Episode on Bowhunter TV features Dankemeyer
Troy Dankemeyer has lived in Davis County since 2011, but his lifestyle is not that of a typical Davis Countyan.
Two months out of the year — August and September and perhaps into October — Dankemeyer works as an outfitter specializing in archery hunts for brown bear and moose on the Alaskan peninsula with camps along the Bering Sea.
The other months of the year, Dankemeyer resides in southwestern Davis County and lives a more uneventful life managing approximately 3,000 acres of land for absentee owners.
“These are investment/hunting properties,” Dankemeyer said. “There are a lot of absentee landowners in Davis, Appanoose, and Van Buren Counties.
“My clients are affluent and anonymous. Their typical farms will be half crop (Dankemeyer manages the rental ground) with some land in various programs. The farming income is not as important as the use for hunting properties,” he said.
“This area is the best area on the planet to kill big white tails. Realtors know this, and the best and biggest TV shows on hunting whitetail are filmed in this area of the state.”
Come August, Dankemeyer’s adventurous side surfaces and he travels to the Alaskan Tundra to guide hunts for large, salmon-fed brown bear.
He has had a passion for adventure since childhood when he enjoyed reading stories about Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone and the early frontier.
“I always knew I was going to do this (hunt bear),” he said. “I don’t feel like I’m in danger, I feel like I’m in control. If I didn’t feel like I was on top of the situation, I wouldn’t be doing it.
“I have a passion for living and a passion for adventure. Hunting brown bear in Alaska is true adventure; one of the last places on earth with such true adventure.”
Dankemeyer said local outdoor enthusiasts may want to tune in to the latest episode of Bowhunter TV. The episode features Dankmeyer’s guiding and hunting career.
Dankemeyer is also planning to share his adventures in a series of short stories he is writing for an upcoming book, “Rubber Waders, Carbon Arrows, and Balls of Steel: Fifteen years of guiding bow hunts for brown bear on the Alaskan Tundra.”
Explaining his desire to share his stories, Dankemeyer says, “Being fortunate enough to guide and hunt all over the globe in my career, I have decided to put some of these adventures into a narrative. My primary reason for doing so is to inspire the young of our generation, much like I was inspired, to follow their dreams of exploration and adventure. I hope they know there are still people out there doing so. These hair-raising, life-threatening, and sometimes very humorous stories are for you. Do not give up on those dreams, and follow your passions in life!
“After years of tent camps on the Bering Sea, battling the harshest weather Mother Nature can throw, walking away from dangerous bush plane routes, and surviving showdowns with some huge bears, here are my stories…Enjoy!”
The Mexican Standoff
By Troy Dankemeyer
We had just finished up with the big bull. Earlier that morning, my client’s son had shot a great 63-inch bull moose that we were butchering and packing out. It’s always a monumental task getting all of a 1,100-pound animal out of the bush, nine pack trips on your back.
It reminded me why I spend my offseason working so hard on my cardio and weights at the Mutchler Center. Besides, spirits were high, because I knew in the days to come this was going to be a hotspot to get my client in on a big bear. My client was a 74-year-old gentleman from Mexico City who happened to not speak any English. Communication is always key on these hunts, but we were getting by just fine.
The plan of attack for the next day was to go in early on the kill and see if a bear had come in and “cached” the carcass of the bull overnight. If one had, my assistant guide and I would set up blind 50 yards upwind of the carcass for the following evening hunt.
Like I mentioned, spirits were high at supper that night—this setup is as good as you can get to potentially get a chance at a good bear.
The following morning, we ate a leisurely breakfast and travelled the six miles upriver to hike into the spot where the big bull dropped. Upon entering the area quietly, we quickly discovered the moose remains had been covered up, meaning a bear had come in during the night and found the carcass. Working quickly and very alert, we set up the blind. It’s always a hair-raising experience entering a freshly cached kill. You have no idea if the bear is 50 yards away, 300 yards away, or laying on the kill... Tense moments for sure.
We completed our setup, backtracked out, and felt confident. However, we do not know at this point if a small bear, a big boar, or a sow with cubs had done this. You just hope for the best, that it’s a big boar.
Later that afternoon, my client and I were ready to get back out to the carcass, when his son asked to come along. Usually I do not allow other people to accompany the client and I, but decided if his son wanted to spend some time hunting with his father, I would be okay with taking three to the blind.
After we travelled upriver and anchored the boat, we started the quarter-mile hike through the alders and ferns to the carcass. As customary, I go in first on the last 60 to 80 yards of the trek to make sure there are no surprise encounters.
As this day would have it, I snuck to about 70 yards from the carcass, and saw movement. My client and his son were 20 yards behind me at the time, and I slowly motioned for them to come to me. As they quietly reached me, I whispered to them that there was a sow and two cubs on the carcass. Not the best news for us, meaning that they came in throughout the night and not the big bear we had hoped for. Nonetheless, we do have a contingency plan.