Brett French reports: He ain’t heavy, he’s my friend
By angelamontana

Posted: May 16, 2024

While hunters are used to packing out their wild game when stalking away from roads, most aren’t carrying large loads on the way to hunt, or while hunting. That wasn’t the case with Cole Kramer, an Alaskan outfitter and guide, who carried his friend, Johnathon Blank, into Canada’s Northwest Territory on a Dall sheep hunt last August. SITKA Films recorded the event in a video titled “Together We Carry On,” which can be found on YouTube. Blank is a Marine veteran who was severely injured by an improvised explosive device, or IED. As a result, he lost both of his legs above the knee. That hasn’t stopped him from hunting, and last year was a unique event in many ways.

The hunt was donated by a generous Wild Sheep Foundation member from Colorado. SITKA built a special backpack to carry Blank and designed specific clothing for the hunt. Other donors pitched in to make the trip possible. The story is less about a successful hunt than it is about the people who banded together to make it possible, and the man whose determination inspired them.

To learn more, and for a link to the film, check out my story at

Written by Brett French | Outdoors Editor for the Billings Gazette
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