May 28, 2019

Very few people are familiar with the Sitka black-tailed deer that occupy the rainy islands of Southeast Alaska. A passionate biologist, Sophie Gilbert, shares her story of learning about these deer through her PhD research and how she finds help from a local hunter, Prince of Wales resident and hunter, Jim Baichtal.

Through his hunting knowledge they are able to capture and deer and utilize GPS collars to learn about their mysterious habits. The more that Sophie learns about Southeast Alaska hunting culture, hearing stories of unbelievable deer habitat in the high alpine that Jim calls his “Nirvana”, the more interested she becomes in hunting these deer for herself. Sophie didn’t grow up hunting, so the concept is foreign to her, but her mentor, Jim, is able to help her down the path.

Filmmakers and storytellers, Tyler Johnerson and Randy Newberg, accompany Jim and Sophie on an epic adventure to Jim’s “Nirvana”. The crew experience the ruggedness of the landscape, ponder the mysteries of these deer, learn about the culture of the deer on these islands, and come home with the prized meat that they provide.

An unlikely friendship, exciting adventure, and learning about the hunting culture of these deer offer a unique glimpse into the story of the “Rain Deer”

For more information. Visit https://sitkablacktail.org


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