Rumors flew around Juneau this week that Donald Trump Jr. was in town for a hunting trip planned earlier this year. While the guide leading the hunt could not confirm where Trump was on Tuesday, he said the trip is still going forward.
Keegan McCarthy owns Coastal Alaska Adventures, which guides visitors on yacht-based hunts. Back in February, he auctioned off an opportunity to join Trump Jr. on a week-long hunt for Sitka black-tailed deer and ducks in Southeast Alaska. It sold for $150,000.
McCarthy said they still intend to go on the trip, but the region’s weather is hindering their plans.
“We’re just on hold right now. We’re going to be kind of waiting to see what happens here,” he said. “Southeast has been getting hit pretty hard.”
For security reasons, McCarthy didn’t say if the young Trump would be waiting it out in Juneau, or when exactly they would set out on their journey. But, he said, he already met one of his original goals.
McCarthy said the money raised through the auction went toward two programs centered on wildlife conservation and education — the American Wilderness Leadership School and another initiative he’s working out the details for.
Donald Trump Jr. identifies as a sportsman, and has hunted and fished in Alaska before. He made waves earlier this year when he tweeted his opposition to the development of the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, after his father’s administration removed an Obama-era block on the mine’s development. The Trump administration has since denied permitting for the mine.
McCarthy said he will still use the hunt as an opportunity to teach people about the Tongass National Forest, for which the Trump administration lifted protections in October.
“We’re still trying to educate the administration on the Tongass National Forest and do whatever we can to keep the Roadless Rule intact, even though it may be too late.” he said. “But we’ll find out.”