Leave no Trace 7 Principles
We hunt in beautiful wilderness areas, both in multiple National Wildlife Refuges (Alaska Peninsula, Becharof, Arctic and Kodiak) and National Park Preserves (Aniakchak). These are some of the most pristine places in the State. As with anywhere, it is always important to leave these areas undamaged and in the same condition or better than what we found them. I ask all of my clients to familiarize themselves with the 7 Principles of Leave no Trace. Your guide will go over this with you, but it is important to learn this before the hunt as well. Among the most important is proper disposal of human waste (by using a hole dug 6-8 inches deep at least 200 ft from any water source). By following these simple Leave no Trace guidelines we can ensure we keep the wilderness pristine for future generations.
Please read each of the 7 Principles Carefully
Alaska Hunting Regulations
Although you are not expected to know the hunting regulations, I am a believer that clients should have a basic understanding of them. It is the job of the guide to know the exact regulations, but it is good for you as the client to know basic hunting regulations and to educate yourself. Feel free to contact me for specific information on the Game Management Unit and Sub-unit you will be hunting, and to ask me any regulation specific questions.
Bear Safety for Hunters
In the field, it is our job as the guides to keep you safe from bears. Bears should be respected, not feared. Bear encounters seldom turn out negative, and by educating ourselves on what to do should we encounter a bear, we can help ensure that we can keep our interactions with bears positive. Rember, if you do encounter a bear, Don’t Panic. Let them know you are there and remain calm. Give them space, and slowly back away. Always try to maintain 100 yds of distance, and dont run. Below is an excellent link to follow for information on bear safety.
Shot Placement is critical to quickly and humanely taking an animal. Your first shot is always your most important, and it is important to make it count. This means knowing where to aim. It also means not loading your gun and not shooting until your guide tells you to do so, and once you start shooting, to follow up and continue shooting until your guide tells you to stop. Many of you have extensive hunting experience, but we can still learn. Your guide will go over shot placement and shooting in the field, but it is still good for you to educate yourself prior to the hunt. Below is a great link to follow for more info.
Physical and Mental Preparedness
Physical and Mental preparedness are perhaps two of the most critical factors towards having a successful and safe hunt that you as the hunter control. Do not ever expect hunting in Alaska to be easy. This is WILDERNESS FAIR CHASE HUNTING and THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES. This is not a high fence ranch hunt. Weather is very tough and selectively hunting these animals can be very challenging. That being said, I will always do all I can to accommodate all hunters, based on your physical ability, experience, etc. I try my hardest to tailor each hunt to the respective hunters’ needs. If you think you need extra help, just let me know and extra packers or guides can be arranged.
Having realistic expectations is critical as well. Even though we hunt in some of the finest federal concessions in the State, not everyone gets a ten foot bear, a 40″ ram or a 70″ moose. I will go over with you in great detail what to expect and how to prepare mentally and physically via phone, text, email and in person. It is these aspects of your hunt that I emphasize the most to the hunters I book, and I will do all I can to make sure you are as prepared as possible prior to coming hunting with me. Never hesitate to contact me if you have questions on this.
We provide more detailed information on our Mental and Physical Preparation page.
And/or you can research more on your own by following the link below.
First Air and Travel Safety
Your guides and packers are thoroughly trained in first and and cpr, and have completed wilderness first aid classes, in addition to numerous other safety courses. More importantly, they have vast experience in the backcountry, and know how to get you through your trip safely. Incident avoidance and common sense are paramount to a safe trip. Self reliance and situational awareness are also key. Always pay attention to your surroundings. We have a very thorough safety and risk management plan in place, with the most up to date communication devices, including sat phones, Inreaches, radios, etc, in addition to complete wilderness trauma kits. However, there is no substitute for self reliance and common sense. Below is a link on basic cpr and first aid info.
We take the utmost care to ensure the best care possible of game meat. Per Alaska State Law, all edible meat must be removed from the field (excluding brown/grizzly bears). This means the meat leaves the kill before the trophy (unless we can carry it all at once). Nearly all the meat from the game is brought out bone in, with great physical effort and at great expense. My guides and I depend on game meat for the mainstay of our diets, as do our families. There are also many grateful elders in our rural communities who are no longer able to hunt, who greatly appreciate the meat that we give them. Please note, we do not expedite meat to clients. If you want to take meat, you are limited to a 25 lb box or cooler, but we can not ship it and we can not guarantee that we will have time to help you pack it. It is your responsibility. Below is a great link on meat care, which your guides and packers are expert at.
Subsistence in Alaska
Subsistence in Alaska is very important to many residents, including myself and many of the guides that work with me. Though it is unlikely in most of the areas we guide, you may encounter subsistence users on your hunt, it is important to respect their right to utilize the resource. Although you are not subsistence hunting, the meat from your animals will be consumed by people who need it. Please educate yourself on the importance of subsistence to this state.
ANILCA and the Expansion of Federal Lands in Alaska
In 1980 President Carter signed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, better known as ANILCA, into law. This was the single largest expansion of protected lands in history and added protection to some 157 million acres in Alaska. This came in the form of National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, National Monuments, National Preserves, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Conservation Areas, and National Forests. This was one of the most significant and important events in Alaska history and was critical for adding to the protected federal lands in this state. For more information please go to;
Alaska Department of Fish and Game field guide to judging Dall Sheep
Your guide will of course judge your sheep, determine if its legal and its approximate size and age, and tell you if it is the one you should harvest. But I believe it is important to be as knowledgeable as possible on judging the animals you hunt. ADF&G has a fantastic sheep judging resource you can read to learn how to judge these amazing animals.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game field guide to judging Brown Bears
Your guide will judge the sex and size of the bears and tell you if it is one you should harvest. However, you should educate yourself on how to judge these animals. The more you know about the species you are hunting, the more enjoyable your hunt will be. ADF&G has a good basic resource for beginning bear hunters:
Alaska Department of Fish and Game Mountain Goat Identification Guide
Your guide will judge the sex and size of the goats and tell you if it is one you should harvest. However, you should educate yourself on how to judge these animals. The more you know about the species you are hunting, the more enjoyable your hunt will be. ADF&G has a good basic resource for beginning goat hunters:
Alaska Department of Fish and Game Is this Moose Legal?
Your guide will judge the size of the moose and tell you if it is one you should harvest. However, you should educate yourself on how to judge these animals, and determine legality. The more you know about the species you are hunting, the more enjoyable your hunt will be. ADF&G has a good basic resource for beginning moose hunters:
Recommended Reading List
Alaska Wildlife Notebook
(this is the best and most simple way to learn about the animals of Alaska. I highly recommend it.)
Kodiak Island and its Bears
by Harry B. Dodge, III
Vanished Bear Trails
By Darrell Farmen
Great Arc of the Wild Sheep
By James L. Clark
Where the Sea Breaks its Back:The Epic Story of Georg Stellar and the Russian Exploration of AK
By Corey Ford
Alaskan Yukon Trophies Won and Lost
By G.O. Young
The Quest for Dall Sheep
By Jack Wilson
Alaska’s Wolf Man: The 1915-55 Wilderness Adventures of Frank Glaser
By Jim Rearden
The Forgotten War
By Stan Cohen
Building in an Ashen Land: A Historic Study of Katmai National Park and Preserve
By Clemens and Norris