This is Who I Am as A Hunter!

Squirrel Hunting in 6th Grade

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.