A hunt gone wrong: One man's story of survival in the Alaskan wilderness

Nov 29, 2013

Misty Fjords National Monument, near Ketchikan, Alaska, is where Adrian Knopps of Grand Ledge and his friend, Garrett Hagen, ran into trouble while bear hunting in September.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Man versus nature:  It’s a conflict as old as storytelling itself.  And for one Grand Ledge man, it’s a conflict he will never forget. 

Last September, Adrian Knopps, an electrician and avid hunter, went on a bear-hunting trip in southeastern Alaska with his friend, Alaska native Garrett Hagen. Only Adrian came back alive. And that was after he miraculously survived a week stranded in the wilderness with little to eat or drink, inadequate clothing and no shelter.

Adrian Knopps was gracious enough share his story with Current State producer Joe Linstroth.

It began on Sunday, September 15, 2013, when he and his friend Garrett set out to look for a bear. The two anchored Garrett’s 50-foot boat in a harbor near the mouth of the Chickamin River, which winds into the Misty Fjords National Monument, a rugged mountainous area known for its tremendous beauty. They moved into a 7-foot skiff and headed upriver about four or five miles until they found their spot and went ashore. It was 60 degrees and sunny, a gorgeous day for a bear hunt in Alaska.