Hunting > Adventure

Alaska’s Asian Reindeer

The author’s journal entries document a rare hunt for these “Asian reindeer,” as well as the effects of eating 10 sea urchins in one night.

Amid Alaska’s Aleutian Island’s ash-belching volcanoes and foggy seas exists a population of animals so unspoiled, so un-hunted by non-native Aleuts, that the Boone and Crockett Club only recently decided how to classify them. The author’s journal entries document a rare hunt for these “Asian reindeer,” as well as the effects of eating 10 sea urchins in one night.

October 29, 2008
3:15 a.m.: Typical. My ride will be here in 20 minutes and I’ve just finished packing. We’re headed to one of the greatest hunting destinations in the world: Alaska! We’ll be hunting the westernmost part of the state, the stormy Aleutian Island chain that divides the Atlantic Ocean and the Bering Sea. We’ll literally be hunting between two worlds—halfway between Asia and continental North America.

Two years ago a fellow named George Weaver approached me at the Safari Club International (SCI) convention and asked if I’d be interested in hunting reindeer in Alaska. Reindeer? I knew Asian reindeer were released in parts of Alaska about 80 years ago, but I didn’t realize they could be hunted anywhere other than Greenland and Europe. They’re interesting animals that grow larger antlers in relation to their body size than all other big game. Needless to say, it didn’t take me long to sign on for the adventure.

9:25 p.m.: Anchorage is a tremendous city. I’d move here in a second if I thought I was worthy of the challenge. The hunters are some of the best and toughest in the world. I’m staying tonight at the Captain Cook Hotel. Nice place.....

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