Makoto Odlin picked the perfect year to submit an entry into the Eric Lochman Memorial Big Buck Contest. Any other year and the winning rack he entered would have barely sniffed the top 10.
More than 100 years ago, a man traveled north on a mission most people thought was ridiculous — to see if crops would grow in the frozen wasteland known as the Territory of Alaska.
During the darkest days of Alaska’s winter, black-capped chickadees stuff themselves with enough seeds and frozen insects to survive 18-hour nights. Where the chickadees spend those long nights was a mystery until a biologist tracked them.
On a certain weekday during each of the past 13 Decembers, I have settled into a chair at a long table, pulled out my notepad and listened to experts talk about the changes they have noticed north of the Arctic Circle.
“On winter mornings, just as the sun’s uncertain light slopes across the Tanana Flats, ravens fly over my log cabin on their daily commute to town. Perhaps, like me, they would prefer to remain here in the hills above Fairbanks, where temperatures are usually ten or twenty degrees warmer. Bu…
Ice that floats on far-north oceans has been dwindling the last few years. Scientists have described the shrinking of this solar reflector — once bigger than Russia and now taking up less space than Australia — as a breakdown of the world’s refrigerator.
Biologist Stacia Backensto has fooled a raven. When trying to recapture birds on Alaska’s North Slope during her graduate student days at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, she wore a moustache and beard. She also strapped pillows to her waist.
On the first day of October, a little girl pulls on her rubber boots and rushes outside into crisp fall air. She knows the days are getting shorter, but she doesn’t realize Alaska is a week past the autumnal equinox.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has decreased bag limits for sockeye salmon in the Saltery River drainage for anglers to two per day and two in possession from Saturday to Dec. 31, according to a department press release.
A scientist recently wondered which animal travels farthest across the landscape in one year. In doing his research, he found a few Alaska creatures near the top of the list.
A little after 6:30 p.m. on May 29, a black bear attacked 53-year-old Wasilla resident Mike Becwar, who was out jogging near Pump Station 5, where he works as a wastewater treatment specialist.
High summer is here in middle Alaska. North of Fairbanks, in bright sunshine, alder flycatchers are perched in spruce tops, just arriving from Bolivia and Peru. A few steps away, accompanied by the smell of sulfur, dozens of carrion flies buzz on and above a moose carcass.
After the final steps of a long run in early March, Greg Finstad took his pulse rate. His heart was at 38 beats per minute. Perfect. The reindeer biologist and marathon runner was in top shape to run this year’s Boston Marathon.
Last night I went out for a drink with a couple of friends. As we arrived, the band was just leaving after playing for an empty room all evening and we had our choice of, well, all of the tables.
On the cusp of Interior Alaska’s springtime, Melinda Webster will not experience it this year. She’ll miss most of summer, too. Webster will soon head north of Earth’s land masses, to spend the next half year cradled in ice.
Nate Becker lives with his family on a quiet stretch of the Yukon River as it flows into Alaska. On a recent ski trip, I visited the Beckers’ home along with two geologist friends. Nate had a question for them.
Today, I was woken up by the sounds of playing children. There is a lot of shouting and screaming involved, a lot of stomping of running feet, doors opening and slamming shut, and a lot of energy. As the kids were outside in the snow, I spent some time watching as they were totally engulfed …
We just skied 100 miles of the frozen Yukon River, two friends and I, until it got too cold for our skis to glide, and we flew back to Fairbanks on a plane that landed on both skis and wheels.
KODIAK — Most of us have heard of the great trout fishing in other parts of the country and around the world. If you’re a fishing crazy like me, you’ve probably even dreamt about them.
KODIAK — I’m delighted to report a momentous weekend. My wife and I visited a favorite beach and connected with our first pink salmon! They’re few and scattered now but with each passing day more and more will be converging along our beaches. By the end of the month, there will be hordes alm…
KODIAK — After a long winter and wet spring here on Kodiak, warm sunny weather can create a problem. Should you face up to your accumulation of outdoor chores or should you play?
I confess that I’m fascinated with king salmon, and it’s not just their potential for large size. They’re different than other salmon in many ways. And, frankly, fishing for them is more like hunting.
KODIAK — It’s one thing for the halibut to be moving shallower now, but another altogether to find them. We’re catching ours here and there in the shallows, but it will take more time for their numbers to build in the usual hotspots.
KODIAK — A quick glance at the calendar should reveal a surprise. Though most folks haven’t caught their first salmon or halibut for the year, deer season is only 10 weeks away.
KODIAK — We had some interesting surprises on the water over the weekend. Most notably, the water was really warm. Wherever we went, the faithful little gauge on our fish finder continued to read 47 degrees!
KODIAK — Kodiak summers entice us outdoors to enjoy time with family and friends. From fishing and hiking to picnicking and grilling burgers on the BBQ, it seems like every activity is an opportunity for picture-taking. But how to capture memories and create good photos at the same time?
KODIAK — With summer fast approaching, people will be itching to start combing beaches and scrambling along mountain forest trails to take advantage of the Emerald Isle’s sunshine. Among the plethora of outdoor activities available is the opportunity to forage for nature’s bounty of healthy …
KODIAK — Now that spring has sprung and summer is just around the corner, Kodiakans have been gifted several hours of extra daylight. For many, that means one thing: more hiking opportunities.
KODIAK — Any day now, I expect Dolly Varden to get serious about their annual spring migration to the sea. After a long winter on limited rations in lakes, the warming water and promise of plentiful food will launch them on their way.
KODIAK — With the prospect of herring, then capelin or “grunion” and needlefish or Pacific sand lance spawning around Kodiak over the next couple of months, it’s high time to get serious about king salmon fishing.
KODIAK — It’s always fascinated me that a great big roast turkey is central to our annual Thanksgiving feast. The truth of the matter is that by historical accounts of the event, they shared the billing with quite the array of domestic and wild meats along with wild and domestic produce and fruits.