You’ll Never Guess Who I Ran Into

We’ve all had those conversations where someone tells the story about how they were somewhere weird and ran into a friend from home. Then the next person tells their story about when they were somewhere a little more odd and met someone they knew. I have a trump card for those conversations. In early ‘04…

Thanks Giving

Thanksgiving is far and away my favorite holiday.  It is simple, no gifts, little hype, just a day to gather with friends, family, possibly even strangers, then give thanks and eat.  It has become very much the last day of sanity before the dam that holds back Christmas commercialism bursts. We’ve had happy Thanksgivings, less…

A Teaching Moment

It has been eight years now, but I still get asked what Afghanistan was like.  And I still don’t have a good quick answer, usually mumbling something to the effect of “I learned a lot.”  One of those pearls of wisdom I did learn is spelled out here. My engineer team of six officers was…

Outdoor Gear Opinions

It’s March and most of us have been cooped up for a few months dreaming of getting back outside after most of the snow clears. I don’t think I’m alone in saying I get cabin fever-ish this time of year. It seems like good medicine to go through and revisit the gear I will be…

The Flying Moose and the Blueberry Bear, Part II

The country we would be hunting was the delta formed between the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers.  We were to fly about 50 miles to a spot they had previously scouted for camp.  The delta we flew across looked like a textbook river delta, fairly flat and swampy with thousands of lakes and ponds filling the…

Head over heels for elk

Colorado’s  2011 third rifle season arrived with the first real snowstorm of the winter. Saturday morning we woke up to fog and rain turning to snow at our camp. We decided we didn’t want to start off the elk season by ATVing and hiking around in the slop to places where we couldn’t see through…

Sleepboxing

I think a lot of people have trouble sleeping for various reasons. But a reason that I hear frequently is something to the effect of “I just can’t turn off my brain.” This modern life we live has so much stuff rattling around our heads it’s sometime nearly impossible to just give it a rest…

The Flying Moose and the Blueberry Bear, Part I

My good friend and hunting buddy Stephen and I have been talking about going on an Alaska hunt for years.  We’ve debated the quarry (caribou, moose, bear, sheep), the method (do-it-yourself, guided, float hunts, foot hunts) and the timing, which always seemed to be “maybe next year…”  This past January, we decided that this would…

The Infidels’ Bible

infidel — in – fi- del [in-fi-dl, -del] —-(in Muslim use) a person who does not accept the Islamic faith It’s really not derogatory at its basest meaning. One of my favorite quotes from my whole tour was when Wahid, one of my regular interpreters, said at then end of a particularly long day, “You…

Lightning, Wapiti and Bears…Oh My

October, 2006 This story gets pretty windy, so if you just want details and pix, scroll right to the bottom. My hunting partner and I both drew tags for a nearby unit that historically holds good bulls. Nine preference points it took us both, so I guess you could say we were committed. I spent…