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Craig Medred

The bears of Anchorage are not our friends. Neither are they our enemies. They are more like sometimes entertaining, sometimes difficult neighbors.

One of the bears was shot and killed in the U-Med District last week. That she died -- and sadly, it was a sow with two cubs -- brought predictable reactions.

"How is is that we live in Alaska and Fish and Game can't find a place to relocate the entire family?'' asked Josiah Jones in the comments of the Alaska Dispatch News story on the shooting ...

Craig Medred

Alaska big-game guide Joe Hendricks lived the life of legends....

Craig Medred,Tara Young

Alaska big-game guide Joe Hendricks lived the life of legends. For four decades, he roamed the wilds of the 49th state like some sort of northern, real-life version of Robert Wilson, the professional hunter in one of Ernest Hemingway's most famous short stories -- "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber."

Hendricks' game was big bears and Dall sheep, not the lions and buffalo of Wilson, but his life was much the same. Over the years, he estimates, his clients killed more than 100 grizzly bears, often known in Alaska simply as brown bears, and more than 300 sheep...

Craig Medred

An Alaska Army National Guard sergeant from Valdez is recovering from his injuries after an encounter with a sow grizzly bear and her cubs on the outskirts of Anchorage...

Craig Medred

Clarification: This story was updated Aug. 21, 2014 to include Wally Page's denial that he intentionally tried to swamp dipnetters by guiding his boat close to shore. Page said he did not set out to produce a large wake with his boat -- "It's complete fiction," Page said -- even though Medred and other dipnetters who were there that day felt differently...

Craig Medred

The Nabesna Ranger District of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve is an easy place to get lost. Sprawling east from Alaska's Richardson Highway across big river valleys, brushy hillsides and the desolate Nutzotin Mountains all the way to the U.S. border with Canada, the district covers 5 million acres, an area almost twice the size of Yellowstone National Park...

Craig Medred

* MORE ALASKANS MISSING: See We Alaskans magazine in Sunday's Alaska Dispatch News

Friends of Frenchman Francois Guenot still aren't sure of where he was going when he disappeared along the Gulf of Alaska coast in June, but they have begun to resign themselves to the fact they will likely never hear from him again.

Guenot — "The Crazy Frenchman," as some knew him — was trying to make his way to the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia from the village of Kokhanok on the south shore of giant Iliamna Lake, the eighth-largest in the U.S. The easiest route would be down the lake, out the Kvichak River to Bristol Bay and then west across the Bering Sea...

Craig Medred

A grand experiment in Cook Inlet fisheries management began along the coast of the Kenai Peninsula on Thursday when the Alaska Department of Fish and Game instituted a new commercial fishing rule intended to minimize bycatch of prized king salmon. With red salmon apparently on the verge of swarming east-side Inlet beaches, the agency opened commercial setnetting from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., but told setnetters they had a choice of fishing only two nets, which would likely cut their catch by a third, or three shallower nets, which it is hoped will allow the catch of just as many red salmon as normal while allowing king salmon to slip past unharmed.​ A standard net hangs down about 18 feet from a line of floats on the surface of the water....

Craig Medred

KENAI -- Alaska's most ignorant fisheries are now underway at the mouths of the Kenai and Kasilof rivers.

"Why is the river running the wrong way?" a Yuppie-ish woman in spanking new waders asked as a near 30-foot Cook Inlet tide came surging back into the river's mouth on a sunny Monday afternoon.

Ah, because the tide is coming in?

This might all be funny if it was only about silly questions. But it isn't. It's also about responsible use of Alaska resources.

One would think that before setting off to kill things, the men and women new to what the 49th state calls "personal use" dipnet fisheries would at least learn what it is they are legally allowed to kill. One would be wrong...

Craig Medred

Kenai River dipnetters appeared to be on the verge of going apoplectic Friday at the news the Alaska Department of Fish and Game might allow an emergency opening of the commercial setnet salmon fishery off the mouth of that river...

Craig Medred

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