Lucky to be alive! Alaska Elk

Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
577
Really glad you are okay! I have hunted that shit hole the last three years in a row during rifle. October is no better just add more rain, cold and possibly snow. I was the first one to get a tag and had to back up those who went with me on the other trips. Never again! We have gone in twice by boat and once by air to the upper lake. I have never even managed to see an elk on that island. Both boat trips it was warm enough they were up high and the fly in trip there was a freak snow storm that pushed them down. It is just as well. We are a fit group and once you get 1/2 mile or so through that crap the "what the heck are we going to do if we actually get one" caution light starts blinking. On both boat trips I have taken others off the island early because they had enough. We flew in with the pilot that took Corey Jacobsen out the day before. I guess they left packs and a rifle somewhere on the island. You are never dry after the first 24 hours. Did you happen to find the cut and stacked pile of firewood we left? I put a paper plate on the firewood with a skull and crossbones cautioning people to get back on the plane before it leaves. Again I am glad to hear you are okay. The last trip we were a group of paramedics and Lifeflight/Guardian pilots and we talked about what it would take to get someone out of there.
 

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WyoArk

WyoArk

FNG
Joined
Jun 5, 2022
Messages
72
Really glad you are okay! I have hunted that shit hole the last three years in a row during rifle. October is no better just add more rain, cold and possibly snow. I was the first one to get a tag and had to back up those who went with me on the other trips. Never again! We have gone in twice by boat and once by air to the upper lake. I have never even managed to see an elk on that island. Both boat trips it was warm enough they were up high and the fly in trip there was a freak snow storm that pushed them down. It is just as well. We are a fit group and once you get 1/2 mile or so through that crap the "what the heck are we going to do if we actually get one" caution light starts blinking. On both boat trips I have taken others off the island early because they had enough. We flew in with the pilot that took Corey Jacobsen out the day before. I guess they left packs and a rifle somewhere on the island. You are never dry after the first 24 hours. Did you happen to find the cut and stacked pile of firewood we left? I put a paper plate on the firewood with a skull and crossbones cautioning people to get back on the plane before it leaves. Again I am glad to hear you are okay. The last trip we were a group of paramedics and Lifeflight/Guardian pilots and we talked about what it would take to get someone out of there.
Holy crap, I did find the pile of wood!

I didn’t see the paper plate. I will agree with you, that’s sound advice. Treacherous isn’t even the word for that. Even the hike up out of the bigger lake to the high ground is hard for people to comprehend. It’s a level of hurt you have to experience to understand!
 
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WyoArk

WyoArk

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Joined
Jun 5, 2022
Messages
72
It might be a InReach Mini vs InReach Mini 2 difference as they have different messaging apps and couple more changes from the Mini to the Mini 2. I have no experience with the Zoleo.

As for your hand/knee issues, have you had any deep tissue massage done to those areas yet? I had a complete spiral fracture of the tibia and broke the upper head off the fibia in January of '23. There was almost a week before I got surgery and my leg had started healing in that week. They had to really pull and twist on my foot to stretch the muscles and tendons at the break to get me lined up for the rod to be inserted. Long story short, I ended up with some scarring and calcification of the muscles and tendons in my leg a couple of inched above and below the break. I was released back to full weight bearing and back to work 15 days after the surgery but still had this "hard" spot that was sore after being on my feet all day and seemed to block good lymphatic flow as that leg would swell a bit. I mentioned this to a buddy of mine who works in sports medicine when he asked how I was doing after my surgery. He suggested range of motion massage which is a form of deep tissue massage where you do range of motion exercises while getting deep tissue massage on the affected area. This allows any calcification or stuck sheaths (muscles and tendons ride inside of lubricated sheaths) to be freed and for increased blood flow and healing. Might work for your crush trauma to break the muscles and tendons loose to keep you from the "stove up" feeling. I know it worked good for me. I did a 10 mile hike in 9 hours in the Missouri River Breaks in Eastern Montana on Wednesday. I had sore knees and muscles Wednesday night but felt great Thursday morning. Not bad for a 47 year old guy (6'6" 290#) who broke his leg just over 9 months ago.

Hope you find some relief from your soreness.

Jay
No sir, I haven’t done any massages. I am back in the gym. Training away again. I’ve regained most of my upper body strength. Still going easy on the knee. My latest MRI was good. I should be up and running by New years.
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2023
Messages
301
Man, glad you made it out! Even for folks as thoroughly prepared and experienced as you guys were/are, those kinds of places, like the sea, are stunningly unforgiving and can kill you quick. Color me unadventurous if you will ( or just plain not enough guts! ), but even in my younger days I never wanted to hunt ANYTHING that bad!
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
577
Man, glad you made it out! Even for folks as thoroughly prepared and experienced as you guys were/are, those kinds of places, like the sea, are stunningly unforgiving and can kill you quick. Color me unadventurous if you will ( or just plain not enough guts! ), but even in my younger days I never wanted to hunt ANYTHING that bad!
You mentioned prepared. It was mind blowing to me Corey Jacobsen set out with so little gear in his video. I can't think he was that foolish and it was just to embellish for a more adventurous video to sell. We never had any intention of not returning to base camp each night. Even with that we left with full packs of food, water filters, emergency tarps, fire starters, and a complete set of extra warm dry clothes, puffy jacket plus more. All of this is in dry bags inside our packs. Daylight is short so we also had a predetermined turn around time.
 

GhostBass25

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Dec 6, 2023
Messages
118
You may be hurting but you are very much alive. This story was an amazing one man, glad to see you’re alright.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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WyoArk

WyoArk

FNG
Joined
Jun 5, 2022
Messages
72
You mentioned prepared. It was mind blowing to me Corey Jacobsen set out with so little gear in his video. I can't think he was that foolish and it was just to embellish for a more adventurous video to sell. We never had any intention of not returning to base camp each night. Even with that we left with full packs of food, water filters, emergency tarps, fire starters, and a complete set of extra warm dry clothes, puffy jacket plus more. All of this is in dry bags inside our packs. Daylight is short so we also had a predetermined turn around time.
Honestly, I was surprised that they left out of there with that load out away from base camp. We had full on spike camp gear at all times. It’s just to easy to get caught in a bad spot up there. I had my hilleberg nallo 2, Yukon rain gear, stone glacier puffy coat and pants, food and emergency kit with all the survival things at all times. If anyone goes on this hunt, I can’t reiterate enough how important it is to have the essentials on you at all times. I don’t think Corey was trying to make the hunt seem more adventurous, I just think they wanted to lighten the packs to cover ground. I could be wrong. They got extremely lucky. They could have easily died up there in the rain. There were a couple of nights when the rain was coming down so hard that I don’t think you would survive with limited gear like he and his crew had. I’ll never tell someone not to go on a hunt, but you really have to plan for the absolute worst on that one.
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2023
Messages
301
Honestly, I was surprised that they left out of there with that load out away from base camp. We had full on spike camp gear at all times. It’s just to easy to get caught in a bad spot up there. I had my hilleberg nallo 2, Yukon rain gear, stone glacier puffy coat and pants, food and emergency kit with all the survival things at all times. If anyone goes on this hunt, I can’t reiterate enough how important it is to have the essentials on you at all times. I don’t think Corey was trying to make the hunt seem more adventurous, I just think they wanted to lighten the packs to cover ground. I could be wrong. They got extremely lucky. They could have easily died up there in the rain. There were a couple of nights when the rain was coming down so hard that I don’t think you would survive with limited gear like he and his crew had. I’ll never tell someone not to go on a hunt, but you really have to plan for the absolute worst on that one.
WyoArk, truly this question is out of pure curiosity and in absolutely no way is intended as some sort of criticism but.......Do you consider hunting ( or anything else for that matter ) in such demanding and unforgiving environments to be the province of adrenaline junkies? Thanks.
 
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WyoArk

WyoArk

FNG
Joined
Jun 5, 2022
Messages
72
WyoArk, truly this question is out of pure curiosity and in absolutely no way is intended as some sort of criticism but.......Do you consider hunting ( or anything else for that matter ) in such demanding and unforgiving environments to be the province of adrenaline junkies? Thanks.
honestly, I can only speak for myself here. It sort of was in my case.

I mean locals guys hunt it because it is what they have to hunt. I doubt they are an adrenaline junkie. I had a really good idea of how demanding this hunt is and I did it anyway. The things I enjoy most in life, tend to be difficult. Chasing bulls is rush for me. Working really hard to achieve goals is rewarding to me. I love challenging things.

That being said it wasn’t the only reason. I had only looked at pictures and videos of the island. The scenery is absolutely other worldly. Pictures can do no justice to it. I had to see it firsthand.
 
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
577
honestly, I can only speak for myself here. It sort of was in my case.

I mean locals guys hunt it because it is what they have to hunt. I doubt they are an adrenaline junkie. I had a really good idea of how demanding this hunt is and I did it anyway. The things I enjoy most in life, tend to be difficult. Chasing bulls is rush for me. Working really hard to achieve goals is rewarding to me. I love challenging things.

That being said it wasn’t the only reason. I had only looked at pictures and videos of the island. The scenery is absolutely other worldly. Pictures can do no justice to it. I had to see it firsthand.
Another reason locals hunt it is they can wait out a weather window. I feel bad for the countless people that fly to Ketchikan and never get any closer. Most locals still will have nothing to do with that place.
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2022
Messages
310
Location
Anchorage AK
I have a saying “live your life so when you’re in the old folks home, the nurses say “watch out for that old fart in room 20, he/she tells the wildest stories and lies.”” Then my kids show up with pictures when I die.
You just added to your Old Fart Storybook…bigly
Keep stacking them stories up, buddy. But safely, of course 😬
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2023
Messages
301
honestly, I can only speak for myself here. It sort of was in my case.

I mean locals guys hunt it because it is what they have to hunt. I doubt they are an adrenaline junkie. I had a really good idea of how demanding this hunt is and I did it anyway. The things I enjoy most in life, tend to be difficult. Chasing bulls is rush for me. Working really hard to achieve goals is rewarding to me. I love challenging things.

That being said it wasn’t the only reason. I had only looked at pictures and videos of the island. The scenery is absolutely other worldly. Pictures can do no justice to it. I had to see it firsthand.
Once again, glad you made it out, and thanks. God bless.
 

bvan5768

FNG
Joined
Dec 13, 2023
Messages
6
3 days ago I came as close as I ever have to losing my life. I was on the infamous Alaska archery elk hunt. Me and my buddy both trained for 11 months. Not typical training, I mean running two half marathons a week, endless leg days. You get the picture. I am 40 and he is 36. We both have been at this for many years.

Our gear was dialed. Looking back at our load out, it was perfect. We had all the things. I wouldn’t change a thing. We were good for 14 days easily. We probably could have stretched it out to 17 or 18.

The only sunlight we saw, was the day we arrived. We’re were able to establish our base camp above the very formidable jungle. Had a seek outside hot tent and a seek titanium wood stove, so we just dug in.

It rained for a solid 4 days and 5 nights.We sat in the tent and played it safe. Heavy rain and zero visibility above the alpine. We knew better than to make a big maneuver in that crap. No visibility at all.

Day 5, the rain breaks in the morning, but the cloud was still stuck on top of the mountain we really wanted to hunt/spot. We opted to throw the Katoola’s on and head to the highest vantage point we could glass and not be fogged out.

It paid off.

I spotted a herd bull and 9 or 10 cows, 2000 feet below us.
Since we couldn’t see the alpine for the fog,We decided that we would try to make a play. We Dont leave elk to find elk! The rain was going to come back in for another 5 or 6 day round, and this was our only chance for who knows how long.

The problem was, that the entire basin was cliffed out. I mean you need repelling equipment or a parachute to get to the valley.

The only way down was 1500 vertical feet over 700 yards. It is straight down an avalanche shoot. This is a jagged Boulder field between two mountains with a raging creek in the bottom.

We had made it to the last 40 yard section of the shoot. The elk are within 200 yards of us by now.
This last 40 yards is extremely technical. This is where it went bad.

I was in the lead, and I lowered myself down a Boulder, and was about to start navigating the next set of boulders.

All of the sudden, I heard my partner yell my name. Too late for me to move. This is microseconds.

I vividly remember seeing something huge and black over my right shoulder.

My feet had solid purchase and my back was square to the boulder.

I squatted under it, and braced for impact.

You have all heard stories of mothers lifting cars off their Children in moments of crisis.

I can’t say that is exactly what happened, but something like that transpired.

I had my stone glacier pack on with my hilleberg nallo, my heavy layers, rain gear and a few other softer items.

When the Boulder hit, it bent me over like a taco. Somehow, and I have no idea how….I kept my footing. I have never felt weight on my back like that before. It flattened my chest into my left knee.

My buddy saw all of this from above. Later he said that he was certain he was watching me die.

The Boulder rolled over my back like a ramp and fell at my feet. I began to scream. I looked down and I was covered in blood.
I was still standing, but I was in a state of shock. Catching my breath was impossible.

Shortly there after, I passed out. My buddy thought that I was bleeding internally. Once again, he thinks I am dying.


While I was out, I remember feeling warm and having a distant memory of working on farm machinery with my little brother. Very weird, but that’s how I remember it.

I was only out for about 30 seconds, but it seemed much longer to me. Then all I knew was that my buddy was yelling my name over the top of me.

I came back to the world. Amazingly, I stood back up.

The blood was from my left arm and my hand. I had caught myself with that arm to brace myself and it had shoved me down and cut me up pretty bad.

Immediately, I knew that I had broken some ribs. It had pushed my bino harness and my 10 mm straight into my ribs. My back was fine, as were my neck, and head. The stone glacier pack sits high on my back and I had my lid on. I was only bleeding from the arm.

Then I look at the Boulder. Guys this thing is as big as a love seat. I would guess it to be in the 800-1000 pound range.

At this point, we are terrified that I could be bleeding internally. We knew we had to get me to medical attention.

Big problem here. We are in the bottom of a v chalice avalanche shoot. The coast guard would never be able to get a chopper in there to get me. The canyon walls are much too steep and the wind is insane.

I looked at my buddy, and I said I don’t know if I can hike out of here. He said “ you have to man, I can’t carry you”.


I didn’t have the balance to climb with my pack on. My amazing hunting partner grabbed both packs, and we took off.

Somehow, we managed to hike the 700 yards back out of the shoot. We got on the inreach and contacted our pilot.

He’s on a parts run out of town, so he gives us search and rescues contact. We can’t add contacts from the bush, so I had to message my wife and have her contact search and rescue.

While all of this is going on, we have to descend another Mile down the mountain. I am really hurting bad by this point. My buddy is scared the plane is going to leave us as the weather is getting bad again. He takes off ahead of me to flag him down.

I am feeling rather confused at this point, and struggling to make sense of things. There are no trails on the island, and I can’t find the tape markers we had in the devils club.


Finally, I find the creek that goes down to the lake. I just jump in, and go up to the waist in it. After a few hundred more yards, I see the wing of a 185 Cessna float plane in the lake.

Search and rescue was able to get us out of there and back to town. Thankfully, the small town has a hospital. I had a bunch of X-rays, a CT scan, and an ultra sound of my organs.

I cracked ribs, broke my ulna, and smashed my hand. I also required quite a few stitches in my left arm.

Guys, I got off extremely light. I didn’t have any internal bleeding, and all of my organs were intact.

I saw the grim reaper 3 days ago in Alaska.

Words can’t describe how close I was to being crushed to death.

Btw, the Boulder hit me so hard that it completely obliterated my stone glacier Krux frame. It’s like carbon shredded wheat.

I was so thankful to see my wife and dog at the airport this morning in Denver. I feel like I am living on borrowed time friends.

I’m cut up, beat up, broken up, and terribly sore……..but I am alive!View attachment 602419View attachment 602416View attachment 602418View attachment 602479View attachment 602480View attachment 602481View attachment 602481
We can all learn from this. Glad you are ok
 

z987k

WKR
Joined
Sep 9, 2020
Messages
1,541
Location
AK
There may have been a way to add a contact. I carry the zoleo and my buddy has a garmin. I’m not knocking garmin or zoleo. We both had the coast guard added, but honestly I didn’t feel like I was so bad that I needed a 30k bill. I do have insurance, but with todays insurance…..I wasn’t really wanting to test that policy out sir.

We did not have search and rescue added. Shame on us for not getting that contact before we headed out. We should have.

That said, we needed to keep moving. There storm was coming in and I had lost quite a bit of blood. Not to mention that I wasn’t stove up yet. Boy I was the next week/months. Still having trouble with my left knee and my left hand.

it was just easier to get her to call them and explain over a phone conversation instead of us having a satellite text war. I’m sure if we had messed around with either the zoleo or the garmin we could have found a way. Neither device was faulty and if it had been much worse, I wouldn’t have hesitated to hit the sos and call in the coast guard.
The coast guard ride is free.
 
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