Alaska’s Kodiak Island is often called a sportsman’s paradise. Within an hour’s travel from home, Kodiak residents can find a half-dozen species of big game and a variety of small game. There is an absolute wealth of sport fish, including all five species of Pacific salmon and halibut that can outweigh an NFL lineman. The individual who prefers to just explore will find an endless array of bays and passes framed by snowcapped peaks and teeming with wildlife. And there are hundreds of small, uninhabited islands in the area to visit for an hour or a month at a time.
But this can be a vicious land. The serene bay that provided an effortless kayak ride a few days ago can today be pounded with ocean waves of 30 or even 40 feet. The bush pilot who was supposed to pick you up at your camp or cabin may be delayed a day or weeks by wind, fog, or as was recently the case, by ash fall from a nearby volcano. And even in perfect weather, the world famous Kodiak brown bear may wreck your camp and consume every meal you planned to enjoy for the duration of your trip.
The maker of one of the military’s favorite sniper rifles is no stranger to the...
by John Larsen / Jul 1, 2007