This is Who I Am as A Hunter!
I was born and raised in the hills of West Virginia where I hunted small game (squirrels and rabbits). I married my high school sweetheart in 1962. We have two daughters and seven grandchildren. I joined the Air Force in 1963 and was sent to Alaska in 1965. As a hunter, it was a dream come true.
I harvested my first Alaska trophy, a mountain goat, on August 12, 1966. Three weeks later on September 6th I harvested my first Dall ram. He was a beautiful 38 incher. I was hooked. Over the next 15 years or so I harvested 7 other rams including two 40”s, a 41” and a broomed 36” that I took with my bow. That sheep scored 157 P&Y and placed third in the Pope and Young Record Book. I also hunted black bear, brown bear, caribou and moose with my friends. We were very successful.
I retired from the Air Force in 1983 after spending 16 ½ years of my 20 year career in Alaska. I got my assistant guides license the winter of 1982. I started guiding for Tony Lee the spring of 1983. I had two clients and one harvested a brown bear and the other a black bear. That fall I worked for Rich Guthrie, Tracy Vrem and Brent Jones. My first year as an assistant guide my client’s harvested 2 sheep, 3 moose, 3 brown bears, 1 black bear and 5 caribou. I thought, “I can do this.”
In December 1983 Brent Jones, a friend, guide and taxidermist asked me and we became partners in a guide business. AAA Alaskan Outfitters became one of the largest guide operations in the State. Our first spring brown bear season produced three brown bears, a 10’10”, a 10’2” and a 9’5”. Both 10 footers made the Boone & Crockett Record Book. They were the largest and third largest brown bears taken by guided hunters that year. Who could ask for a better start? For 21 years we took over 800 different clients, some hunting as many as 6 times with us because we had four different areas and could take sheep, goat, moose, brown bear, caribou, black bear and wolf. I personally guided 3 to 5 hunters every year plus flying hunters into spike camps with one of our “Super Cubs.” I obtained my Master Guides license in the fall of 1999. For someone who likes to hunt it was a great life. Making clients happy was my number one priority in the guide business. I guess one of my biggest highlights was personally guiding clients to a big bear. Ten were over 10’ and many more in the 9’ range. The funny thing is I had never personally taken a 10’ bear. I retired from the guide business in 2005 and now I hunt with my grandkids. There is something very special about hunting with the ones you love. These are great hunts and I hope to do many more. As a 71 year old man God has truly blessed me and I am so grateful. Follow along as we continue our journey as hunters.