All posts by Chris Cocoles

The Fast-Moving Target Sight

SeeAllOpenSight

The See All Open Sight is an open sight with an optical advantage! Just line up the easy-to-find triangular cross-hair reticle and shoot – it’s that easy. See both the sight and the target in perfect focus simultaneously by eliminating eye focus straying between target, front post and rear notch in other set ups. Micro-adjustable for windage and elevation, its open design allows you to see a wider field of view at a fraction of the cost of a scope – perfect for fast-moving targets.

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The aiming system will work on virtually anything with a rail – from rifles and shotguns, to handguns, muzzle loaders and black guns – even crossbows! A battery-free design means it will never lose its aiming point. It’s rugged enough to stand up to rain and snow and will never fog up. It can even withstand being run over by a full-sized truck, so a few bumps and nudges along the way won’t mis-align it.

The All Open Sight is designed and manufactured in the United States, and offers a 30-day, 100-percent Money Back Guarantee. It also promises a lifetime replacement on materials and workmanship, so you can be confident that the See All Open Sight will never let you down.

Not Ready To Hunt Alaska Yet? Try Nevada

 

(Bighorn sheep photo courtesy of the Nevada Department of Wildlife) 

Lower 48ers in the West who are dreaming of hunting in Alaska – and how would any hunter not want to stalk moose, caribou or bears in the Last Frontier at least one time? – and are looking for an alternative closer to home, why not try Nevada?

Here is some info from the Nevada Department of Wildlife on applying for the upcoming season’s big game tags. The deadline is April 20:

If you’re interested in hunting big game in Nevada this year, the Nevada Department of Wildlife wants to remind everyone that the big game application process is now open. 
Nevada offers a good variety of big game opportunities for deer, elk, bear, pronghorn antelope, mountain goat and bighorn sheep. The Silver State is one of just a few states to possess three sub-species of bighorn sheep (desert, rocky mountain and California). Deer, elk and antelope offer additional options for weapon type (rifle, archery, and muzzleloader), sex (male or female) and season dates. 
Again this year, NDOW is offering some combination hunt options that allow sportsmen hunting in predetermined areas the chance of hunting a cow elk simultaneous to hunting a mule deer, and one that allows sportsmen the chance to hunt a cow elk while also hunting bull elk. 
The deadline is Monday, April 20. Online applicants have until 11 p.m. Sportsmen looking to apply for the hunt online can visit www.huntnevada.com. Hunters that choose to use the traditional paper application must use the U.S. Postal Service to submit their applications, which must be received by the Wildlife Administrative Services Office by 5 p.m. to qualify.
To help hunters understand the application process and make informed choices, the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) provides a vast amount of information. Hunter’s can find population reports, draw odds and harvest statistics, maps, Hunter Information Sheets and much more on the agency’s website at ndow.org. 
The 2015 quotas will be set by the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners at their May 15 and 16 meeting in Reno.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at www.ndow.org.

Wood Bison To Be Introduced Again In Alaska

One hundred wood bison are set for release in Alaska this month. (Ansgar Walk/Wikimedia)

One hundred wood bison are set for release in Alaska this month. (Ansgar Walk/Wikimedia)

 

It’s been over a century since wood bison roamed Alaska. But that’s about to change. From the Associated Press:

A hundred wood bison that will be the foundation for the first wild herd on U.S. soil in more than a century have been safely delivered to a rural Alaska village, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

 “They are acclimating very rapidly,” said department biologist Cathie Harms. “They are doing very well so far.”

They likely will be released from Shageluk into the Innoko Flats in one or two weeks, she said.

Wood bison are native to Alaska, but disappeared from the state more than a century ago.

They’re bigger than plains bison found in Lower 48 states and are North America’s largest land animal. Adult wood bison bulls can weigh more than 2,000 pounds and cows up to 1,200 pounds.

Wood bison from Canada were imported to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in 2008 but restoration of the threatened species was delayed. Landowners didn’t want their property listed as critical habitat with additional federal oversight. The state and federal governments agreed to consider the Alaska wood bison as “experimental” without the usual Endangered Species Act requirements.

An Obit We All Should Hope For

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I’ve told friends and my family I hope there will be a lot of laughs when whoever bothers to show up for my “celebration of life” when that day does come. Well, pencil me in for a similar obituary as this guy’s. 

Some highlights from the Homer Tribune, and written by the man’s daughter:

Captain Donald Alexander Malcolm Jr., 60, died Feb. 28, 2015, nestled in the bosom of his family, while smoking, drinking whiskey and telling lies. He died from complications resulting from being stubborn, refusing to go to the doctor, and raising hell for six decades. Stomach cancer also played a minor role in his demise.  

After spending his formative years in Kirkland, Wash. with a fishing pole in hand, Don decided his life’s calling was to yell at deckhands on commercial fishing boats in Alaska. 

Don had a life-time love affair with Patsy Cline, Rainier beer, iceberg lettuce salads and the History Channel (which allowed him to call his wife and daughters everyday in order to relay the latest WWII facts he learned).

Although Don worked nearly every fishery in the Pacific Northwest at one time or another, his main hunting ground was the Bering Sea. He cut his teeth crabbing; kept his family fed by longlining halibut and black cod; then retired as a salmon gillnetter in Southeast Alaska.

 He met his future wife, Maureen (Moe) Belisle Malcolm, after months at sea, crab fishing. He found her in his bed and decided to keep her. 

RIP, Don!

ASJ Cover Boy Defends Iditarod Title

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Cover image courtesy of Albert Lewis, seespotrun.com

This is shaping up to be a great week for Dallas Seavey. The cover subject of our March issue of Alaska Sporting Journal  just defended his 2014 Iditarod title with his third overall championship.

Here’s some of the Associated Press report via ESPN:

The Alaska musher crossed the finish line in the Bering Sea coastal town of Nome at 4:13 a.m., completing the route in eight days, 8 hours, 13 minutes and 6 seconds. That’s about five hours longer than the record he set in winning the 2014 race.

“Obviously going into this race, the big hubbub was all about the new trail, right?” Seavey told a packed convention hall. Concerns were about the “warm, warm, warm winter” and conditions on the Yukon River.

In fact, a snowmobile sank on thin ice on part of the route mushers were about to take. Some were considering buying rain gear.

But then winter came back to Alaska, and the trails became much more like one would expect for the Iditarod.

“We saw a lot of 40-, 50-below zero, snow,” said Seavey, of Willow. “This was a very tough race. It was not the easy run that a lot of people had anticipated for the Yukon River.”

Seavey’s father, Mitch, finished in second place Wednesday, followed by Aaron Burmeister. Behind them en route to Nome were Jessie Royer and Aliy Zirkle.

To win this demanding race three times in four years – his dad Mitch won the other – is a testament to not just Dallas Seavey but the dogs in his team (Alaska Dispatch has video of him crossing the finish line in Nome).

Seavey’s adventures in Alaska continue this Sunday night at 10 p.m. Pacific in the season finale of his National Geographic Channel series, Ultimate Survival Alaska.  Seavey’s Endurance team was in last place among the four teams, but anything can happen in the final challenge. But he’s already won the show’s season competition already, so his legacy is secure. And winning another Iditarod by the age of 28 puts him among the sport’s elite mushers, with seemingly plenty of races ahead of him.

Here’s Seavey to the Fairbanks News-Miner:

“The wins are a result of doing what we love. It takes a whole team to get us here.”

Finally, here’s our story on Dallas (Photos by Dallas Seavey and National Geographic Channel):

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By Chris Cocoles

Not including Dallas Seavey’s “home” squad – with wife, Jennifer and daughter, Annie – he is a vital leader of two teams that are a huge part of his life.

Seavey, who turns 28 this month, is a veteran of the National Geographic Channel series Ultimate Survival Alaska (the season finale will air on March 22 at 10 p.m., 9 Central, with new shows on Sunday nights). He’s appeared on all three seasons, leading Team Endurance to the title in season two last year and welcomed two new teammates for season three, which wraps up this month.

“It was intriguing because we were traveling across Alaska, living out of a backpack and seeing some of the most unique and strange terrain that this state has to offer,” Seavey says. “And that always takes a level of creativity and ingenuity to work your way through that environment. And it was particularly intriguing to us because that’s what my family has grown up doing.”

And for essentially the entire year, particularly the 10 or so days of the Iditarod that define the sport starting on March 9 when the race will start from Fairbanks due to low snowfall, Seavey is carrying on his family’s distinguished tradition among Alaska’s sled dog-racing community. He’s mushed his dog teams to win the sport’s premier event,  in both 2012 (when, at 25, he was the race’s youngest champion), and 2014 (when at 8 days, 13 hours, 4 minutes and 19 seconds, he won the race in record time; quite a contrast from inaugural winner Dick Wilmarth needing over 20 days to complete the course in 1973).

It’s quite the busy life, but it’s exactly the way Seavey prefers his days to go: raising and racing dogs throughout his home state, conquering mental and physical challenges in the Alaskan bush, and introducing Annie to dog mushing, which three generations of Seaveys have thrived on since the 1960s. The family has dominated the last three Iditarods, Dallas’ two titles sandwiched around his father Mitch becoming the – wait for it – oldest winner of the 1,000-mile, “Last Great Race on Earth” at age 53 in 2013, his second title. Dallas’ grandfather and Mitch’s dad Dan Sr. was one of the founding fathers of the Iditarod’s inaugural race in the early 1970s. With Seaveys winning the last three races, it’s a golden era for the family

“There something to competing with your dad. And especially since my dad and I were very close,” Dallas Seavey says. “When I was with my dad in 2013 at (the White Mountain checkpoint), only 77 miles to go and him within striking distance of his second Iditarod win, it was a neat experience.”

It wasn’t the first time Seaveys had shared the stage.

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WHAT’S A PRODUCER’S dream? Cast two brothers in a live-action series where contestants are thrown into the middle of nowhere and given a challenge to get to a destination faster than their opponents. At 26, Dallas was already a household name in Alaska based on his 2012 Iditarod win and, when approached by National Geographic to do Ultimate Survival Alaska, convinced older brother Tyrell, then 28, to join him.

Surely, the siblings would provide compelling conversations and, maybe, if the show was lucky, some epic arguments as they decided on a plan of attack for whatever rivers needed to be crossed or mountains needed to be climbed. Except it wasn’t quite a family feud.

“We’ve always worked together,” says Dallas of his and Tyrell’s jobs at their dad’s kennel. “And that’s a different relationship when you work with somebody rather than having to co-habitate in the same building. And a lot of siblings are, I suppose. They don’t force you to interact beyond a certain degree. But we were always solving problems and being forced to work together. So I think we hatched out most of our differences by the time we were 12.”

Dallas called it “silent communication,” when conversations about how to approach the tasks at hand would almost become telekinetic mojo between he and Tyrell. Dallas considered this as two battle-tested Alaskans who knew exactly what problems lay ahead in the area’s topography, potential weather issues that confront them or the odds of accomplishing the goals with the limited tools and supplies they were given.

So in sync with each other were the Seaveys, when they plotted their course, they were encouraged by the cameraman to interact a little more. But that “we may not be flashy, we are effective” technique fit well into the equation. Bring together a small group of alpha-type personalities who all feel like their way is the best way, and you’re sure to get disagreements.

“It’s the Seavey way to just get the job done; not a lot of flair, not a lot of extra conversations,” says Dallas, who came back the next season. As one of three members of Team Endurance, Dallas and his mates, Eddie Ahyakak and Sean Burch, beat out the other three-person teams to win the competition with complete strangers he’d never met before filming began. For season three, there’s another entirely new team in place – mountaineer Ben Jones and heli-ski guide Lel Tone. But for Seavey, the spirit of the show as far as he is concerned is intact.

While everyone has a background in some semblance of adventure sports to, in theory, handle the terrain – an earlier third-season episode saw the teams try to cross the swift currents of the Talkeetna River – it’s as much a mental as it is a physical grind. Seavey went so far as arguing the psychological effects can sink you more than having the fitness to traverse the Alaskan bush.

“Yes, you have to have the physical talent to do this stuff. And that’s not easy, but we almost take that for granted. The people who are out there are outdoor, active people,” he says. “But the real game comes down to the mental side. One of the major factors that gets often overlooked in these group situations: Here we are, warm and well fed and watered. But now let’s try it when we’re cold and miserable, and probably haven’t slept properly in several weeks, and are severely malnourished. Hunger is one of the biggest attitude changers out there.”

All the factors combined provide a thinking player’s game that has brought Seavey back for more of his second career on Ultimate Survival Alaska on top of success as a professional dog musher.

“Creativity and challenges are what I thrive on. That’s what I do when racing the Iditarod. We try to recognize a problem, break it down to its most basic elements and solve it,” he says. “Whether it’s building a new racing sled or coming up with new strategies in the Iditarod, it’s problem solving. There’s definitely a mad -scientist aspect for when you come to a crossroads of a problem that you don’t have an answer for.”

Dallas dogs side shot

DALLAS SEAVEY WAS at a crossroads once. Though his promising wrestling career was pinned by injuries, he knew the family business of rigging up dogs to a sled and traveling fast through the snow. Grandpa Dan did it; his father Mitch did it. It was what the names Andretti and Unser were to motorsports, Sutter to hockey, Williams to tennis and Manning to football. A Seavey is expected to successfully race dogs through the treacherous Alaskan wilderness.

“My granddad moved to Alaska in the 1960s to be an ‘Alaskan.’ When he helped start the Iditarod, it was as much fun to plan the race as it actually meant to go do it,” Dallas says of Iditarod Hall of Fame inductee Dan Sr., who as recently as 2012 competed in the race, at 74 years old. “They were trying to figure out if it was possible to run 1,000 miles across Alaska.”

The race has now gone international after its early years usually featured Alaskans only. Most of the members of the Seavey family, including Dallas’s wife Jennifer, have competed in at least one Iditarod. The Seavey kids were home-schooled, mostly so they could have access to the tasks of maintaining the Seward-based family business of raising and racing sled dogs (it’s now known as Seavey’s Ididaride Racing Team and Sled Dog Tours).  Mitch cared for more than 100 dogs at his kennel, and oldest brothers Danny, Tyrell and Dallas – they also have a fourth brother, aspiring singer Conway Seavey – were given various duties to make sure the dogs were fed and exercised.

Dallas made his Iditarod debut in 2005 at just 18 (the minimum age to compete) and was the youngest musher to finish the race, coming in 51st. But it wasn’t until 2009 that he was actually “competitively” racing in the event. He still seemed like a longshot to win the 2012 race, given that most previous winners were in their 30s, 40s or even 50s (Seavey said the average age of the previous 20 winners was 42). Conversely, his kennel, made up of dogs he purchased from his dad and other fellow mushers, was just 3 years old at that point. So it wasn’t as if he was known for grooming championship dogs.

“I was competing with these teams that had been going for 20 or 30 years. It’s a refining process, where you’re continually breeding from the best to the best of the best for the dogs. These dogs are just insane athletes. We were way behind the eight ball there,” Seavey says.

“It certainly seemed like from the outside, a 25-year-old racing in his fourth competitive Iditarod saying, ‘I’m going to win it and become the youngest winner ever,’ must have seemed either extremely arrogant or naïve; probably both. Maybe I was just naïve enough, just dumb enough, to believe that I could win the Iditarod. It doesn’t mean we have a lock on this race. But this was the first team I had that I knew had the potential to win – if we did everything right.”

Check. Seavey’s win was remarkable given the historical odds were so against him. This had been a sport where Father Time – like his dad – was an advantage over youthful enthusiasm. But here was the 25-year-old, a year before his father was dismissing the trend of mushers his age, winning the Last Great Race on Earth. He sat below Nome’s famed Burled Arch, sharing the stage with two of Seavey’s five lead dogs from the race, Diesel and Guinness. They were covered in yellow roses and showered with cheers from the crowd on Nome’s Front Street. Man and dogs were exhausted after such a grueling race (talk about ultimate Alaskan survival). He hugged both dogs, feeling as though winning the race was simply a bonus for appreciating what they accomplished.

It’s what this race is all about and carrying on the family’s legacy as some of Alaska’s storied sports’ personalities.

“It’s an incredible feeling. For 355 days a year I’m a dog musher, and to develop these dogs to their highest potential and to make each dog the best athlete that their genetic potential has allowed them and help them maximize that potential. That’s what a dog musher is, in my mind,” Seavey says. “For the other 10 days a year, give or take, we are focused on not necessarily winning the Iditarod, but running the best possible race. And if I run the team to the best of their ability, that is a goal met.”

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UAF Rifle Team Places Second in NCAA’s

Photo courtesy of Alaska Fairbanks athletic department

Photo courtesy of Alaska Fairbanks athletic department

 

In this month’s issue of Alaska Sporting Journal we have a package on the University of Alaska Fairbanks rifle team, which has quietly been a dynasty with 10 national championships. The Nanooks were ranked second in the nation when they hosted the NCAA Championships last weekend in Fairbanks.

UAF finished second to No. 1 West Virginia:

Many members of the team are also hunters. (UAF )

Many members of the team are also hunters. (UAF )

 

Alaska won the smallbore championship last night, holding off West Virginia by an impressive twelve shots, but it was unable to overcome the top air rifle team in the nation, as the Mountaineers rallied to defeat the Nanooks by two overall shots, 4,702 to 4,700.

“Coming in we knew that we were probably the top smallbore team in the country,” said head coach Dan Jordan. “We shot really well yesterday, but we came up just short today. West Virginia shot a phenomenal air gun today. We can’t do anything more than what we did. Both teams shot really well this weekend.”

In third place overall was Texas Christian University, who matched Nebraska’s 4,667 points, but hit 13 more 10x-shots to clinch the tiebreaker. The Cornhuskers did place in the smallbore competition, as they were in third place after last night’s action. Jacksonville State was the Championships’ fifth-place team and also went home with a trophy, as it finished in third place in the air rifle portion. Kentucky’s tally of 4,657 was good for sixth-place, while the United States Air Force Academy and Murray State placed seventh and eighth, respectively.

Alaska’s Tim Sherry placed eighth overall after finals, to lead the Nanooks, following up on his fifth-place individual finals in smallbore, last night.

Maren Prediger of West Virginia was the top individual following finals, as she topped a full contingent of Mountaineer medalists. West Virginia’s Michael Bamsey placed second overall and Garrett Spurgeon was the third best shooter. Spurgeon was also named the NCAA Championship’s Top Overall Performer.

Sherry’s 596 was the highest shot total of any Nanook, qualifying him for finals. Mats Eriksson and Ryan Anderson were Alaska’s next best shooters, as they each scored 592 points. Lorelie Stanfield and Sagen Maddalena rounded out the Nanooks, with respective shot totals of 589 and 588.

Here’s our story on the team’s coach, Jordan, who was paralyzed in a climbing accident but does not let his physical limitations slow him down from coaching or enjoying the outdoors:

Photo by Dan Jordan

Photo by Dan Jordan

 

By Chris Cocoles
University of Alaska rifle team coach Dan Jordan says he really hadn’t been challenged much by the time he’d reached the summer after his sophomore year at the same school.
In May 1999, Jordan had just completed his sophomore year on the Nanooks rifle team when he and a close friend and teammate, Amber Darland, went rock climbing north of Fairbanks.
“I was climbing and my safety pieces broke out, so I fell about 60 feet,” says Jordan who was asked by rescuers, was he allergic to anything. In a Denver Post story from a few years back, he recalled deadpanning an answer that would reflect on his ability to handle such a life-altering tragedy: “Rocks.”
He was paralyzed throughout his lower body.

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JORDAN GREW UP in rural Franktown, Colo., not far from Colorado Springs. His family wasn’t into hunting or guns, but young Dan “was infatuated with hunting and shooting from the time I was a little kid.”
His parents put Jordan into the local 4-H club so he could learn gun safety from those who did know something about firearms
He would spend endless hours shooting targets attached to hay bales in nearby cow pastures. He’d hunt with a fellow football player and his father, who was their high school coach. Jordan referred to his coach as a “mountain man” who took the boys on an epic elk and deer hunt and slept in teepees; they wore buckskins and lived out a Grizzly Adams/Jeremiah Johnson experience.
“In the winter we shot in cow and chicken barns at the fairgrounds,” Jordan says. “When I went to the state fair and saw Olympic-style shooting, I was enthralled by it.”
Jordan went to Alaska for college and was an All-American in both smallbore and air rifle in 1998 and 1999. He didn’t have a care in the world – until May 23, 1999, the date of the accident.
“I’ve always looked at it as my life was very easy before that,” he says. “I was pretty athletic and school was always easy for me. I never had to work hard at anything. So I looked at it as I finally had a challenge in my life; it’s something I’m going to have to work at.”

Dan Joordan and his wife, Amber

Dan Joordan and his wife, Amber

THREE DAYS AFTER his fall, Jordan was flown closer to home in Colorado, but after surgery and spending almost two months rehabbing in a Denver hospital – “I got tired of being there,” he said – he told his parents he wanted to return to school in Fairbanks that August. Mom and Dad understandably wanted him to delay going back so soon and adjust to life in his wheelchair and skip a semester.
“My kind of mentality was, I would rather come up in August or September and learn how to negotiate my way around, rather than come back up in January where everything was snowy and cold,” Jordan says.
“I came back somewhere around Aug. 26, got all settled in and told my parents I was leaving to go moose hunting. So one of my teammates took me and we went moose hunting and slept in the back of his Suburban. So I guess you can say I got right back into it.”
That included training for and competing in the Paralympic Games. At the 2004 Athens Paralympics, Jordan left Greece with a silver medal in the smallbore three-position shoot.
The drive to regain the post-fall form and be accurate enough to compete in the Paralympics, let alone make it to a medal ceremony, became an obsession, much like every other obstacle he suddenly had to dodge.
“I never did it for anyone else,” he says. “I love shooting.”
And now he regularly hunts and fishes around Alaska from his wheelchair.
“One of the biggest things in life that makes me happy is just being outside,” he says. “Even when I was in the hospital days after surgery, my parents would get me in a wheelchair and just take me outside just to sit and see some sunshine.”
Steve Jordan would take his son fishing in the months after the fall, so you can imagine how emotional even a stoic Dan became on that first Alaskan moose hunt.
“Being able to come back and get back into hunting again, that’s what recharges my batteries.”

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GET TO KNOW Dan Jordan and you hope you can come away thinking similarly to his attitude. To hell with the challenges his condition might have prevented. To hell with the “why me” reaction so many of us might have screamed out if something of this magnitude was inflicted upon us.
“I never had a depression phase; I never went through any kind of anything,” Jordan says. “After surgery when I woke up, nobody had to me that I was paralyzed. You knew it. It was just, ‘OK, now what?’”
It started with the friend who watched his fall in horror. Amber Darland and Dan Jordan were already close friends, and it was Dan who had been futilely “kind of chasing her at the time” before the accident.
“Then when I got hurt, she kind of started chasing me and I didn’t want anything to do with her,” says Jordan, who was a year ahead of her in school and moved back to Colorado after graduation. They were separated again for a time being, but eventually their paths crossed back in Fairbanks for good.
“It took about 10 years of chasing each other,” he says.
Now they’re married, and Jordan has happily accepted that his accident wouldn’t define who he is.
“Things may take a little bit longer and I may have to get creative with how I do some things,” he says. “And there are some things I just flat out can’t do. But that’s part of it. So be it.”

 

Bering Sea Gold Returns Tonight!

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I’m currently working on a profile of the father and daughter dynamic between Bering Sea Gold dredgers Steve and Emily Riedel (above) for our April issue. Until then, take a peek at tonight’s fourth season opener of the popular Discovery Channel show.

Here’s a sneak preview of my story, about Steve Riedel’s sometimes frustrating experiences when after suffering a serious shoulder injury he struggled to find riches in Nome:

Ironically, when Steve did make his life-altering decision, he swears he was never blinded by false promises, or prone to having unrealistic expectations. In other words: there was never the disillusioned sense of getting rich quickly, if ever.
But even still it hasn’t gone liked he even hoped it might, despite at the time it being “the fresh start” he craved.
“It had been a three-year ordeal, and so just before we came up it was at the end of the healing cycle, so I was feeling pretty good about my body. I really hadn’t been able to use my shoulder for three years,” he says. “It had been very depressing so I felt really good. I wanted to do something in did sort of fit in. I just wanted to get a real job. Of course, gold mining is probably the total opposite of a real job.”
But reality did set on the last season of Bering Sea Gold. He eventually got his own dredge, the Minnow, but he and his crew never got off the ground and mined just $11,000-plus worth of gold, one of the lowest totals in the third season.
“There are people who come up and dump $30-, $40-, $50,000 into an operation and they leave, sell everything off at 20 cents to a dollar. There are a lot of people up here like that,” he says.

Here’s the release from our good friends at Discovery, with a couple preview videos:

Photo by the Discovery Channel

Photo by the Discovery Channel

 

 

BERING SEA GOLD (409)

Friday, March 13 at 10 PM ET/PT on the Discovery Channel

Good Morning, Veit-Nome: The summer dredging season has officially kicked off in Nome, Alaska – ground zero of the great American gold rush. With warmer weather brings jam-packed claims, unexpected storms and rising tempers where gold fever is a family affair. With more competition and a short Alaskan summer, the miners battle treacherous conditions and each other in hopes of finding gold, and with the stakes greater than ever, it isn’t long before drama hits the Bering Sea. Captain Shawn Pomrenke is on the hunt for the series’ first-ever thousand ounce season, but his father Steve’s return to the Christine Rose causes their rocky relationship to turn explosive. And back for her second year as Captain of the Eroica, Alaska’s first and only female dredge owner Emily Reidel aims to fight her way back from financial ruin.

 

 

Gold Rush Season Finale Tonight

 

 

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In 2014, we profiled Parker Schnabel, the whiz kid gold dredger on the Discovery Channel’s hit series, Gold Rush. Tonight, the show closes its fifth season with Schnabel as one of the key storylines.

Here’s the release from Discovery:

Discovery Channel’s #1-rated series, GOLD RUSH, wraps up its record-breaking fifth season on Friday, March 6, with a 2 hour super-sized finale.  It’s been a cold winter, but nothing compares to the Klondike at the end of gold season. Having set bigger goals than ever this season, the mine bosses push their crews to the limit and risk friendships, pride and money to get every last ounce of gold. Kicking off the night at 8 PM ET/PT is a historic episode of ‘The Dirt’ where passions will flare as Executive Producer Christo Doyle gathers all three mine bosses to discuss their mad dash to find gold.  Then following the ‘GOLD RUSH’ finale kicking off at 9 PM ET/PT, the miners will share their reactions as they watch from the set of THE DIRT.

 

 

 Episode listings below —

 

THE DIRT – Pre-Show

Friday, March 6 at 8 PM ET/PT on the Discovery Channel

Parker’s grandfather, John Schnabel, makes his Dirt debut and for the very first time, Executive Producer Christo Doyle gathers all three mine bosses, Parker Schnabel, Tony Beets and Todd Hoffman to discuss their mad dash to reach their season’s goal. The season was full of gold and as a result, the tension on set was palpable.

 

GOLD RUSH – Season 5 Finale

Friday, March 6 at 9 PM ET/PT on the Discovery Channel

Millions in Gold: In the season finale, with the Klondike winter closing in, Parker Schnabel faces mutiny when he announces one last push for 400 ounces. The Hoffman crew gets the largest dozer in the Klondike to secure land for next season and it’s hell or high water as Tony Beets has one last shot at getting his 75-year-old dredge mining for gold.Following the finale, Todd, Parker and Tony come together on the ‘Gold Rush’ after show to react to the exciting end of the season.

Headed To California? Fish For Big Bucks At Lake Isabella Derby

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Sorry to slip in a California-ish story on the blog, but if you’re going to be in California at the end of the month, check out the  Lake Isabella Fishing Derby, which is put on by our friends at the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce. The folks there provided us with this press release with some information on the trout derby at the Kern County Lake near Bakersfield. and scheduled for March 28-30.

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Despite the drought and a lower lake level, the Kern River Valley Chamber of Commerce and ReelChase are happy to announce that there will be a fishing derby this coming year. The 2015 Isabella Lake Fishing Derby will be held on March 28, 29 and 30!
According to the Chamber’s Fishing Derby Committee, some adjustments to the profile of the derby have been made, but they are confident that everyone who enters will have a great time. One of the changes this year, are a number of guaranteed winnings. According to the committee, the Chamber is looking forward to having the opportunity to give away some very good prize money. As always, Lake Isabella will have some of the largest trout in the area for the Derby and whether yours is a moneymaker or not, it will still prove to be a good diner size trout for you to enjoy.
This year’s big money prize trout will be worth a guaranteed $18,500! There will be 10 Longest Trout awards starting with the highest at $5,000 and descending to a $500 10th Longest Fish! The prizes will be structured in the following order; (1st Longest Trout) $5,000, (2nd) $4,000, (3rd) $3,000, (4th) $2,000, (5th) $1,000, (6th) $900, (7th) $800, (8th) $700, (9th) $600, & (10th) $500. That $5,000 catch will be worth $10,000 if it is caught by an angler wearing n official 2015 Derby T-shirt!

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Measuring will be taking place during Derby hours at Derby Headquarters only, which will be at the Lake Isabella Moose Lodge located at 6732 Lake Isabella Blvd. Along with these prizes, there will be a possibility for anglers to win in the always popular, Bobber Bowl Sweepstakes. Several, huge one pound plus trout with an official 2015 Derby tag will be worth up to $100 each, generously sponsored by local merchants, organizations and individuals.
Also this year, any registered fisherman will be able to win a Vacation Voucher worth $6,000 if they have the winning ticket! Tickets for the Voucher are only $20 each or six for $100.
More prizes and drawings that will be available at Derby Headquarters during the three-day event will be announced as March approaches. This year the entry fees will be $30 per individual and $65 per family. The Derby will start at 7 a.m. on Saturday, Mar. 28 and continue until 4 p.m. on Monday March 30, and the winners will be announced shortly after that the close of the derby.
Thank you in advance to all of the anglers from across California and beyond who will be coming out to the Kern River Valley for the derby. We welcome you and your families, and warmly invite you to have a great family weekend. Updates on the Isabella Lake Fishing Derby news to follow in the coming months before March! We’d also like to thank all of our sponsors for their support! This derby would not be possible without your continued generosity.
For additional information or to join the rest of us in registering call (760) 379-5236, e-mail us at office@kernrivervalley.com or friend us on the Lake Isabella Fishing Derby Facebook page for the latest posts.
GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!