Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Old Mossy Horns and a New Book

  1. #1

    Default Old Mossy Horns and a New Book

    I am wondering how many of you guys out there have sought the old timers who hunted during the golden age of sheep hunting during the 50's,60's and 70's.

    Jack Wilson passed away a couple of years ago. Duncan Gilchrist passed away a couple of years before that but there are a lot of hunters who are roaming around who cut their teeth during that period.

    Anchorage has Toney Oney who with his wife Rita Oney shot some of the biggest sheep in the BC book. Jack Lentfer from Homer shot the third biggest sheep and he still is around. Bill Ellis was involved with the Sherwin Scott Ram hunt. Jim Reakoff from Wiseman has many large sheep and the Two twin monsters(T-Craft) from the Brooks Range are described bit by bit but never really told. I have never ever caught up to Bob Cassell and his wife who nailed many monster sheep. I have never talked with Jim Harrower either. Heck, I wrestled during the same era for KL while Matt Snyder wrestled for Tok and must have talked with Frank and Sue Entsminger but I never got to talk them about sheep. Craig Gardner knows sheep but you have to hunt for him in the Fairbanks Fish and Game office. Ex-Fish and Feathers Mike Lanigan kind of keeps track of them around Glennallen. I started with a Tony and I should end with one. Tony Russ knows sheep as we have all read his book and he has sort of disappeared off of the popular grid.

    I am wondering how many of you guys have read Trophy Rams of the Brooks Range by Dunc. Or the Alaskan Hunter by Ray Chandler. The reason I ask this is because a pretty interesting book just was released Great Rams and Great Ram Hunters II by Robert Anderson by Safari Press. 75 bucks. Which stings like hell. However, I ordered it and its on its way. It supposedly develops an account of the history of Backpack hunting for Dall Sheep.

    I am just wondering if people have plunked down their cash on this or have talked to these hunters.

    I am just curious. Its raining cats and dogs up here and I had to do my cardio indoors.


  2. #2
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Paradise (Alaska)

    Question Huh?

    Question...What are you referring to concerning ... Matt Synder wrestled for TOK and must have spoke with Sue and Frank . Sue is his mother. Frank is his step-father. They all guide together as a team of three.
    I don't get it.


  3. #3
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    Knew Duncan fairly well when liveing in Haines. His bear hunting and early flying days were the topic most times. Layton Bennet a old timer that taught Duncan to fly is still liveing in Haines but his airlines has been shut down.I believe some of Duncans goat landing strips are still in use and for sure not for the weak at heart.

  4. #4

    Default Knowing Country-

    I think that I really haven't made myself very clear and its still raining. I find it very interesting talking to the old timers or (inveterate Sheep junkies)- those who have a very extensive knowledge of areas of sheep hunting during the golden era. I know that everybody gets excited and likes to share about the newest batcave device or the last tough workout but finding the history of an area is an extremely rich experience. While some leads don't pan out others seem to pop up. I found that the Sunday story in the Fairbanks Daily New Miner about Glen Despain was good and along these same lines. Old stories by old sheep hunters are magnificent and much better imho than discussions about camp and kit.

    I guess I should of picked a specific range but I thought that if I talked about a specific era it would be suffice.

    An example might be George Rice and the Brooks Range. George had pretty well picked apart many of the super microhabitats of the Sheep in the Brooks Range. He passed away but his daughter is still alive. Marty and T-Craft worked flying for Fish and Game before they found a super pocket of rams that they went after for a whole month. It is interesting that the same pocket that was discovered by the hunters in the early 90's was found by Pete and Frank Imhof from Anchorage in the late 80's. It gets you to wonder about the hunting of different ranges and the hunters who have established success.

    Frank and Sue Entsminger know the Tok Management area. Matt probably has a pretty fleshed out idea of it as well but its funny that sometimes we never get the opportunity to talk to people about areas that they know. Sometimes guides guard areas and history but other times such discussions tend to lead to stuff that is good. I remember that I had a long conversation with Tony Russ about Jack Wilson. Jack knew sheep especially in the Wrangell mountains. Tony eventually caught up with Jack and worked with him to write his second book about guiding to the Swank Ram. I am always afraid that much of the interesting information that is out there gets lost.

    An example for ATA might be Howard Knutson, who I believe, still lives in Anchorage and guided throughout the state yet concentrated on the Brooks Range during his last 20 years of guiding. Howard made his fortune by buying the tailings from the Kennicott copper corp and high grading them and hauling gold to Canada. I don't think anybody has every talked to him about guiding in the Brooks Range or in the Wrangells for that matter.

    There are some gaps out there that I would really like to find out about. There are stories about a guide who worked in the 1950s who took some giant sheep off of Chickaloon and Matanuska Glacier. I have seen pictures of the giant 45+ inch ram that was never entered in BC but was a monster. I have never figured out who that guide was. His story and lore is lost.

    Sorry for not making myself clear.

  5. #5
    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Valley trash


    I think one of the greatest of the greats who understood both sheep, wolves, bears and caribou better than most ever will was the late Frank Glaser of Rapid Creek. Though he wasnt a trophy hunter, he was a major market hunter, and harvested/provided dozens and dozens of dall sheep(rams only),moose and caribou for the construction workers, miners and military and surveying/communications personnel along the old valdez trail, much of which was used later for the trans alaska oil pipeline. I believe he died in Anchorage in the 1970s. He spent 40 years mostly by himself hunting and studying wildlife in 2 areas, one being Rapid Creek Roadhouse area near Paxson, the other in the Savage River drainage of Denali Park. If you ever get the chance to read "Alaska Wolf Man, the wilderness adventures of Frank Glaser" , dont pass it up. My father knew this man for 20 years, and he learned many things from him.

  6. #6

    Unhappy missed chances and regrets...

    When I came to Alaska in 1965 at age 14 my parents started building a home on the Slana River. That is where I first met some of the old guides, Bill Alice, Don DeHart, Doc Taylor, Bud Conkle and Lee Hancock. The real old timer, Harry Boyden was living down the road. I was not wise enough to go meet him and hear his stories. I only listened as the other guides spoke about his past exploits. My parents also had a home in Spenard. That is where I became friends with the Perkins family. Old Maynard "Perk" Perkins guided in the Wrangells and Alphabet Hills. He introduced me to guides Duncan Gilchrist and Keith Johnson. I remember watching old films of their hunts. I think old Perk helped Gilchrist get started in the guiding buisness. Perks friend Frank Cook had a big sheep hanging in his accounting office, I think it was #2 for awhile. Perk died in 2007. I wished I would have spent more time talking to them. I am pretty sure old Frank Glaser was still alive in Spenard in the mid sixties. I missed a chance to go meet and talk to him. In 2007 while moose hunting on the Koyukuk my wife and I stopped in Galena and visited with old Alaskan legend, Sidney Huntington, he was friends with my wifes father. I plan on contacting Jim Rearden this summer and trying to meet him when we go to Homer. I feel like I arrived in Alaska to late and I think I missed many chances to hear first hand accounts of old Alaskan hunting stories. We sure don't have the freedom up here we used to. An era that is gone forever.

  7. #7
    Member The Kid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Los Anchorage


    I almost cry every time I watch Leroy Shebal's movie This is My Alaska. Growing up I always said I'd been born half a century late, and when I watch that I really feel that way. Sure wish I''d been here in time to visit with some of the guys from the old days.

  8. #8

    Default Rifle

    They had his rifle a 300 weatherby for sale at the Spring Gun show-it was one of those times when I was flat broke. I hope somebody who appreciated it bought it.


  9. #9
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Anchorage, Alaska

    Thumbs up This Is My Alaska

    Quote Originally Posted by The Kid View Post
    I almost cry every time I watch Leroy Shebal's movie This is My Alaska. Growing up I always said I'd been born half a century late, and when I watch that I really feel that way. Sure wish I''d been here in time to visit with some of the guys from the old days.

    That's the movie that got me to Alaska more than any other single thing. I don't know if you know the story about that film, but when I was a kid growing up in Northern California, Leroy "Buster" Shebal and his first wife came through town showing that film in high school auditoriums and wherever they could find a venue. It was all very exciting and our whole family got bitten hard by the Alaska bug. It wasn't until I moved here that I got the rest of the story. Leroy's wife died while they were on that tour, and he packed it all up and went back to Fairbanks, where he stuffed the film canisters up in the attic and tried to put his life back together. He eventually remarried and lived out his days. Somewhere along the line, after he died, his second wife dug those old film reels out of the attic and had them converted to VHS. Eventually they went to DVD and we picked it up in the Outdoors Directory bookstore.

    Anyone who has not seen This Is My Alaska is in for a real treat. It's truly a taste of "the way it was" back in the day. Polar bear hunting, aerial wolf hunting, fishing for some tremendous lake trout, and of course big-game guiding. It's one of my all-time favorites.

    Thanks for the reminder! It's great to know that someone else enjoyed that movie too.

    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
    CLICK HERE to send me a private message.
    Web Address:
    Mob: 1 (907) 229-4501
    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
    "I have climbed my mountain, but I must still live my life." - Tenzig Norgay

  10. #10
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Duncan

    I have an autographed copy of his Trophy Rams of the Brooks Range. I have read it numerous times and always enjoy looking through at some of the incredible pictures of his hunts.

  11. #11
    Member Irish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Eagle River

    Default Slim Moore

    Another great book I read recently by Jim Reardon was Slim Moore Alaska Master Guide. This came out in 2008 & is a fantastic book about Slim & his influence on early Alaska guiding & fish and game. I highly recommend it...check out your local library.

    I just got 2 more books today....Quest for Dall Sheep by jack Wilson & another book by Jim Reardon.

    Ilove the book by Duncan Gilchrist & can't wait to get up to the Brooks this fall!

  12. #12

    Default Great Rams II and Great Ram Hunters

    It is a much better book than I hoped. Robert M. Anderson is the biographer of Jack O' Connor and carried his and eleanors' ashes up the Ruby Ridge of the Yukon.
    It concentrates on two areas the Unlimited Area in Montana and Backpack hunting in Alaska. Most of the back pack hunting concentrates on 1950's through 1970's. You will like this book if you like black and white tinotype pictures. It has probably the best description of the Cook ram with pictures that I have never seen.
    This book is worth the 75.00. I know that money is tight and that many say that money is better spent else but this is pure sheep porn in its most pure form. I think that there are more than 450 pictures of different big rams.
    I didn't know that Jack Lee-who I knew very well and talked to often-had flown Frank Cook in on his sheep. Jack Lee was a character amongst characters and I don't believe that anybody in the history of Alaska was as tough as he was.
    He would talk about guiding the World's record but it was one of those keep nodding affairs because I knew Jack Wilson and his story about the Swank Ram. I will never forget how he would pinch the behind of his nurse and then tip her 100 bucks for his dinner. He was a gentleman but he was a wild man as well.

    Not only did he survive a brown bear mauling and a polar bear mauling but he also fell off Eklutna Glacier for 3000f in his super cub and survived that.


    PS- Lewis Bradley, if you are out there post those monsters. OMG.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    So Thomas, when are you going to write a book on the old timers of sheep hunting? I for one am very interested in that stuff and I bet a lot of others are too....
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

  14. #14

    Default Long ways away.

    I am a long ways away from anything like that.I just feel that many of the big sheep really haven't gone away its just that we are kind of in the "dark ages" of sheep hunting. This means that in Alaska unlike in the NWT, BC or even in Montana a hunter who shoots a super sheep is so worried about being judged that they avoid the publicity.
    We are going to have to wait until a group of nuts like those on this forum decide to take over the local sheep hunting organizations. The other thing is that I need to spend more time doing research with the Toney Oneys' and Harley McMahons' of the world.


  15. #15

    Default Good Info.


    Thanks for bringing these questions up and sharing your knowledge. It may be like a lost language if somebody doesn't talk to these guys and document some of their stories that otherwise might never be told. I have read Gilchrist's books and when I am in the Brooks this fall will probably wonder if he hunted the area I will be in. The shear number and quality of the pickup horns these guys collected is amazing. I hope to not see another soul while I am up there besides my partner, but know the reality will most likely be quite different. I promise to share and not be worried about being judged if I shoot a "super sheep" if I am so blessed. The reality is I will be happy just to have hunted the area.
    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything."


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts