Name: Sam Rohrer
Residence: Kodiak Island, Alaska
Occupation: Hunting Guide
Years lived in Alaska: All my life
Current Location: Mush Bay at Roher Bear Camp – Kodiak Island
Date of Photo: September 2, 2023
Temperature: 56 F/Outdoors
Current Weather: High overcast
What brought you to live in Alaska:
I first came to Alaska, well because I was born here. My folks came from Pennsylvania. My dad felt like God wanted him in Kodiak, so he married my mom, loaded her up in his truck, and they moved here in the early ’70s. I’ve stayed in Kodiak because I can’t imagine living anywhere else. Where else do you have the mountains and the ocean right at your fingertips? It was a great place to grow up and a great place for me to raise my family now.
How has Alaska captured your heart?
Alaska has captured my heart because it’s wild and free here. It’s big country where you can find peace and solitude and adventure, and it’s a hard country that challenges a person. It keeps us tough and sharp. Alaska’s full of my kind to people, honest, hardworking, independent folks, and Alaska’s full of opportunity if you’re willing to work hard enough and be creative.
Describe just one of your favorite “Best Days” or “Most memorable experiences” in Alaska.
My most memorable experience was taking my oldest daughter, Anna, on her first hunt. She was eight years old, and I was going to help her get her first black tail.
By this point in my life, I was an experienced hunting guide. I knew how to get people on game regardless if they were young, old, slow or fast, it didn’t matter. I had dreamed and planned this moment for quite some time. I was sure the hunt was going to be a breeze and that it was going to be a grand beginning to building many more hunting experiences with Anna.
She flew into camp late in the morning, so we didn’t have a lot of time to hunt. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground and it was cold out, so I figured her best chances were to cruise the shore looking for a deer down low.
Well, I was not prepared for the challenge of anchoring the boat in a hurry while trying to get an eight-year-old who’s wrapped in 10 layers of clothes, up a slick beach. Then get my backpack rest set up while helping her look through the scope. Then find the deer in the scope. Then find the crosshair in the scope. Then find the deer and the crosshair in the scope at the same time, all while simultaneously being quiet and sneaky and trying not to spook the deer off.
Five failed sneaks, several snack breaks, and at least three bathroom breaks later I was feeling quite a bit less optimistic about our chances. We had about 40 minutes of hunting light left in the day, and we decided to walk back to this little meadow that was 15 minutes off the beach as a last-ditch effort. We stood on the edge of the meadow until we were almost out of light.
Disappointed I told Anna that was time to go. She said she had to go to the bathroom first, and I said, “Nope. It’s getting dark. We have got to go.” But as was Anna’s way, she insisted 10 layers of clothes off, then 10 layers of clothes back on. Just as she was zipping up her coat, a three-by-three with this cool long spike for a second eye guard stepped out from behind a fallen cottonwood just 30 yards away.
Anna quickly knelt back down in the snow. Everything came together and she killed it with one perfect shot. We snapped a quick picture. I grabbed it by the antlers, and we took off for the skiff. We hit the beach just as it got dark.
I was wrong about the hunt being a breeze, but I was definitely right about it being the beginning of many, many more hunting experiences with Anna.
What in Life do you know for sure?
What I know for sure in life is that this country around me, the mountains, the ocean, the bears, this didn’t all just happened by chance or accident. There’s a purpose to it, and there has to be a creator behind it.
The Bible tells me that this creator is God, and that not only did he create all of this, but that he also created me. It also says that he created me with a purpose to have a relationship with him. But the Bible goes on to say that my sins and wrong choices prevent me from having that relationship.
The Bible tells me that God wants this relationship with me so badly that he sent his son, Jesus, to earth to die on a cross, to cover over my sin, and that if I believe this to be true and put my faith and confidence in this, then my broken relationship will be mended with God.
So this is the one thing I know for sure. There is a God, and he sent his son, Jesus, to earth to make a way for me to have a relationship with my creator.
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