What makes a guided Alaskan trip a truly memorable experience? This is a question I asked myself when formulating an operations plan for my newly fledged guiding business. This has also been a question I have put to my clients over the past three seasons. I have gotten a large array of answers but I’ve narrowed down the common denominator. Mostly, what leaves the greatest impact with our guests is the splendor of the wilderness that our trips are conducted in. The land within the Arctic and Yukon National Wildlife Refuges has remained one the world’s last truly wild places. With this in mind, I have focused on providing trips that are foremost wilderness experiences, with hunting and rafting as more of a medium for the experience, rather than the object of the trip.
Our duties as guides can be categorized into two groups; the hands-on-nuts-and-bolts-skills of a guide, and the more abstract, liaison of a wilderness experience. There is much that goes into organizing a safe and successful hunting or raft trip. Guiding requires an extreme confidence in bush safety and wildlife knowledge. Additionally, a good hunting guide needs to be highly organized, have good character and be proficient in providing high quality camp set ups and meals. Fortunately the guides who work with me during the summer and fall season all come from similar backgrounds as me. All are avid outdoors men and women, most of whom have lived in the bush. Many years of combined hands-on woods experience has provided the knowledge for quality guidmenship. More than that, though, it has created a common trait, a passion to share with our guests the wilderness that is such a large part of our lives. By working with those that have a direct and personal connection with the land we have been able to share with our guests truly memorable Alaskan experiences. I feel lucky to guide hunts in such beautiful lands with such solid people.