Are you ready to take on hunting’s ‘Final Frontier’?

I remember the day as if it was yesterday.

My good pal and hunting buddy Steve Wild came to my house for an unexpected visit to discuss our next hunting trip over a coffee. “Nothing unusual in that?” you might think, but the conversation that day took a decidedly different direction to normal…

After the usual small talk and chit-chat, he finally blurted out his purpose for the visit. “I want to go hunting in Alaska” Steve said, but without his usual confident tone. “It’s got to be done before I get too old and I’m not physically able.” He looked somewhat relieved when he’d finally managed to get his words out, but my response was not what he expected.

“No, you don’t” I replied almost instantaneously. Steve looked shocked. “Why is that? he questioned, looking a little confused. “You’re too heavy, too unfit, not prepared and you’ll probably end up dying out there” I explained. “It may look amazing on the TV, but wilderness hunting in Alaska is tough. Out there you are just part of the food chain and I don’t want to come home and explain to your wife and children that you’ve been eaten by a grizzly bear.”

I could tell immediately that this was not the response he was hoping for, but a reality check was needed. The Alaska wilderness is no place for the casual recreational hunter. It requires respect and a dedicated approach to preparation. Only then will you be able to enjoy the sheer magnificence of the environment, it’s beautiful flora and incredible fauna.

But Steve was unperturbed by this stark rebuttal, and set about his preparations. Over the next 4 months he trained his body for the exertions ahead, losing weight and building strength. This is essential not only to be able to hunt, but also pack out the meat and skins from the animals we hunt. In Alaska, all meat must be harvested from the animals and returned to civilization for processing. This is all done on foot through some of the most challenging terrain imaginable.

Steve invested many hours into honing his shooting skills, working on his long-range marksmanship and familiarising himself with his rifle and optics. He researched as many resources as he could on hunting in Alaska including articles, videos and books. He followed the outfitters guidance notes on what equipment he should bring and made sure that everything was in place and he knew how it worked. Our final exercise was to pack all 28kg of gear into our backpacks and undertake a 14km trek to simulate moving camp through the mountains. After months of preparation and sacrifice, he was now ready.

IOver the next 13 Episodes you will see the reality of wilderness hunting in Alaska. This breathtaking environment shows Mother Nature at her best and very worst – mountains, rivers and spectacular scenery coupled with violent storms, voracious predators and isolation. But in these challenging conditions, we discovered who we really were as hunters. We worked together as a team to harvest some of the most incredible animals you can imagine, resulting in the most successful Alaska combo hunts ever and create memories that will last a lifetime.

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