Here Are Your 2018 Quotes Of The Year In ASJ

“The Alaska experience was always something that I guess I yearned for. And I’ve never had a time where I felt like I had enough. I love the wild, and it’s the wildest place, certainly in America.”


Happy New Year! Here at Alaska Sporting Journal we hope your 2019 is happy, prosperous and all your resolutions come through – or, as happens to me every year – are followed through the best you can.

But I always like to look back at what we did in 2018, so here are my favorite quotes from our stories for the year:

Photos cortesy of Sadie Bjornsen

“The outdoors has always been a way to see the world from new eyes. It has provided me with the opportunity to travel all over the world, and it has provided me with an opportunity to meet some pretty incredible people. When you walk outdoors, and breathe in the fresh air, it is the most natural form of medicine! Suddenly, all the problems of the world can be put aside, and you can find true happiness!”

-U.S. Olympic Team cross-country skier and transplanted Alaskan Sadie Bjornsen (January issue)

Photos courtesy of Sub7

“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. 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.”

-Country music performer Craig Morgan, who owns a trapping cabin in the Alaskan Interior (February)

Photos by the Discovery Channel.

“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.”

-“Dakota” Fred Hurt of Discovery Channel series Gold Rush: White Water, on mining the treacherous waters of McKinley Creek (February)


Photo by LeAnn Duncan
Photo by Discovery Channel

“Alaska is my home and this is pretty much where I’m going to die. People ask me, “Where do you want to go?” And I say that I want to go to a cabin in the woods in Alaska. There are so many things to see and do here. My biggest adventures are at home and I love that about Alaska.”

-Anchorage accountant and outdoorswoman LeAnn Duncan, who shed her clothes and braved the oppressive sun, bugs and hurricane-ravaged landscape of Nicaragua on Disccovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid (April)

Photo courtesy of Keith Colburn (right)
Photo by Discovery Channel

“So the question wasn’t, ‘Why did you go to Alaska?’ The question was, ‘Why did you go back?’” 
“But the very first time we set sail out of Kodiak going to Togiak for the herring in early April, we were on watch. It was a beautiful night and we’re going through the islands, and I’m over on the port side of the wheelhouse and the captain comes over and goes, ‘Yeah; you’re hooked.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘You’ve got the look.’ I was literally hooked immediately and just fell in love with being on the water.”

Deadliest Catch crabbing skipper Keith Colburn, who had a rough introduction to Alaska when he embarked on his commercial fishing career (May)

Photo by Greg Ruggerone

“It’s not that they’re beating up on sockeye salmon or Chinook salmon. They’re just so abundant and growing up so rapidly, they have to eat lots of food. They scarf up a lot of the food like the zooplankton.”

“They may be the a bit lower on the trophic food chain compared to say Chinook salmon, but they impact Chinook in two different ways; one being simply that pinks are feeding on zooplankton, the building block for all squid and forage fishes that Chinook like to eat. And then as the pinks get older in their second year in the ocean, we see more diet overlap with species like Chinook.”

-Dr. Greg Ruggerone, who has studied the impact of pink salmon populations on other Pacific salmon species (September)

Photos courtesy of Gary Morris

“I love it. You know, if it didn’t have a summer with no night and a winter with no day, then I’d move there.”

“The Alaska experience was always something that I guess I yearned for. And I’ve never had a time where I felt like I had enough. I love the wild, and it’s the wildest place, certainly in America.”

-Entertainer Gary Morris, who regularly fishes and hunts in the Last Frontier (October)

Biologist Bill Leacock has studied bears for the last 22 years, including his time at Kodiak. (LISA HUPP/USFWS)

“Bill does have this special talent and has a very calming presence. I’ve been lucky enough to go up salmon streams with Bill before and he truly is a bear whisperer. A person like myself would never just walk quietly up a bear stream yelling, ‘Hey bear! Hey bear!’”
“But you’d probably never go to some of the areas that Bill goes to because of the concentration of bears. But Bill is very calm and I’ve gone up to (the O’Malley River bear viewing area) with him before, and it’s just an amazing experience. He has a lot of respect for the bears and he knows what he can and cannot do. It’s not something that you can do on your own.”

-Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge manager Mike Brady on the refuge’s lead bear biologist Bill Leacock, featured on the Animal Planet series Into Alaska (December)