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Alaskan-Yukon Trophies Won and Lost

The author's depictions of isolation, scenic wonder, plentiful game and grueling challenge strikingly convey the risks and rewards of hunting this wild land.

The North American hunting epic, Alaskan-Yukon Trophies Won and Lost, was recently re-released in a hardcover replica edition.


It details G.O. Young's record of a 1919 expedition that takes a near-tragic turn. The author's depictions of isolation, scenic wonder, plentiful game and grueling challenge strikingly convey the risks and rewards of hunting this wild land. What makes it all so engaging is that the conditions they faced 90 years ago are still in force today.


After responding to a hunting-magazine ad, Young, who was a West Virginia pharmacist, joined a party intent on journeying on horseback along a route crossing from southeastern Alaska into the Yukon. Along the way they would hunt mountain goats, Dall sheep, grizzly bears, moose and caribou, doubling up on their game bags by hunting both sides of the border. Eventually they would emerge at the White River, where they would switch conveyance to a boat built from timbers cut on the spot, float downstream to the confluence with the Yukon River, at which point they would catch a steamer to Whitehorse.


Though the trip was not without its daily hardships, the men were extremely successful in collecting their game, including many that Young terms "unusual" trophies-in which case he means unusually large. In fact, their outfitter is so intent on filling all the tags that he extends the hunt, even to the dismay of some party members who fear that the rapidly oncoming winter will jeopardize their tightly laid arrangements. What ensues is an inspiring lesson to readers on many different levels.


(By G.O. Young, $39.95, 273 pages, hardcover, Wolfe Publishing; available from Alaskan Safari & Trading, 907-224-3552)


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