by Delta Discovery staff
Kusilvak Mountain, at 2,000 feet, is the tallest mountain in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The mountain could be seen from long distances.
Up close, Kusilvak (from ‘qusilvak,’ meaning ‘very tall’) is composed of a series of mountains, like a mini-range, with valleys with brush and trees along its side.
Many people come to the mountain to hunt and fish for pike in winter. Few people venture to it in summer and fall, mainly during moose hunting.
The Black River, whose mouth is between Scammon Bay and Nunam Iqua, meanders next to Kusilvak Mountain. The Yup’ik name for Black River is Qip’ngayak.
A man went hunting by boat one day up the Black River, and got close to Kusilvak Mountain. Stopping at one location, he got out and anchored his boat.
He got his rifble and went up the bank to some high ground to look around, like all other hunters do. While looking around, he spotted some kind of animal not far away.
As he looked longer, he realized it was a Hairy Man! Then the Hairy man saw him too and began to run toward him, making terrible sounds as it came.
Quickly the hunter swung his gun around and fired several times toward the charging beast. Apparently he missed, as the Hairy Man kept coming.
Terrified, the hunter ran back to his boat, grabbed his anchor and pushed out before jumping in. He started his motor and took off in a haste.
The beast, now at the bank, roared and swung its arms toward the fleeing boater, who was making his way back downriver and away from the Hairy Man.
The hunter never returned to the upriver regions of Black River ever again.
This is a second hand story and happened many years ago. We were able to verify who the hunter was, but were unable to make contact with the person for this story.