Category Archives: Featured Content

California Man Fined $10,000 For Illegal Bear Killings

A California man has been fined $10,000 after he plead guilty in the 2015 illegal killing of two bears in Southeast Alaska.

Here’s the Alaska Dispatch News with more:

A California man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Petersburg district court to killing two bears on Admiralty Island while hunting was closed, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Griffen Fales, 20, entered the plea on multiple wildlife misdemeanors, troopers said in an online dispatch.

Back in 2015, wildlife troopers based in Petersburg received a report of an unsalvaged brown bear on Admiralty Island in Southeast Alaska.

“(An) investigation found that Fales had shot this bear, along with one other bear, on Admiralty Island during a closed season, than failed to salvage either of the bears,” troopers said.

Fales was also found to have taken a deer without the proper license or a nonresident locking tag, troopers said.

This is the complete Alaska State Troopers dispatch:

On 9-19-17 Griffen Fales, age 20 of California, appeared in the District Court at Petersburg and pled guilty to multiple wildlife misdemeanors.  During 2015 the Alaska Wildlife Troopers, Petersburg Post, received a report of a brown bear located on Admiralty Island that failed to have been salvaged.  Investigation found that Fales had shot this bear, along with one other bear, on Admiralty Island during a closed season, than failed to salvage either of the bears.  Additionally it was found that Fales had taken a deer without a hunting license and non-resident locking tag as required.  The guilty plea was coordinated through the Attorney General’s Office of Special Prosecutions and Fales was convicted on two counts of take brown bear closed season, two counts of fail to salvage and one count of fail to possess a non-resident locking tag.  He was sentenced to pay fines totaling $30,000 with $20,000 suspended and restitution to the State of Alaska totaling $3,000 for the three animals taken.  Fales was additionally sentenced to 30 days in jail with 30 days suspended, loss of hunting privileges for 5 years and placed on probation for one year. 

King Salmon Fishery Reopens In SE Alaska

 

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

Juneau – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is announcing the reopening of the Southeast Alaska and Yakutat sport fishery for king salmon. The following regulations will be effective 12:01 a.m. Sunday, October 1, 2017through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, March 31, 2018. The regulations are:

Alaskan Resident

  • The resident bag and possession limit is two king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length.

Nonresident

  • The nonresident bag and possession limit is one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length;
  • The nonresident annual limit is three king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length. Nonresident anglers shall immediately record, in ink, all king salmon harvested either on the back of their sport fishing license or on a nontransferable harvest record.

From October 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018; resident sport anglers may use two rods when fishing for king salmon. Resident anglers using two rods may only retain king salmon.

Southeast Alaska wild king salmon stocks are experiencing a period of low productivity and production. In 2016, postseason escapement estimates from the king salmon stock assessment program in Southeast Alaska indicated 9 of the 11 king salmon index systems missed the lower bound of spawning escapement goals. This trend of low Southeast Alaska wild king salmon productivity and abundance was expected to continue and in 2017 conservative management actions began in April to reduce Southeast Alaska wild king salmon harvest in the Yakutat, Haines/Skagway, Juneau, Petersburg/Wrangell and Ketchikan sport fisheries. Then in early August, initial escapement surveys of Southeast Alaska king salmon index systems indicated that Southeast Alaska wild king salmon productivity and production was lower than anticipated and the decision was made to prohibit the retention of king salmon in all Southeast Alaska fisheries August 10 through September 30, 2017. Given that effort and the subsequent harvest of king salmon in the sport fishery from October through the end March is low; the Southeast Alaska king salmon sport fishery is being reopened under the management prescriptions outlined in general regulation and the Southeast Alaska King Salmon Management Plan.

The Southeast Alaska King Salmon Management Plan prescribes management measures based upon the preseason abundance index determined by the Chinook Technical Committee of the Pacific Salmon Commission. The preseason abundance index for the 2017 season is 1.27. At this abundance index level, the plan specifies a resident bag limit of two king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length; a nonresident bag limit of one king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length; a nonresident annual limit of three king salmon, 28 inches or greater in length; and the opportunity for resident anglers to use two rods from October through March.

Conservative king salmon regulations for the Haines, Skagway, announced on March 6, 2017, are still in effect in order to protect wild Alaska king salmon stocks until December 31, 2017.

For further information regarding sport fisheries in Southeast Alaska, contact the nearest ADF&G office or visit: www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=fishingSportFishingInfo.eonr

Saltwater Sportfishing Will Close In Bear Cove

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

Coho salmon returning to Medvejie Hatchery are not expected to meet broodstock goals in 2017. To date, no coho salmon have been collected for broodstock while 3,000 are needed. This closure is necessary to provide sufficient numbers of coho salmon to meet broodstock needs.

Beginning Wednesday, September 20, 2017 the saltwater area of Bear Cove near Medvejie Hatchery is closed to sport fishing. The closure includes all waters of Bear Cove east of a line from a point on the Baranof Island shoreline at 57°00.63′ N. latitude, 135°09.80′ W. longitude to 57°01.07′ N. latitude, 135°09.93′ W. longitude; (see below map).

SPORT FISHING CLOSED IN BEAR COVE

 

Duck And Goose Numbers Look Good In DU’s 2017 Forecast

Brant flying near Mount Dutton on the Izembek Lagoon in Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Kristine Sowl/USFWS

If Ducks Unlimited’s annual waterfowl forecast is an indication, there should be no shortage of birds in the Pacific Flyway.

Here’s what DU had to say about the Pacific Flyway:

The Pacific Flyway receives most of its waterfowl from the western United States and Canada, with the majority of ducks and geese coming from Alberta, British Columbia, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Alaska, and other western states. In southern Alberta, an estimated 6.4 million breeding ducks were surveyed this spring—a 28 percent increase from the 2016 estimate and 49 percent above the long-term average.

“The breeding season started with average to above-average spring runoff and cool, wet conditions that may have delayed early breeding efforts,” reports Ian McFarlane, a biologist with DU Canada. “Summer precipitation was near normal in the south, but temperatures have been high, which has decreased water levels. However, semipermanent wetlands remain full in the aspen parkland and Boreal transition zone. There was a good late hatch and numerous large broods have been reported by our field staff.”

Farther north, in the Boreal Forest of northern Alberta, northeastern British Columbia, and the Northwest Territories, an estimated 11.4 million breeding ducks were surveyed this spring—a 19 percent decrease from the previous year’s estimate. However, breeding duck numbers in this vast survey area remained 54 percent above the long-term average. In Alaska and the Yukon, this year’s population of 4 million breeding ducks was similar to both the 2016 estimate and the long-term average. …

The outlook is good for Pacific Flyway goose populations. Weather and habitat conditions were generally favorable for breeding geese in Alaska, and large fall populations of cacklingRoss’slesser snow, and white-fronted geese are expected. Surveys indicate that Pacific brant numbers were similar to last year’s estimates and the 10-year average. 

Most waterfowl seasons just opened in Alaska over the weekend.

 

Eva Shockey Takes Aim In Alaska And Beyond

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

Editor’s note: Eva Shockey had hunted in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands before, an experience she would not soon forget. During a 2011 deer hunt on Atka Island. Shockey, her guide and another hunter were riding in an ATV over some treacherous terrain. While climbing a steep incline, the ATV suddenly thrust backward back down the hill, smashing into the other vehicle that was with them and then slipping off a cliff and falling 30 feet below. “I close my eyes, duck my head into my lap, and pray,” Shockey, 29, writes in her new book, Taking Aim, which will be released this month. Nobody was seriously injured, but it was the kind of harrowing incident that would shake even the heartiest adventurer like Shockey, whose TV hunts with her dad, Jim Shockey, have been chronicled throughout North America and beyond. Eva still gets a rush from hunting the globe, and she made a triumphant return to the Aleutians as described in the book. The following excerpt is reprinted from Taking Aim: Daring to Be Different, Happier, and Healthier in the Great Outdoors, copyright 2017 by Eva Shockey. It is published by Convergent, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. To order, go to amazon.com.

Eva Shockey (far right) enjoyed a successful “all-girls hunting trip” on Umnak Island in the Aleutians, one of many adventures the TV personality shares in her new book, Taking Aim. (SHOCKEY ENTERPRISES)

BY EVA SHOCKEY 

(WITH A.J. GREGORY) 

In spring 2013, I caught Dan Goodenow, my boss for about two years now, at just the right moment. He was in the process of booking hunts, and I noticed he had an opening in August – a reindeer hunt on the Aleutian Islands. 

“How about scheduling me in?” I offered with a sugary-sweet smile. “And here’s a great idea. How about we do something different and turn it into an all-girls hunting trip?” 

Dan’s stony face perked up. “Now, that’s a thought. But are you sure you want to go back there?” 

“Are you kidding? It’s time to finish what we started.” 

For this trip, I brought along my friend Rachelle, a tall blonde from West Virginia who can disarm anyone with her sweet and sincere personality. Her dad, an avid hunter, died of cancer when she was only 7, so she never got the chance to hunt with him. Rather, Rachelle started hunting when she met her husband, an outfitter, and she immediately fell in love with the lifestyle. I also invited Taylor, a young woman with an infectious personality and gorgeous curly hair. I met her at a precision-shooting class years back. Though her dad was a client of ours and hunted all over the world, she was fairly new to the lifestyle. 

The three of us (arrived in) the village of Nikolski, population 18, on the island of Umnak, the third largest island in the Aleutian archipelago. From the start of the trip, the vibe was way different from that of my excursion two years earlier. There’s a stark contrast between hunting with an all-male crew and hunting with your girlfriends. Oh, we were just as serious and hard-core when we needed to be, but when we didn’t, there was a lot more laughing involved. Needless to say, the entire trip was a blast, even though we battled a nonstop wind that made the otherwise 40-something-degree weather feel freezing. 

A two-hour, bumpy-as-expected ride on two ATVs brought us to some gently sloping valleys and grassy rolling hills. I’ll admit, hopping back into the same type of ATV I had crashed in two years earlier brought about the beginnings of a panic attack. I had to talk myself down hysteria lane while we jostled along. It sure helped, though, that, while some of the hills were steep, they were moguls compared to the ones on Atka. 

When we made our way into reindeer territory, the scenic picture took my breath away. Broad valleys spread out in a blanket of lush ferns. Tall grass swayed rhythmically in the wind. In the distance, snow-capped mountains, one an active volcano, stood guard over the land below. And feeding on alpine moss and tall grass, hundreds upon hundreds of reindeer gathered, their large, smooth, white antlers glinting in the summer sun. 

On foot, the three of us, along with the guide, crept quietly through the valley, crouched low. Rachelle hunted first. After crawling on hands and knees to get closer to the animals we’d seen, then glassing to find a bull, we noticed huge antlers in the distance, unmoving and low to the ground. Likely a napping bull, about 500 yards away. As we closed the distance to 200 yards, we saw that we were right. We inched even closer. Finally, the bull stood up. When he turned broadside, Rachelle took the shot, harvesting her first reindeer. Two days later, Taylor and I harvested mature bulls within 100 yards of each other on a marshy hillside, with Rachelle there to share the excitement. 

Our girls’ expedition ended on a high note. For the first time, I discovered the unique camaraderie that can unfold with other women in an otherwise male-dominated field. This marked a turning point in my life. I wanted to proclaim to the world that it was great to be a female hunter, that we weren’t alone, and that there must be many others like us out there. 

It’s amazing what happens when we face our fears head-on. Opportunities open up. Doors swing open. We find ourselves doing wonderful things that we would have missed had we submitted to our fears. I often think of those experiences in my life that never would have happened had I given up somewhere along the way. If the Atka accident had scared me enough to quit hunting back in 2011, I never would have traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina, a year later, to the hunting expo where I met my future husband. I never would have seen the Northern Lights shining brightly above our campfire in the Yukon. I never would have ventured to New Zealand, Argentina, Spain, and France to hunt some of the most magnificent animals on earth. I never would have embraced the possibilities that streamed under the surface of the unknown, waiting to push through and enter the realm of existence. ASJ

Editor’s note: Follow Eva Shockey (EvaShockey.com) on Twitter and Instagram (both @evashockey) and like at Facebook.com/evashockeyfanpage.

Eva and her dad Jim Shockey glass for bull moose in the Yukon. (SHOCKEY ENTERPRISES)

Q&A with Eva Shockey

BY CHRIS COCOLES 

We chatted with hunter Eva Shockey about her harrowing ATV accident during her previous trip to the Aleutians, how her famous hunting father Jim helped her back into the outdoor world and serving harvested moose at her wedding to hubbie and hockey player Tim Brent. 

Chris Cocoles You’ve had two rather memorable trips to the Aleutians but for different reasons and you talk at length in the book about your ATV accident. How did that brush with serious injury or even death affect you? 

Eva Shockey It was definitely one of those moments where I think it was a turning point; I could have gone two different directions very easily. I could have been scared of what happened, because it was the closest to death that I’ve ever experienced. It was shocking and scary and something that was caused by following my passions and doing something I loved, and it resulted in the experience of almost dying and falling off a cliff [laughs]. That was the time in my life when I had to stop and think, and I could have backed off from hunting and said, “You know what, maybe I’m not meant to do this and I could have easily died. I could go back to dancing and the things that are safe and in my comfort zone.” Or I could have said, “This is something I have to deal with and I need to be as careful as I possibly can and feel safe. But if I don’t follow the things I love, my life won’t be full. It won’t have the meaning that it would have if I followed my passion and heart and do what I was meant to do.” 

The latter is what I ended up choosing. If I walked away that day and said, “OK, I’m going to go back and dance and move back to the city to do what I was doing before,” I would have always regretted it and what if I wouldn’t have kept hunting? And I’m so glad I did.

CC Readers of the book will get a detailed description of what happened on that ATV. Can you give us a quick recap of what was going through your mind when this was happening?

ES That whole day riding on that ATV, I just remember feeling a little bit uncomfortable, like something isn’t right here in my gut; I didn’t really know how to put it into words. I wasn’t really sure if it was me being cautious or if it was really something to be concerned about. The whole day I kept thinking, “I don’t feel comfortable with this but the guy who was driving must know what he’s doing. He’s been doing it for a long time.” And I remember going up that hill saying, “He’s got this. He’s got this. He can handle this.” And then the second he slammed on the gas when we were losing traction, I realized that we were not in control. Then I was thinking, “He does not have this. He does not have this.” It was almost a guilty feeling that I knew this (would happen) from the moment we started. 

CC You called your mom (Louise) in tears right after you realized you were OK. But what role did she and your dad play in realizing you still wanted to continue chasing adventure in the outdoors?

ES My dad was away and on a hunt somewhere himself. But when I got back home I did sit down with my dad, and it was a conversation when I had to choose to do what I wanted to do. My mom, not being a hunter and being protective of me, she was definitely on board with it if I would have walked away that day and stopped hunting; she would have been very happy with that. She would have had a lot less stress in her life [laughs]. But at the same time she supported whatever I chose. And my dad, just to make my mom’s life easier, he probably would have been fine with that too. He knew I was stubborn and a little strong-headed, and if he would have said that I should stop hunting or you should keep hunting, he knew I would have eventually held it over his head. He knows me well enough that I have to make my own decisions. But he walked me through the scenario, and it stuck with me that if I had walked away that day knowing that hunting was a big part of me and a part of what I love – it’s in my soul being out there. 

CC When you went back to the Aleutians for the reindeer hunt, were you hesitant at all about going back to an area where you suffered such a major scare and maybe had to get back on an ATV again?

ES I don’t remember being apprehensive. I wanted to go back and felt like I need to go back and finish this hunt that I started the first time. Basically I just needed some closure. I never got to show myself that I can do this and I’m not scared of it. The only (nervous) feeling I remember having is it was the first time since I fell off the hill that I’d been back on that type of ATV. And I got back on the exact same (type of) vehicle that we rolled off, and that was a little bit nerve-wracking. Still to this day, if I’m on a hill, even in a truck or anything, and we’re going backwards and someone goes a little fast (I get a bit nervous). My husband’s used to this one hill on his parents’ driveway that you back up quite quickly down. And every time it happens my stomach just goes right into my throat, because I get that same feeling of falling down the mountain [laughs]. But I was just happy to be back (in the Aleutians). It reaffirmed that I made the right decision and didn’t walk away from it. 

CC I would guess you haven’t ridden a lot of backwards roller coasters since then?

ES [Laughs] I’m definitely a little more cautious on steep hills or side hills. I’m sure there have been a million situations where I said, “I don’t feel comfortable with this,” and people are looking at me like, “Uh, this isn’t even anything really serious.” It’s been a little bit of an issue. We drive Argos, and they are the most capable off-road vehicles of any. And I know there are a lot of times where I’m thinking, “Oh, this could flip.” And my dad will say, “We’re basically on flat ground” [laughs]. 

CC Tell me about the Alaskan hunting experience. It can be a magical place, right?

ES It really is. It’s a place where the pictures just don’t do it justice. It’s kind of like the Yukon [Shockey, a Canadian, is from Vancouver Island in British Columbia]. You just don’t get the feeling of it until you’re there – when you’re smelling it and feeling the damp air and seeing the eagles fly by in front of your face. It’s just something where the hunt itself is cool and the animals are amazing. But I love the trip, because the minute you leave your front door until the minute you walk back through your front door, it’s an adventure. You’re kind of at the will of Mother Nature and it depends on what she feels like doing. And you really just can’t plan for a lot of it. The beauty up there is something that I can’t describe. I wish that everybody could get up there and see with their own eyes and smell it with their own noses. You can’t imagine it until you see it for yourself.

When you’re in Alaska, there’s so much going on around you. You definitely don’t have to be a hunter to like it. 

CC Do you plan to or want to go back and hunt in Alaska again?

ES I don’t have anything scheduled but I definitely want to. My husband has never been to Alaska and he’s a big hunter, but in the next few years we would love to get up there. Hopefully we’ll go hunting for moose or bear. I’ve always wanted to go to Kodiak Island and I’ve heard so wonderful things about it. There’s so many things that we want to do, so we’re going to have to make sure that one happens.

Eva and her husband, former pro hockey player Tim Brent. Eva was pregnant with their daugher, Leni Bow, during this hike. (SHOCKEY ENTERPRISES)

CC You and Tim spent some time in Russia (when he played in the country’s Kontinental Hockey League). Did you get to hunt there, and considering how much Russia is in the news these days, what was that experience like?

ES I never got to hunt there. My dad’s hunted there a couple times while we lived there, but I was so busy and had a similar travel schedule. I would have liked to hunt there, but it was pretty cold and I kept thinking if really wanted to bear those elements [laughs]. (Living there) was an experience that we would never take back. I wouldn’t say we loved living there, per se, because it was so different from anything we were used to. But we loved the appreciation for what we have and how spoiled we are here in North America [Eva, Tim and Leni now live in North Carolina]. The Russian lifestyle is a lot different, but it really makes you stop and appreciate each other. (Eva and Tim) were inside a lot and at first we were dating and then we were engaged. I said we were either going to get married after this or not be a couple, but it was an incredible thing for us to do as far as Tim’s job. It’s something that set us up for the future. We met a lot of cool people and we probably never would have done it after we had Leni. 

CC OK, I have to know about successfully hunting that moose in the Yukon Territory and serving it at yours and Tim’s wedding. 

ES It’s funny, because a lot of people have assumed and told us that our wedding must have had all hunters and it must have been really redneck/country. But the truth is, Tim and I both love hunting and my dad, obviously, loves hunting. But my husband’s family doesn’t hunt and he started hunting in his 20s. And I would say 90 percent of the people we grew up with are not hunters. So we only had one little table at our wedding of people who were hunters. We had a really small wedding and kept it to our close family and friends. So everyone else at our wedding had never eaten wild game, and for some it was a little bizarre and they were just kind of OK with eating moose I hunted at our wedding. Even my now mother-in-law said, “I don’t know about this.” But it ended up being incredible. The caterer has a hunting show in England that’s field to table, so it’s incredible that we found him. The amount of appreciation that you feel for that animal, an animal that we worked so hard for and it was so much beyond just that we went hunting for it. You look at it and say how much that I appreciated this moose to feed all these people at my wedding. And because moose are so huge we were able to eat it for the whole year. It really makes you thankful for being a hunter. It meant a lot to us. ASJ

Interior Secretary Zinke Asks Government Agencies How To Increase Opportunities For Hunters, Anglers

From our Northwest Sportsman editor Andy Walgamott:

Federal land managers are being directed to figure out how to provide more fishing and hunting access under a directive signed by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke today, a move lauded by sportsmen’s groups.

It follows on troubling news earlier this week that participation in hunting dropped by 2.2 million between 2011 and 2016, but could help open more lands, so key to the opportunities we enjoy.

MANAGERS OF NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES, BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT GROUND AND THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE ARE BEING ASKED HOW TO INCREASE HUNTING AND FISHING ACCESS UNDER AN ORDER FROM DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR SECRETARY RYAN ZINKE. THAT PROCESS HAS BEEN ONGOING AT PLACES LIKE TURNBULL NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, WHERE SPECIAL HUNTS FOR AN INCREASING ELK HERD HAVE BEEN HELD, BUT ZINKE’S ORDER COULD OPEN EVEN MORE OPPORTUNITY. (TURNBULL NWR)

“The more people we can get outdoors, the better things will be for our public lands,” said Zinke in a press release. “As someone who grew up hunting and fishing on our public lands – packing bologna sandwiches and heading out at 4 a.m. with my dad – I know how important it is to expand access to public lands for future generations. Some of my best memories are hunting deer or reeling in rainbow trout back home in Montana, and I think every American should be able to have that experience.”

His order calls for:

  • The Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service to come up with plans within four months for expanding access to hunting and fishing on their lands;
  • Amend management plans for national monuments to specifically ensure hunting and fishing on them;
  • Identify federal lands where those activities are limited;
  • Expand outreach to underserved communities;
  • Develop a “one-stop” website outlining sporting opportunities on all Department of Interior lands;
  • And improve wildlife management collaboration with states, tribes, conservation groups and others.

Ducks Unlimited was supportive, particularly the part of Zinke’s order calling for “significantly” increasing waterfowl populations through habitat projects, as well as more hunting opportunities.

“Wetlands are not only a valuable resource for our nation’s waterfowl, but they also benefit more than 900 other species of wildlife,” noted Dale Hall, DU CEO, in a press release. “Investments in the conservation of wildlife habitats, like wetlands, are vital in preserving, protecting and advancing our nation’s long hunting and angling heritage. At the end of the day, it’s all about ensuring that all Americans and those generations to come, have access to the wildlife and wild places that we enjoy today.”

In recent years, USFWS has gradually been increasing waterfowl, big game and fishing opportunities on Northwest refuges and those across the country.

Land Tawney of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers said his organization looked forward to working with Zinke and Interior.

“Our hunting and fishing traditions rely on both conservation and access, with insufficient access being the No. 1 reason cited by sportsmen for forgoing time afield,” Tawney said in a press release. “The importance of Secretary Zinke’s commitment to sustaining and expanding public access opportunities to the outdoors, therefore, cannot be overstated.”

Others supporting the move included the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation as well as National Rifle Association.

“For too long, sportsmen’s access to our federal lands has been restricted, with lost opportunity replacing the ability to enjoy many of our best outdoor spaces. This extension to Secretarial Order 3356 will go a long way to reversing that trend and help grow the next generation of hunters, fishermen, and recreational shooters,” added Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, in a press release. “I appreciate this new order and am committed to working with Secretary Zinke and my colleagues to do everything we can to expand and enhance access to our federal lands for all Alaskans, and all Americans, so that we can continue our rich sportsmen’s heritage.”

Friend Of Basketball Coaching Legend Thanks Alaska Rescuers After Stroke

Photo by AC Dixon/Wikimedia

As a longtime college basketball fan spanning back to the early 1980s, the past few weeks have been tough, with the deaths of famed former coaches Jud Heathcote and Rollie Massimino. Both men had long, happy lives, and my friends and I wondered aloud if the urban legend that celebrities in pass away in threes would come to fruition.

We kind of laughed about it at the time, but then days later, to our horror, another iconic college basketball coaching fell ill. Denny Crum, who coached the University of Louisville to two national championships during a Basketball Hall of Fame career, suffered a mild stroke on a fishing trip in Alaska.

Fortunately, Crum is OK after the incident, which happened on the Kenai River, and another member of his traveling party wrote a heartfelt letter to the first responders who provided aid to Crum.

From Louisville TV station WDRB via the Alaska Dispatch News:

On Wednesday, Aug. 30, while on a fishing trip on the Kenai River in a remote area of Alaska, Crum’s guide noticed he was behaving erratically and determined that he needed medical assistance. When it arrived, friends he was with carried him to a helicopter for the flight to an Anchorage hospital.

Doctors said Crum suffered a minor stroke and gave him clot-busting medication to try to alleviate any further threat. A subsequent MRI showed no noticeable effects, and after a short period in which Crum struggled to communicate, he began to communicate clearly to his wife and others.

He has since returned to Louisville and is doing well, according to his wife.

On Monday, Sept. 11, the Alaska Dispatch News posted a letter sent by Gary Vitale, MD, a resident of Louisville. In the letter, Vitale, who identifies himself as a professor of U of L’s medical school, thanks the rescuers, including the park guide, as well as EMS and medical staff. …

Vitale wrote:

“As a surgeon myself, I can’t tell you the number of times we say to ourselves in a backroom how much more we could have done, if only we had received the patient sooner. In this case, due to the alertness and preparedness of the fishing guides, the well-practiced skills of a great EMS team and helicopter ambulance service, along with excellent medical professionals, all went well. Our special friend and the hero of so many in Louisville doesn’t have to spend the rest of his life in a disabled situation. For a man who has given so much of his life to others in basketball, support of innumerable charities and fundraising for the university, this is truly an outstanding and blessed outcome.”

 Crum tweeted out support from well-wishers following the health scare:

 

And this man is a badass!

 

Cook Inlet Tanner Crab Fishing Season Begins Oct. 1

NOAA photo

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) will open the Tanner Crab sport and subsistence fisheries from October 1, 2017 to February 28, 2018. A valid permit is required to participate in either fishery. Permits are ONLY available through the Alaska Department of Fish and Game online store. Sign in at https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/Store/. Follow the link to “Crab and Shrimp Permits” to obtain your free permit online. A printed copy must be in possession while fishing for Tanner crab and harvest must be reported in ink on your permit before your catch is concealed. Online harvest reporting is required and can be completed at https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/sf/PU/. Reports are due by March 31, 2018.

The Cook Inlet-Resurrection Bay Saltwater Area will open to sport fishing and consists of all waters enclosed by a line extending east from Cape Douglas and a line extending south from Cape Fairfield, including the North Gulf Coast (refer to maps on the permit page online). To receive a Tanner crab sport permit, a sport fishing license is required. Alaskan residents may receive a Tanner crab subsistence permit without a sport fishing license, however, the fishery is limited to the designated subsistence area.

The bag and possession limit is three male Tanner crab four and one-half inches or greater in carapace (shell) width, including spines. One pot per person is allowed with a maximum of one pot per vessel. Review complete shellfish regulations on pages 81-83 of the 2017 Southcentral Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet.

NOAA photo

Prince William Sound Shrimping Season Ends On Friday

Photo by Scott Haugen.

 

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

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game would like to remind anglers that by regulation, the 2017 Prince William Sound sport and subsistence shrimp season closes at 11:59 p.m.Friday, September 15, 2017.

All Prince William Sound shrimp permit harvest reporting is due no later than October 15, 2017. Reporting is mandatory whether an angler used the permit or not. The prompt return of all permits is necessary to manage this popular fishery. Online reporting is preferred by ADF&G and harvests can be reported online.

However, shrimp permits are self-addressed and can be folded, stamped and mailed, or personally delivered to the ADF&G Anchorage office, if permit holders are unable to enter harvest data online.

If you have questions regarding the Prince William Sound shrimp fishery, please contact Jay Baumer at 907-267-2265or Brittany Blain at 907-267-2186 in Anchorage. For additional information, please contact the Sport Fish Information Center at (907) 267-2218.

Alaskan Steve Bear Is New Washington Fish And Widlife Police Chief

Steve Bear photo courtesy of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Our company’s head honcho Andy Walgamott of Northwest Sportsman filed this report on the state of Washington’s new  fish and wildlife law enforcement chief, Steve Bear. Here’s the Northwest Sportsman report on Bear, who has Alaska ties.

Bear served for 27 years with the Alaska Department of Public Safety, spending the last 10 years as first the deputy director and then the director of the Alaska Wildlife Troopers division before his retirement as a colonel this past July.

In 2015 he oversaw 84 full-time wildlife troopers and 47 civilian employees.

Before joining law enforcement Bear served in the U.S. Army between 1985 and 1989.

At his new post in Olympia, Bear will oversee a staff of 156 WDFW employees, including 130 commissioned officers.

In a brief message to Northwest Sportsman, he said he has a lot to learn about Washington, its natural resources and hunters and anglers, loves to work to protect the resources, and hoped to work with as many folks from across the spectrum to that end.

“Growing up hunting, fishing, and trapping, I developed a strong sense of just how important natural resources are to everyone,” Bear said in a WDFW press release officially announcing his hire. “What draws me to this line of work is the idea of protecting those resources for this generation and future generations.”

“We look forward to Chief Bear’s leadership and experience being put to work in order to be the premiere natural resource law enforcement entity in the nation,” reads a statement in Director Jim Unsworth’s report to the commission ahead of the commission meeting.

Congrats on the new gig, Chief Bear.