The October that finally was

November 1, 2016

The scanner read the barcode on my ticket and emitted a loud beep. I hesitated before taking the next step. There was over thirty years of personal frustration and 71 years of corporate futility clinging to my back. I realized that the next steps, and the following few hours would be one of the strongest memories of my life. But first, let me back up and tell you where it started.

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2 Weeks in September

October 8, 2015

We moved to Arizona in the summer of 2014.  I was excited to immerse myself into hunting regulations and opportunities and find out what my options were for replacing the Alaskan activities that we loved so much.  We were very blessed to find a home that we loved that met all of our needs, and was immediately adjacent to huge tracts of public land.  The first fall that we lived there, we spent September evenings laying in bed, with the windows open, listening to the bugling of elk.

 

I read and re-read the hunting regulations, talked to co-workers, and gathered intel at a local archery shop.  By February, I felt like I had a good grasp on the system used to draw and award elk hunting permits.  I discovered that there was enough statistical information available to allow you to develop a strategy when you selected the five hunting opportunities that you wanted to be drawn for.  I was told time and again not to expect to get drawn my first year due to the competitive nature of the system.

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Moose Hunt 2014

September 13, 2014

On a dreary winter day last year, I opened my email and had a ray of sunshine break through.  My Inbox revealed that I had drawn my first Alaskan hunting permit.  While I have hunted often on “over the counter hunts” and registration hunts, I had never before drawn a permit.  The permit I drew was a rather coveted early season moose permit.  The permit allowed the hunter to hunt within 15 miles of Fairbanks in an area with easy road access.  The permit also allowed the hunter to take any antler-less moose of their choice.

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The Greatest Hits

May 26, 2014

It’s like the monster in the closet when you are a kid.  You don’t want to look, you tell yourself that it isn’t really there, but in the darkness, with your head under your pillow, you know the truth.  And the truth is, my days of living in Alaska are rapidly dwindling.  I take great solace in the fact that I already love the new town that we are moving to, AND….I am returning to Alaska at the end of August to moose hunt with Joe.

My adventures with Joe and Brian have been some of the greatest memories of my life, and certainly of my time in Alaska.  I decided to put together a “greatest hits” of some of our jaunts and to seek their comments to add to my original lies stories.  Here is what we came up with.  Hope you enjoy.

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Alaska’s Finest

May 3, 2014

Yukon Men, Ultimate Survival Alaska, Deadliest Catch, Alaska State Troopers. It seems these days that Americans can’t get enough of the Great Land. Those who can’t afford to finance an expedition north, or whose hearts wilt at what they see on TV, vicariously experience our state through the never-ending list of Alaskan realty shows. But at the heart of the craze, is Alaska State Troopers.

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When Mom’s Away

March 21, 2014

I am a good dad.  Not because I think that I am a good dad, but because the International Parenting Commission (my mom, the world’s wisest parent), my mother-in-law, and my siblings tell me that I am a good dad.  I have shortcomings, but I also have great examples in my father and my father-in-law.  I am also weird, creative, and I remember what was fun about being a kid.  So here is how the kids and I thrived on a recent separation from our wife/mom.

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Trapping 2014

February 17, 2014

We have been trapping since the season opened in November, with limited success.  As a matter of fact, if our trapping team started a rock band we would either name ourselves “Low Expectations” or “Limited Success”.  Nonetheless, we are having another awesome year and we look forward the whole week to going out together on Saturday.

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My Brother’s Visit, in his words…

October 3, 2013

Well, mainly in his words.  I reserve the right to sarcastically edit and insert.  I think that you will find from his tone, tempo, hyperbole, and sarcasm, that neither of us fell far from the old apple tree (our dad).  I will add my comments in italics.

Drew’s words:

Wednesday at 2:43 p.m. my phone stopped working properly. A message popped up on the screen “Warning, someone is trying to access your Google account from SeaTac airport. We suggest you change your credentials immediately.” I was at once impressed and creeped out that Google was tracking me so accurately. I was in the middle of a layover on a trip from Phoenix to Alaska with my 4-year-old son, Henry (hereafter, “the boy”). Someone was accessing my account from SeaTac…I was.

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40 Mile Caribou Hunt, Steese Highway, 2013

September 2, 2013

I still don’t know his name….the guy that I handed my truck keys to in the middle of nowhere.  “Use it and bring it back when you’re done, we’re going hunting”.  This is the story of our caribou hunt, my first Alaskan hunt on 4-wheelers (quads).

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More Fishing with Cinnamon

September 2, 2013

If you haven’t read the story about my friend Bryan, and why I call him Cinnamon, you need to go back and read it to get some context. (HERE)

Recently, I had a rare weekend with no responsibilities because the wife was out of town at a horse show and the kids were visiting grandparents.  I called Cinnamon and the stars aligned…his family was out of town for LaShawnda to attend a cubic zirconium marketing conference.  We made some quick plans, I threw a backpack together, I traded in some of my airline miles for a ticket, and I boarded the big bird south.

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