Master Guide Terry Overly

Terry Overly, Master Guide, son, brother, father and Grandfather. A man who cares, about everything, a lot. It is hard to describe someone in a way to allow others to see into such a great and generous man. To allow others to see beyond the “Man in Black.”

To many who know and have known Terry, many for much longer than myself (over twenty years), Terry is a sensitive man and a gifted bush pilot with as well as a part of Alaska’s living history and truly an Alaskan icon.

At 15 Years old, Terry knew, without being told that the “survival of the fittest” applied to people as well as the wild critters he shared his world with.

Bud Hickethier, Terry’s step-Father, was a quiet, soft-spoken man. Gentle and with a deep understanding of the outdoors and the wilderness he had made his own. When the quiet and shy Terry came to Chisana to help build and run Pioneer Outfitters, he (Bud) knew he not only had a true kindred spirit in his step-son, but someone that would work hard, to not only build Pioneer Outfitters to the best of all its kind and offers, but to care for the land, the wild critters that live and roam it, but to protect it when the time came.

As time went on, as time does, the Draft took Terry away from Chisana to serve his country. Already an experienced marksman and woodsman, the United States Army honed those skills to make ready for war.


Tragedy and loss saved Terry home from Vietnam, only to come home to Chisana knowing Bud had been lost to the river and the country he loved, bringing in horses, never to be recovered.

Elizabeth, Terry’s Mother and the first female Registered Guide in Alaska, and Terry continued with what they had begun to build from the plans Lou and Bud had made in 1924.

Elizabeth, a strong and intelligent woman, along with Terry, grieved silently at the loss of her friend and husband. She was also keen enough to understand the natural dangers of the Alaskan Wilderness would be her choice, had she one to make, of a foe to her son, rather than a fight across the sea that no one would admit to calling a war.

Would you like to know more? About Master Guide Terry Overly, Pioneer Outfitters and Chisana?



From Master Guide Terry Overly…

“My name is Terry Overly.  I’m an Alaskan Master Guide and have been personally and fully active in the Big Game guiding industry for many (many) years now.

My history goes back many decades.  As a young man, I had the honor to have known and flown with some of Alaska’s best of the monarchs – Bill Ellis, Bud Hickethier, Ron Hays, Ken Holdem and Ray McNutt, just to name a few.
Many times I have sat around the campfire with these men, telling stories of hunting big rams on the peaks and sky-lined ridges, or hunting brown bear or grizzlies; 70” plus bull moose; book caribou; polar bears out of Kotzebue; and of course, beautiful women everywhere… a trophy is a trophy.

We had many a good meal and sipped fine ale gathered around some of these fires, with a beautiful woman sitting on our knee – fanning us and feeding us grapes.  Well now, that sounds almost too good to be true… but you know what?  It really happened that way sometimes!

Most of the time you couldn’t get more than three or four of almost any of these men together at any one time or place without worrying about a fight breaking out.  But, that’s the way Alaska was back then.  The land was our land and it was free.  The Country was wild and open for all.  We were proud to be who we were.

Oh God, Thank you for letting us see and experience then… then; and for not letting us know then how screwed up now was going to be!!

Okay now Boys, you have to understand that right now IS the “Good Old Days” for you.  This is as good as it’s going to get.  It’s up to you to perpetuate our heritage… Big Game Guides.  Outfitters.  Hunting and fishing and freedom.  There will be more campfires to sit around; more fine ale to sip; more stories of rams, moose, grizzlies, browns, caribou and flying; an occasional fight; and if you’re really lucky, you might even get some pretty girl to sit on your knee.

But, this is what we have now and we must work within the ever-changing system and bureaucracy.  We WILL meet all the challenges!!” ~The Big O, The Man In Black…Master Guide Terry Overly