Column: Fear of the single star

I was reading through the posts in an author’s forum and an author asked how to delete negative comments on an Amazon review. The answer, of course, was that it was impossible. Another asked whether or not she should respond to a critic with an explanation as to why her protagonist did, in fact, make…

Column: My favorite month, I think

Part of being an Alaskan requires tolerance, selective observation, quasi-scientific data gathering or a bit of each. If the decision of residency came simply down to a matter of degrees Fahrenheit, Alaska would be the land of the most irrational folks in the United States. But comfort is relative. We, of course, know that while…

Column: Don’t waste it

The problem with having a favorite time of year is the temptation to wish away the rest of it. Outdoorsmen and women, probably men more than women, can get so fixated on an identity that we can’t live year-round, we just punt away so much of our time. This makes us risk totally miss the…

Column: Otter squatter

An otter took up residence in my boat. I am assuming it was an otter because of the shell fragments in the runny excretions left in the forward stowage of my 21-foot North River soft top Seahawk. I’d like to skin the otter for weaseling its way in there, but I guess I can’t really…

Column: The Modern Walter Mitty

Dreams of the modern Walter Mitty are not known only to himself. He scrolls through Instagram for ideas, and when it’s time, fabricates a protagonist to be not only shared, but validated by anyone who cares to give it a Like. It’s the life he wishes he lived. At some point, that’s the overwhelming majority…

Column: Ticket to paradise

Sheep. Goat. Caribou. Bison.Not necessarily in that order. In fact, I really don’t know what I would choose if I drew hunting permits for them all, but I’m not going to draw any of them, so I won’t have to worry.   As a side note, hunters get trapped into thinking they have to justify what…

Column: On to Plan J

Thanks to circumstances outside of my control, I wasn’t able to hunt the spot that fueled my off-season rut dreams. I took one buck there last year, but it was the other two that had me itching. The buck that never cleared the brush while I was at full draw. The buck that raked a…

Column: Earning the local title

My buddy texted at 4 a.m. saying the hunt was a no-go. He’d been up all night and was worried he was getting run down. One of the worst things you can do as a teacher is fall behind on your health early in the school year, even when there isn’t a Pandemic. Anyway, I…

Column: Duck, duck, jalapeno popper

I have to resist the temptation sometimes to wish that I had started things earlier because that might imply that my life, to that point, may have been lacking. I didn’t really start deer hunting until I was 33 years old. I didn’t start duck hunting until last year, though I owned a shot gun for over…

Column: Over the next hill…

There’s always a fish or deer or quorum of wigeon that peck at you during the off season. If not, then it’s a lake, mountain or muskeg. This off-season was a bonus. Not only was it a flock of geese that flew too high for my 12-gauge to reach, but also that 4-point buck that…