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Craig Medred

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Round one of the duel of the dioramas opened in Anchorage on Wednesday when Bass Pro Shops swung wide the doors on its first and only store in the lone U.S. state with no bass...

Craig Medred

Hoss won his independence on the Fourth of July. It was easier for him than for me. The drugs put him peacefully to sleep, and he closed his eyes for the last time. By the time they opened again, he had quietly crossed over to the other side. No longer would he labor to breathe or bark those occasional, lone, sharp barks that came when he felt pain no one could see.

Though I'd spent weeks preparing for this day, it was bad. There are no easy ways to say goodbye to your best friend for the last time. Hoss was 16 years old, and we'd spent more than a dozen of those years trading thoughts...

Craig Medred

Two women badly mauled by grizzly bears in the Anchorage area in less than two months, with at least one common denominator: no bear spray.

Can anyone say with certainty that it would have kept either of them out of the hospital? No. But this much can be said: Without weapons of self-defense, both women were helpless against sow grizzlies instinctively attacking to protect their cubs.

Lots of people at this point can get into a nice debate about bear spray and guns. Let's not. Have you ever tried running with a gun capable of stopping a charging grizzly?...

Craig Medred

What appears to be the largest halibut caught in the Pacific Ocean in at least a decade has been landed in the Alaska Panhandle port of Gustavus, but it will not be a world record.

Seventy-seven-year-old Jack McGuire from Anaheim, Calif., lost the opportunity for the sport-fishing record book when his 482-pound halibut was shot and then harpooned before it was pulled aboard the charter boat Icy Rose.

International Game Fish Association rules ban the use of any tools other than a net or gaffe for landing fish, and the Florida-based IGFA maintains the international record book...

Craig Medred

Two months after trumpeting federal success in boosting the value of U.S. commercial fisheries, while dissing the value of the nation's sport fisheries, the National Marine Fisheries Service has conceded it cooked the books.

The original fisheries service report in April that led Laine Welch, the commercial fishing columnist for the Anchorage Daily News, to trumpet that "the debate over which sector -- commercial or recreational fishing -- provides the bigger economic punch can finally be put to rest...

Craig Medred

While little Mosca the Jack Russell terrier was being noisily killed by wolves earlier this month in Chugach State Park just above Anchorage, the dog's owner was hiking along a trail to Wolverine Peak unaware of what was going on because he was wearing headphones.

Hikers high on the 4,491-foot mountain clearly visible from Alaska's largest city said they heard a dog fight going on far below, but weren't sure what was happening.

"We heard this dog barking,'' one of them said. "This dog was just like going crazy.''

They were baffled as to the reason for the noise until after they met Brandon Ward on the trail yelling "Mosca! Mosca! Mosca!'' He told the hikers he was looking for his lost white dog. The dog, Ward told them, had run away...

Craig Medred

While little Mosca the Jack Russell terrier was being noisily killed by wolves earlier this month in Chugach State Park just above Anchorage, the dog's owner was hiking along a trail to Wolverine Peak unaware of what was going on because he was wearing headphones.

Hikers high on the 4,491-foot mountain clearly visible from Alaska's largest city said they heard a dog fight going on far below, but weren't sure what was happening.

"We heard this dog barking,'' one of them said. "This dog was just like going crazy.''

They were baffled as to the reason for the noise until after they met Brandon Ward on the trail yelling "Mosca! Mosca! Mosca!'' He told the hikers he was looking for his lost white dog. The dog, Ward told them, had run away...

Craig Medred

Let's hear it for the National Park Service saving Alaska's nearly non-existent park visitors from the scourge of wholly non-existent drones.

All 11 people who visited the Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve sans drones last June can now stand up and applaud National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis for protecting them from aerial threats.

Nevermind that 11 people amounts to maybe a couple groups of packrafters floating from the Aniakchak Caldera to Aniakchak Bay , and that the non-existent access to this 601,000-acre park unit in Western Alaska makes it difficult to pack a drone in there...

Craig Medred

What a month it's been for weirdness on the bear front. First comes the warning from noted Canadian bear researcher Stephen Herrero that old Fido -- your best friend -- might be your worst enemy in bear country.

Herrero and associate Hank Hristeienko crunched the numbers on black bear attacks in North America and concluded that in most cases involving bear attacks on people with dogs it appeared the dogs had " been running loose at the time of the attack and drew the bears to their owners."

Three dog owners ended up dead, which ought to make everyone think twice about taking their dog for a walk in the wilder parts of Anchorage, given that black bears are almost everywhere in the city...

Craig Medred

Francis Guenot, the wanderer who some in rural Alaska refer to as "the crazy Frenchman" has joined those gone missing, possibly forever, in the 49th state.

The 32-year-old Guenot, a French national, disappeared into the wild land of the 4-million-acre Katmai National Park sometime in May. A kayak believed to be his and gear that included his identification were found along the Katmai coast, about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage, last week.

Rangers who patrol the little-visited park and preserve spent two futile days looking for Guenot with the help of the U.S. Coast Guard and then turned the search over to Alaska State Troopers.

With no real idea of where to look for the missing man, troopers suspended the hunt shortly thereafter...

Craig Medred

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