Is mushing dying away in the Bristol Bay region?

Beaver Round-Up photo

Just as the Yukon mushing community debates whether old-fashioned dog mushing can hold its own in popularity against newer, flashier sports like backcountry snowboarding and kite skiing, mushers in Alaska's Bristol Bay region are worried too. But it's the expense of the sport that appears to be the problem there, they tell The Bristol Bay Times, not other sports.

 Just five dog teams ran in this year's Beaver Round-Up sprint races in Dillingham. That's way down from when you'd have around triple that number of teams, 10 to 15 years ago, according to longtime musher Jimmy Hurley, 57.

"It's dying out," he said. "I've got the last team left in Ekwok."

All around the region, and especially in the villages surrounding Lake Iliamna, it's the same story. Dog racing is on the decline. It's expensive and time consuming.

Hurley and his family aren't about to let their beloved sport die without a fight. They're making how-to videos emphasizing the fun and plan to put them on Facebook.

Read more at The Bristol Bay Times: Sled dog racing declining in Bristol Bay region