15-year-old Alaskan female huntress takes break from prom to scratch a grizzly

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Nestled in the snowcapped mountains at the mouth of the Noatak River on Alaska's remote Kotzebue Sound, a young hunter waited for the perfect shot on a big brown bear-- after all, she had to get to prom by 8 p.m.

The town

Located some 33-miles north of the Arctic Circle, the city of Kotzebue, Alaska (pop. 3200) is one of the most remote in the world. In fact, its original Inupiaq name was Qikiqtagruk, which means "almost an island," due to its geographic location at the end of a peninsula that serves as the mouth of three river systems. As anyone familiar with Alaska can tell you, rivers mean salmon and salmon mean bear.

Alaska has some 98 percent of the entire population of brown bears in the entire United States and, according to Alaska Fish and Game, sportsmen in the state harvest about 1,900 brown bears annually. However, as the population tops 30,000, this is more than sustainable. In fact, in many areas these animals, which can weigh as much as 1,400 lbs., can be dangerous to the community.

With that understood, let’s meet Cassidy.

The hunter

Attending Kotzebue Middle High School is one Cassidy Kramer, a 15-year old local small town youth. Cassidy, a noted local athlete who helped lead her school to the top spot at the Northwest Arctic Borough School District Native Youth Olympics meet last month, is a true sportswoman. As noted by the Arctic Sounder, she swept the Kneel Jump, Alaska High Kick and 1-Foot High Kick titles.

Apparently, she is also a skilled hunter who puts her sport ahead of her school dances.

“It’s important to go out and get bears in the springtime,” Cassidy’s father, Lance Kramer, told local media station KTUU of the female hunter's decision to accompany her family on the bear hunt when prom was that night. “We always try to get a spring bear every year, this time of year.”

The harvest

Heading out with her family to help control local predators emerging from their winter dens in ravenous search of food that could potentially include local moose calves-- vital to many sustenance hunters, Cassidy and her party began to see bear within just an hour and a half.

After tracking a nice size boar, which they found running down a mountain side, Cassidy got her shot in and dropped the bear, doing her part to keep the at-risk moose population that much safer.

After stopping to clean the harvest, Cassidy and family headed back home so she could get her pink strapless prom dress ready.

"We had to get back fast, because it was 5:40 and prom was at 8,” Lance Kramer said. “We got back at 7 and she went upstairs and took a quick shower and did her hair.”

She made it and celebrated both her first prom and first bear on the same day-- in which she donated the meat to her grandmother.

Cassidy, we like your style.


Tndeerhunter's picture

Grizzly HUnt

The traditions and family heritage shown in this story are unmistakable. Congratulations to both Cassidy and her family for going that extra mile and making a very memorable harvest.