PALMER — Local author Bob Lacher recently published a hunting and adventure book, his very first, called “Alaska Raw,” detailing his journeys across Alaska.
“It’s a very visual representation of these remote parts of Alaska,” Lacher said.
The book has nine chapters that retell some of the more difficult hunting trips he’s encountered trying to travel and see as much of the state as possible. He said this book is more than a hunting guide, it’s a detailed series of adventures.
“Hunting is the common thread but why we went, it’s like a travel log. It’s: what does it feel like to pack an airplane full of stuff you need, what are those things and travel down the Aleutians, and what’s it like flying 400 miles of black sand beach to get to the Aleutians and see the walrus and the seals, what’s it smell like? So it’s all about the journey and very little about me and Jo Bob got this big 70-inch moose.”
From close encounters with angry bears to downing a huge sheep in the mountains, “Alaska Raw” contains many vivid accounts Lacher’s experiences. During one segment of the book, he was nearly mauled by a mother with her juvenile offspring.
“I faced death for the first time and it changed the way I looked at life,” Lacher said.
Lacher’s love for flying and the outdoors comes from his father. He remembers the first time he flew in his dad’s bush plane.
“Just the fact my feet had left the ground was an amazing feeling of freedom,” Lacher said. “It was something that would allow me to see so much more of the state.”
His father took him moose hunting every moose season. They hunted every day until they got that year’s moose.
“We’d use that airplane to spot moose,” Lacher said.
This subsistence and adventure way of thinking resonated with Lacher, even with the countless early mornings before school that he would have rather slept in. He also has plenty of fond memories of their outings.
He said that he feels like he’s taken that role with his six children and grandchildren. His youngest son is 29 and loves to hunt and the two are rekindling that sacred, father-son tradition: the annual moose hunt.
He said the book originally started as memoir for his children then evolved as he polished it. He said people around him kept encouraging him to make it a book.
Now that his children have their own lives and children of their own, he said that he misses a time when the annual moose hunt played a major role in the family dynamic, like when he was a kid.
“If there was an overarching emotion, it would be that I wished for simpler times, going out getting the fall moose was more central,” Lacher said.
He said that he may publish more books in the future and has enough material for two more but it’s hard to say where he’s going to take his writing next. He said that he’s enjoyed the craft of prose and is enjoying this time of his life where he can write what he wants and publish his own books.
His book is available at stores like Fireside Books in Palmer and online on Amazon.com. It was recently reviewed by Ron Spomer who writes for Outdoor Life, the Outdoor Channel and numerous other national hunting publications. He also has an interview slated for Western Hunter Magazine which will be featured in their podcast with a book expert in their publication.
He said his goal for this book to it sees it endure the test of time and ingrain itself into Alaskan literary lore. He predicts his book will become a “cult classic” one day.
“Read a chapter or two, you’ll understand,” Lacher said.
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at email@example.com