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Thread: Member of the Year 2009

  1. #1

    Default Member of the Year 2009

    Prizes for Member of the Year 2009:

    4 Day Raft Rental from Blue Moose Rafting.
    4 Weight Fly Rod from Blue Moose Rafting.

    $50 gift certificate for authentic Alaskan handmade subs from Speedy Subs. Great for hunting, fishing, or any outdoors trips.

    $50 gift certificate for bait and lure from Bait em 907.
    Come and visit our newly renovated and modified website at:

    Our Bookstore is open, too!

  2. #2


    $100 gift certificate to the Outdoors Directory Bookstore

    Premium Member year membership

    Outdoors Directory Shirt, Hat, Bumper Sticker
    From Alaska Outdoors Directory

    $200 gift certificate to Cabelas

    Grand Prize:
    Two night stay for two at Alpine Creek Lodge located at 68 Mile Denali Hwy which will include lodging stay, meals, wildlife viewing, and scenic mountain views.
    Come and visit our newly renovated and modified website at:

    Our Bookstore is open, too!

  3. #3


    After reviewing nominations, the member of the year team made the following report:

    First of all, we would like to thank those that made this project possible. To all the contributors: Blue Moose Rafting, Speedy Subs, Bait em 907, Alpine Creek Lodge, and to the Alaska Outdoors Directory online bookstore and membership for their generous contributions for awards for our Forum Member of the Year!

    Now to our nominees...

    Each one of these individuals who have been nominated has contributed in some fashion to the Alaska Outdoors Directory Forums community. There were many nominees that received wonderful reviews from other forum members that took the time to not only vote, but to talk and speak openly about their nomination and why exactly they voted for certain forum members.

    These are the nominees:

    Now to the Forum Member of the Year 2009

    This person exemplifies attributes that: Provides a welcome environment for new guests, abides by forum rules, treats other members with respect, and provides reliable, well-presented information on the Alaska Outdoors Directory Forums.
    Last edited by Michael Strahan; 01-01-2010 at 18:46.
    Come and visit our newly renovated and modified website at:

    Our Bookstore is open, too!

  4. #4

    Default Member of the Year 2009

    This year, we are presenting Forum Member Vince as Member of the Year 2009
    When Mike Strahan called me this morning regarding the Member of the year
    deal, I was well... thinking oh !@#$..what I do now? When he asked me if I
    would like to accept it or opt out, I was.. well what do you mean.. And Mike
    replied it’s yours if you want it or if you choose not to accept it I
    {Needless to say, Vince accepted}

    I have long been a proponent of the forums reputation system, in that even
    though I take endless amounts of grief from some members regarding the
    reputation attached to my profile, I have seen the benefit in it. My PM box
    that has a limit of 500 messages is often filled with messages from young,
    and/or new members requesting information, advice and knowledge from me as
    they put it. "You seem to have been there done that", and they don't wish
    to take the flack from the forum as new members. In earnest, I attempt to
    answer all PM's accordingly to the type of request.

    I am in the position in life, business, and relationship, that I have the
    opportunity to meet many new people on a regular basis. I have an
    opportunity to influence for the better the life style, way of doing, or
    outlook, of MANY folks, and affect change for the benefit for our
    communities. My business cliental is such that many are after a very short
    period trying to affect that change them self and allow me to steer them

    It is along those same lines that keep me returning to the forum. Though
    many of us have read, been told, or otherwise shared our experiences with
    each other, there are many new members that still seek that knowledge.
    Recently, one of my clients was in my office and viewing the photos of my
    children with their harvests. As he and I sat, we discussed his return from
    overseas and the hunting, fishing, and outdoor activities available to him
    on and off post. I realized I enjoyed talking to him and sharing my
    knowledge with him. It has been a long time since an eager mind, intently
    listened... I almost ended my membership with the forum that day, as I
    realized that much of the fun had gone out of what went into the forum for

    I was forced to take a step back, re-read some PM's and edit my friend
    list. I was forced to temporarily place some folks on the ignore to teach
    myself how to so that the fun could remain in the posts. I am fortunate
    enough that I have ample time during the day to read most threads and see
    what is there. I enjoy reading the mayhem in each forum and enjoy
    participating in many discussions rather, via humor, advice, or criticism,
    always remembering that I am there because I am supposed to enjoy it. I am
    to overlook the spite or disdain of others regarding the systems in place to
    advance membership and knowledge among us. I recently was forced to explain
    to one younger person, that the rep system does not allow me to Rep myself.
    Mine is in place due to member input. I do not view it as some members
    do, in that it separates and creates lines of diversion among us. Honesty
    and helpfulness is rewarded as much as hard work and dedication. Though I
    honestly feel this Member of the Year should have gone to one of several
    other members, including the one I nominated, and would have made numerous
    Nominations were I allowed to. However, due to Mikes input, the members
    PM's I have received regarding this and that I honestly do feel the reputations system
    does allow new members to identify those whom will help them. It is not
    without some frustration I will allow Mike to present it. I would like all
    to remember that our moderator team, are all volunteers, helpful and
    wonderful folks, and that we should support their efforts in our helpfulness
    of our endeavors and courtesy. (with some amount of grief mixed in I

    My dossier is one of simplicity as is most in my life.

    I was born overseas in the military as my father was stationed at Exmouth,
    Australia and I was born in Perth, WA.

    As my ripe age of 3.5 months he was stationed to Alaska on Adak. We
    remained there until his retirement in the late 70's with a few short
    months in CA Moffett Field Naval Air Station. We returned to Wasilla, AK
    where we resided first off Fairview Loop and then out Schrock & Shwald Road
    until my graduation of high school in 1986.

    My upbringing was on a farm lifestyle and the values of our harvest was
    instilled at a young age. I learned to skin and butcher early on, process
    our own meat, and to become self sufficient should I need to be.

    After a few years in the Navy and some reserve time, I took various seasonal
    jobs traveling to bush communities performing low-income winterization and
    a few summers as a USCG certified tanker man on the barge lines out of

    My life was a turmoil of youthfulness and ignorance and various misbehaving
    until I was involved in a life changing head on collision. With 9 inches of
    scalp removed, I lost several years of teenage memory, including most of
    High school, the death of my oldest sister.

    In 1994 I met my first wife to be got engaged married and had our first
    child in December 1995, born in Valdez, at the peak of the first snow of the
    year. Two years later, my second reason for living was handed to me in the
    form of my second daughter.

    My life took many turns of fate over the next several years. My
    third daughter was born 2001 and my fourth and final was born to my
    current missus in 2007. My children have been my all and share in life's
    adventures with me. Though the children have all been run through a
    proverbial ringer, they are self thinking honest and polite young ladies
    with a lust for moose and caribou hunting. My deleterious lifestyle led me
    to view hunting many years as a means of survival and necessity, and have
    taught my skills to my children, along with livestock to compliment the wild
    game we harvested. My need to become a better hunter was further
    complicated by the early maturity of my two first daughters.

    With allergies to process poultry and unable to afford the higher cost of
    "generic" meats we have over the last 14 years become nearly self sufficient
    in the game meat departments.

    My love for the outdoors equates for me near spiritual moments in time as
    that is where I feel most at peace. I enjoy sharing the outdoors with my
    children and others that wish to learn. It is a peaceful time for me
    without the constraints of time or place town outs us in.

    I spent much of my time on the family farm in Clear, AK that was originally
    part of the Alaska grown project and was to be similar to the Delta barley
    project, except with oats. With poor planning by the state, DNR, and corp of
    engineers, the farm project was a flooded flop netting us 240 acres of
    wetlands along the rex trail and 70 acres of usable wooded wonderland.

    From there we spend our time afield out in the ferry trail area on our 160
    Mining claim prospecting for nuggets and sharing the experience of distance
    from town. Our daily summer lives are filled to the brim with various bear
    encounters and moose and caribou sightings and forays to count sheep and
    access areas previously thought impossible.
    I also own and operate Alaska Monitoring and Drug Testing LLC.
    1 of 3 buisness ventures. The first being a snowmobile repair business sold
    in 2002 in Valdez. The second, a log home construction company, Nemesis
    Engineering and now AKMDT that is operating in 22 communities around the
    state helping people that have had DWI convictions.

    Thank you, Vince, for your contribution to Alaska Outdoors Directory!

    Congratulations on being Member of the Year 2009!

    This is what was said about from other members Vince:

    Because he is a Man's Man and I got a Man Crush on him.

    I vote for Vince because he is always helpful and never hesitates to share his knowledge. He also does not act like a know-it-all. He seems like he reads the posts and doesn't skim over them like may other members do.

    I nominate Vince as member of the year.

    I would like to nominate Vince for Forum Member of the Year. I join the AOD forum this summer, and have spent many enjoyable hours browsing and posting in the forums. Vince was very friendly and helpful when I first joined and made me feel welcome. He posts in many forums and is generally on-topic and contributes good information in his posts. Most recently he has spent a considerable amount of his time defending the owner/mods regarding the controversial Global Politics and Religion forum that was removed. I think Vince supports the mission and rules of the forum. He is honest, good natured, and contributes valuable information.
    For these reasons I nominate Vince.
    Last edited by Alaska_Lanche; 01-01-2010 at 18:19.
    Come and visit our newly renovated and modified website at:

    Our Bookstore is open, too!

  5. #5

    Default Runner Up Three Way Tie

    Our Runner(s) Up had a three way tie:
    Come and visit our newly renovated and modified website at:

    Our Bookstore is open, too!

  6. #6

    Thumbs up Alaska Lanche - Runner Up

    Alaska_Lanche - Runner Up
    I was born and raised here in AK. Grew up mostly in Cantwell where my love for the outdoors really took off. Having the opportunity to able to hunt big game literally out the back door of our house for caribou, moose, bear, and sheep spoiled me more than I realized at the time. My outdoor activities that I experienced through my high school years usually was accompanied by my younger brother (Hunt_Ak) and left a lot of adventures for two young punks to experience usually Mt. McKinely looming in the background.

    Currently I work on the slope and spend as much time as possible when not on the slope doing outdoor activities. Whether it be snowboarding, snowmaching, hunting, fishing, backpacking, or my new favorite hobby as of late, packrafting. I'm blessed to be able to only spend a total of 3 nights home during between the months of May-August due to my gracious wife that has grown to love the outdoors just as much has I have and is my best hiking/hunting partner.

    I'd like to thank everyone on this forum that has helped educate me on all that AK has to offer and look forward to learning much more here. Looking forward to 2010 with lots of adventures and hunting trips already planned out for the coming months. I wish everyone a wonderful 2010 fishing/hunting year.


    Thank you, Alaska_Lanche, for your contribution to Alaska Outdoors Directory!

    This is what was said about Alaska_Lanche from other members:
    Luke has been on so many early in the am. With spam attacks, he has always been right up
    front line with issues in many forums and his contributions to not only on the
    Hunting Forum this year, but with his various escapades mom dad, BRWNBR.. LuJon

    Luke has 100% of the time answered many questions from new members. Luke also has posted many threads on gear selection and various means to make life easier.

    Were there any way to nominate more than one I would have both brothers up
    front.. the final draw came down to hunting input this year as Kyle did not
    get to go.. though he did have a new baby. Tough choice. Very tough.
    I am nominating Alaska_Lanche for member of the year. He has been a great help on many issues and is ALWAYS unbiased on "shady" topics. i have the utmost respect for him. He has used a lot of his time and money to try new items or ideas that some of the less fortunate guys couldn't afford. His write-ups are pristine and just a wonderfully helpful fella. He sells his used items at a very fair price and ships promptly. We couldn't ask for a better mod/member!

    A close second would be Alaska_Lanche with his gear fetish, he has field tested a lot of equipment and written up honest reviews that I think many members find very valuable! He is also another one that is always willing to help.
    Come and visit our newly renovated and modified website at:

    Our Bookstore is open, too!

  7. #7

    Thumbs up danattherock - Runner Up

    Danattherock – Runner Up
    To whom it may concern,
    I am honored to have been nominated for forum member of the year. I have gained a lot from other members on the forum over the years and as my experience level increases, I have tried to share it with the newer guys. I remember how hard it was to obtain information when I first started doing float trips in Alaska. The best information I got was from generous forum members on ODD. Now, there is nothing I enjoy more than seeing a new forum member asking a question about taking a float trip or fishing in Alaska. It reminds me of myself just a few short years ago. I enjoy sharing with others the knowledge I have obtained in hopes that it will make their trips easier to plan, and ultimately more enjoyable and safe. Below I will include the info you requested. If I can add anything to it, please let me know. Thanks for your time and any consideration generated on my behalf.


    I was born and raised in Rockingham, North Carolina. I am 36 years old and had a mispent youth. Nine ball, fishing, camping, and Harley Davidsons. I worked as a prison guard for five years before going into my chosen profession as a Registered Nurse. Quite a change in careers that was. I have now been a travel nurse for over five years. I work in Emergency Rooms in different parts of the country. My wife, a travel nurse also, works alongside me. Typically 13-26 week contracts at hospitals that find themselves short staffed. This type of work gives us about three months a year off to pursue my real passion in life. Namely visiting Alaska and taking yearly float trips in the arctic. I first came to Alaska in spring of 2004 when I accepted a travel nurse position at the hospital in Kotzebue. While there, I was introduced to the concept of float trips while playing poker with the guys from the fire department. From the start, I was fascinated with the idea of a remote bush plane drop off and being left to my own devices for a week or two. When I learned of the wildlife, scenery, solitude, and world class fishing, I was hooked. Within a few weeks I had my first float trip planned. I flew my younger brother and best friend up from NC and we floated the Kelly River. It is a tributary of the lower Noatak about 80 miles north of Kotzebue. After that trip, I was hooked. Now we float a different river each year. The high point of my year without question. While in Kotzebue, I flew my wife (then girlfriend) up for a week and we went to Chena Hot Springs. It was November and I met her down in Anchorage and we took the train through Denali to Fairbanks. It was a whole new world for the both of us. She had brought a bottle of muscadine wine from North Carolina up with her. A favorite in the south as it is made from the native wild growing grapes. We were floating around in the hot springs late one night with the wine (in a plastic bottle) and it was at that moment I decided to marry her. Within a few months we tied the knot and one week after our honeymoon in a cabin in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, we were headed back to Alaska. Nome this time, for a travel nursing contract that would keep us there for the year. My wife is a nurse also, working med/surg, and I work the emergency room. We got to Nome and bought a Grizzly 660. Some of the most fond memories I have are on that green machine. We traveled all over the place enjoying the wildlife, fishing, and most importantly the solitude that we were not used to having in the lower 48. Currently working on Cape Cod, Mass, we get back to Alaska a few times each year. We try to see a new place with each visit. Our yearly float trips are fly fishing oriented and most of them have been in arctic NW Alaska. The saying, "The silence is deafening" actually holds meaning there. We have also done the Goodnews in SW. This June we plan to float the Kongakut in ANWR. We are also planning to meet some fellow forum members in July and again in Sept for some fishing on the Kenai. My wife and I had a great time this past September meeting forum members at "Fishapalooza". It was great to put a face with the names and we are already planning to visit some of our newest friends again very soon. Alaska holds a special place in our hearts. Visiting two or three times a year is all we can afford for now. I am just lucky to have married someone that shares my passion and supports my ventures.

    Alaska Adventure 2:

    NW Alaska; Kugururok River (Noatak Preserve)
    All the logistics from my Kelly River Review apply here. These rivers are 20-30 miles apart and both tributaries of the lower Noatak River about 70 miles N of Kotzebue in NW Alaska. Both rivers are in the Noatak Preserve.
    This is a beautiful place. We did not see another person for 13 days on this river. Spent 7 days on the Kelly and saw no one. Not even a sign of another man. Not so much as a tin can in 20 days. Lots of Caribou. Brown bears, moose, wolf, all likely as well. Good fishing on this river for dolly varden above Trail Creek.
    On the Kugururok when we got below Trail Creek, the fishing was poor. But it was very good at and above it. The river, much like the Kelly, is gin clear and intimate in size at about 30-40 yards. Easy paddling most the way but there are a few rocks to avoid. The canyon section (5 miles of 12 foot+ granite wall lining the river) had some II rapids and some standing waves. We took on 90 liters of water one time but our Ally pack canoe stayed the course. I love that canoe! Made in Norway, they are the perfect boats for remote trips like this.
    The trip is about 45 miles long and would make a nice week trip. We spent 13 nights and glad I did to allow for extra fly fishing time and some off river excursions. Beautiful tundra all over and very expansive mountain views. Lots of archaeological interest in the area as well. 10,000 years worth of Inupiat history there. Old hunting grounds, burial sites, etc… A fascinating place that deserves to be untouched. Only viewed and admired.
    We saw the northern lights at night. And the air is so clear you can see satellites passing by. Takes about 20 seconds to go over the sky. Neat to watch. We saw Mars low in the sky. My buddy Joe said it looked like a lantern hanging in a tree. It was huge!
    This is a hard place to describe. If you want a remote and scenic trip, this is the place. Relatively easy float as well. It was a little rough at times for us but it rained for several days before we got there and one or two once we arrived. That is another reason to allow a few extra days. We camped at one spot 3 days waiting on the levels to drop. This is the kind of place you feel lucky to have visited.
    General Comments:
    Basic outdoor skills, extra fuel/food, good stove(x2) and water filter (MSR) wind proof clothing, polar fleece, breathable fishing waders, gps, and wind resistant tent design that is fully waterproof. We used Black Diamond guiding light with great results. The rain fly model tents will drive you crazy with the wind flapping the fabric. A single wall tent is ideal. That will allow you to more easily hear any night time visitors. Lots of bears in that area even though we had no encounters on this trip. Two years earlier we saw 21 on the Kelly. Take a gun or ear plugs. You will need one or the other to facilitate sleep. Ha ha. In all seriousness, the bears we saw have always walked away or ignored us. The more time I spend up in Alaska, the more comfortable I become. I think we perceive them to be a much greater threat than they actually are. Just keep a clean camp, keep food smells off you and your clothes, and give them their space. The wildlife adds to the trip.
    More photos of this August 2006 trip are available on Flickr:

    Thank you, danattherock, for your contribution to Alaska Outdoors Directory!

    Here is what other members said about danattherock:
    Lots of great choices for MOTY, but in my mind clearly Dan stands out as #1.

    I look for helpfulness regardless of the experience (or not) of the one he's helping; Dan is there, in either case. TONS of knowledge of fishing, floating rivers, and bush Alaska. Though Dan is not an Alaskan resident, he knows more than almost any member here on those topics, and is always there to help others on those topics - even more so than the one or two members that might actually know more then Dan does about those things. The time or two that someone with possibly more experience than Dan chimes in also, I've never seen Dan's advice opposed; only confirmed. Dan and his wife have floated more remote Alaska water than any couple I'm aware of - and more than 99.9% of any Alaskan resident I'd bet.

    I see it as an absolute requirement that MOTY be a person that doesn't hesitate to meet members face to face, though that isn't part of the official criteria. Dan satisfies this requirement well. Dan and his wife make excellent camping partners and without exception all that pass through their campsite feel welcome and happy. And Dan's a really great cook and very generous with what he does cook - hey, that doesn't hurt.

    Thought not part of the official criteria I see it as paramount that MOTY have high moral standards and integrity, beyond reproach - again, Dan shines in this area. And a great sense of humor is a pretty important criteria too.

    Dan is the guy you want to be sitting by the fire under the trees with, swapping stories. He shows respect to all. He has a genuine southern hospitality to him that comes from living in NC, yet he is well travelled. If he wanted to appear to be "an Alaskan" he'd make a better one that most of today's Alaskan residents (and I hold a generally high opinion of Alaskan residents, compared to others).

    Meet him once and you for sure won't miss your next chance to spend time with him. Hear his advice once and he's the guy you'll ask next time. Share his camp fire or cooking once and you'll make sure it isn't your last time.

    I'm not saying Dan is perfect, because he's not. But you show me a guy that does nuthin' wrong, and I'll show you a guy that does nuthin' at all.


    I waste no time in my nomination and vote for Dan during the first few minutes that I'm aware that this election is open. Yes, a lot of really great people on AOD - I've personally met many of them, lots of them with really great tips, tricks, advice, and experiences - but if I had 3 people to vote for, they'd all be Dan.
    Although he is an outsider he always contributes excellent information on a variety of Alaskan areas to enjoy the outdoors in. He is also quite active in several of the various forums beyond the fishing forum. I was fortunate enough to meet Dan this past September and he is as nice in person as he comes across on the boards.
    Come and visit our newly renovated and modified website at:

    Our Bookstore is open, too!

  8. #8

    Thumbs up Strangerinastrangeland - Runner Up

    Strangerinastrangeland – Runner Up

    Thank you, strangerinastrangeland, for your contribution to Alaska Outdoors Directory.

    What other members said about Strangerinastrangeland:
    I vote for Strangerinastrangeland.
    His posts of remote/native Alaska life are very interesting. I always enjoy
    reading his posts and look forward to someday meeting him and his family. I
    would love to spend a year with him to learn the native way of life.
    Come and visit our newly renovated and modified website at:

    Our Bookstore is open, too!

  9. #9

    Default Here are other members that were nominated for Member of the Year 2009

    Family Man
    Born in the 50s in Michigan, I've lived in close to 10 different states and travelled to over a dozen countries during the course of both work and pleasure. Knowing so many parts of the US and the world make me appreciate Alaska & Alaskans all the more. I and my family plan to never leave - we've lived between Anchorage and the Valley going on 5 years now.

    My Dad taught me boating and fishing skills when I was old enough to hold a rod. He taught me to cast my popper to within inches of a lillypad 20+ yards away and to anticipate the huge immediate splash of a largemouth bass hitting it. He taught me to only keep what I will clean and eat, to respect the resource & to always strive to better understand and protect it, and to pass outdoor respect and skills on to others, as he did. WWII caused him great dislike of all firearms, so I didn't discover hunting until only 20 years ago, when an incredible 80 year old neighbor and a lot of self-teaching got me hooked on big game hunting.

    Though I'm very sensitive about privacy issues I reluctantly began meeting Outdoors Directory members a year ago and now I love that too, having done so about once a month for the past 6 months and hosting one dinner for forum members here in my home. I've gained a lot from the Outdoors Directory site and work to give back to others - kind of the same thinking that got me started teaching Hunter Ed. I began teaching the Hunter Ed courses 10 years ago and love working with kids. I've been a computer programmer for 30 years but restricted my work solely to Internet areas for the last 15. Always active in local affairs, I presently have two proposals being considered by the BOF process and one by BOG, which I've shared with you on our Outdoors Directory site.

    Thank you, FamilyMan, for your contribution to Alaska Outdoors Directory!

    Here is what other members said about FamilyMan:
    I would like to vote for Familyman. He is consistently taking the high road in heated discussions and I think it fosters the kind of dialogue that makes the forum stronger. I like his contributions on various subjects from cooking, hunting, guns, to camping. He is a down to earth guy and types with a soft voice. My wife and I were able to spend some time with him on the Kenai in Sept and he was just as impressive in person as he is on the computer screen. A salt of the earth guy in every way. I admire the way he contributes positively to other member's post and continually represents himself so well. A heck of a nice guy and a steward of the land as well. He exemplifies what an outdoorsman should be. He gets my vote.
    Come and visit our newly renovated and modified website at:

    Our Bookstore is open, too!

  10. #10

    Thumbs up

    My name is Michael Manzo and I was born in Northern Maine. My upbringing was in a small Italian neighborhood with my Father. He was an avid outdoorsman, a good role model and a great teacher. When he wasn't working at the paper mill, he was teaching welding and other trade classes at the local high school. My mother is a full blooded Mic Mac, which is a Native American Tribe of the Northeast of both Canada and the tip of Maine. My father was a guide at hunting camps, and my mother is still a hunting and fishing guide at a bear camp in northern Maine. My grandmother came from a Reservation in Canada and was a basket maker. She is in the book called "Our Lives are in Our Hands". When I was Sixteen I moved to stay with her for which I learned so much from. She made me pack baskets, and fishing creels. I'm very proud to have had these three people in my life that taught me so much about the outdoors. My father taught me how to fly fish, tie flies, hunt deer, partridge, bear, moose, bought me my first rifle (an old 30-30 winchester) at the age of 8. My mother taught me of gathering fiddleheads, fishing brook trout streams, and the best ways to cook game meats. My grandmother taught me how to respect mother nature and traditional ways of my Tribe. Being half Italian and half Indian is very confusing.....I don't know where I fit in! So Alaska is right where I belong . I've lived in Alaska since 2002. I came up here because my job at the Canoe Paddle mill didn't pay well and I had a family. The Army brought me up here when I transferred from the Reserves to the Regular Army. I spent 3 years away from our wonderful state on deployment in Iraq. When I was home I was able to attend University of Alaska in Anchorage. I'm a combat vet and did all my deployments with an Engineer Unit. I'm so in love with this state that I decided to make Alaska my first passion when I almost didn't make it home alive from Iraq. I'm officially complete of my obligation to my country and I'm now a full time college student transferred to Alaska Pacific University. I will be studying Marine Biology as middle-term sophomore and healing from my minor wounds. I'm also a graduate of the Mountaineering Course, and the Cold Weather Leader Course offered by the Northern Warfare Training Center "Black Rapids" and a lab rat for Outdoor Research. I'm honored that other forum members gave me the ultimate "thank you" and nominated me as forum member of the year. God Bless all of you.

    Thank you, Mainer_in_AK, for your contribution to Alaska Outdoors Directory!

    Here is what other members said about Mainer_in_AK:
    I'll nominate MainerinAK
    Solid guy and helpful
    Come and visit our newly renovated and modified website at:

    Our Bookstore is open, too!

  11. #11


    Wow I must say I am shocked to be nominated 2 years in a row. Quite an honer from the folks on this great forum.

    I have been a resident of this great state for many years. 78-83 89 to present. Moved to Alaska June 25th 1978 and caught my first red on the russian river June 26th 1978 and have been ruined every since. I have been an hunter and die hard fisherman since my 2nd day in alaska. I have fished many waters over the years and met alot of great people.

    I had the pleasure of fishing most of the waters with my Father untill he passed in 2003 but was lucky enough to have meet my wife in 2001 who is a die hard fisherwoman and yes she does out fish me.

    We spend alot of our time on the waters of the upper kenai but love to explore all of the state. We fish from the Denali highway to Homer and any water we can find inbetween. I have met and fished with so many great people from this forum and what makes it great to me is to get a message or a pm from someone who thanks you for making thier trip one to remember.

    Im not to good at talking about myself. There are people on here who will tell you I am good at talking though.

    One memory that will last forever is one that happend this fall. Danattherock and his wife were fishing the kenai this fall for the first time. Her first ever on a flyrod. After months of emails and phone calls the look on her face when that first fish slammed her bead was priceless. The look got much better when she landed her first fish shortly there after. Oh and she did outfish Dan too.

    While I am honered to be nominated I just love to fish and if I can help someone out why not. I have been lucky enough to take many first timers fishing the last few years due to and from this forum. The gift of putting them on thier first alaska fish is the reward I live for.

    Thank you
    Chuck Unsworth
    What Mission????? It is time to go fishin’

    Thank you, AlaskaChuck, for your contribution to Alaska Outdoors Directory!

    Here is what other members said about AlaskaChuck:
    I would like to nominate AlaskaChuck as forum member of the year. He was responsible for getting more board members together than anyone else. Aside from ribbing powder monkey, he stays out of trouble and accomplishes all the items on your list.
    He's also super stoked about the site, increases membership, helps new folks, keeps stoked regardless of the situation, etc...
    Come and visit our newly renovated and modified website at:

    Our Bookstore is open, too!

  12. #12

    Thumbs up

    My name is Will Holden, I currently live in Chugiak Alaska. Originally born
    in Boston MA, I first moved up to Fairbanks the summer of 1979. My step
    father was a contractor with the pipeline and my mom was a dispatcher for
    the Alaska State Troopers. I joined the Army as an Infantryman in 1984 and
    subsequently had assignments in Ft Campbell, Germany, Korea, Ft Benning,
    Dahlonega GA, Ft Richardson and Iraq. An Airborne accident last year (broken
    femur) put a kink in my current career so I will be retiring from the Army
    this summer. I am married to the most fantastic supporting woman I could
    ever imagine and she has blessed me with 4 awesome children. Cheyenne is 7,
    Russell is 4, Lillian is 3 and Barry will be 2 next month. We have 4 labs,
    2 guinea pigs, 4 rabbits, around 26 chickens, 4 turkeys and one pig. We all
    love camping and spend lots of time in the summer in our RV all over Alaska.
    During the winter we like to get out on snow machines in the Petersville
    area. We live a very active life and everyone takes part in everything.

    Thank you, wholden, for your contribution to Alaska Outdoors Directory!

    Here is what other members said about Wholden:
    He is always thoughtful and willing to help complete strangers with pretty much anything from hauling a moose out of the woods to building a first AR15.
    Come and visit our newly renovated and modified website at:

    Our Bookstore is open, too!

  13. #13


    I moved to AK in 1979 from MI. Over the next 29 years I've lived in 29 different houses, Soldotna, Glennallen, Victory Bible camps, Palmer, Wasilla, Anchorage and McGrath where I graduated high school. While in McGrath, I was fortunate enough to work with area Biologist, Jack Whitman on the beginnings of the bear relocation project, as a 16 year old highschooler I was able to trap, collar and release black bears as part of my high school curriculum.

    When I was 19, I began guiding hunters on Kodiak and the Talkeetna Mountains and found my niche. Married my wife amber and have two young boys, Hunter 5, and Talon 3. We run our own guiding business now and love it! I've enjoyed meeting some of the forum members and love the resource that ODD provides and hope that in some small way I've haven't been a waste of gigabytes on here! The license plate on my Ford F150 is BRWNBR, stop me and say hi!!

    Thanks for the nomination, that's really nice of whoever did that, thanks again and have a Merry Christmas!
    Thank you, BRWNBR, for your contribution to Alaska Outdoors Directory!

    Here is what other members said about BRWNBR:
    I'm nominating Jake for MOTY.

    Jake consistently posts great information and pictures about Alaska
    big-game guiding and hunts and sets a fine example of ethical big-game
    guiding in Alaska. He is a wealth of information about various areas and
    species and very helpful to other forum members. He is also active in
    game management issues. Jake also provides a welcome environment for new
    members and is polite and respectful throughout in his postings.
    Come and visit our newly renovated and modified website at:

    Our Bookstore is open, too!

  14. #14

    Thumbs up

    Thank you, 6XLeech, for your contribution to Alaska Outdoors Directory!
    Here is what other members said about 6XLeech:
    I'd like to cast my vote for the AOD member of the year.

    6XLeech consistently adds value to the forums in a manner few here do. Whether it be digging up old posts for folks that post about a topic already discussed to look over in addition to what has already been brought up in the thread, or contributing valuable product information that at times can be tough to find.

    Here is one fine example of my candidate in action

    Just read posts # 45-47
    Come and visit our newly renovated and modified website at:

    Our Bookstore is open, too!

  15. #15

    Thumbs up

    Other Members that were nominated are:
    Thank you, Snyd, for your contribution to Alaska Outdoors Directory!
    Here is what other members had to say about Snyd:
    Courteous, knowledgeable, helpful
    Thank you, Bushrat, for your contribution to Alaska Outdoors Directory!
    Here is what other members had to say about Bushrat:
    Mark seems to be a well educated level headed no bull!@#$ person I have seen here except for some of the mods. Thanks Mike and Brian for the great service you are providing.
    AKDoug, thank you for your contribution to Alaska Outdoors Directory!
    Here is what other members had to say about AKDoug:
    My vote is for AkDoug. It was a toss up between him and x?x?x. After
    the coin flip, Doug won!
    Thank you, EagleRiverDee, for your contribution to Alaska Outdoors Directory!
    Here is what other members had to say about EagleRiverDee:
    My vote is for EagleRiverDee. Dee joined the forum in April, 2009 and has had over 200 contributions to the forum since that time. I have never seen any negative posts from her and repeatedly see her adding value and insight to discussions. I believe she meets, and exceeds, all the qualifications outlined in determining the 'Forum Member of the Year'.
    Come and visit our newly renovated and modified website at:

    Our Bookstore is open, too!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Thumbs up Congratulations Vince

    "and the rest" too (a quote from the Gilligans Island song, of course )''

    Well deserved MOTY selection!

  17. #17


    Bravo and Congratulations Vince!

    Indeed all worthy nominees, it's a pleasure to follow their posts.
    It doesn't matter what you miss them with.

  18. #18

    Thumbs up

    Congratulations to each of you one more time on behalf of the
    Member of the Year Team.
    We appreciate what each of you do for Alaska Outdoors Directory.
    Michael Strahan, Brian M, and COtoAK
    Come and visit our newly renovated and modified website at:

    Our Bookstore is open, too!

  19. #19
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Anchorage, Alaska, United States


    You da man Vince. Congrats it is very very well deserved for sure. I know you helped me out on more than on occasion
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  20. #20
    Member Huntress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Somewhere between here and there.....


    Vince? Oh come on now! You ALL know we'll never get him out of this forum now....His head will be too big! lol.....

    (all kidding aside) Congratulations Boss! ( I know how much you love me calling you that!)
    "In the interest of protecting my privacy I will no longer be accepting Private Messages generated from this site and if you email me, it better be good!"

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