Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 29

Thread: What to expect?

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    South Georgia
    Posts
    9

    Default What to expect?

    Hey yall My name is Zach Phillips. I've been reading for a while but this is my first post. I'm from Georgia.. a little bit different country down here haha I'm in college right now and I have always wanted to go to alaska.. kodiak brown bear has always been my #1 I figure I need to go while I still can before I have to many things keeping me from it. I talked to an outfitter about being a packer for a season and was wondering what all I could expect if I did it. I know what to expect as far as the land and I know that will take some getting use to for me since I'm use to swamps not mountains haha Down here it's all deer, hog, gator and turkey. I know it's a whole different game up there I was just wondering what I'd be getting into.. Thanks

  2. #2
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Paradise (Alaska)
    Posts
    1,543

    Default Expectations?

    What to expect?
    Expect to have the greatest opportunity of your life.
    If you work as a packer one season, or work as packer/guide for 20 seasons...who will never have another job you love more. And your first season...well, you never forget your first.
    Expect the hardest rain, and strongest winds you have ever seen. Expect to see water blow OUT of a lake when the winds really start to blowing. Expect the rain to impact your head so hard, it hurts...and you will talk about it forever.
    Expect the thickest brush, Alder brush, you have ever seen.
    Expect to meet the most confident guides you can imagine. (Hopefully, probably competent also.)
    Expect to meet the most happy and excited client-hunters you can imagine. Most will be "world hunters", intelligent and professionallly successful. (Afterall, it takes a secure, financial background to pay for these opportunities.)
    Expect to carry a 180+ pound raw bear pelt out of the worst possible place, and love it.
    Expect to see the most beautiful place on earth, if and when the sun shines.
    Expect to face some fear you did not expect.
    Expect to learn a ton of new stuff that you thought you already knew.
    Following your first hunting/packing/guiding season, expect to dream all year about your upcoming second season.
    Expect to return home and tell everyone about your newest and greatest life experience...and they will not truly understand. Only because they did not do it, experience it, learn it, live it.

    Probably others will have more info for you...

    Dennis

  3. #3
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    South Central
    Posts
    2,541

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GaHunter View Post
    .... I know what to expect as far as the land and I know that will take some getting use to for me since I'm use to swamps not mountains ....
    Our swamps are on our mountains...alder bogs on tundra covered hillsides. Then there are the floating alder bogs at the base of the mountains.

    check out the help wanted forum and you may find a guide that needs a two legged pack horse.

    Keep in mind that a very good sized bear skin before fleshing might weigh 200 pounds. More if it is raining. You will be the one packing this out whole down through the alders. If you are lucky the guide will have more than one packer so you can take turns. If you are real lucky the bear died on the beach and you can get the skiff right up to it.

  4. #4
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Paradise (Alaska)
    Posts
    1,543

    Default Packer Expectations...

    Expect to do dishes...which might be the only time your hands are really clean and that is important because you can also...
    Expect to learn to cook really good meals on a coleman stove...
    Expect to put up and take down remote camps...
    Expect to learn how to properly skin a bear or ten, how to do the feet/paws, lips-nose-split lips, flesh & salt...at 11:00 at night sometimes...
    Expect to do everything you don't expect, like build a new shooting bench, repair a cabin roof, repair a cabin door, work on boats or motors a little bit, clean up a cook kitchen...
    ...box-up or crate bear pelts for trans to Anchorage or beyond...

    ...come on guides/forum members, what else can he expect, as he enters the world of commercial services hunting as a packer...???

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaTrueAdventure View Post
    Expect to do dishes...which might be the only time your hands are really clean and that is important because you can also...
    Expect to learn to cook really good meals on a coleman stove...
    Expect to put up and take down remote camps...
    Expect to learn how to properly skin a bear or ten, how to do the feet/paws, lips-nose-split lips, flesh & salt...at 11:00 at night sometimes...
    Expect to do everything you don't expect, like build a new shooting bench, repair a cabin roof, repair a cabin door, work on boats or motors a little bit, clean up a cook kitchen...
    ...box-up or crate bear pelts for trans to Anchorage or beyond...

    ...come on guides/forum members, what else can he expect, as he enters the world of commercial services hunting as a packer...???
    Pretty hard to add to the list when combined with your other post! Had some initial "reservations" about the 180 pound + hide. However, after thinking about it realized that might be a good idea. After packing (or at least trying) would probably learn the skin out the head; at least cut the toes on the second joint and skin A LOT closer the next time!
    (Those hundred pound hides may be heavy - but - I'm sure a lot lighter than 180 !)
    Good post

  6. #6
    New member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    South Georgia
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Thanks for the replys. I just think it would be a good way for me to get there and experience it. Like you said it takes a full wallet to go on those hunts and that I do not have haha. I've guided hunters turkey hunting and I film for a tv show down here but alaska will be a different element I'm sure. I'm use to stalking hog in the thick nasty swamps in 100 degree weather, might be a tad different there I expect rough country and alot of new things but I am a quick learner. The guy I talked to said it would be august through october unless I stayed and helped with fishing charters which I would like to do. I know how to work hard and I would expect to but I'd also like to get some free time to see what alaska is all about. Not sure how much down time there would be for that though

  7. #7
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,601

    Default

    Make sure the guide has a good rep in the state. Work hard and save your money and you will be able to get back home. Expect to maybe fish some but don't expect to hunt. Even on just one hunt you will have a lifetime of stories. You will learn that what 99.9% of people feel they can't live without,you will find that you don't really need it.

  8. #8

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by wantj43 View Post
    Pretty hard to add to the list when combined with your other post! Had some initial "reservations" about the 180 pound + hide. However, after thinking about it realized that might be a good idea. After packing (or at least trying) would probably learn the skin out the head; at least cut the toes on the second joint and skin A LOT closer the next time!
    (Those hundred pound hides may be heavy - but - I'm sure a lot lighter than 180 !)
    Good post
    163 pounds on the scale in the Kodiak Airport. Granted it was in a duffle bag, with probably a few pounds of salt left in it. But I had fleshed it, salted it, drained it for 12 or so days, shook out the excess salt and bagged it for transport. The skull was in a different bag.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Akres View Post
    163 pounds on the scale in the Kodiak Airport. Granted it was in a duffle bag, with probably a few pounds of salt left in it. But I had fleshed it, salted it, drained it for 12 or so days, shook out the excess salt and bagged it for transport. The skull was in a different bag.
    The hides we weighted were always pretty close to ten percent of the total weight - certainly varies depending on a "bunch" of stuff. How big was that skull?
    Joe (Ak)

  10. #10
    Member ninefoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    alaska, all over the state
    Posts
    986

    Default what not to expect...

    alaskatrueadventure has a good list...here's a few cents thrown in

    dont expect to get paid much...dont expect to sleep much....dont expect your boss to care much about the above aflictions.

    my advice is to come ready to learn, hopefully by an outfitter who will take the time to teach you some things, or cut you loose with some of his guides so you can learn from them....and remember that these days a packer/apprentice is needed as much in the logistics end of things than he is the hunting end of things...especially bear hunts...i dont know many guides that need or want a packer on a bear hunt...i definitely dont for lots of reasons...be prepared to put lots of time in with the capes and meat (if you do the full season and get some moose/caribou/sheep/deer experience) ....and for the love of god learn how to work capes and hides properly, from skinning tight in the field to realizing how deep salt will penetrate and what happens when its not done properly (trophy and end result of the hunt is ruined) to turning ears, lips, nose, to fleshing capes and hides...the number of hunters (guides included) i've seen that are inept (some down right horrible) on this part of the job has astounded me, and did so again this very spring...

    be adamant about learning, ask questions to the people you encounter out there...guides, outfitters, even clients. expect to meet some really interesting people...thats one of the coolest parts of that stage of the job.

    be tough...its a hard group of indivuduals to impress...chances are you wont until you've been put out there and tested a little...dont expect any respect out there...expect to earn it though.

    dont expect to get your assistant liscense after one year...and if it's offered my advice is to turn it down, i just dont think anyones ready for a client after one season, no matter how many days you get afield...realize how important it is for these clients and how much money theyre putting into a hunt up here, then think to yourself if you would like a kid with one season of packing under his belt to guide YOU on a umpteen thousand dollar hunt for anything. i'm not sure if theres any magic number of years (other than legal requirements, which are too leanient in my opinion) for apprenticeship because of different learning curves...but i know one season packing bear hunts aint it.

    shut up and listen alot...and when your not, ask questions no matter how dumb you may think they are

    if you get out there with a guide, NEVER contradict, or put your two cents in when the guide is directing the client...the client doesnt need to hear your opinion and you'll hear it from the guide in words you wont like.

    remember your place, work harder than you think you can, look listen and learn, and have some fun. hope it works out for you. who are you going to to work for anyway?

  11. #11

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaTrueAdventure View Post
    ...come on guides/forum members, what else can he expect, as he enters the world of commercial services hunting as a packer...???
    Memories that will last a lifetime. Times a wasting, get on up here, you ain't getting no younger.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  12. #12
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,601

    Default

    At the first meal when it starts stand up a pull a half dozen cloth napkins from your back pocket and exclaim how you have aways felt a meal was much more civilized with a proper napkin. Just that little effort will be a big part of a story for years to come. If you happen to have a pot holder with maybe a rooster or a cow on it well then the cook fire is a class act

  13. #13

    Default

    For an experience of being in a guiding camp during the hunting season
    as a packer, a lot of great opportunities for some memories
    that will last a life time. If you decide to pursue guiding as a career and get your "learner's permit" (assistant guide lic.) it may be difficult to find some place will to spend the necessary time to teach the basics.
    However it goes wish you the best of luck!
    Joe (Ak)

  14. #14
    New member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    South Georgia
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Thanks for all the replies. I'm not to worried about making alot as long as I don't lose any and I doubt that I will pursue being a guide up there.. I really just want my one trip. I'm a quick learner and I'm not scared to ask questions. Dealing with the hides would take some instruction and practice but I've done alot with smaller animals here and could figure it out quick hopefully. As a cameraman I'm use to having to earn the respect of hunters. When I first started filming I just followed their lead and kept my mouth shut, now they ask me what I think and I called several in for them from behind the camera. I love hunting and I love being outside. The closest I've been to alsaka is B.C and I loved it. Seeing and learning the hunting side of things up there is something I would enjoy.

  15. #15
    New member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    South Georgia
    Posts
    9

    Default

    I know yall don't get to many of these up your way so I thought I'd share a couple pictures from this turkey season. I ended up killing 4, missing 2, seeing 9 die and 11 get shot at pretty good season down here.





  16. #16
    New member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    South Georgia
    Posts
    9

    Default





  17. #17

    Thumbs up

    From your pics (nice btw)
    What you should not expect:
    Mail delivery at your campsite.
    That much sunshine.
    Manicured forest.
    Signs telling you where you are at.
    Being able to hold still, while not swatting mosquitoes, long enough for posed photos.

    You'll do fine. If you can hunt Turkeys successfully, there is no game in Alaska that tough to hunt.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  18. #18
    New member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    South Georgia
    Posts
    9

    Default

    The mail box was in the bed of one of our trucks.. thought it gave the camp a nice homey touch.. no mailman ever showed up though haha Most of those pictures were back at the house, not all of the woods here are so pretty lol Mosquitos down here look like chihuahas so I don't go many places with out a thermacell or two Several of the places I hunt are pretty big swamps with nothing.. nothing compared to what you guys have but it's pretty easy for someone to mess up and spend the night if they don't know what their doing. It looks to be a different game up there and thats why I want to go.. I feel like my skills in the woods will transfer over with some help and time to adjust, just different animals and land.. alot different land haha

  19. #19
    Member ninefoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    alaska, all over the state
    Posts
    986

    Default right on man,

    Quote Originally Posted by GaHunter View Post
    Thanks for all the replies. I'm not to worried about making alot as long as I don't lose any and I doubt that I will pursue being a guide up there.. I really just want my one trip. I'm a quick learner and I'm not scared to ask questions. Dealing with the hides would take some instruction and practice but I've done alot with smaller animals here and could figure it out quick hopefully. As a cameraman I'm use to having to earn the respect of hunters. When I first started filming I just followed their lead and kept my mouth shut, now they ask me what I think and I called several in for them from behind the camera. I love hunting and I love being outside. The closest I've been to alsaka is B.C and I loved it. Seeing and learning the hunting side of things up there is something I would enjoy.
    have fun...its a good way to see the country...i originally assumed you were comeing to pack in order to pursue your liscense. i hope you the best, and hope you get some time in the field, i remember the feeling of coming up for the first time well, and i believe you'll have adventures that you'll never forget. good luck and have fun.
    and yeah, nice birds man....
    zack

  20. #20
    New member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    South Georgia
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Thanks ninefoot. If you ever want a trip south I could show you some deer, turkey, hogs, gators or maybe just a beach with sun and some good fishing.. I'll trade you for a brown bear hahah

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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