Monkey-See, Monkey-Do, Alaska Guide Trainees

Alaska Guide Trainees, Monkey-See, Monkey-Do“Monkey-See, Monkey-Do” is the child’s silly saying that was running through my mind today. This post is especially for our Alaska Guide Trainees, during their “Hands-On” field training.

The Pioneer Outfitters Guide Training program has undergone a change in the way that I, as Manager for Pioneer Outfitters, perceive it. Maybe it hasn’t really changed at all, and has simply matured.

So. (So what?! …Right?)

So. As the Lead Guide and Trainer with three trainees in my camp; training, teaching and preparing these men and women to become Alaska Guides is a huge responsibility.

Well, the “thing” is, even as I am guiding Big Game Hunters in the wilderness of Alaska, my mind automatically turns each action and reaction into a lesson to be taught, understood, refined and learned.

Monkey-See, Monkey-Do.

Alaska Guide Trainees, Monkey-See, Monkey-DoThe preschool saying came to me from a simple reminder to one of  our Guide Trainees to keep the horses in line, not to allow the horses (and riders) to crowd the water for a drink as we cross creeks, but to wait, to make their horses wait.

Why? OK, I’ll tell you.

Picture this:  there is only so much room to get to the water (maybe trees or bushes or maybe the trail leads through a boggy area, which means you have sloppy, sucking muddy bogs on both sides of the trail or maybe it is on the River ~ in which case you may step yourself and your horse into a hole to quicksand), the horses crowd each other, riders can get squished or worse, the horses begin to kick at each other (and hit you instead) and the absolutely most dangerous scenario would be involving pack horses, with pack boxes loaded on them. Shoving and kicking, trying to get to the water while the rest are as well, shoving their way through the people on their horses (Hint: the pack boxes ALWAYS wins when the fight is against your leg). Ok. That is why.

Alaska Guide Trainees

Alaska Guide Trainees, Monkey-See, Monkey-DoHere’s the deal. Yes you are part of Pioneer Outfitters. Yes, you are training to become an Alaska Professional Guide. You may not be a guide yet, but to people, our clients and guests, you are Pioneer Outfitters. You are thought of as part of Pioneer Outfitters and you are watched and listened to.

From the time that you were learning nursery rhymes until the time that adulthood comes to an end, the idea of “Monkey-See, Monkey-Do” is prevalent throughout our lives.

Alaska Guide Trainees, Monkey-See, Monkey-Do~ It isn’t an insult, it is just the way we figure things out and how to do them as humans. Everyone does it, to some degree.


Most of Pioneer Outfitters clients and guests are:

  • #1 ~ From out of State. Some, are from other countries.
  • #2 ~ New to Chisana.
  • #3 ~ Some (rare, but true), have never hunted Big Game.
  • #4 ~ Some (sad, but also true) have never been to Alaska.
  • #5 ~ Some, (True fact! Unbelievable, I know, but still true) have never been on a horse!

Alaska Guide Trainees, Monkey-See, Monkey-DoNow, here’s the deal. You, an Alaska Guide Trainee, are already leaders. What you do, what you allow your horse to do, ~so will the guests and clients new or visiting to Pioneer Outfitters world.

Monkey-See, Monkey-Do. All eyes are on you. Be right.

Related posts:

Good Hunters and Terrible Guides ~ My view as an Alaska Guide
Alaska Guide Trainee Makinzi Rutledge
The Courage to Lead

One Response to Monkey-See, Monkey-Do, Alaska Guide Trainees

  1. The things you have to teach and they have to learn..things that to some (horse people guess) are just common sense, but to others..I guess they have no idea what a 1,000 lb. animal is capable of when wanting something or not being under control.

    I don’t envy your job of keeping things staight and safe..I do envy the…but honestly..How many sets of eyyes do you have to watch all and bring them home safe and sound..You do Amazing work!

    As Always ~*~

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