By Peter B. Mathiesen
Three years ago, outdoor writer, photographer, and consummate sportsman Peter Mathiesen left his hometown of St. Louis to start a new life in Alaska. Here’s why he made the move, what everyday life is like, and how it feels to have Denali right outside your window.
There is no telling how many bears walk within a mile of my home. I readily find both black and grizzly sign nearby. Grizzlies seem to want to shy away from the house, although blacks are far more curious.
Two summers ago, at around 9 p.m., I heard a single round discharged from what sounded like a large-caliber gun. My retriever barked once, looked up at me to see if we were going somewhere, and went back to sleep. That sounded close, I thought. Fifteen minutes later, a neighbor knocked on my door. He introduced himself and said, “I understand you’re a hunter. I don’t know what to do with this bear I just shot. Can you lend a hand?”