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Presumed Deceased AK - Steve Keel, hunter from TN, missing in tundra at Dalton Hwy Happy Valley; Aug 2022

Nitty Gritty

Hangin' Out
Ho, ho, ho.....

SK's pack was left in this tent. So, I guess he didn't take it with him to "get the meat". I guess the meat wasn't going home with him. Now, had he gone to hack a piece off for breakfast? Seriously? BC had plenty, and they were running late for their plane.

Besides, I never did understand why SK didn't go back for his meat pile the night before. No reason given except the bears might get it. So, ummm, BC had his meat in camp evidently, since he was de-boning it or whatever on top of the cooler while SK went wandering off....

So, there the pack sat idle after coming back to the base camp from the hunt, presumably laden with tent, mattress, sleeping bag, wet socks, utensils, trash (oh dear, maybe not that, no "leave no trace" for SK), 'cos how was that all getting to camp so you could sleep in it, except in the pack? And he couldn't have had it with him, such that someone else picked it up later at the meat pile, because SK NEVER MADE IT TO THE MEAT PILE. Everyone agrees on that last point, about the only one in this whole saga.

Stories gone wild.... Someone is covering for SK, but that someone might also have had no idea what SK was up to, except the part about hunting violations abundant.

Chet Showalter FB Dec 3 2022

Q: "...Was Steve’s pack in that white storage tent you slept in, or where did it go?..."

A: Are you referring to the pack/backpack used to transport the meat?

It ended up at the gear tent I slept in, along with the rest of Steve's gear, were it was left just in case Steve returned after Bryan and the boys terminated their search, and left.


I actually placed it outside the tent because I didn't want scavengers (small OR big), to tear into the tent in efforts to get to a smelly nothing-burger.
 

Grok

Hangin' Out
The whole schtick with the “get a piece of meat” feature sounded ludicrous to me, and @Nitty Gritty put the ol’ finger right on it. What, you hike 1/2 a mile over tundra to get a few slices for your breakfast, and 1/2 a mile back, when you’re already running late for your plane? That’s already at least an hour, hour and a half. And then you gotta cook it? On what? There’s no wood to burn. The barbecue you schlepped from home? For, like, 1/2 an hour?

Besides, what was SK doing all morning until 11 am when he “went to get meat”?
 

Grok

Hangin' Out
Ho, ho, ho.....

SK's pack was left in this tent. So, I guess he didn't take it with him to "get the meat". I guess the meat wasn't going home with him. Now, had he gone to hack a piece off for breakfast? Seriously? BC had plenty, and they were running late for their plane.

Besides, I never did understand why SK didn't go back for his meat pile the night before. No reason given except the bears might get it. So, ummm, BC had his meat in camp evidently, since he was de-boning it or whatever on top of the cooler while SK went wandering off....

So, there the pack sat idle after coming back to the base camp from the hunt, presumably laden with tent, mattress, sleeping bag, wet socks, utensils, trash (oh dear, maybe not that, no "leave no trace" for SK), 'cos how was that all getting to camp so you could sleep in it, except in the pack? And he couldn't have had it with him, such that someone else picked it up later at the meat pile, because SK NEVER MADE IT TO THE MEAT PILE. Everyone agrees on that last point, about the only one in this whole saga.

Stories gone wild.... Someone is covering for SK, but that someone might also have had no idea what SK was up to, except the part about hunting violations abundant.

Chet Showalter FB Dec 3 2022

Q: "...Was Steve’s pack in that white storage tent you slept in, or where did it go?..."

A: Are you referring to the pack/backpack used to transport the meat?

It ended up at the gear tent I slept in, along with the rest of Steve's gear, were it was left just in case Steve returned after Bryan and the boys terminated their search, and left.


I actually placed it outside the tent because I didn't want scavengers (small OR big), to tear into the tent in efforts to get to a smelly nothing-burger.
Well, yeah… There never was a story that SK went to get the meat pack, only that he went to get a piece to eat. And he surely wouldn’t have planned a second trip to pick up the whole cache. I imagined he hadn’t eaten any breakfast, and needed some calories just to be able to pack his stuff, and lug it all to the vehicle. The trip was so poorly planned, he might not have had proper food all week. Did he even take a stove?

So, yeah, SK intended to dump his meat.

I still don’t see why BC couldn’t have given SK a few bits of his meat for breakfast, but maybe SK was hell bent on having a taste of his own, and rushed off before BC could talk him out of it. It does seem like he rushed off, maybe thinking he could get to the meat and back quick as a wink, and still make the flight home. Wanna bet he underestimated how long it would take him to scamper to the meat? Maybe he even took a “shortcut”…. Ahhhh, the dangers of “shortcuts”.
 

Twiglets

Diggin' It
So, are we arriving at a consensus that SK was not doing anything with meat that morning?

I take the silence as a yes.

So, what about the idea that the meat pile with the pole in it wasn't even SK's meat? It was BC's meat? I'm speculating, but is there anyway to even know for sure?
 

One Fat Marmot

Diggin' It
I didn't think the standard story could be any more nuked than it was, and then...... @Twiglets threw another grenade. Weird mixture of metaphors, but if you're talking killing machines (SK, marine, trophy hunter), why not?

Supposedly, SK had his pistol with him. Now, a pistol would be useful for exactly nothing right there, unless maybe you wanted to shoot yourself in the foot..... No matter, SK seems to have THOUGHT it would be useful for something, but he does seem to have been the kind of guy for who a firearm is ALWAYS useful for something, if not right then, definitely sooner rather than later.

So, out with it......

I am almost certain SK thought if you were approached by a bear you'd shoot it. With a pistol. Mano a mano. So delightfully manly. And that it would be labeled self-defense in the .gov world. I am almost certain that's what SK thought, because a) people who kill animals for trophies don't generally have deep thoughts about the value of every living being; b) he almost certainly thought guns were a solution to all things troublesome; and c) he hadn't read AK's hunting regs or didn't give a rip about anything in them. Now, b) I'm guessing at, but c) we know to be TRUE because SK breaks the regs every chance he gets: the evidence is all over the story.

I am putting out there...... SK IMAGINED he saw a grizzly, grabbed his pistol, and went running into the tundra to shoot said bear and pretend it was in self-defense. And SK would just be the type to assume that everyone else assumes for a fact that the best way to deal with a bear is to shoot it. And a rifle wasn't going to be the weapon of choice, because it would look like a hunt, and somewhere in the back of his mind he thought maybe hunting a bear would require some kind of special papers or get him in trouble (like he wasn't already), and he wasn't willing to go that far.... but "self-defense"? Oooh ya. A bear-pelt for the floor in front of the fireplace....Ooooh ya.

So, he ran into the tundra after a grizzly-mirage, tripped over a tundra tussock in his flight of fancy and feet, went flying, and broke his neck. And the reason they haven't found him? He could've gone ANYWHERE.

And how do we know it was a mirage and not a real actual bear? There weren't any real actual bears in that whole area......LE could tell from their helicopter and said so.
 

Nitty Gritty

Hangin' Out
Time to mop up @One Fat Marmot 's leavings with a few handy dandy sources:

Pistol is not how you deal with bears, per NPS:

The bear-taking regulations are all over the hunting manual for AK, but here's a relevant piece. (If SK thought the caribou laws were onerous, they're nothing compared with the laws about shooting bears, ESPECIALLY if you claim you did it for self-defense.) At any rate, you're not getting that pelt.

Screenshot 2022-12-05 at 10.32.50 PM.jpg
 
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One Fat Marmot

Diggin' It
Back to grumbling:
Pistol is not how you deal with bears, per NPS
SFF

Yep, we knew that already. I doubt SK did: totally off his radar. He thought hunting was cool enough that he'd wear camo when it wasn't needed and put himself in terrible danger (i.e. he couldn't be seen in the tundra by SAR).

So, yeah, "let's rush away from camp and not take anything remotely helpful, but let's not forget the pistol."

With that attitude, a person wouldn't have to see a bear to do what SK did; they'd only have to THINK they'd seen one.
 

Grok

Hangin' Out
So, are we arriving at a consensus that SK was not doing anything with meat that morning?

I take the silence as a yes.

So, what about the idea that the meat pile with the pole in it wasn't even SK's meat? It was BC's meat? I'm speculating, but is there anyway to even know for sure?
BC’s meat? Woah. Could be, totally. No one would be any the wiser. Maybe he also put the poles out there, thinking they could guide SK back to the campsite.
You couldn’t see the cache from the pole near camp, but maybe you could see the camp pole from the meat cache? This would be opposite of what was explained.
 

She Made Me Do It

Charter Member
You guys have been busy, I see. I almost forgot about this case, but you have rescued it from obscurity, which might be where it belongs, but never mind.

Brilliant, @Twiglets and @Grok . Such a simple explanation for all the conflicting stories about that meat. Haha! It was BC’s not SK’s! BC put a pile there to cover for SK when he went missing. Now, we can get away from the speculation that it was just guts, no meat.

This also addresses few other discrepancies in facts…

For one, the guys had to stay longer at the hunt camp, because SK hadn’t bagged a caribou. They were going to miss their flight. So, there was an extra day. On that day, BC took half his stuff/meat back to the base camp. SK shot a caribou.

There’s no info on what time he shot the caribou, but he had to get the whole thing de-gutted and de-boned and packaged to put in his pack. It barely got dark that night, but he’s still got a lot of work to do.

Now BC evidently took 2 days, 2 trips, to get his meat and all to base camp. SK had all that stuff to carry in one trip. And all his camping c***p.

How is this all even getting done realistically in the available time? He’d have to be hustling, too, to make a flight: the guy’s not exactly a spring chicken, and all that would be exhausting.

So, I’m landing squarely on the improbability of this whole tale.
 
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Rainforest

Laidback
You guys have been busy, I see. I almost forgot about this case, but you have rescued it from obscurity, which might be where it belongs, but never mind.

Brilliant, @Twiglets and @Grok . Such a simple explanation for all the conflicting stories about that meat. Haha! It was BC’s not SK’s! BC put a pile there to cover for SK when he went missing. Now, we can get away from the speculation that it was just guts, no meat.

This also addresses few other discrepancies in facts…

For one, the guys had to stay longer at the hunt camp, because SK hadn’t bagged a caribou. They were going to miss their flight. So, there was an extra day. On that day, BC took half his stuff/meat back to the base camp. SK shot a caribou.

There’s no info on what time he shot the caribou, but he had to get the whole thing de-gutted and de-boned and packaged to put in his pack. It barely got dark that night, but he’s still got a lot of work to do.

Now BC evidently took 2 days, 2 trips, to get his meat and all to base camp. SK had all that stuff to carry in one trip. And all his camping c***p.

How is this all even getting done realistically in the available time? He’d have to be hustling, too, to make a flight: the guy’s not exactly a spring chicken, and all that would be exhausting.

So, I’m landing squarely on the improbability of this whole tale.
Timewise, if BC was still packaging his meat when SK got lost, SK hadn't had enough time to deal with his in any fashion.

Then there's this from the Search for Steve - Questions FB site from 2 mos. ago. Note the processing requirements, per AK posters:

IMG_0102.jpeg
 

I Am A Rock

For Real
SFF

The interesting thing about the poles..... You couldn't see the one on the "meat" from the one on the hill. In other words, their positions had no relationship to each other: they were meaningless for direction if you were serious about direction. GPS would have been a whole lot more helpful, as would a compass.
So, I don't think someone put them there for the primary purpose of direction, which is what we're supposed to believe: someone simply set them up later to support a story line.

From Chet Showalter FB Oct 18 2022

The walking stick was placed to give a frame of reference line using the tent directly behind yourself, and the pole in front, to point one towards the meat site, and a visible reference to locate the campsite on the way back, because one loses site of the hill the campsite is behind.
The walking stick placed by Steven atop the little hill behind the lake campsite is visible in a couple of my videos, and I believe there's a still screenshot somewhere also. The walking stick is circled.
One can BARELY see it atop the hill from the tent.
I stood next to the walking stick.
I couldn't see the meat site from that point with my naked eye, and I've literally got superman far vision.
On the way to and from the meat site for the most part you cannot make out that walking stick.

Steven didn't take his spotting scope with him.
Responding to Chet Showalter's info.

IMO SK didn't care about his meat, and the pole set up doesn't do what the story says it will do. Smoke and mirrors: the poles were planted later to make it look like SK cared about the meat.
 

Cabin Fever

Laidback
Back to grumbling:

SFF

Yep, we knew that already. I doubt SK did: totally off his radar. He thought hunting was cool enough that he'd wear camo when it wasn't needed and put himself in terrible danger (i.e. he couldn't be seen in the tundra by SAR).

So, yeah, "let's rush away from camp and not take anything remotely helpful, but let's not forget the pistol."

With that attitude, a person wouldn't have to see a bear to do what SK did; they'd only have to THINK they'd seen one.
Snark is emerging into the light of day. So tempting with this ****amamie story…
 

Cliffed Out

Diggin' It
Woah! You guys have been busy while I was getting a life!

Are we arriving a consensus that was BC's meat out in the tundra, and BC placed the poles?

SK never needed a pole to mark a meat cache. The fellas had GPS. They had phones. They could've just looked up the coordinates on their devices, no looking from one pole to the next...

But now we have a much more complicated question about where SK ACTUALLY went. Maybe BC knows, but I doubt it. Or he knew SK was off to something illegal, and BC was just ready to go home.
 

Cabin Fever

Laidback
Look at this photo I dug up! Wanna bet there's no meat at all in that pack. And that pack doesn't have enough volume or stiffness to carry the weight of the meat of a caribou.

Photo posted by Chet Showalter FB Dec 7 2022


Screenshot 2022-12-10 at 7.35.09 PM.jpg
 
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