Our trek to blacktail glory started with a boat ride to Kupreanof Island, where we found the Suzuki Samurai that Scott had dropped off with a larger boat the day before. Scott's nephew, Brian (aka Pack Mule), joined us to help carry equipment and set up camp. We drove 15 miles on old logging roads, and then began our nine mile hike into the mountains. Though the climb was rigorous, the setting was spectacular. At one point we were surrounded by skunk cabbage with leaves so big I felt like I was in a scene from Jurassic Park. The smells--Sitka spruce, alder and cedar--were simply intoxicating. I took it all in until we finally reached some level ground and set up camp at the base of the alpine face we would hunt the next morning.