AK Final Recommendations

Liv2HntBigBullz

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Feb 25, 2013
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297
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Northern Colorado
Got the go ahead to book a Dall Sheep hunt while I am still young enough to do it effectively. I have done tons of research and called several folks to understand operations.

I have found that Dall Sheep hunts can go very differently depending on the range you hunt and who you hire. I really want this to be as much about the sheep hunt adventure as the kill itself, but with that said at the price tag I do not want to be one of the unlucky few.

In my research I pretty well had it narrowed down to Ultima Thule and Alaska Outfitters Unlimited (Aaron Bloomquist). This is mostly due to the fact they offered what I was after and operate in concessions. Unfortunately UT isn’t booking hunters right now as they sort through their concession renewal. Aaron offers both a float/backpack and a straight backpack hunt which seems to me would make for one heck of an adventure.

Over the past several days Jonah Stewart continues to come up. I had a good conversation with Stewart and it appears he runs a good operation. However my hesitation is he threw out the advice that he would never book with anyone that doesn’t do their own flying. His outfit does not operate in a concession but he is very willing to quickly move guys if legal rams are not being encountered. I think this certainly helps success, however there is a piece of me that thinks getting dropped on rams takes away from the sheep hunting experience.

Looking for thoughts and recommendations on additional guys I should talk to and who to absolutely stay away from. Also if you have thoughts on each one and how the overall experience is impacted I would like to hear it. Due to cost I am going to get one shot at this, want to be sure I have done more than enough due diligence up front to be successful.


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Jbehredt

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Mar 4, 2017
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443
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Colorado
Haven’t yet hunted with Jonah but know people who have. He’s one of two outfitters I’m considering for my upcoming griz hunt. Only you can decide how many success percentage points you’re willing to trade for “adventure”.
 

Lukeandcod

Newbie
Joined
Mar 5, 2019
Messages
3
I had a great hunt in 2017 with Dave Morris at Arctic Alaska Guide Service. He has a concession in the Brooks Range in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He is a smaller outfit and does most of the guiding himself. I plan to go back again in 2021.
I spoke to several outfitters, including 2 of the names you mentioned. I think you picked some great outfitters, just go with the one you feel the best about regarding hunting style, timing and cost. I chose Dave because I enjoyed our conversation, experience (he has been doing it for about 30 years) and he personally would be guiding me. I'm very happy with my decision. Feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions.
 

adventure907

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Joined
Jan 6, 2014
Messages
470
Location
AK
Go with the best, who also happens to be one of the more reasonably priced.

www.tokmanagementarea.com

Ultima Thule is a great outfit, I've been out there and their lodge is beautiful. But if you want a pure backpack adventure, call and talk t\o Matt Snyder, no family works harder for their hunters and they are true legends of the Dall Sheep hunting world.
 
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Liv2HntBigBullz

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Feb 25, 2013
Messages
297
Location
Northern Colorado
Go with the best, who also happens to be one of the more reasonably priced.

www.tokmanagementarea.com

Ultima Thule is a great outfit, I've been out there and their lodge is beautiful. But if you want a pure backpack adventure, call and talk t\o Matt Snyder, no family works harder for their hunters and they are true legends of the Dall Sheep hunting world.
This looks to be a great outfit, but all dependent on drawing a permit. Am I reading that correctly?

Thanks for all the input guys. I had no idea what a daunting task this would be (certainly not complaining :) )


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adventure907

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Jan 6, 2014
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AK
This looks to be a great outfit, but all dependent on drawing a permit. Am I reading that correctly?

Thanks for all the input guys. I had no idea what a daunting task this would be (certainly not complaining :) )


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No, not dependent on drawing a permit. A lot of people get that misconception because Matt and his family do have intimate knowledge and an extensive history hunting the TMA, but Matt has non draw hunts that produce amazing rams as well. I have hunted with Matt and his family for quite a long time now, if ya have any other questions I am happy to help as well.

Josh
 

todd h

Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2014
Messages
54
jake jefferson, would be an excellent choice, he is the guide and owner, great person, will work hard to get you a sheep.
 

VernAK

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2012
Messages
652
Location
Delta Jct, Alaska
Go with the best, who also happens to be one of the more reasonably priced.

www.tokmanagementarea.com

Ultima Thule is a great outfit, I've been out there and their lodge is beautiful. But if you want a pure backpack adventure, call and talk t\o Matt Snyder, no family works harder for their hunters and they are true legends of the Dall Sheep hunting world.

^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^
From the time you book your hunt until it actually takes place, there may be a bad winter in a particular area. Matt has multiple areas.
 

Kimbersig

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2016
Messages
159
Add Wayne Kubat (Alaska Remote Guide Service) to your list. he has a sole use concession in Denali. I hunted with him and had a great hunt.
 

LivinGood

Newbie
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Messages
6
Location
Fairbanks, AK
I'd also recommend Matt Snyder. I've flown with him and talked hunting with him a few times and he is as good as they come. He will give you a real sheep hunt.
 
Joined
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I personally guide for Aaron’s operation. He hired me because of my first hand knowledge of his area of his concession. I’ve been hunting Dalls on my own since 2000 and am at 41 successful hunts I’ve guided for or have taken myself (13 personally total)

I can attest to the remoteness of Aaron’s unit. It is why I’ve continually go back to it for personal hunts as well. There is NOT a more remote piece of sheep hunting ground in Alaska period. I’ve hunted most of the mountain ranges in Alaska and it truly is the most remote!

I would op for the backpack hunt. Less moving parts and we are always successful if you are in decent shape.

I know he is booked out till 2021 at this point. But a tip is to bid on the hunt he donates every year at the Reno Wild Sheep show. The winning bidder gets to hunt the year he bids on the hunt. An incentive to be the winning bidder as most quality outrage book out 1-2 years.

Very FEW areas I would consider in Alaska who are not in a federal concession. And just because they have not had other commercial activities in previous years does not mean a new outfit won’t move in when you are there. Keep that in mind.

PM for additional info. I’m not a salesman for Aaron’s outfit at all. Just a DIY sheep hunter who became a guide because it got me into the sheep mountains more days. I spent 39 of our 42 days season in the sheep mountains guiding and hunting. For years I’ve recommended Aaron’s outfit (even prior to Aaron having the concession when John Peters had it) because of the quality Hunt. I’ve only “professionally” guided for Aaron last yea but know the area intimately.

I was at Reno this year and talked with a lot of potential clients. If you were there and came by our booth I possibly met up with you.

Look forward to answering any of your questions or concerns.

I can send you pics of years past rams that have come out of this area.
 

Kotaman

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 12, 2012
Messages
1,655
I don't think you'd have a bad hunt with any of the outfits mentioned above. I've hunted with Jonah three times. All fantastic adventures. Don't let the fact that Jonah scouts hard think you are going to have less of an experience. Saying he will "drop you on a ram" is a bit of a misnomer.

I personally know Don and Jay at Ultimate Thule and can't imagine better people or a better adventure that Ultimate Thule. They are also killing fantastic rams...as good as rams as anywhere.

I have friends that are familiar with Matt Snyder and friends that know the people in Aaron's operation. All appear to be first rate.

Pick any of these that you are comfortable with and go have a great hunt.
 
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wantj43

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Aug 15, 2015
Messages
40
Best of luck on your upcoming sheep hunt. Just as important, or maybe more, as the guide you book with is the individual that will actually be accompanying in the field on the hunt. Though most guides certainly make every effort to insure the individuals doing the actual guiding are qualified, at least in Alaska, though a guide is required for some species, it is not required the guide have experience a particular species.
Joe
 

adventure907

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Joined
Jan 6, 2014
Messages
470
Location
AK
Best of luck on your upcoming sheep hunt. Just as important, or maybe more, as the guide you book with is the individual that will actually be accompanying in the field on the hunt. Though most guides certainly make every effort to insure the individuals doing the actual guiding are qualified, at least in Alaska, though a guide is required for some species, it is not required the guide have experience a particular species.
Joe
This^^^^^^^^^

With many high volume operations, you are just a number, get you in, get you out.
 
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Liv2HntBigBullz

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Joined
Feb 25, 2013
Messages
297
Location
Northern Colorado
This^^^^^^^^^

With many high volume operations, you are just a number, get you in, get you out.
Really beginning to see how important this is.

Thanks for everyone’s willingness to help. I have talked to several others that haven’t been on the list. I am getting close committing and putting in a deposit, still haven’t placed one for those of you with final recommendations.


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wantj43

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Aug 15, 2015
Messages
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Again best of luck with your up coming sheep hunt. Lots of the "important " considerations will evaporate if a good sheep is harvested. I believe that is in part why it is so important to know the history ( ability) of the guide actually doing the guiding.

Joe
 
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Joined
Nov 19, 2018
Messages
51
Again best of luck with your up coming sheep hunt. Lots of the "important " considerations will evaporate if a good sheep is harvested. I believe that is in part why it is so important to know the history ( ability) of the guide actually doing the guiding.

Joe

Some of the very best advice from
arguably one of the smartest North America Thin Horn sheep guides still living. Without question a legend in the sheep hunting world.

Joe Want has been involved in the Alaska sheep hunting community for 40+ years. Listen to him because those of us who are involved with it now listened to him for years.
 

ericF

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Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Messages
228
Location
CO
Sounds like OP has finalized his decision so not meaning to hijack, but does anybody have anything good or bad to say about Chuck Mcmahan out of Gakona?
 
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