23 Questions You Want Answered about Pioneer Outfitters

Questions about Pioneer OutfittersThis post originally was written in response to another post, by Lisa Barone of Outspoken Media ( 23 Blog-able Questions I Have About Your Business). I have made some adjustments and additions to clarify even more of the deeper questions you, our guest, may have about Pioneer Outfitters. My first try at answering was on Friday, Aug 19, 2011.

What do past customers say about you? Are there reviews or testimonials on-site that I can access? Do you showcase happy (and maybe unhappy) customers?

Pioneer Outfitters has made a lifetime of helping people make their dreams come true in the Alaska Wilderness. I am more than happy to send you Pioneer Outfitters reference list if you would like. We do showcase happy (and  unsuccessful) clients. We have added (finally!) testimonials to Pioneer Outfitters website.

What if I hate it? What’s your return policy on goods purchased? If you’re a service-based business, what assurances do you offer?

If you hate it? Wow. Well, it has happened. Someone gets here, and honestly, it is just too remote. Pioneer Outfitters has a firm NO REFUND policy. I can assure you that if for any reason you are unhappy while you are with Pioneer Outfitters, everything in our considerable power to alleviate any difficulty you may be having. We have, for a couple of individuals in the past, offered what we call “do-overs.”

Are you on Facebook? What about Twitter? What are you using it for? What types of conversations or promotions are happening there?

Yes! Pioneer Outfitters is a page that I put together long before I realized it should stand alone! I, your Alaska Chick am, Amber-Lee Dibble and Pioneer Outfitters is my page. Now, to continue my very own confusing Identity Crisis, I am also @girlygrizzly and @AlaskaChickBlog is Pioneer Outfitters on Twitter. You can also touch base with Amber-Lee Dibble as the Manager of Pioneer Outfitters on Linked In.

What’s your phone number? Where else can I reach you if something goes bad?

We can be reached at Pioneer Outfitters Lodge, year-round, at (907)-734-0007, by fax at (907)-734-7433, by email at info@pioneeroutfitters.com or through the website at http://pioneeroutfitters.com

Why I should trust you?

Why should you trust Pioneer Outfitters? The experience and high standards that Master Guide Terry Overly trains all Pioneer Outfitters guides to meet can not be beat. This is the 4th generation of a historically word-of-mouth business. With almost 9 decades family experience.

That word-of-mouth comes from guests and clients, very similar to yourself, in that they were as well, looking to fulfill a dream. We can not guarantee your dream will come true, if you are a hunter (~that would be unethical), but I can and we do guarantee to give you our complete attention and do everything in our power to help you have the time of your life while you are with Pioneer Outfitters.

I see an email newsletter sign up. Why should I give you my email address? What will you give me?

Our email newsletter will keep you in touch with us here in Chisana, Alaska, as well as allows you to share with us the different aspects of life we live in such a remote and fly-in area. They are sure to mention any changes Pioneer Outfitters may make over time.

What does Google say about you? Are there mentions of scams, rip-offs or bad experiences associated with your brand?

Our professional and personal lives are deeply intertwined. We, Pioneer Outfitters, choose to live life with honor, truth and integrity. We take great pride in who and what we are. There are no mentions of scams, rip-offs because that is not how we live or do business.

There are of course, folks who have believed themselves into having a bad experience, over the course of over 8 decades. They are few and far between, but they will always be remembered. As a failure on our part. A failure to what Pioneer Outfitters really does, under it all…Pioneer Outfitters helps you make your outdoor dream come true. So, that being the fact of who we are, it weighs on us, when someone leaves unhappy.

What makes you different? How will my experience be better here than with one of your competitors?

What makes Pioneer Outfitters truly unique is that we have lived here, in the wilderness for more than 87 years, year – round, doing now, exactly what we were doing then. Master Guide Terry Overly has over 6 decades of experience and Pioneer Outfitters Extreme Pro Team Guides are Professional Guides trained in Chisana, Alaska by Pioneer Outfitters, in the truest sense of the words.

They are the ones that no matter how bad things get, can keep you going, keep you safe and later, when you are finally at the end of everything, your patience, your endurance, you just put on your last pair of dry socks and stuck them into a puddle of water- in your boots ~kind of “at the end”, can build a big fire, feed you till you burst and make you laugh at everything you just went through.

The Pro Team are the Guides that live in Chisana year round, cut the fire wood, haul the water, take care of the range horses, clean, fix, oil, patch, mend, trap, and wait for the next guest to take them where the guest’s dreams may lead them.  No matter what the temperature is, what the weather is up to, time of year it may be, they are the ones that can handle it all. All the interior mountains of Alaska may have to throw at us, the Extreme Pro Team Guides are prepared and capable.

The Pioneer Outfitters Extreme Pro Team, aren’t just a group of guides. They are the loyal, smart, tough men and women connected as a team with the common goal to be the best, period. To be right, to protect and to guide, to lead others in the right direction through the wildest country and through tough decisions.

Who are you? What does your staff look like? What does your building look like? How are the tables set up in your restaurant?

You can get a good look at us, our Lodge, camps and horses here, on our website or on FaceBook, YouTube or Flickr.

Why are you doing this? Why do you love your corner of the Web? Where did that passion come from?

~ We, Pioneer Outfitters, do what we do because it is ultimately fulfilling; personally and professionally. We enjoy the beautiful gifts of the wild outdoors, being capable and in tune in the wilderness and being able to share it’s glory with other people, from all walks of life, of all ages. To be part of helping someone else make their dream come true.

Where do the quirky things you sell come from? Do you make them in-house? Do you get them from mom and pop shops? Have you sold your soul to foreign goods?

Hmmm, No. We share with you in the safest manner possible the nation’s largest National Park, The Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

Where is your company and your industry going next? How will you continue to provide great service? What else can I expect down the road?

Great question! We are really excited about the changes that have already been accepted and put into full effect. Our focus is adjusting it’s direction to fully support Family. Family Adventures and Family Hunts.

What do you think about opening the sheep season for residents of Alaska, early, (3-5 days) before non-residents? Or the fight to keep non-resident sheep hunting open, fighting the subsistence voice? Are you for it? Against it? What is your stance rooted in? Are we aligned?

Pioneer Outfitters stands strongly aligned with the Alaska Professional Hunters Association and the Master Guides and Registered Guides of Alaska against both plans.

How do you do what you do and why do you do it that way?

History and Traditions are very important at Pioneer Outfitters. Our ranch is located in the middle of the Wrangell St. Elias National Park / Preserve, the most scenic and majestic Park in the world. We are one of the full time concessionaires that operate year round in this Park.

Pioneer Outfitters was founded in 1924. Chisana is hidden deep within the Wrangell Mountains and is only accessible by air. It was once the largest log cabin settlement in the state and the site of the last historic gold rush. Old log cabins, gold rush artifacts and flumes, remains of an era gone by are locked in this land for ever. This is Pioneer Outfitters’ country.

We can show you Alaska, the way Alaska was meant to be seen. On horseback, across the rivers, over mountains, through forests and into the tundra. Pioneer Outfitters takes great pride in keeping the traditions of the pioneers alive and protected and we enjoy, quite often sharing the history of the area with clients and guests.

What am I getting for my money?

Your Adventure with Pioneer Outfitters begins when you arrive in Chisana.

  • Logistical support before, during and after your Adventure. (This means, we will help you know when and how to book flights, give you the information and contacts you will need to book your charter flights as well as hotel and restaurant suggestions for while you are coming or going.)
  • Over 90 years of experience ready to help make a dream come true.
  • Information on charter travel to and from Chisana.
  • Your professional licensed Guide.
  • Professional guiding judgment, companionship and dedication.
  • All Camp Gear and First Aid for a comfortable and safe camp.
  • Our horses provide transportation between Chisana, camps and daily destinations.
  • Home cooked meals served family style while you are in Chisana.
    A well stocked camp for your guide to serve as your cook while on your Adventure (no dried backpacker food served here! ).

And for Pioneer Outfitters Hunters,

  • Professional field care of your trophy
  • Trophy shipping preparation care

What’s your company culture like? What do you value?

Pioneer Outfitters has always deeply believed in family. Family, by blood, family by choice. Pioneer Outfitters is Family. Loyalty. Honor. Integrity. Honesty. These are necessary and valued above all else here in Chisana with Pioneer Outfitters. They are our family values and our business plan.

How do you treat your employees? Do they have voices? Do I believe them?

Pioneer Outfitters trains it’s own guides. They are the Pro-Team Guides. They are family. They have voices, you can hear them on any of our hunting shows or at Sport Shows that Pioneer Outfitters attends. You can hear them and watch them work on any of the hundreds of hunting shows Pioneer Outfitters have supplied. They are proud men and women of Alaska’s Pioneer Outfitters. They live with Honor, Integrity and Honesty.

What don’t I know about your industry that would make me a more educated consumer?

I would think, on both ends of the scale, the biggest surprise and unknown for people is what a great advantage our horses give you as an Adventurer or as a Big Game Hunter.

The most important advice I would give anyone, coming to Alaska as an Adventurer or a Big Game Hunter is pick your guide wisely. Alaska is inherently dangerous and to have a successful, enjoyable and safe Adventure or Big Game Hunt a Professional and Licensed Alaska Guide Outfitter is a must.

What do I think I know that’s wrong?

Something you may be mistaken about, through our very late arrival to the web, is that you may think we’re just hunters or hunting guides. So many folks know Master Guide Terry Overly and of Pioneer Outfitters through sporting magazines or hunting shows on tv, this was caused by our own tunnel vision and lack of seeing the ramifications of the future.

Our mindset, (pre-website and world wide web!) at Pioneer Outfitters was to just “go along” and make “it” happen. As it happened, the Alaska Big Game Hunting that has been Pioneer Outfitters’ “claim to fame,” as it was, never touched on the best part of every single year with Pioneer Outfitters. (It’s just too much fun and enjoyment to be called work!) The Adventures & Excursions with Pioneer Outfitters.

Who have you worked with? Who wears your product? Do we have any common friends?

Pioneer Outfitters has been featured in over 40 magazine articles, in over 15 different sporting magazines and annuals. We have had 2 feature length VHS movies made based on our Big Game Hunting. Pioneer Outfitters has also made more than 15 tv shows with different hunting celebrities.

What will you be working on next?

Pioneer Outfitters knows and understands that world is changing and has been changing for a long time. We here, in Chisana, Alaska know that not everything changes and we would like to share that with more people.

We have created new Adventures for those exploring and experiencing Alaska on the road system and are eliminating the rush and stress of our shorter (10 Days, 14 Days) Big Game Hunts.

Our focus, which has had an overwhelming response to the initial opening, is on family. Family and the close groups that make families, are now being given our complete business dedication and drive to help the entire family take part of what certainly will be a favorite lifetime memory to take home from Alaska.

What else can I do with this? Is it hackable? Are there unusual uses I wouldn’t have thought of for that thing you sell?

(Snort-snicker! I just cannot think of a thing to say to this question!! Except maybe, “huh?”)

Who are you influenced by? What have you been taught? What do you still need to learn?

~Well now, this is a great question! I have shared with you that every day is full of lessons, of life and business and learning these, being aware of these lessons have helped us to learn all we can to enjoy this journey we are on to it’s fullest. …


Now! What else would you like to know? Did I miss the point on one of the questions or would you like more on any of them? Never hesitate a second to ask away, I’ll answer you!

Book YOUR Adventure with Pioneer Outfitters!

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