OK guys, after my last post its clear I sturred up alot of questions about TMA area charters. I wont say bad things about my charter because it serves no purpose. Ill post this in an effort to educate hunters on pitfalls to lookout for. Ill give examples of problems and what I did, or should have done to correct them. The following are practices as I understand them if you fly out on 40 mile out of TOK. They are a friendly professional and safe service, whom I felt comfortable with.
Base Price-$895 RT in and out of TOK to the TMA with a sheep. If you want a better spot, pay more money. Next level up is $1200 ish. They say its for hunters not in the best physical condition. To me thats french for better sheep. IMHO
Your allowed 50 lb. packs. There serious, no exceptions. Its a wt/bal deal with the cubs.
Loophole- pockets, I carried a spotter,binos,water filter, camera on me in my pockets. If you can pack it on you its OK.
3. Hunting location
They told us from day one WHERE we would be going. There was no choice for the price. They perform a self management of the sheep according to them. so thay balance where hunters go.( french for more $ = more sheep) IMHO
If you ask for maps you get a typical topo map . If you look Reallllly close you might see a small pencil mark by the drainage. ( we couldnt) These guys are james bond secret. There creek names arn't on the map, they make up there own. Unless your pre paid you can forget even that. Even there pilots dont know. We flew out on a 206 to a half way point to get picked up by the cubs. When asked, out 206 pilot, who by the way was the best 206 bush pilot I ever saw. didnt know where the drainages are. Only the cub pilots (Owners) know and there not talking.
The answer, when your FULLY PAID then hire another plane as a recon flight to over fly the hunting area. They might still not do it but I couldnt imagine why. When you hit the ground blind, you have no idea where to go or whats ahead of you. Just to show you how serious they are. To be helpful I tied some flagging tape to a bush by the runway to show them wind direction for landing. ( I have some flight training, thought it would be helpful) Upon there arrival for pickup, they tore it down with a quickness.
Other than that they were a good service. I found other areas they could have put us in that would have saved 4 days of walking but I guess from there point of view two hunters netting them $1800 doesn't justify risking a $70k supercub. But again IMHO thats why I hired them. If they wanted a safe job, give tours from a concrete runway.
OK to conclude here are my last points
1. Get everything nailed down. Get a firm distance for cost agreement worked out on the map before you leave.
2. Make them give you your destination EXACTLY at the time of payment or don't pay. If they wont take you where YOU want to go, hire somebody else.