Hanging in for the Shot

By Cliff Skaggs

Cliff Skaggs
Alaska, 2008, Guided

It was the first of May 2008 and my good friend, Ben Geiger, called me with a huge request. He asked, “Hey, Cliff; can you hook me up with a good outfitter for grizzly and black bear?”

I told Ben that I had a great contact in Alaska who has produced some outstanding grizzlies in the past. I called an old friend, Rick Stickle, owner of Sugarloaf Packing and Outfitting, Inc. in Healy, Alaska to see if he had any openings. “I have the 12th through the 25th open,” he said.

I asked Rick to also add me in for a moose on this hunt. I have always wanted to challenge my archery skills on an Alaska moose. He was going to set this up with another one of my good friends, Mike VanBebber (also known as “VB”) as our guide. This true mountain man has been guiding in the Alaska wilderness for the past 30 years.

A few days before we were scheduled to leave for Alaska, Ben called to tell me he had just returned from the hospital. His knee had been crushed in an accident at work and the MRI report indicated he needed surgery. Disappointed, Ben agreed with me that he could not make the hunt.

Hanging in for the Shot

For a full account of Cliff's adventure, go to page 28 in the July/August 2009 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.