Ovis Outfitters - Wasilla Alaska - outfitter review

6mm Remington

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Ovis Outfitters - Wasilla Alaska - Matt & Emily Thoft
[email protected]

So I just wanted to give a review/evaluation of Ovis Outfitters in Alaska in case any of you folks are interested in a hunt or fishing in Alaska. I was so fortunate to have had the opportunity to go on a hunt with them at the end of August of this year. I had an absolutely wonderful time and I got a beautiful grizzly bear. I know that in my own journey as I was looking into booking this once in a lifetime trip, it was hard to figure out who to go with. Friends who I know personally, and folks on this site I trust provided me with a lot of good information. I appreciate what they have to say about other topics including this topic and I wanted to pass along my experience I had hunting with this outfit.

Was my hunt everything I had dreamed of ?
Yes and more! I had a fantastic time, met wonderful people, got to see some amazing country, shot a beautiful old grizzly bear, and ate some amazing food. That included grizzly bear backstops one evening in spike camp.

Outfitter - Matt & Emily Thoft - What about them?
Really nice people who were originally from Montana but moved to Alaska to start their outfitting business. Both are licensed guides and pilots and really know their business. They work extremely hard for their clients and give 100% for everyone in camp.

Outfitters hired help - What about them?
I only stayed at base camp for the last three evenings of my of my hunt. Everyone I was around in camp were terrific. I've not been spoiled like that before! Nice people who were a lot of fun to be around. Lots of funny stories and giving each other a hard time was also prevalent.

The camp cook was amazing and the meals she made were to die for. I was the only hunter in camp at the end so I got to dictate what the dinner meal was! She offered to fix rib-eye steaks and I said no way. I want something wild. Dall sheep, moose, caribou, and and all of the above. She fixed moose steak the first evening you could cut with a fork! Desert was home-made from wild berries she had picked up there at the camp! The next night was moose ribs. Oh my goodness they were good. The third evening it was caribou back-strap medallions. They melted in your mouth.

Base Camp & Spike Camp - Equipment - ??
Our spike camp was a nice sized tent and we had everything we needed to be comfortable, warm, and well fed. It was Mountain House meals for all but one of the nights when we dined on grizzly bear steaks, but it was plenty good. The gear was in excellent condition.

Base camp was very comfortable and the small buildings we stayed in and ate in were warm and dry. Very comfortable. A shower was also available. Food was amazing!

Transportation - Those damn little planes that I call flying culverts!
Matt & Emily are both certified pilots and guides. Having some background in being a mechanic I could see the amount of time and care that both have for their planes and all of their equipment. This included another of their pilots that flies hunters. This young man learned to fly when he was about 14 years old like you and I when our parents started teaching us to drive!

Country Hunted -
It was beautiful on the north side of the Brooks Range. Willows were about the only larger bush to be seen. The mountains were gorgeous. The streams were clear and cold. At base camp I caught both Arctic char and graying. It was fantastic.

Game -
I shot a beautiful old grizzly bear and am so blessed to have gotten the chance to go on this hunt. I should have gotten a wolf too, but that's another story. Besides a couple of grizzly bears I saw moose and caribou where we were hunting. This area in the Brooks Range is only one of the areas where Ovis Outfitters has their operation. They have another location that they hunt on the south side of the Brooks Range. The fishing was excellent near base camp and they are looking at starting to take more folks fishing in the summer time. Oh I also saw a musk ox! No your'e not in Kansas any longer Dorothy.

Guides - Mike Lettis -
Mike was a very nice person. We got along great. He took good care of me during my hunt. Spoiled for sure. Mike was guiding me on the 25th year he's been taking grizzly bear hunters out. He's born and raised in Alaska and really knows the state. After I shot my bear I helped to skin the bear, but Mike took care of skinning out the skull and the paws. He was very precise and took his time to do it right! I so appreciate that as this was probably my one and only time I would be going on a hunt like this.

The other guides I got to meet were very friendly and really seemed like great folks. One person guiding for them I have read stories of him in outdoor hunting publications. He's a great guide.

Final -
If I had the money to hunt with Ovis Outfitters again, I would do it in a heartbeat! I highly recommend them to anyone. Even if I had not gotten a bear, my whole adventure would be to me an amazing success. It was fun and just simply wonderful. A good friend of mine hunted with Ovis Outfitters previously and he is who turned me onto them. He has hunted with them once, and he's going back again! That pretty much says it all.

I was not asked to do this and the outfitter has no idea that I am doing it. I wanted to for the members on this site if they too were to be as lucky as I was to get the chance to go on a hunt like this.

Safe hunting and good luck!
David
 
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6mm Remington

6mm Remington

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Sorry all but in one section I showed the outfitter at Mike Thoft. It is Matt. Mike was my guide. I corrected it.
 
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6mm Remington

6mm Remington

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KSadventures80 I'm not sure if I did this right but I just sent you a private message. More than happy to help if I can. I'd sure suggest to anyone who thinks they might want to do an adventure like this, to just do it! Yeah it costs a lot of money but it was worth every penny and I'll have those memories for the rest of my life.

I gave you more information in the PM on total costs and how it works if that helps you.

10 Day Arctic Grizzly Bear Hunt: $16,000.00
My hunt: $13,500.00 because it was a last minute issued tag and the outfitter was hoping to have that hunt slot taken for the fall hunt. They dropped the price as it was a short notice deal. Emily Thoft (Outfitter) was fantastic in helping me get my permit application in, booking my flights, and figuring out where to stay in Anchorage overnight.

Other costs:
airline: From where ever you live to Anchorage and then on to Prudhoe Bay. They have two large areas they hunt. The other is on the Southside of the Brooks Range. Obviously that one will be different than my hunt as you don't have to fly up to Prudhoe Bay.

grizzly tag: $1000.00
wolf: 60.00

skull and hide shipping: I paid in Prudhoe Bay to have it shipped to a Taxidermist in Wasilla Alaska (Tundra Taxidermy). A tooth had to be pulled from the skull so it could be aged, and the Fish Game put a CITES tag on the skull. The guy in Wasilla boiled and bleached the skull and then shipped it to my house. He did a fantastic job on the skull and I had it back in about 3 months! He made sure the hide was fleshed properly and salted until it dried. It was then shipped to my taxidermist locally and taken to a local tanner to be tanned. Once it's tanned my taxidermist is going to going to make a bear rug for me out of the hide. $400.00 - Think that's about what I paid to have the bear shipped, skull bleached, and hide taken care of. $1800.00 approximately to have my guy to do the bear rug.

It was worth every penny.
 
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vanaman

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Great review. I'm looking into them for a Sheep hunt right now but other than their website there isn't a ton online about them. Still relatively new to posting to the forums so can't DM you but would definitely like to chat with you about your experience!
 
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6mm Remington

6mm Remington

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Great review. I'm looking into them for a Sheep hunt right now but other than their website there isn't a ton online about them. Still relatively new to posting to the forums so can't DM you but would definitely like to chat with you about your experience!
A sheep hunter that was just leaving camp as I was coming in had gotten a sheep that was sure nice. If I remember correctly it was right at 40" or a bit more on both sides and roughly 13 1/2" at the base. I guess that's a huge ram for the North side of the Brooks Range. Long hard winters! They also guide sheep hunters on another area they guide in which is on the South side of the Brooks Range.

I sent a private message to you giving you my e-mail and phone number to make it easier.
David
 

Ian Ketterman

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Wasilla is a nice area. I'm hoping to make a trip up there sometime with my girls. My grandpa lives there on the lake. Cool to see it.
 
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