Deke Naaktgeboren, who is originally from Iowa, became interested in mushing after adopting a Siberian Husky named Nautique in college. The pair encountered a dog team while skiing the trails of Colorado, and Deke could sense that the sport was in their future. After spending several winters as a handler, he launched Nautique Sky Kennel in 2013, with 15 dogs. The kennel, located 30 miles north of Fairbanks, now includes 36 dogs. His young team is led by Jasmine and Marley, followed by Peso, Churro, Gordito, Badger, Golden Gopher and Hawkeye, among others. Deke has completed the Summit Quest 300, the Copper Basin 300, the Two Rivers 200, The Iditarod, the Yukon Quest, and Percy DeWolfe 210. He would like to thank Eric and Nikki for their support in his journey, along with sponsors Aurora Animal Clinic, Chicken Creek Saloon, Uncle Lar’s Outpost, and individual dog sponsors.
Follow Deke in this year's Kobuk 440 here.