Alaskan Bush Pilot

A Photo Essay by Moe Lauchert

January 1, 2020

Alaskan Bush Pilot

We have been lucky enough to work with the incredibly talented photographer, Moe Lauchert, for a little over a year now. I’m sure that most of you have seen some of his work on our website, in our new catalog, or in our advertising. With this photo essay he perfectly captures the rugged, harsh, unforgiving environment that is Alaskan wilderness and the gritty, determined drive required to call that wilderness your home. Every time I look at this set of photos I get a flood of feelings about individualism, the almost overwhelming power of Mother Nature, the fragility of humankind, but perhaps the strongest is the “call of the wild.” The deep blue hues of the Knik Glacier, the earthy greens and brown of the moss covered soil, the low-hanging clouds, they all just make me want to get outside and breathe it all in. By sharing this photo essay, I hope you will feel something as well. We look forward to sharing more of Moe’s work in future issues.

EPISODE 1

Locations: Knik Glacier/Lake George (camping area)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

We surveyed the Knik Glacier area for a place to put down for the night. However, with about 17 hours of daylight we decided to bushwhack through thick alder and damp wooded area and glass our surroundings. After an hour or so we had visual of a black bear and tracked it for a few hours. The late winter conditions and extended hibernation period drastically reduced our number of encounters and we decided to take advantage of the presented opportunity.

EPISODE 2

Location: Knik Glacier/Lake George (camping area)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

“If it’s not the cold that gets you, it’ll be the wet.” A constant drizzle fanned over the wings of the Cessna 185. We tied the plane down, set up the tent, and gathered our water from the glacial stream nearby. everything to keep warm, dry and prepare for the incoming storm. After setup we took a trail to the east and scoped the mountainside across the stream.

EPISODE 3

Location: Knik Glacier/Lake George (camping area)

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

We returned to camp after fighting through the alders and the temps dropped quickly
despite the extended amount of daylight. Jon bundles up with a Mountain Hardware expedition jacket to combat the damp chill. Hot coffee and fresh Alaska-caught salmon was a morale booster as we settled in for the night. We stayed near the plane and chatted with the AR-7 nearby just in case any small game wandered into the field to the East.

EPISODE 4

Knik Glacier/Lake George (camping area) – McArthur River

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Preflight began early as more clouds rolled in and the drizzle began to pick up. We
made a quick stop back inland for fuel and flew out heading towards McArthur River. An hour long flight in less-than-ideal weather lead us to a deserted patch of alaskan wilderness where we began another hunt.

EPISODE 5

Anchorage/Jon’s residence

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Preparing for the trip was a fine balance between essentials and gross weight.
Limited by the restrictions of the aircraft we made sure to only include the necessary equipment for the trip without skimping on mandatory items. Aside from the sat phone and emergency beacon we utilized a lot of the major elements from the Henry survival kit to supplement our own should the worst occur.

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