska for roughly two decades, though he’s owned his cabin for just about three years. The Last Frontier is one of Morgan’s first choices to satisfy his outdoor cravings. 

“Oh, god. It was probably 20 years ago I guess for my first visit. And since then we’ve done everything from fishing to hunting to cruises,” he says. “And I’ve been from the lowest southeast point to all the way up to the Yukon. So I’m just absolutely fascinated with that part of the world. It truly is the Last Frontier.”

Photo by Joseph Llanes

GETTING TO MORGAN’S HIDEAWAY isn’t super easy for anyone who wants to tag along on one of his trips. Fly into Anchorage, then either board a floatplane for a 50-minute flight onto a lake adjacent to the cabin, or fly to Talkeetna and drive three hours on a gravel road to the end of the line for a 6-mile, 4½-hour walk or – in winter – snowmachine journey to get there. 

“It’s off the grid completely; there’s no electricity, no running water. The closest town is Talkeetna. Actually it’s Trapper Creek, but I don’t know if Trapper Creek is considered an actual town,” Morgan says. 

So yeah, this getaway allows him to really get away. That’s what this intrepid hunter was looking for when he began getting serious about investing in an Alaskan home (“It’s more of a trapper’s cabin than a house,” Morgan says). It took him about year and a half of looking around to finally settle on what he owns now. 

He says it’s actually easier to get there in winter via snowmachines. But it’s exactly what he hoped for: a place in the wilderness in one of his favorite outdoor playgrounds. 

“I just wanted a place to go that we could call ours. It’s quite an effort to get there, but when you get there it’s just an awesome thing. And I’ve always wanted to be a bigger part about what’s going on there,” Morgan says.

He identifies himself as far more of a hunter than an angler, but the nearby lake is teeming with trout, Arctic char and grayling, so he makes sure to have fishing gear close by. Yet it’s the big game and other wildlife as the main event that keeps him occupied when there is a season open during his visits. 

Morgan’s native Tennessee is chock-full of sportsmen and -women who secure their tags and stalk everything from deer to turkeys to black bears. And his assignments as host of a TV hunting show have sent him all over the map. But Alaska is Alaska and there’s no other place quite like it. 

“The thing that you really understand is the gravity and intensity of Mother Nature when you’re up there. You don’t get that when you’re in the woods in Illinois or Iowa or Texas, or anywhere else because you know that you can generally walk in some direction and come across some form of civilization,” Morgan says. “In that part of the world, you can walk in some direction and may walk for a month and not come across civilization. If you go in the wrong direction, you might never find it. It’s just a super-intense outdoor experience.”

And what Morgan loves about the Last Frontier is it’s the last place you want to be if you run into trouble. Not that he’s eager to be in harm’s way, but it’s the thrill of the unknown you’re walking into that attracts the Lower 48 outdoors lover to these parts in the first place. 

On one trip, one of Morgan’s buddies suffered a deep gash while they were cutting wood, which could have been a lot more serious if they weren’t prepared.

“We were 45 minutes from getting anybody to help us. So you have to be extra careful. An accident up there can turn from a simple one into a catastrophic event pretty quick if you’re not careful,” he says. 

The cabin has only a generator for power, so satellite phones and emergency medical equipment come in handy in a beautiful but potentially hazardous front yard. 

“You can have the most peaceful moments in your life sitting atop a mountain, and then in 15 minutes have the most horrific experience as you’re going down that mountain,” Morgan says. “And that terrain can absolutely beat you up. It will just take you before you know it. So many obstacles that just make you truly appreciate how that moment of beauty can turn to something ugly.”

“In everything else that we do, for the most part, you feel like you have a sense of control a little bit and a sense of security, I think, to some degree. In Alaska all that goes away. You know that you are not necessarily at the top of the food chain in where you’re at and what you’re doing.”

Morgan’s Alaska getaway. Photo by Chelsea Greer.

CRAIG MORGAN GREER’S FAMILY made do with what it had in their Tennessee home. Kingston Springs is a don’t-blink-or-you’ll-miss-it town of about 2,000 along Interstate 40 west of Nashville. Craig’s family – like many in that part of the country – had a passion for hunting. But it was far more than just the sport of it that got his parents outside. 

“As much as they enjoyed it and  that was it was local and on public land, it was really for the meat,” Craig says. “My family and parents weren’t trophy hunting; they were hunting for the meat.”

“We were eating organic before organic was a term. But it was out of necessity more than a choice. When you’re born into a lower-middle class income family, you have to do those kinds of things. So we grew up eating wild game or pork from pigs that we had raised ourselves. We had a better idea of what was going into our bodies than most.”

That lifestyle never left Morgan’s mind as he progressed on into his own path – first during 17 years in the Army and then his singing career that elevated him into a fixture on the Nashville music scene.

“Now I’m in a position in my life where I can afford to go buy what I want to eat, but I choose to hunt because I know the meat that I’m getting is going to be better for me,” he says. “It’s going to be cleaner. We try to use that term a lot in our house: eating clean. But it was very much a part of my life and still is, probably more so today than it was then.”

As his career took off, Morgan’s outdoor roots scored him a gig as host of Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors, which chronicles fishing and hunting adventures from around the globe. 

Among his most memorable episodes was a Northern California turkey hunt with friend and former major-league baseball player Ryan Klesko.

“We donated a hunt with he and I to the (National Wild Turkey Federation), and I’ll never forget the lady who bought the hunt; she was so excited to be out hunting with Ryan and I,” Morgan says. “We all killed turkeys and it was just a phenomenal hunt (near San Francisco). It was awesome because we hunted for a few days and then got to visit all the wineries.”

Indeed, those early days of subsistence hunting with his family in rural Tennessee spawned quite the dedicated sportsman.

And around the turn of the century, he cut his first album to kick off a successful career that’s included 17 singles that reached the Billboard country charts and a No. 1 hit, “That’s What I Love About Sunday,” that tops his discography.

Ironically, making records, touring, hunting in exotic locales around North America and abroad and all the other perks that go with celebrity status have complicated Morgan’s personal life.

“My family is always going to come first and a lot of people would question that, just because of the amount of time that I spend with them, which is so little,” he says. 

“But I tell my kids all the time that I make a choice as a dad to make certain sacrifices in order that they and my wife and family are better off. And one of those choices was choosing this occupation, which requires me to be away from home a lot.”

The Morgans have also started a family business, the Gallery at Morgan Farms in their hometown of Dickson. They make various items out of recycled and reclaimed materials (the UP TV network is working on a series revolving around the family juggling an already hectic schedule to make the business work). 

But having so much access to the beauty of the outdoors has also been a blessing in that Morgan’s family has joined him on so many of his outdoor adventures, both on camera and off (he and his wife Karen Greer had four children but lost their son Jerry to a tragic swimming accident in 2016). 

When asked about his favorite episodes of Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors, while he’s enjoyed the tributes to veterans – Morgan’s Army background made it only natural that’s been heavily involved in giving back to the troops through charitable causes – his mind came racing back to his family, where his own hunting passion’s roots grew. 

“Probably my favorite hunts to do throughout the filming are the ones that I do with my family, in particular my kids. I’ve always loved spending time with them in the outdoors and trying to educate them on the process,” Morgan says. “And I have something that a lot of people that get to do that don’t, and that’s the footage of it. So I get to go back and re-experience that with my kids, which is a real blessing.”



IF THERE’S ONE ALASKA adventure Morgan is still hoping to cross off his bucket list, it’s to harvest a muskox (he also wants to hunt one of those near-mythical creatures in Europe someday if not in Alaska).

“A friend of mine just did it and the reason why they loved it was the weather. There’s nothing like hunting in the Arctic,” he says. “It’s a little more entertaining, weather-wise. But I would suffer the cold in the Arctic for a muskox.”

When he does make his periodic pilgrimages from Tennessee to Alaska, Morgan appreciates the value in his purchase. Alaska, like his TV show and family time amid a busy schedule recording and performing music, is another facet in a life where few hours of the day aren’t taken advantage of. 

It’s clear that heading north makes for a spiritual moment of clarity.

“I try to go at least two or three times a year, and I think in the last couple years I’ve been up four times a year. Every time I land in Anchorage I get this excited feeling – like a little kid at Christmas about to open up a present,” he says. 

Early in 2018 Morgan is working on his 11th album and expects he’ll continue to make new music until his fans no longer want to listen. But while it’s his primary job, he really does enjoy it, likening the process to those backyard grillmasters who live for cooking that perfect steak on the barbie. Songwriting and performing feels like a hobby, and even if he’s not earning a paycheck Morgan will likely always channel his musical gifts. 


Of all the songs he’s cut and hits that made the charts, the tune that makes him most nostalgic is 2008’s “Lookin’ Back With You,” in which he pays homage to growing old with wife Karen.   

“When we’re sittin’ on our front porch,”

“In our cracker barrel rockers.”

“And we don’t long to dye the grey out of our hair,”

“We’ll sit and laugh and talk about all the things that we went through.”

“Yeah, I look forward to looking back with you.”

It could be sitting on a porch in a trapper’s cabin in the isolated but magnificent Alaskan Interior. 

“It just talks about when we get older, and I look forward to looking back on my life – my wife and I in particular,” he says. “I don’t know if we’re quite there yet, but it’s one of my favorite songs.” ASJ

Editor’s note: For more on Craig Morgan, check out his website, follow on Twitter and Instagram (@cmorganmusic) and like at

Photo by Sean O’Halloran.



There’s something about a glass of wine after a long Alaskan hunt that makes Craig Morgan smile. It’s also a reason why this country music star and outdoors TV host is now a celebrity vintner.
“I just became a wine guy who loved wine about 20 years ago. And as my knowledge grew, so did my desire to be more involved,” he says of this grape-infused project. “Having said that, I never want to own a winery. I never want to be a winemaker or nothing like that.”
Still, it’s difficult to not consider Morgan a bit of a wine savant. So when he collaborated with a company called Lot 18 to create Old Tattoo (, which is being released this winter, it only strengthened a passion for good wine, particularly enjoying a glass or two with some of the wild game this outdoorsman has harvested for years.
Old Tattoo – its American flag logo matches the ink that’s adorned on Morgan’s left arm – is flavored by grapes from Paso Robles, California, along the central coast and one of the state’s hidden gems for wine lovers.
While Morgan helped in determining the cabernet’s flavors – “hints of coffee, cocoa, currant, dark cherry, graphite and plum,” the wine’s introductory press release explained – he was mostly in tasting mode as blends were tested. But the entire approach was based upon his name being attached to as close as you can come to producing an organic wine.
And for someone who prefers to eat his own harvested game and fish, Morgan’s fascination with wine was one that was a more natural blend.
“One in particular that kind of started it was a wine called PlumpJack, which is a partner of the Cade Winery in Napa (California). The one thing that I loved about the PlumpJack was that it was organic,” he says. “It’s very rare that you find an organic wine against one that isn’t. And I just fell in love with it – a fabulous wine.”
Morgan also took to heart the message of another of his favorite California winemakers, Sonoma County residents and avid sportsmen whose brand is known as Ammunition Wines. Their reds and whites are catered to fellow anglers and hunters and specifically blended to pair with not just traditional dishes but also wild game like venison, duck and upland birds.
While Morgan’s idea wasn’t to market his wine for a specific audience – “I just wanted to have a wine that at that price point ($22 a bottle) you would be super excited,” he says – it’s clear he wanted Old Tattoo to showcase who he is as a hunter and organic eater.
When Morgan returns to his Alaska trapper’s cabin and spends some time hunting, fishing or just enjoying the solitude of the surrounding quiet, he’s never without a bottle of Old Tattoo or another favorite wine.
“My kids and my friends make fun of me that even in Alaska I have a good cab glass or at least a glass of some kind (to drink the wine),” he says with a laugh. “It may be a tumbler, but how bad is that I don’t want to drink the wine out of a Solo cup or Styrofoam cup? It has to be a glass.” CC

ADFG Says To Note Anchorage Bowl Moose Sightings For Survey


ADFG photo

The following press release is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game: 

State wildlife biologists this week will embark on an innovative, citizen assisted, ground-based survey to count moose in the Anchorage Bowl. And as with a pilot study conducted in February 2017, public participation is critical to success.

“Like last year, we’ll be collecting DNA samples from moose around the city and using genetics to identify moose relatedness,” said Alaska Department of Fish and Game Research Biologist Sean Farley. “This research approach is experimental, but we’re confident it will allow us to estimate the size of Anchorage’s moose population.”

Department research and management biologists are employing this novel ground-based technique because traditional aerial moose counts within the Anchorage Bowl are impractical due to flight restrictions imposed over the busy metropolitan area.

“The public’s help last year made all the difference,” said Farley. “We were able to test some critical logistics and determine that an intensive, full-scale effort was feasible in Anchorage.”

That full-scale effort will occur Friday, February 23, through Sunday, February 25, when citizens are again invited to report moose sightings within the Anchorage Bowl.

Sightings may be reported by:

Reports should include the number of moose observed, the time of the sighting and, most importantly, the location of the moose. Department staff will use that information to locate moose and, using specialized darts, collect DNA samples. The darts are designed to strike moose lightly, collect a skin sample in the tip, and fall to the ground to be gathered after the animal leaves. DNA samples associated with the survey are also gathered during the year from local road kills and hunter harvests.

“This technology has the potential to improve our knowledge and management of Anchorage area moose populations,” said Area Wildlife Biologist Dave Battle. “However, the laboratory analyses will take some time before we have numbers to report.”

Safety is a critical concern with this project. Moose can be dangerous and citizens are reminded to avoid approaching moose or department survey teams collecting DNA samples. Staff wearing flare-orange vests with stencils clearly identifying them as Department of Fish and Game employees will be using dart projectors that closely resemble long-guns or hunting rifles. Additionally, staff will be driving state trucks marked with the department logo.

Project expenses are covered by funds generated by hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts through payment of federal taxes on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment, and through state hunting license and tag fees.

For more information about the Anchorage moose count pilot study, contact Ken Marsh at 267-2892 or

Sig Sauer To Partner With Sportsmen’s Alliance


The Sportsmen’s Alliance Leader’s ClubBusiness Partner list just got a little longer when SIG SAUER recently signed on as a supporter. As a member of the Leader’s Club, SIG SAUER joins elite company in the defense of our hunting, fishing, trapping and shooting sports.

“The Sportsmen’s Alliance Business Partner program continues to align with the best of the best in the outdoor industry,” said Sean Curran, vice president of membership and development for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “SIG SAUER has been an industry-leading company since its inception. We are excited to align our organizations to raise awareness of sportsmen’s issues while partnering to increase memberships and funding to combat issues that threaten our heritage.”

With a mantra of “born in Europe, perfected in America,” SIG SAUER has been churning out award-winning firearms since 1864 – when it produced its Prelaz-Burnand rifle for the Swiss Army. Today, with U.S. headquarters in Newington, N.H., SIG SAUER employs more than 1,600 employees and continues its dedication to high-quality firearm production born of Swiss precision, German engineering, and American ingenuity. Known as ‘The Complete Systems Provider,’ SIG has expanded its offerings to include suppressors, electro-optics, ammunition and airguns.

“The team at SIG SAUER is excited to partner with The Sportsmen’s Alliance,” said Allen McCormick, vice president of marketing for SIG SAUER. “Their passion, relentless focus on conservation programs, and support of an overarching outdoor lifestyle are in sync with our organization and how SIG employees approach life.”

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research.  Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Alaska Fishing Delegation Heads To Washington


The following press release is courtesy of the Fishing Communities Coalition: 

Photo by Jeff Pike.

 Representatives of the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association and the Alaska Marine Conservation Council– both members of the nationalFishing Communities Coalition (FCC) – were in Washington, DC, this week urging lawmakers to resist shortsighted efforts to weaken fishing communities by undermining key Magnuson-Stevens Act accountability provisions.

In meetings with Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Dan Sullivan, Rep. Don Young, NOAA fisheries, and others, members of both organizations underscored thatMagnuson-Stevens Act (MSA) reauthorization legislation will only strengthen fishing communities if Congress recommits to science-based Annual Catch Limits across all sectors and strengthens other key stewardship provisions within the Act.

“Alaska’s small-boat commercial fishermen are proud to sustainably harvest seafood enjoyed in restaurants and homes across America,” said Linda Behnken of theAlaska Longline Fishermen’s Association (ALFA). “The future of Alaska’s fishing communities depends on healthy fish stocks and sustained access by coastal residents to productive commercial fisheries.”

“The MSA is working in Alaska and around the country because all sectors adhere to scientifically-sound annual catch limits. Reauthorization will only provide a bright future for our nation’s young fishermen if all sectors—commercial and recreational—recommit to sustainable harvest through improved stock assessment, better catch accounting, and strict adherence to annual catch limits,” continued Behnken.

“Eliminating accountability for recreational catch will lead to over harvest and reductions in quotas that hurt all fishermen,” said Shannon Carroll, Deputy Director of the Alaska Marine Conservation Council (AMCC). “To secure our fishing future, it is critical that Congress clearly apply accountability standards, including annual catch limits, to all sectors.”

ALFA and AMCC representatives also thanked the Alaska congressional delegation for its leadership on the Young Fishermen’s Development Act, and urged them to ensure the bipartisan initiative to support the next generation of commercial fishermen is signed into law.

Both ALFA and AMCC are engaged in efforts to address the “graying of the fleet” in Alaska by attracting younger entrants into the fishing industry through training and apprenticeship initiatives. The Young Fishermen’s Development Act would give fishing communities a needed boost at the national level by addressing steep and growing obstacles – including high cost of entry and limited entry-level opportunities – facing the next generation of America’s commercial fishermen.


The Fishing Communities Coalition is the united voice for small-boat, community-focused, commercial fishermen from around the country who strive to bring their stewardship vision to bear on national issues. We believe that together, fishermen from around the United States who believe in community-focused ideals, science-based management and forward-looking policies can build a national movement that protects fish, fishermen and fishing communities for this and future generations.

How Will Trump Plan For Budget Cuts Affect Fisheries?

Trump photo by Shealah Craighead/The White House.

As the Trump administration proposes budget cuts amid concern that it will raise the federal deficit, what will the cuts do to the country’s fisheries?

The Anchorage Daily News has more on the possible shockwaves:

Off the top, the spending plan unveiled Feb. 12 cuts the budget for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by 20 percent to $4.6 billion. Among other things, NOAA manages the nation’s fisheries in waters from 3 to 200 miles offshore, which produce the bulk of Alaska’s seafood landings.

It’s the cuts within the cuts that reveal the most.

NOAA Fisheries is facing a $110.4 million drop to $837.3 million, a 14 percent budget cut. That includes a $17.7 million decrease in fisheries science and management, a $5 million cut in data collection needed for stock assessments, a $5.1 million reduction in funding for catch share programs and a $2.9 million cut to cooperative research programs.

The proposals for NOAA law enforcement are even more severe — a decline of $17.8 million is a 25 percent budget reduction.

 “The entire law enforcement reduction is coming from the agency’s cooperative enforcement program and will eliminate funding for joint enforcement agreements with law enforcement partners from 28 states and U.S. territories,” reported the Gloucester Times.

The National Weather Service, also under NOAA’s umbrella, is facing a $75 million slice off its $1 billion budget. It will ax 355 jobs, more than a quarter of the National Weather Service staff, including 248 forecasters.

Trump also wants to cut $4.8 million from habitat and conservation programs, wiping out funding and grants for NOAA’s fisheries habitat restoration projects.


Deer Hunter’s Scent Decrease With New ScentLok Products

The following press release is courtesy of ScentLok:

Muskegon, MI (February 19, 2018) – Elite whitetail hunters take every possible precaution to protect themselves from their quarry’s incredible sense of smell. ScentLok’s patented Carbon AlloyTMhunting garments have been proven deadly in the field, by combining activated carbon with zeolite and treated carbon to help adsorb a larger spectrum of odors – as well as targeting specific odors – better than ever before. But every piece of gear we take into the field picks up additional ambient odors that can be alarming to deer, which is why a Complete Odor Management strategy should also involve your home and vehicle.


New for 2018, OZ Active Odor-Destroyers by ScentLok are designed to reactivate activated carbon garments and deodorize other gear and accessories, while also keeping the environments around hunters and their gear as odor-free as possible. These premium pre- and post-hunt ozone products utilize the very latest technology and do not interfere with other odor-controlling products on the market.



From the home to the truck to the field and back home again, the new OZ family of Active Odor Destroyers by ScentLok helps keep environments around hunters and their gear odor-free.


OZ Active Odor Destroyers are specifically designed to emit a powerful stream of ozone molecules that seek out and destroy virtually all types of odors and bacteria in their path. When ozone comes in contact with these contaminants, their chemical structure is changed to a compound that is no longer recognizable as an offensive odor. As ozone continues to attack these compounds, the odor is destroyed through oxidation. The ozone then reverts back to oxygen. Revolutionary CycleCleanTMtechnology allows OZ generators to moderate output by alternating between active and resting phases for maximum efficiency and longer product life.


ScentLok’s OZ Active Odor Destroying Products consist of an OZ20 Vehicle DeodorizerOZ20B Portable DeodorizerOZ100 Small Room Deodorizer and OZ500 Large Room Deodorizer.



No odor is too tough for the ScentLok OZ500 Large Room Deodorizer. Complete with 12V DC power supply and vehicle power adaptor, OZ500 is the ideal odor destroyer for large rooms and spaces. It’s also compatible with ScentLok’s slick new OZChamber Hardline Storage Tote or OZChamber 8K Storage Bag.




The Long and Smelly Road


Ambient odors are insidious, and your vehicle collects them from every possible source as you travel down the roadways of everyday life. Your dog’s hair, the rogue french fries under your seat and the variety of odors that come off our own bodies; they all collect and co-mingle inside our vehicles, then conspire to hitch a ride with us whenever we leave and venture into the field. Ultimately, they all can sound like alarm bells to a whitetail’s nose.


Life teaches that cheap insurance comes in many forms. The latest of which for hunters is theScentLok OZ20 Vehicle Deodorizer. Simply plug this affordable marvel into your vehicle’s all-in-one 12V receptacle and let the odor destruction begin.


Even those who don’t hunt will appreciate the OZ20’s almost instant ability to deodorize the cabin of their car or truck. It’ll smell so clean, in fact, that you might even consider starting your own ride-sharing business.


ScentLok OZ20 Vehicle Deodorizer / Model 82913

Ozone destroys odors, bacteria, fungus, and mold

Attacks virtually all types of odors

CycleCleanTM  technology moderates the output by alternating active and resting phases to achieve

Chemical and fragrance free

8 hour treatment cycle

All-in-one 12V plug

MSRP: $39.99



The ScentLok OZ20 Vehicle Deodorizer destroys odors lurking inside your car or truck before they can destroy your hunt… or ruin date night.

The Truth Stinks

Everyone wants to believe their home smells like June apples, fresh linens or a Hawaiian breeze. But the reality is this: The foods we cook, the products we use, the animals we care for and our own diverse housekeeping practices make our homes smell like… well, something totally different. And when we leave our homes, those odors can easily go with us.


ScentLok OZ Room and Home Deodorizers make it easy kill the odors that live with us in our homes – not by masking them, but by breaking them down and literally destroying them. Three powerful and efficient models are available.


ScentLok OZ20B Portable Deodorizer /Model 82914

  • Ozone destroys odors, bacteria, fungus, and mold
  • Attacks virtually all types of odors
  • CycleCleanTM  technology moderates the output by alternating active and resting phases to achieve maximum efficiency
  • Great for gym bags, bathrooms, cars, camping, etc.
  • Rechargeable battery lasts 8 hours
  • USB port for charging mobile devices
  • Chemical and fragrance free
  • 1 & 3 hour cycle options
  • Includes 12V DC power supply and USB charging cable

MSRP $99.99



Powered by either the included 12V DC power supply or its own rechargeable battery, the compact and highly portable OZ20B is the versatile power player in the ScentLok OZ lineup. Did we mention it will also charge your phone?




ScentLok OZ100 Small Room Deodorizer /Model 82915

  • Ozone destroys odors, bacteria, fungus, and mold
  • Attacks virtually all types of odors
  • CycleCleanTM  technology moderates the output by alternating active and resting phases to achieve maximum efficiency
  • Great for kitchens, bathrooms and other small rooms
  • Plugs directly into a wall outlet with no additional wires or adaptors
  • Chemical and fragrance free

MSRP $99.99



Perfect for kitchens, bathrooms or mudrooms, the ScentLok OZ100 Small Room Deodorizer plugs directly into the wall to kill ambient odors before they can contaminate you or your hunting gear… or upset the delicate olfactory sensibilities of guests.




ScentLok OZ500 Large Room Deodorizer /Model 82912

  • Ozone destroys odors, bacteria, fungus, and mold
  • Attacks virtually all types of odors
  • CycleCleanTM  technology moderates the output by alternating active and resting phases to achieve maximum efficiency
  • Plugs into the OZInjectTM tubing system in the ScentLok OZChamber 8K Bag or ScentLok
  • Great as a stand-alone unit to deodorize large spaces like a garage or cabin
  • Includes a 12V DC power supply, vehicle power adaptor and transport tubing
  • Chemical and fragrance free

MSRP $149.99



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Sign Of The Apocalypse? Weird Fish Washing Ashore In Alaska

Strange creatures few can identify washing ashore in Alaska? Sounds like a bad plot spin-off of Sharknado.

Per the Anchorage Daily News, something at least close to this happened in Alaska:

The brown, frozen animal Rietze found is a ragfish, and little is known about them. A few have washed up on beaches in Gustavus and Juneau, according to recent news reports, but they’re a rare find. Commercial trawlers, seiners and gillnetters sometimes catch them off the southern coasts of California, north to the Bering Sea and in waters off Japan.

Because they live at great depth, few ragfish are found on beaches, according to a 2003 scientific paper written by George Allen, professor emeritus in the fisheries department at Humboldt State University. Southeast Alaska is the exception.

“A surprisingly large number of adults have been hand-collected from the beaches of bays and inlets of southeastern Alaska,” Allen wrote in the paper published by the Marine Fisheries Review. “Other recoveries from beaches in southeastern Alaska were made by school children on field trips and by young boys on fishing trips near Kake and Petersburg.”

 Allen drew on scientific literature, studies and accounts from fishermen dating back to 1880 as sources for his paper. Ragfish have come to scientists primarily through fishermen and citizens who deliver them to fisheries management personnel, museum curators and ichthyologists. In 1998 and 1999, state and federal fisheries biologists in Juneau and Petersburg provided researchers with 16 ragfish records.

Other specimens have been found in the stomachs of sperm whales and Steller sea lions.

OK, now.




“Dakota” Fred Hurt Diving For Riches In Gold Rush Spinoff

Photos by the Discovery Channel.

The following appears in the February issue of Alaska Sporting Journal:


The Dakota Boys are back in Alaska. 

Never mind that Fred Hurt and his son Dustin both have connections to the oilfields and offshore drilling waters of Texas and Louisiana, fans of the Discovery Channel series Gold Rush got to know Fred based on his time as a miner in Minot, North Dakota. But the Last Frontier has become a second home, and after an on-screen hiatus from Gold Rush the Hurts have staked a claim along the rushing waters of the Panhandle’s McKinley Creek as part of a spin-off series, Gold Rush: White Water. 

“A lot of it, of course, involves the scenery and the remoteness of where we were,” the 72-year-old Hurt says of the appeal of his return to mining and the new series that premiered last month. “That’s going to be a big part of this show. And it was quite the physical endurance for this old man. I’m working with a bunch of young bucks.” 

This time it’s Dustin Hurt’s claim that papa Fred is helping to mine, which if the premiere episode from January suggests, should make for some entertaining back and forth between two stubborn miners. 

“Fred likes to think he’s in charge,” Dustin says of his dad during the premiere episode. “He’s got his way of talking down to me and I don’t think he means it. But when he does it, it’s enough to set you off. But he’s my dad. I love him. 

And Fred can be convincing, as he helped negotiate an investment from his former boss, veteran Gold Rush poobah Todd Hoffman, who fronted the Dakota Boys $50,000 to get their operation off the ground (Hoffman negotiated for 15 percent off the gold profits, much to Dustin’s chagrin before accepting those terms). 

“Todd and I have gotten along just fine. He is an excellent promoter,” Fred Hurt says of Hoffman. “Todd knows me as an older guy from the days when a handshake made your word as good as gold. ‘Nuf said.”

We spent some time chatting with the likeable Fred Hurt, who didn’t fail to disappoint. 

The son Dustin (left) and
the father Fred Hurt who make up Gold Rush’s Dakota Boys.

Chris Cocoles McKinley Creek looks like a pretty intense environment for gold mining. How was that for you and the crew in person?  

Fred Hurt It is quite an adventure. You know that Alaska is on the bucket list for about 20 million people. And the reason is it’s not just because of the resources and everything, but it’s because of the scenery. And I’m going to tell you what? We are absolutely working right smack in the middle of some of the best scenery that you can ever imagine in Alaska. And it’s breathtaking.

CC That’s true. And your Facebook page ( has a lot of great photos of wildlife and others. What’s the overall Alaska experience been like you and does anything stand out for you?

FH We’ve had some bear encounters, and we had one, a grizzly bear and a couple of cubs, that didn’t get recorded. I was sitting on the other side (of the creek), and some of the fellas on the other side were there with no armaments or nothing. And they startled a mama bear. It really scared them beyond belief. And it charged them twice – bluff-charged them twice. They were screaming and yelling, and from across the canyon – about 400 and something feet away, I could hear them just as plain as day, screaming their lungs out. And that mama bear had two small cubs that they didn’t even see. But we had a lot of wildlife adventures. Bears were our biggest thing.

Paul Richardson crossing the canyon carrying his chainsaw.

CC What I do want to compliment you on is I hope I have your energy level when I’m your age.

FH Thank you. Hey, it’s not always there, but I’m trying to make an example for a bunch of the old guys. I’m not trying to discourage them from watching any of Gold Rush: White Water. But they need to get off the couch and go do something – when the show is not on, of course [laughs]. 

CC Is that drive to be active in your DNA?

FH Yes. For me personally, when we first started, I’ve said on camera that I’m out of shape; I need to get back into shape. And let me tell you: It’s the most out of shape that I’ve ever been in my life. I’d always done construction work and I was a commercial diver in my younger days out in the Gulf of Mexico – oilfield diving and things of that nature. And I had my own construction business, and that kept me in very good shape for pile driving and dock building and all that type of stuff. But when I retired out of that when I was 60 years old and went to Alaska, it was like stepping from one profession that prepared me for gold mining. 

CC The people I’ve interviewed for some of these (Alaska-based) shows like Bering Sea Gold and Gold Rush, they’ve talked about their obsession with gold. Is that how it has been for you and Dustin? 

FH I guess if I had to rate it – you’d call it the gold fever or any kind of obsession with the gold – I’d rate it about a two. I’ve been going gold mining for now 15 years in Alaska. And I’ve never gotten rich at it, but I’ve always been fascinated by the scenery, the people who I’ve met – man, did I meet some characters. [Laughs.] We always met characters in Alaska, and this is what keeps bringing me back. But getting gold is fascinating. Every time you see that yellow stuff in the sluice box or in your pan, let me tell you, it’s a thrill. I think it’s the pioneer spirit. We’re reliving that stuff in 2017 or 2018! 

Fred Hurt crosses the canyon on the zip wire.

CC What’s McKinley Creek like in terms of the terrain? There were miners 100 years ago who were mining in that same creek and it looks so treacherous. 

FH Those old-time guys were tough. I don’t care how tough anybody is this these days. Not a one of them is tougher than some of those old gold miners were. And you get a sense of that today when you go up there and see what they did. We saw relics of old (mining) stuff that they had built up at the McKinley Creek site. And these are canyon walls that are not sloping walls down 45 degrees. These are vertical walls that go 200 feet straight down. [Laughs.] They’re treacherous and narrow. The canyons that McKinley and Porcupine (Creeks) carve are very narrow, particularly in McKinley Creek, which is extremely narrow in some places. In fact, we were working in a very narrow area, which presented its own problems. And we had to do a lot of hiking just to get those points; blazing a trail onto the edge of the creek was quite a task. 

CC In that first episode you had guys rappelling on ropes and ziplining between the canyon walls. That’s pretty intense. 

FH Like I’ve said before, it’s so intense some people will just cringe about what we’ve been doing. Now, I know that sometimes the camera will make it a little more dangerous than it really is, but in this case, it pretty much is the real deal. And the film crew ate with us and slept with us, hiked the canyons with us. They did quite a job, and not just the camera guys but the support guys and the security guys too. I have high hopes that people will want to watch this. 

Dustin submerged to his chest in McKinley Creek.

CC Does your diving background help in terms of the underwater mining on the creek?

FH I did some of the nicest diving you could ever do but also a lot of the dirtiest diving you can ever do. I did it all: demolitions, salvaging, pipelines. Dig ’em up, locate them, bury them, blow them up – all that good stuff. [Laughs.] When it came to doing this, it’s something like riding a bicycle; you don’t forget, no matter what kind of age you’ve got on you. You still remember all that. So it helped me prepare and set up the diving stations. A lot of it was Dustin and I didn’t agree on a lot of stuff. [Laughs.]

CC That conflict was pretty evident in the first episode.

FH He was kind of wanting to exert his authority. But we are working on his claims. And this is one of the big differences (from the Dakota Boys’ previous mining ventures). He wanted to show some leadership there, and of course he’s going to get some feedback from the old man. [Laughs.] Sometimes you don’t want to hear it.

CC Are you and Dustin both kind of alpha personalities?

FH We are both strong-headed people who have our own opinions. Of course, mine are always better than his, as I’ve got the experience. [Laughs.] Not always better, but more experienced in it. 

Dustin Hurt drills wall brackets into the steep wall of riverbank.

CC Has it been a good experience to work with your son like you have?

FH Dustin had some rough teenage years; I won’t go into the details, but before he went to college he quit school and didn’t want to go. So I put him to work on my own crew and we worked for four years together doing some really hard construction waterfront work like pile driving and dock building. And he got a lot of experience. But after that, we didn’t work together for like 30 years. He was a forest firefighter in California and I convinced him to come work with me for the first summer that I was in Alaska. And we butted heads even then. But we’d come to agreements, and this is something that fathers and sons and mothers and daughters and brothers and sisters, they will all understand these family dynamics. 

CC You’re from Texas and Louisiana originally. Are you any kind of an outdoorsman and fisherman/hunter?

FH I was an avid fisherman from grade school on. I’m going to reveal something that only you know: I was No. 1 or No. 2 in my class always … from the bottom! [Laughs]. And I’ll tell you why: because I loved to fish. I used to go fish and wouldn’t do my homework. And finally something in high school got me clicked. But I still went fishing a tremendous amount. And then I got into sport diving, mostly off the coast of Corpus Christi, Texas, off Padre Island. But I also did a lot of spearfishing and was a spearfishing championship winner. Mostly I wanted to go into marine biology when I was younger. But I found out later that they don’t get paid very much. [Laughs]. But I also had a great interest in geology, which I took a little bit of in college. And I should have pursued geology. But I also did a lot of quail and dove hunting down in south Texas. I wasn’t really a deer hunter; it just wasn’t my thing. But I was a big bird hunter. 

Fred Hurt smiling on the trail to McKinley.

CC At your age now, is retiring anytime soon on your calendar?

FH RetiringAre you kidding? When I’m 6 feet under, I’m retiring. [Laughs]. Or if I can’t do it and sitting in a rocking chair or wheelchair, I’m still going to be doing something. I hope I’m an inspiration to some of these older guys. They might think, “Oh, hell; life’s over and I’m just meh.” But I’m still talking I want to inspire. That’s my attitude. ASJ

Editor’s note: New episodes of Gold Rush: White Water can be seen on Friday nights on the Discovery Channel, including tonight). Check out for more. Follow Fred Hurt on Twitter (@GoldrushFred).

Alaska Sportfishing License Sales Drop

Here’s the Kenai Peninsula Herald on a drop in total Alaska sportfishing licenses purchased in 2017 after an increase in licensing fees the previous year.:

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s sportfishing license sales fell last year, even while its revenue from license sales increased.

The department was expecting the decline, though, said Division of Sportfish Director Tom Brookover in a presentation to the Alaska House of Representatives Finance Subcommittee on Fish and Game on Tuesday.

“When you increase fees, the number tends to drop,” he said. “But the revenues went up … when you compare just the calendar years’ revenues.”

The Legislature approved an increase in license fees in 2016 to go into effect in 2017. Resident sportfishing licenses — which last all year — increased to $29 per license, and nonresident license fees increased to $25 for a one-day license and to $70 for a week license. The goal was to raise revenue on both hunting and fishing licenses that Fish and Game could apply as local match to obtain more funding from the federal Pittsman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act and the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act.