By Bill Heavey
Marty Meierotto is an Alaskan trapper. He works in subzero temperatures. He operates dangerous machinery. He sleeps with a loaded revolver within arm’s reach. Survival isn’t a part of his job—it is his job. Just ask the author, a Lower 48 greenhorn, who joined Meierotto on his trapline last winter…only to get lost and nearly freeze to death after just three days in the bush.
The good news, I tell myself after verifying no broken bones in the fall, is this will make a really good story if you survive. I’m trying to stay calm, trying to push down the bulge of dread rising in my stomach. I’m sitting in the snow, having bailed off a snow machine just after it lost traction and just before it left the trail, coming to rest on its side in a drift a good 5 feet below grade. It’s my second fall in 10 minutes, which confirms my suspicion that I missed a turn. Marty would never have put me on anything this steep and with this much sidehill. It’s 30 below zero, and I’m lost in the bush of eastern Alaska—a place that is pretty much all bush all the time. I’ve come here to spend some time with Marty Meierotto, a trapper who runs lines on about 900 square miles of public land, the location of which he would prefer I not identify too specifically. Not divulging our location isn’t a problem because all I really know is that it took us two hours to fly here from Fairbanks in a Super Cub, that we’re somewhere north of the Yukon River and south of the Porcupine River, and that the nearest other human is a trapper running lines some 40 miles distant. Actually, Marty doesn’t know if he’s around. The last time he saw him was eight years ago. [ Read Full Post ]
By Chad Love
An Oklahoma teen who trekked into the Oregon wilderness after being inspired by the film "Into The Wild" is now missing.
From this story on abcnews.com:
The vehicle belonging to an Oklahoma teenager who disappeared last month in a remote region of southeastern Oregon after viewing the movie "Into the Wild" was found this week. Search crews are waiting out the harsh weather to continue the search for the young man. Dustin Self, 19, left his hometown of Piedmont, Okla., in mid-March for the Klamath Falls-Ashland area of Oregon, where he planned "to see if he could live in the wild," The Associated Press reported. According to the Harney County Sheriff's Office in Oregon, Self also planned to join the Church of the Holy Light of the Queen, a South American religion that uses hallucinogenic tea as a sacrament.
[ Read Full Post ]
By Chad Love
Twenty-seven years in the wilderness, alone. That's how long a reclusive and locally infamous Maine hermit managed to survive in the woods before he was captured last week while burglarizing a cabin.
From this story on usatoday.com:
A man who lived like a hermit for decades in a makeshift camp in the woods and may be responsible for more than 1,000 burglaries for food and other staples has been caught in a surveillance trap at a camp he treated as a "Walmart," authorities said Wednesday. [ Read Full Post ]
By Martin Leung
New Yorkers strolling in Central Park might have seen an odd sight today: men with dirt on their faces strapped in harnesses rappelling down a large rock near the Center Drive/East Drive entrance.
They were participating in a condensed version of the Bear Grylls Survival Academy, a five-day course where average people can learn Grylls’ extreme survival techniques. The academy launched in November 2012 and the five-day courses will begin in Scotland this July. This event was hosted by VisitScotland as part of Scotland Week, a celebration of all things Scottish in the U.S. and Canada. [ Read Full Post ]
by Phil Bourjaily
Of all the many things we can buy covered in camo that shouldn’t be camo-ed, flashlights rank near the top of the list, along with knives. Several years ago a big game guide showed me his knife. He had dipped the handle in some kind of rubberized bright orange paint. It was easy to hold onto, he said, and easy to find when he set it down somewhere.
Which brings us to the TerraLux Lightstar 80. I used one last season and found it to be in most ways a basic, serviceable light. It’s a fairly inexpensive ($30 list, sells for less) 80 lumen LED light that runs for five hours on a pair of AA batteries. It has a rubber ring around the end so you can hold it in your mouth comfortably, and the on-off switch can even be operated with tongue pressure. [ Read Full Post ]
By T. Edward Nickens
Two things I know: You can never have enough cordage, and you need a little bit—or a lot—of a lot of different kinds. At home, I keep lines and ropes stashed in two places: a good-sized plastic tote, and hanging from a hodge-podge of nails driven into the walls. I keep a pretty good collection in my truck, too—from parachute cord to mid-diameter climbing rope to a seriously stout tow strap. Because you never know.
[ Read Full Post ]
Everyone loves a story. But as outdoorsmen, we appreciate a good one more than most.
We'll let you get away with the yarn about the trout you took into the backing—even though the fish gains a pound with every retelling. We'll still act surprised that the buck you'd been chasing for ages suddenly appeared in the last minute of the last day—even though we already know the ending. We'll happily listen, and as soon you're finished, we'll tell one of our own. [ Read Full Post ]
By CJ Lotz
Brad Lambert, 46, survived 23 days in a Manitoba forest without food. As told to CJ Lotz:
It started like many of my other hunting trips. The morning of Nov. 15th, I drove my black Ford F-150 pickup truck to Marchand, Manitoba, about 50 miles south of my home in Winnipeg, to check out a few hunting spots in the forest near town. I didn’t get a single shot at a deer all morning, so I drove back into town, had a bite to eat at the local hotel, and overheard some folks talking about hunting deep in the Sandilands Provincial Forest. I decided to check it out. [ Read Full Post ]
By Chad Love
For a number of years following the end of World War II, Japanese soldiers would occasionally emerge from the jungles in the Pacific theater, either unwilling to believe or unaware that the war was over. The last verified Japanese holdout came out of hiding in the Philippines and officially surrendered back in 1974. It's an incredible story, but a piece in this month's Smithsonian magazine tops it, in both longevity and in the sheer harshness of the landscape in which it occurs. In 1978, Soviet geologists discovered a family of six eking out a desperate existence in the depths of the vast Siberian taiga. They had been living there, completely cut off from all human contact, completely unaware of events like WWII, since 1936. [ Read Full Post ]
By C.J. Chivers
Chris Ott knew the enraged grizzly was coming back to finish killing him. Knocked flat, half-scalped, blinded by his own blood rushing over his brow and down his face, he sifted facts from surprise. Seconds before, the big sow had exploded from undergrowth and hit him, slashing open his head and biting his face and neck as she forced him down. He had spotted her only seconds before she landed on him and her slobbering maw smacked his, transforming him from a fit 42-year-old man to wounded prey in the predator’s grip. Now he was experiencing what sometimes happens to people as they die. It was mid-attack. Time seemed to slow. The momentum of the bear’s lunge had carried her past. This was his stay—the time a grizzly requires to stop, spin, and pounce back on broken prey. It stood to be the rest of Chris’s life. [ Read Full Post ]
By Steven Rinella
Sometimes it’s difficult to anticipate sources of danger when you’re hunting in the backcountry. But on this sunny day, while hunting Coues deer in eastern Arizona, we never had any doubt that rattlesnakes were the things to be watching for.
I was hunting with the crew that films my TV show, Meat Eater. The last few days had been cold and wet. Now that it was warming up, our cameraman, Mo Fallon, commented that every rattlesnake in the neighborhood would be coming out of the ground. He also mentioned that this area was known for green Mojave rattlesnakes, a breed whose venom includes a rare neurotoxin that can make their bites 10 times more dangerous than typical rattlers. Because I was walking in the lead, I figured it was my responsibility to be extra vigilant. But I was distracted from my duties by the fact that we were traveling across fresh terrain, where I was more interested in looking for deer than reptiles. [ Read Full Post ]
By Hal Herring
Author Sam Sheridan discovered a love for hunting while researching his new book on self-sufficiency and preparedness. [ Read Full Post ]
By Chad Love
A Canadian deer hunter who vanished on Nov. 15 was finally rescued this weekend after wandering the bush for three weeks.
From this story in the http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Lost+Manitoba+hunter+describes+survive... " target="_blank">Calgary Herald:
A hunter who turned up after being lost in the southeast Manitoba bush for three weeks says thoughts of his family and the hundreds of people who were looking for him kept him going. "(It was) my wife and my son and the knowledge that the search and rescue community and people I don't even know were out looking," said Brad Lambert, who turned up safe and sound Saturday after spending 21 nights in his truck, stranded in the bush. "That means a great deal." [ Read Full Post ]
By David E. Petzal
…As in, ‘…it’s our turn in the barrel.” For those of you in other parts of the country, Hurricane Sandy was not a disappointment. It was the worst storm in this part of the country since the Long Island Express in 1938, which killed something over 1,000 people on Long Island and almost took Providence, RI, off the map, which would not have been so bad except that Providence has some good restaurants.
We will get around to guns in a minute, but first some observations: The major concern is not so much loss of light or heat, although that is getting bad in some parts, but shortage of gas, which is very serious in places and, despite the assurances of various pols, not getting any better. If your house is freezing at night you can take a couple of extra dogs to bed, but when your car is immobilized, you’ve truly had the green weenie. [ Read Full Post ]