November 24, 2020

2019 Report

Our 2019 Professional Guiding and Hunting Season has started very well! We had another very safe, successful and enjoyable Trophy Dall Sheep Season this past August. Between our three separate Dall Sheep Camps, 10 of our 12 hunters shot nice trophy Dall Sheep! A few of our rams went over 161” and our oldest ram harvested this year was aged by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game at 13 years old – a true old monarch of the mountains! The average horn length of all the rams this year was 36.4” and the average age was 9.6 years, with our longest ram being 39” and our oldest being 13 years.

Of the two hunters that did not harvest rams, one was foiled by low clouds on three separate occasions while making stalks on nice trophy rams – the weather was simply not in him and his guide’s favor – and he would like to return to finish his quest for a trophy Dall Sheep with us. The last hunter was very simply completely ill-prepared physically for the challenges and demands of a fair-chase, backpacking trophy Dall Sheep hunt and due to his poor physical condition was unable to get to the true sheep country.

We saw a lot of sheep this year including ewes and lambs and rams in all ages classes and we saw some very nice trophy rams that were not harvested and others that will be very nice trophies next season. Overall, our sheep population in all three of our areas looks very healthy and the prospects for next year are excellent!

We had two moose hunters this season, one of whom was accompanied by his father who was primarily an observer, and that hunter harvested a beautiful 64” +/- Trophy Bull Moose!  Our second moose hunter passed on three legal bulls, one of which was in the 60” class, early in their hunt and then towards the later part of the hunt those bulls could no longer be found and the other bulls spotted were smaller.  Due personal reasons and commitments at home this hunter had to leave camp a few days before the end of their hunt, which is always unfortunate, but many nice bulls were seen over the course of the season as well as were some nice Arctic Grizzly.

Our Fall brown bear season in my Exclusive Guide Use Area within the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, on the southern tip of the Alaska Peninsula, was very successful with all of our hunters harvesting nice bears!  As I suspected, the 2015 and 2017 fall seasons were anomalies due to record breaking salmon runs and things appeared to have returned to normal, both in terms of the fish runs and the fall bear activity and sightings.

While we normally have four hunters each year for brown bear, at the last minute one of our hunters had to cancel their hunt with us, as they became severely injured after falling off of a horse during their Alberta Big Horn Sheep hunt, which they were on just preceding their scheduled brown bear hunt with us. As such, our remaining three brown bears hunters all harvested beautiful bears, one of which squared at 10 ft. and one of which was a true behemoth which squared 11 ft. 2in. and had a 29 11/16th” skull!  The third hunter insisted on shooting a bear that was smaller than what I like our hunters to harvest but he was not at all comfortable “in bear country” and really just wanted to get a bear, any bear, and head home as soon as possible as he was well outside his “comfort” zone, what with bears roaming by in the night and such.  We are looking forward to returning to my area in the May of 2020 for what I suspect will be another fantastic brown bear season!