All posts by Chris Cocoles

Husky Liners Protect Your Car From Messy Alaska


How is that we have more SUV’s and fewer dirt roads than ever before?
That’s a lot of plow horses being driven like show ponies. But if you’re
one of the seemingly fewer and fewer people who still uses your vehicle to
its full potential, you’ll appreciate what Husky Liners Vehicle Armor does
for your car, truck or SUV.

With Husky Liners, you can do what you do without having to fret over the potentially messy consequences.                                                                                                            Our engineers use state-of-the-art laser measuring technologies to ensure an
exact fit. From the Classic Style , to the WeatherBeater , to the X-act
Contour  all our floor and cargo liners are made of tough, durable
elastomeric materials with ‘nibs’ on the underside to prevent sliding or

Every one of our Husky Liners Vehicle Armor products is made
right here in America and are unconditionally guaranteed for life. So
visit for customer reviews and to find the floor liner
that best suits your vehicle.  And then get out there and do what you do.



Coeur d’Alene Dressing Company’s Sausage-Spiced Flavor



Making your own sausage couldn’t be easier using Coeur d’Alene Dressing Company’s  three sausage
seasoning blends: Hot Italian, Sweet Italian and Sage Breakfast. Just
add to a little water and mix into any ground meat, domestic or game,
grinding your own or have your local butcher grind something for you.
Use our seasoning blends for sausage patties, stuffing links or as a
great rub. Our products are made with no MSG, nitrates, fillers or
anti-caking ingredients.

Made with a dozen fine spices you can wake up
your taste buds with our Sage Breakfast Sausage blend. Our Sweet
Italian blend gives you a little sweet, a little warm…great for any
Italian dish, with cracked fennel, garlic and a few crushed chilis.
Try the Hot Italian blend if you want a robust, bold sausage that
leaves your lips “humming”.

Dedicated to providing great customer
service, we pride ourselves on making exceptional products at
reasonable prices. Check our other award-winning dressings, BBQ sauc
es, rubs and marinades at Call
800-687-1462 for free samples.

Nushagak king salmon run looking strong for 2014

Nushagak 11 023

Photos courtesy of Jake’s Nushagak Salmon Camp


Eli Huffman of Jake’s Nushagak Salmon Camp offered this report:

The 2014 Nushagak king salmon run is predicted to be a very good year.

The economy of the last five years has been a challenge for most outfitters in Alaska with a 60-percent  decline in fishermen and many operators going out of business.

Fortunately, the last 3 seasons have seen some of the best king salmon fishing in the Nushagak’s history The phenomenal fishing, and a high percentage of return guests, has helped Jakes prosper during the economic turmoil. We just celebrated our 30th year thanks to wonderful guests, excellent employees, and the best king runs in the world.

The 2013 run was in full blossom by middle June with the kings streaming through. For the 3rd year in a row the fishing was amazing with our boats setting records for the number of kings caught per day. The most unusual aspect was the fact that for the second year in a row early June through the third week were very warm with NO rain. Dillingham set a record of 19 days of pure sunshine.

The 20 hour a day sunshine caused the water to warm and the flood of sockeye began weeks early. Escapement for the reds is usually reached during the second week of July or later. This past season escapement was reached by the end of June which never happens. With the king escapement numbers running substantially ahead of schedule Fish and Game opened up commercial drift and setnet fishing 24 hours a day and our fishing slowed.
July is normally some of our best fishing with the stronger part of the run streaming through. But the fishing slowed when the nets went down.. Although some days in July were challenging by Nushagak standards our guests still harvested their limits and released plenty of fish back in the river to spawn. You know you are spoiled when over a dozen kings is a slow day.

Please click the links at the bottom of this page for fishing reports and articles from recent years.


Please give us a call if we can answer any questions or help you plan a visit.

Eli Huffman


713-865-3932 cell
866-692-9085 toll free

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Funtime RV In Tualatin Features ‘Superb’ Locally Built Models, And Is ‘Committed To Our Customers’

Funtime RV Inc. has been in the RV business almost 20 years. We have grown because of our excellent reputation and superb products. We truly believe in under-promising and over-delivering to our customers. They always express their experience as the best they have ever had, and would gladly refer family and friends to us.


Also, as a locally owned dealership we have superb products. That gives us a very good representation of what customers are buying today. We are almost exclusive Forest River, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, dealers, so we carry a lot of travel trailers and fifth wheels built in nearby Dallas, Ore. That reduces cost to our customers and it allows us to support the local economy as well. Plus, when we pick up RVs built there ourselves, not having to pay freight cost keeps our prices down.

The product that we carry that are built in the Western Oregon town are the Salem, the Surveyor, the RPod, and the Wildcats. Other Forest River products we carry are Cardinals, Blue Ridge, which are fifth wheels, while our motorhomes are Sunseekers, Soleras, F3s, Georgetowns and the Legacy diesel pusher. Plus, we have toyhauler Sandstorms and XLRs.

We are committed to our customers and want them to know they are important to us.

We are located at 18605 SW Pacific Drive, Tualatin, OR 97062

Our website is; our phone number is 866-925-9620; and you can email us through our contact page.

Family Fun at Chicken Gold Camp & Outpost



Chicken Gold Camp & Outpost (CGC), an RV park and campground which
includes a historic bucket line gold dredge listed as a National
Historic Site, is located in the center of the small, wilderness
community of Chicken Alaska. In addition to the 70 sites (20 or 30
amp) which have picnic tables and fire rings, there is a water fill-up
station, dump station and clean showers.

CGC also provides cabins and rooms with various combinations of single
to king beds. There is a restaurant, serving home made entries, beer
and wine, and an espresso bar serving fine Alaska roasted coffee,
smoothies/frosts and hand-dipped ice cream.

CGC also offers an excellent gift store and gallery showcasing Alaska
and Yukon native art & crafts as well as Chicken-themed items, a wide
selection of jewelry, pottery, clothing, hand-made knives, ulus,
prints and original paintings, collectables, etc.

Daily tours of the Pedro dredge and the accompanying historical gold
mining display are provided. CGC has also been one of the few places
in Alaska to offer recreational gold mining (from gold panning to
suction dredging), including equipment rentals and free instruction.
Gold panning and free lessons are offered on location at stand up

FREE WiFi is provided throughout the park, on the decks and in the
restaurant. FREE firewood is included with camping. Kayak rentals are
available for use on the nearby Fortymile Wild & Scenic River.

Another Pebble Mine Story

Not a lot of newsy material here that isn’t already known, but a nice perspective from a couple journalism students writing for McClatchy News Service about the fishing vs. mining debate (and if both industries would ever be able to succeed working side-by-side) that is the Bristol Bay Pebble Mine controversy.

Here’s a segment of the report from Diana Blass and Marina Cracchiolo:

Oil and gas largely drive revenue in Alaska, but those resources mainly stay in the U.S. – and they’re dwindling. Over the last decade, the Alaska Oil and Gas Association reported a 39 percent drop in production.
State Rep. Mia Costello, a Republican from Anchorage, thinks the Pebble Mine could be a way for Alaska to diversify its economy.
“Pebble is like a second Prudhoe Bay,” she said.
Sitting in the living room of her Anchorage home, Costello remembered the excitement that surrounded the discovery in the 1970s of Prudhoe Bay, the largest oil field in North America.
Right now, fishing and mining are the titans in Alaska’s export game. Might the dramatic expansion of one industry decimate the other?
“I think we ought to have both,” said Alsworth, the flying mayor.

Read more here:





Happy New Year from Alaska Sporting Journal

It’s hard to believe 2014 is already upon us. I’m now working on my fifth edition of Alaska Sporting Journal, and both the magazine and editor are works in progress. I hope we’ve delivered you some intriguing storylines thus far. And we hope to continue that well into 2014.

Here’s a good story to chew on for your Jan. 1 entertaintment. Arkansas native Sheri Coker recently moved to Alaska, and she’s fitting in this hunting-crazed state nicely. Here’s a story via the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on Coker, who is one of 12 finalists for the 2013 Prois Award, an annual national hunting prize given to a deserving female hunter. Here’s a little of Coker’s story:

The decision to submit an essay for the contest was a last-minute one, Coker said. She knew about the award after befriending last year’s winner, Ruth Cusack, from Chugiak, Alaska, on Facebook to ask her advice on what kind of hunting gear to bring to Fairbanks when they made the move north this past spring.

When she saw something posted on the Women Hunting Alaska Facebook page in November encouraging women hunters in Alaska to enter the contest, Coker decided to give it a shot. She submitted her essay on the last day of the application period.

“I wrote an essay and sent in a picture and thought that’d be the last I heard of it,” Coker said by cellphone Friday from Georgia, where she was preparing for a hog hunt with her husband. “I was very shocked when I got a phone call two weeks later and they told me I was a finalist.”

Coker is the only Alaskan among the finalists and even though she’s new to the state, she’s hoping Alaskans get behind her like they did Cusack last year to put her in the running to win.

“I’ve had a lot of support from Alaskans and people in Arkansas,” Coker said.

Congratulations to Sheri, and Happy New Year to you all.


Fairbanks newcomer up for national hunting award

Photo courtesy of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner



Atz Lee Kilcher Children On Reality Show

 By Chris Cocoles


Our Alaska Sporting Journal cover story is on the popular Discovery Channel reality show, Alaska: The Last Frontier. Correspondent Luke Kelly, who just happens to be an avid watcher of the show that chronicles the homesteading Kilcher family of Homer, Alaska, submitted a series of questions that were answered by Atz Lee Kilcher, son of the family’s current patriarch, Atz Kilcher, whose father Yule Kilcher immigrated to the U.S. from Switzerland and settled on Alaska with the intention of living a simple life away from bright lights and big (or even little) cities.  Atz Lee’s answers were rather short, but they seemed adequate enough to capture what the Kilchers are all about. Here are a couple of Atz Lee’s responses to Luke, and a few of the Discovery Channel photos we didn’t have room for in the story:

Luke Kelly When Yule Kilcher came to Alaska in 1936, he had a vision of the self-sufficient lifestyle that he wanted his children and grandchildren to live. How does that vision affect you today? Do you feel like you’ve lived up to it?

Atz Lee Kilcher His original vision was of a large scope. Thanks to my grandparents’ hard work, I am able to carry on the vision as well as pass it down to my kids, the fourth generation of Alaskan homesteaders.

LK Is all of the action that appears on screen real, or do you ever have situations that are presented to you?

ALK I am proud to say it is a non-scripted show! Some of the stuff they capture is by the pure luck of being around with a camera rolling.

 LK What would you like viewers to take away from your show?

ALK That regardless of where you live, you can do your own version of subsistence living; whether it’s growing herbs in a skyscraper window or catching a trout in a nearby pond instead of buying one.

The Kilchers are greeted with gorgeous settings like this every day. (THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

The Kilchers are greeted with gorgeous settings like this every day. (THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

Another of the Kilcher brothers, Eivin. (THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

Another of the Kilcher brothers, Eivin. (THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

A group gathering on a beaiutiful Alaska day. (THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

A group gathering on a beautiful Alaska day. (THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

The Kilchers are their DIY finest. (THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

The Kilchers at their DIY finest. (THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL)

Life Of An Alaskan Trapper

David G. Duncan, a Michigan resident, got to fulfill a longtime dream of fur trapping in Alaska. Local trapper Brad Parsons had David tag along, and he shared his story with us and will appear in the January issue of Alaska Sporting Journal. Here is a snippet of David’s story with some additional photos:

PUTTING TOGETHER THE PLANS for an expedition into a remote wilderness area, where small mistakes in planning could lead to real survival risks, got me to thinking how the great Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton must have felt as he planned his 1,500-mile hike to the South Pole. Well, I do know that most of the Antarctic explorers made it back safely, and they did not have modern snow machines or an experienced Alaskan trapper along on their adventure. So I was sure I had nothing to fear.
I had arrived at Brad’s cabin in early October, with two new snow machines and a lot of trapping equipment. Our plan was to use Brad’s 10-man squad tent as our base camp at Kaina Lake. So I thought it might be a good idea for me to live in the tent prior to our mountain trapping adventure, just to make sure there would be no surprises related to its ability to protect us against the 40- and 50-below temperatures. We would be relying on this tent for shelter during our several weeks’ stay at Kaina Lake. So for the next month I would call this tent my home as the temperatures steadily dropped from lows of 20 degrees Fahrenheit, to zero and below.
I had experienced several first-time moments already during my first few weeks living with Brad. He’d prepared us meals of delicious grizzly bear roast and steaks from a fresh-killed caribou. Now, with trapping season fast approaching, I was looking forward to adding lynx to my list of wild Alaskan meats I had eaten. Brad told me it tastes just like fine pork. Well, at least that is a switch; he did not say it tastes just like chicken!
Brad took me on a 10-mile hike on one of his trap lines near his cabin. I had the distinct feeling that the hike was probably more to check out my stamina and ability to withstand the rigors we would be facing during our upcoming Kaina Lake adventure. I am sure he must have been more than a little apprehensive as to whether a 66-year-old Michigan trapper could handle the extremes of a high-mountain, deep-snow trap line. Brad carried his Marlin .444 just in case we saw a caribou. We did not see any caribou on this hike, but we did see an old grizzly den site. Fortunately, no grizzly bear was at home on this day.

Photos courtesy of David G. Duncan

Trapper 10


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Merry Christmas from Alaska Sporting Journal

By Chris Cocoles

Merry Christmas, everyone. The January edition of Alaska Sporting Journal should be available for sale in the next week. We think this is an excellent issue to kick off the New Year. We have a diverse collection of stories, with everything from a cover story on the hit reality TV show Alaska: The Last Frontier, features on Alaska’s craft beer and distillery industry, a first-person account of  a Lower 48 man fulfilling his dream of fur trapping Alaska, and plenty more.

I’ll have some previews of those stories later this week and into next week leading into the New Year. So enjoy your holiday and be safe!