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Thread: AK Guide For Non-Resident Requirements?

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    Default AK Guide For Non-Resident Requirements?

    Last year after saving some money I decided to finally go on my dream Sheep hunt. Being a NR I posted here and received lots of helpful recommendations, suggestions and assistance for my hunt. I decided on a reputable guide which many of you recommended (I won't say who it was or what unit I hunted as I don't want to point fingers and say negative things so this post gets deleted). My main concerns for a guide came down to (1) someone intimately knowledgeable about the immediate area we would be hunting, and (2) extensive experience and knowledge hunting and harvesting the animals we were hunting. After meeting with my guide in AK last spring (when I came up for a successful DIY black bear hunt), and many phone conversations we decided on a 1x1 hunt, 14 days and tags for sheep, grizz and moose. I paid extra for the 4 extra hunting days, and the grizz was included since I needed a guide for the sheep I might as well get a grizz. The moose was basically a given in the area we were hunting.

    After being dropped off for my once-in-a-lifetime hunt, I learned my assistant guide was not even close to what we discussed. He was not even on my guide's website. My assistant guide had just received his license this last summer, had never guided or been on a guided hunt before, was a life-long hunter but had never harvest or even hunted the three species we were going for - sheep, brown bear or moose. He was a great outdoors man, a very good man, and loved to hunt goats, blacks by boat and fish. We hunted hard the entire time but never saw a single ram, saw just one grizz and got within 250 yards of it, and I did harvest a large moose. Many mistakes were made by the assistant guide, and I feel that this hunt was basically a drop off hunt for two strangers as neither of us had ever hunted that area - much less even that unit, and neither of us had ever hunted a sheep or brown - but at least I had hunted Yukon moose before. When I mentioned my disappointment to my guide regarding my assistant guide's lack of experience regarding the area and species, I was told simply told "hunting animals is hunting animals" and my assistant guide had lots of experience with hunting in AK and didn't need local knowledge or specific animal knowledge.

    This whole thing just rubs me as wrong. I don't feel I received what we had agreed on and I could have done another DIY moose hunt with a buddy for a fraction of the cost. I'd love to hear your input. Am I off base on my expectations of my guide? Should a sheep hunt assistant guide have experience hunting sheep? Any suggestions what, if anything, I should do? Is this unheard of, not uncommon, or normal? Your thoughts? Are my expectations of a professional guide unreasonable?

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    From March:

    Quote Originally Posted by Bowelk View Post
    I'm a non-resident from Idaho who wants to harvest a sheep. I know I have to hire a guide, but it seems that in Alaska just one person needs to be a licensed guide, and then they can hire "assistant guides" and not even go on the hunt, or much less ever meet the hunter. Assistant guides have low barriers to entry and I am concerned that if I hire someone without a recommendation, my chances are much greater that I might end up with someone that has little sheep hunting experience. So do any of you have recommendations on who to contact to start my trip-of-a-lifetime? I can fly out of anywhere in Alaska, money and time are not major factors, but rather I want to provide myself with my best chance to harvest a legal ram. Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
    It's interesting that you were concerned about this in your initial posting when you first asked for help. It will be interesting to watch this one develop.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowelk View Post
    Last year after saving some money I decided to finally go on my dream Sheep hunt. Being a NR I posted here and received lots of helpful recommendations, suggestions and assistance for my hunt. I decided on a reputable guide which many of you recommended (I won't say who it was or what unit I hunted as I don't want to point fingers and say negative things so this post gets deleted). My main concerns for a guide came down to (1) someone intimately knowledgeable about the immediate area we would be hunting, and (2) extensive experience and knowledge hunting and harvesting the animals we were hunting. After meeting with my guide in AK last spring (when I came up for a successful DIY black bear hunt), and many phone conversations we decided on a 1x1 hunt, 14 days and tags for sheep, grizz and moose. I paid extra for the 4 extra hunting days, and the grizz was included since I needed a guide for the sheep I might as well get a grizz. The moose was basically a given in the area we were hunting.

    After being dropped off for my once-in-a-lifetime hunt, I learned my assistant guide was not even close to what we discussed. He was not even on my guide's website. My assistant guide had just received his license this last summer, had never guided or been on a guided hunt before, was a life-long hunter but had never harvest or even hunted the three species we were going for - sheep, brown bear or moose. He was a great outdoors man, a very good man, and loved to hunt goats, blacks by boat and fish. We hunted hard the entire time but never saw a single ram, saw just one grizz and got within 250 yards of it, and I did harvest a large moose. Many mistakes were made by the assistant guide, and I feel that this hunt was basically a drop off hunt for two strangers as neither of us had ever hunted that area - much less even that unit, and neither of us had ever hunted a sheep or brown - but at least I had hunted Yukon moose before. When I mentioned my disappointment to my guide regarding my assistant guide's lack of experience regarding the area and species, I was told simply told "hunting animals is hunting animals" and my assistant guide had lots of experience with hunting in AK and didn't need local knowledge or specific animal knowledge.

    This whole thing just rubs me as wrong. I don't feel I received what we had agreed on and I could have done another DIY moose hunt with a buddy for a fraction of the cost. I'd love to hear your input. Am I off base on my expectations of my guide? Should a sheep hunt assistant guide have experience hunting sheep? Any suggestions what, if anything, I should do? Is this unheard of, not uncommon, or normal? Your thoughts? Are my expectations of a professional guide unreasonable?
    A friend of mine said that even thought non res have to have a guide for some animals, the person doing the guiding is not required to have ever even seen the let alone hunted that particular animal.
    Write to the governor'so office and describe your hunt. Don'the bother with the board of guides.
    PM me if you like and I'llpi\ you in touch with a friend of mine who knows some about guide regs.
    Too bad about your hunt.
    Wes

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    book with a guide you don't hunt with and this happens and can happen. booking with a outfitter who does his own guiding is a better way to elimnate this. i'd have to go back and reread your old thread to see what kinda advice you were given to be up to speed entirely though.
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    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wesleyM1990 View Post
    A friend of mine said that even thought non res have to have a guide for some animals, the person doing the guiding is not required to have ever even seen the let alone hunted that particular animal.
    Write to the governor'so office and describe your hunt. Don'the bother with the board of guides.
    PM me if you like and I'llpi\ you in touch with a friend of mine who knows some about guide regs.
    Too bad about your hunt.
    Wes
    Write to the governors office? Why?

  6. #6

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    This kind of stuff happens constantly. Well over a decade ago I got badly screwed by a BC outfitter. I was promised an outstanding wilderness hunt for moose on a remote lake in the Cassiars. His (our) guide quit a few days before my hunt. The camp was occupied by defiant BC resident hunters. The place was a *****hole setting when we got in there. Thousands invested and no way to do anything about it at that moment. Our 'guide' ended up being a rather weird character who worked as maintenance guy for a local motel and diner. He had never been in that area and had zero knowledge of the terrain. He also knew nothing about real bowhunting and how difficult it can be. We were all handicapped and destined to fail.

    Obviously we were yanked by an unscrupulous guy. My point is that these people are in business to make money and money runs the show. Keeping business running is what it's about, and customers must come and go. We hunters would like to think that our guides live and die to chase animals in big country...the money is secondary...and we are their sole focus while hunting. Nothing could be further from the truth, at least part of the time. I have no quarrel with that either. I own my own company and I know that business MUST happen regardless of how it turns out. Some decisions aren't comfortable, and some customers don't agree with it. A guided hunt is a business transaction between a businessman and his customer...pure and simple. To me, the saddest part is that you had to pay big dollars to have those opportunities and you were definitely handicapped by doing the very thing you thought might improve your chances. This is no general slam or insult to guides and outfitters. Hiring one is absolutely no guarantee of anything good, and you have almost no ultimate control once the checks are cashed.

    Finally: I'll tread lightly here. I find it hard to believe that Alaska has not found a way to 1) maintain and promote the outfitting industry, 2) allow nonresident hunters to pursue ANY legal big game animal without a guide if they so choose, and 3) do all of this while assuring no over-harvest or excess pressure within specific units or zones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowelk View Post
    Should a sheep hunt assistant guide have experience hunting sheep?
    Imo....yes.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    i would like to hear the outfitters perspective on this as well, getting one side is always a little...well...one sided.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowelk View Post
    Last year after saving some money I decided to finally go on my dream Sheep hunt. Being a NR I posted here and received lots of helpful recommendations, suggestions and assistance for my hunt. I decided on a reputable guide which many of you recommended (I won't say who it was or what unit I hunted as I don't want to point fingers and say negative things so this post gets deleted). My main concerns for a guide came down to (1) someone intimately knowledgeable about the immediate area we would be hunting, and (2) extensive experience and knowledge hunting and harvesting the animals we were hunting. After meeting with my guide in AK last spring (when I came up for a successful DIY black bear hunt), and many phone conversations we decided on a 1x1 hunt, 14 days and tags for sheep, grizz and moose. I paid extra for the 4 extra hunting days, and the grizz was included since I needed a guide for the sheep I might as well get a grizz. The moose was basically a given in the area we were hunting.

    After being dropped off for my once-in-a-lifetime hunt, I learned my assistant guide was not even close to what we discussed. He was not even on my guide's website. My assistant guide had just received his license this last summer, had never guided or been on a guided hunt before, was a life-long hunter but had never harvest or even hunted the three species we were going for - sheep, brown bear or moose. He was a great outdoors man, a very good man, and loved to hunt goats, blacks by boat and fish. We hunted hard the entire time but never saw a single ram, saw just one grizz and got within 250 yards of it, and I did harvest a large moose. Many mistakes were made by the assistant guide, and I feel that this hunt was basically a drop off hunt for two strangers as neither of us had ever hunted that area - much less even that unit, and neither of us had ever hunted a sheep or brown - but at least I had hunted Yukon moose before. When I mentioned my disappointment to my guide regarding my assistant guide's lack of experience regarding the area and species, I was told simply told "hunting animals is hunting animals" and my assistant guide had lots of experience with hunting in AK and didn't need local knowledge or specific animal knowledge.

    This whole thing just rubs me as wrong. I don't feel I received what we had agreed on and I could have done another DIY moose hunt with a buddy for a fraction of the cost. I'd love to hear your input. Am I off base on my expectations of my guide? Should a sheep hunt assistant guide have experience hunting sheep? Any suggestions what, if anything, I should do? Is this unheard of, not uncommon, or normal? Your thoughts? Are my expectations of a professional guide unreasonable?
    Were you sheep hunting 13D remainder?? I see you drew a 13D non resident moose permit.. All the sheep were shot out 13D several yrs ago that's why a lot of it is now a draw area. I'm no sheep hunter but I would have not wasted my time sheep hunting back in their... You would of been better served to concentrate on one species you basically went after the big Alaska 3 I think that's asking a lot. I know I didn't answer your question but if you wanted to hunt sheep you should of went somewhere else with better odds and ate the moose permit. Now if you didn't hunt 13D at all then disregard everything I wrote LOL

  10. #10

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    My understanding is the board of guides makes the regs that allowed this kind of guiding to happen. Maybe the govs office can help since he appoints the board of guide members.
    Wes

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    I have always thought Alaska guides should be required to be a resident and also spend time in their areas in the winter trapping.
    Our current regulations do not encourage guides to "Farm" their areas for future hunts.
    I am sorry to hear this happened to the OP, there are some good guides up here. Don't give up on your Alaska dreams.

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    I gave up my moose draw hunt for this hunt so I didn't hunt 13D. I don't really know the rules of posting info on this site but I would be happy to provide the guide's name, website, unit we hunted, his phone number, etc so that both sides could be heard. You will find that my assistant guide is not even listed on his website with the other guides. Brwnbr please pm me your phone number and I'll give you a call.

    I just had lunch with the guide to discuss my disappointment with his decisions to set me up with an assistant guide who has never hunted the area or any of the three species that I purchased tags for. He blew me off by saying "Hunting is hunting and it doesn't really matter which animals or where you hunt. We are hunters." He said I never saw a ram because of the snow on the mountain tops, that I did have a 240 yard shot at the front of a grizz with a 30-06, and because of many of my assistant guide's errors on previous moose that hunt I was able to harvest a nice 63". He thinks that my rookie assistant guide was perfectly legit and I received what I paid for. I totally disagree. I believe I paid for expertise and experience which was not provided. It was closer to a DIY hunt with a stranger which allowed me the legal capability to harvest a ram and grizz - than a guided hunt with an experienced guide.

    If the webmaster of this site or whoever controls it says I can post who my guide was and what unit we hunted I would be happy to provide all info so that both sides can be heard and you can see that what I am saying is 100% truthful and accurate.

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    It is admirable that you ask permission to post the guide's name and address. You will not
    receive that permission here. It just is not done for some reason that is apparently known
    only to the administrators of this site.

    If you want to post that type of information for the public to be able to see, you should go to
    the Accurate Reloading site. They are not protective of their buddies on that site. They tell it
    like they think it is at least and don't pull punches. Plus a lot of people that are members here
    are members there. http://forums.accuratereloading.com/eve

    To help protect other unsuspecting "outsiders" from contracting with your problem outfitters, you should at least
    release the name and address to people that request it by private message. You seemingly have already been cheated
    and there is very little you can do about it. Especially on this public part of the forum. But please share it with others
    that request it.
    NRA Life Member since 1974

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    Ive been hunting in alaska for almost 20 years now, and i know that your Dream hunt of a Sheep wasn't fulfilled but i have to agree that your concentration should have been on one animal not 3. A 63" Moose is a trophy, and a Shot at a Grizzly in the same hunt is feat all in its own. I do agree the guide/assistant should have knowledge of the species he is after but it seems to me he did a darn good job with what experience he had. without hearing the Guides side and knowing the area you were hunting no one can make a fair call on this hunt..

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    I think the biggest mistake you made was lumping griz and moose in with sheep. All three are very difficult Alaska game with success rates below 50% in most units, and well below 50% in many. A 63" bull moose is an outstanding Alaska trophy and in the very small percentage of top moose taken in the state in any given year. Because you bookended with a sheep hunt, you are disappointed in your alaska hunt though you shot a moose that most Alaska residents, much less non resident hunters, will only dream of shooting. If you ever hunt sheep in Alaska again, make that is your hunt. If griz is open when you hunt, go ahead and buy the tag, and use it as an opportunistic shot, but not the focus of the hunt. In reality, you spread yourself too thin and set your expectations accordingly. The guide situation may not have been ideal for sheep, but you harvested a trophy of a lifetime moose... certainly not a failed hunt by most hunters' standards. Alaska is big country with low animal density. Having a shot at a grizzly makes your hunt even better... the opportunity to harvest 2 out of 3 of Alaska's most difficult trophies on a 14 day hunt, with the moose being an exceptional animal, makes the hunt a great one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowelk View Post
    I gave up my moose draw hunt for this hunt so I didn't hunt 13D. I don't really know the rules of posting info on this site but I would be happy to provide the guide's name, website, unit we hunted, his phone number, etc so that both sides could be heard. You will find that my assistant guide is not even listed on his website with the other guides. Brwnbr please pm me your phone number and I'll give you a call.

    I just had lunch with the guide to discuss my disappointment with his decisions to set me up with an assistant guide who has never hunted the area or any of the three species that I purchased tags for. He blew me off by saying "Hunting is hunting and it doesn't really matter which animals or where you hunt. We are hunters." He said I never saw a ram because of the snow on the mountain tops, that I did have a 240 yard shot at the front of a grizz with a 30-06, and because of many of my assistant guide's errors on previous moose that hunt I was able to harvest a nice 63". He thinks that my rookie assistant guide was perfectly legit and I received what I paid for. I totally disagree. I believe I paid for expertise and experience which was not provided. It was closer to a DIY hunt with a stranger which allowed me the legal capability to harvest a ram and grizz - than a guided hunt with an experienced guide.

    If the webmaster of this site or whoever controls it says I can post who my guide was and what unit we hunted I would be happy to provide all info so that both sides can be heard and you can see that what I am saying is 100% truthful and accurate.
    Turns out those tags we all buy don't have a guarantee on them huh! To be honest, I'm having a difficult time understanding how anyone can be disappointed after going on a hunt and taking a 63" bull.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearsnack View Post
    I have always thought Alaska guides should be required to be a resident
    I think that would run into a lot of legal issues unless reciprocity was allowed.

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    Legally it can't be done which is why fish and game trys to contain what is happening in Alaska with other laws that really don't address the core problem.

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    I can certainly understand your disappointment, bowelk. Having an inexperienced asst. guide is not what a paerson would expect and not what they should get for the kind of money you must have payed.
    Sheep country is often grizz country so combining the 2 would be sensible.
    While you can't mention names, what unit/sub unit were you hunting in?
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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    Quote Originally Posted by boliep View Post
    It is admirable that you ask permission to post the guide's name and address. You will not
    receive that permission here. It just is not done for some reason that is apparently known
    only to the administrators of this site.
    We've explained the reasons for the rule many, many times. While general civility is part of it, the primary reason comes down to liability and the financial survival of this site. I won't rehash everything we've posted here before, but the short of it is that this site runs on very tight margins and that a simple lawsuit could put this site on very tenuous financial footing. Even if the lawsuit were without merit, it could cost this site more than we can bear. As such, we ask that people communicate negative experiences with businesses via PM.

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