I was sitting at my desk on a beautiful April day in Alaska when I heard the chime of a new Email coming in. It was Brent. He was at a sports show in Wisconsin. Matt Caldwell from Illinois had dropped by Brent’s booth. Matt is a good friend of ours who had hunted with AAA on eight different occasions. Brent had told Matt about a really big brown bear that one of his guides had taken a photo of through his spotting scope during the spring season in 2016. He also told him about a couple of openings he had for the late spring hunt at a discounted price and if Matt wanted to come on one of those he could hunt for that bear. Matt had already taken three brown bears including a 10’1” that I had guided him on in 1992 in our Cold Bay area. Matt asked, “Does Roger still have his guide license.” Brent wasn’t sure so that was why he had sent me the email. I emailed Brent saying that I had let my license lapse after I turned 70. The State has a special deal for retirees to keep their license in an “in-active status” for $200 a year but that was too expensive just to say you were a Master Guide but couldn’t guide. I told him to tell Matt that I would love to come down just to hang out if he wanted. Matt is just one of those guys that is fun to be around. I told Brent to give me a call once they decided.
Since it is brown bear season I thought I would add another story about hunting the big guys.
In 1984 I had the good fortune of meeting and guiding Kurt Jaeger from the small country of Liechtenstein. I really enjoyed my time with him. We had a great hunt and he harvested a beautiful 37 1/2" Dall ram. He booked to come back on a brown bear hunt in our Cold Bay area for the spring of 1986. He harvested a massive 10'+ brown bear and later wrote a story that was published in a German Hunting Magazine and was picked up and published in the SCI Magazine. Now it is on line under Guns and Hunting and I have attached that link for your enjoyment. At that time, Kurt was the only hunter in Liechtenstein who had ever harvested a sheep and brown bear.
Before he printed the story he gave me a call and told me I would not like it because he added a few extras to make it exciting. He did this because he was told by the editor that they didn't want another "hunter kills a brown bear story" but something more exciting. We all know that everyone sees things a little differently anyway. He is a good story teller and a better writer than I am so I think most of you will enjoy it. He wrote that I said, "He is a lucky _____." That is something I would have never said then or now! With that I hope you enjoy. Read the story
Every now and then I will post a story written by one of my clients or grand kids. This story was written by Tom Wells and it was published in the Alaska Professional Hunter Magazine in 2002. I guided Tom on two more hunts where he harvested a 40" ram and a 60" moose. We had a wonderful time and I am proud to call him my friend.
This was the first story I wrote after Brent & I formed AAA Alaskan Outfitters in December 1983.
It was our first season and a great one.
"lt Pays To Wait"
As Brent Jones and I stood in the air terminal at Cold Bay
waiting for the Reeve Bird to touch down, I thought back to the
last three months of planning, equipment shipping, and camp
setup. Our first brown bear season as partners of AAA Alaskan
Outfitters was about to begin.
We had worked hard getting everything we needed, but I kept
wondering if we had forgotten or overlooked something. It was
too late now, though, for the plane had landed and our very first
clients, George Caswell, of Enid, Oklahoma, and Tim Orton, of
Walker, Minnesota, were standing in front of us. The excitement
of taking a big brown bear was evident on their faces. After quick
introductions, we grabbed the luggage and were on our way.