The first Alaska Big Game Hunt in the remote wilderness of Pioneer Outfitters 2012 Fall Season has begun, and so has the “hands-on” evaluation period for Alaska Guide Training.
The first Fall Hunting Season as an Alaska Guide Trainee, in the field, working side by side with the licensed and experienced Alaska Professional Guides is what they have been waiting for.
The months of preparation, mindless repetition of chores, learning to work as a team, the pure fun of the Summer Horseback Adventures, the laughing competition between the trainees; it all comes to a head when the first Fall Big Game Hunters arrive in Chisana.
The first evaluation period for the trainees is often the toughest. This is the first “real-life” interaction from a guide’s position that most of the trainees have ever experienced. For some, it is their first experience on a Bog Game Hunt.
Of the numerous evaluations that the Alaska Guide Trainee will be judged on, one is initiative.
Initiative is the ability to assess and initiate things independently, to act or take charge before others do, an act or strategy to resolve a difficulty in an attempt to improve relations. Most importantly to the Guide Trainees: “without being prompted by others” and “be the first to take action in a particular situation.”
For an Alaska Guide Trainee the comfort level, willingness and ability to work alone is a necessary characteristic.
The responsibility of the safety, comfort and success of the client’s Big Game Hunt sits fully on the guide’s shoulders.
A common misconception of a person (most commonly, a young person) considering the idea of becoming an Alaska Professional Guide is that it is all excitement, riding and amazing critters.
It is that. But, it is also more than simply that. It is a daily routine, little different than the day after day repetition of chores.
Caring for stock, the mundane chores of cutting, hauling, splitting and stacking firewood, hauling water, making lunches, washing dishes and making meals, saddling numerous horses, keeping the camp organized, clean and comfortable, unsaddling horses, tail-tying horses to be led to their grazing areas, most often done in the black of night, with the knowledge that if the hobbles are not secured properly, the horses will not be where they should be come morning. These are part of the daily “to-do” list. It does not vary much, if at all.
For example, on the first hunt of the Fall Season, the first year trainees travel as a pack. There are three in camp with two senior guides and they work non-stop, all three, most often from dark to dark, without relent. This practice gives the insight to each one that one will be required to do it all. Who will? This is the knowledge they hold, knowing the evaluations report and determine if one is willing and capable.
Alaska Guide Training
This aspect will be observed and evaluated during the entire season (As individuals and as a team.), on each Big Game Hunt, on each turn around and will be reported to the Big Game Guide Board.