Updated: Apr 17, 2019
I guess one could say my hunting career started when I was around 8 years of age.... when my Mother bought me a Stevens single shot .22. I was out hunting small game and eventually graduating to shooting my first bull Elk when I was 14
I had dreamed from an early age of becoming a big game guide and pilot in Alaska and it finally came true in the early 1960s while in my early 20s.
My first year in Alaska I started out as a packer for Pinnell & Talifson on the southern end of Kodiak Island in Olga Bay. I was packing supplies to spike camps and packing bear hides back to base. I was also learning to "cape", flesh and stretch hides... then salting them down.
Our Fall hunts were in the Brooks Range in the Arctic Circle seeking Caribou, Moose, Dall Sheep and Barren Ground Grizzly. And late Fall hunts we were back on Kodiak till December.
My 2nd year with them I was an assistant guide and was able to take hunters out on my own..... I was finally on my way to fulfilling my dream.
I stayed with Pinnell & Talifson for a while receiving training from Morris Talifson, one of the great bear men of Alaska.... a cranky ol' Norwegian who I felt hated me... but he was like a drill Sargent pounding the ends and outs of guiding for bear... and the training has stayed with me since.
I went on to guide in the Wrangell, Alaska, Talkeetna and Chugach mountain ranges for Dall Sheep, Mountain Goat, Caribou, Moose, Barren and Toklat Grizzly along with a few Black Bear.... caring not to guide for Polar Bear, Walrus and Musk Ox. Those I guided came from around the world.
I made my living guiding for other outfitters for I did not want the hassle of insurance, contracts and other expenses of an outfitter.... and I did well. I was called on by many outfitters to take out those who had booked for bear due to my training under Morris.... and called by other outfitters who had either over booked or booked some Europeans who can sometimes be touchy to deal with.
In November of 1973 I was offered a job to become a guide in Tanganyika, East Africa... but I refused for I did not want to take any of the Big Five except for the Cape Buffalo. To me it was senseless to take Elephant, Rhino, Leopard and Lion.
I finally left Alaska years later after the oil boom hit and pipeline/road workers came by the thousands and most wanted to be big game hunters..... then the slaughter begin.
I eventually returned home to Colorado and guided some for Elk and Deer near King Mountain. And then finally quit altogether only to hunt solo or take a friend out now and then. And then to hunt Whitetail in Oklahoma and South Carolina.
I am no expert nor do I claim to be. I can only offer what I have experienced over the past 60 years or so..... for much of my adult life was spent hunting and guiding. Hunting is a continuing learning process.... and no one, regardless of what they think....has it "all knowed up".
Stay safe n' good huntin'...