Master Hunting Guide, age 68.
Al lives year-round in an original 1926 homestead log cabin that overlooks the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, 26-miles from Haines, Alaska. He has maintained his year-round residency since 1976.
Before becoming an Alaska big game hunting guide, Al trapped during the winters, and he worked seasonally as a timber faller cutting old growth trees in various remote, frontier logging camps scattered across Southeast Alaska from Ketchikan in the south to Icy Bay in the north. He first started outfitting hunters in 1983 and became a registered guide in 1989. Al is also an experienced prospector and the owner of a gold mining operation.
Al is a dedicated writer, and his adventure stories have appeared in Sporting Classics, Sporting Classics Daily, and The Alaska Trapper. An excerpt from his book-of-memoirs-in-progress has recently been selected to appear in the Alaska Sporting Journal.
Our introductory slideshow on the homepage highlights 37 years of many of Al’s local Haines, Alaska backcountry experiences, as well as the scenic grandeur of the Haines area.
In 1992 Al was one of the first Alaska hunting guides to promote archery hunting of Brown Bears when he guided Archery Hall-of-Fame longbow hunter Dan Quillian on his successful ground-harvest of a beautiful Brownie. Today, Al retains an accident-free and violation free record as a hunting guide, which has propelled his status to that of a licensed Alaska Master Guide. A large portion of his past clientele became personal friends and repeat hunting clients. He maintains a Coast Guard Captains license and is trained in Wilderness First Responder first-aid/rescue, as well as EMT 1.
Al has years of service dedicated to the local Fish and Game Advisory Committee where he participates in the creation of Alaska’s hunting laws and he routinely stays in touch with biologists in regards to game population, dynamics and habitat concerns. He also proudly enjoys a solid relationship with the Alaska Wildlife Troopers in their mutual quest to promote legal, ethical hunting while protecting Alaska’s wildlife from illegal forms of harvest.
No good thing lasts forever, so Al has been training his lead assistant guide, Mark Rowenhorst to take over ownership of Alaska Cross Country Guiding upon his eventual retirement from the guiding profession. You can learn more about Mark and the eventual transition of ownership by reading Mark's Guide Profile, below.
Alaska Cross Country Guiding presently has a team of three assistant guides that have been selected by Al, based on local knowledge, hunting experience, and compatibility with clients, as well as medical/first-aid skills, and dedication to honoring our hunting heritage by providing high-quality experiences to our visiting clientele.
Lead Assistant Guide/Hunt Manager, Age 31
Mark Rowenhorst is the lead assistant guide for my business. He lives year-round in Fairbanks with his wife and two young boys.
Mark got his start in the Alaska guiding industry while working as an apprentice and packer in the middle of the Alaska Range. During his time working as a packer, Mark had the opportunity to build experience in many different geographic settings. From the Brooks and Alaska Ranges to the tip of the Alaska Peninsula and Southeast Alaska, he has learned from several different long-time outfitters while pursuing a wide variety of big game.
I first hired Mark as a packer for Mountain goat, Brown bear, and Black bear hunts. Over time, Mark qualified for his assistant guide license and then worked for me during many successful hunts. In recent years, some of our largest goats and bears harvested during the history of my business were taken through Mark's efforts. In the process of acquiring those trophies for our clients, he always represented my business and the Alaska guiding Industry by performing at the highest of standards.
When not assisting me, Mark has continued expanding his knowledge and expertise by working for other Alaskan outfitters as time allows. Through them, he has been involved with harvesting numerous Dall sheep, caribou, and interior Grizzly bears. This builds on his earlier experience pursuing Whitetail deer, Mule deer, elk, antelope, and Black bears in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states.
Mark has always been honest and respectful to me, and our clients. As I near retirement from the guiding profession, I can think of no better person to take over Alaska Cross Country Guiding, including the website and remote hunting camps.
I have recommended Mark to be awarded his Registered Guide License, and he will soon be taking the stringent exam.
Mark has his Coast Guard captains license, Wilderness First Aid, CPR/AED training, and I fully expect for him to be a licensed Registered Guide starting with the 2019 spring bear hunting season.
Until my retirement, Mark will continue working for me in the capacity of an assistant guide. He will also assist in communicating with booking agents and prospective clients.
I have already transferred ownership of one of my base-camps to Mark, and I will continue my direct involvement over the next two years so that our future clients will have a seamless transition from one outfitter to the other.
The following photographs profile Mark's history as a private hunter, packer, and an assistant guide for me, as well as other Alaskan outfitters who are credited to their matching photos.
Assistant guide, age 32
Isaac has a long history in the guiding business for such a young man. He has dual citizenship between the U.S. and Canada, and he cut his teeth as an assistant to his father’s independent horse packing business which served British Columbia.
Isaac has had a professional hunt guiding license in Canada since 2003, where he has participated in well over 100 big game hunts, and he has experience guiding and horse packing over much of B.C., the Yukon, and Northwest Territories. He knows many of the outfitters in northwest Canada where he continues to work when not guiding in Alaska, and he is a prime source of information for hunters who desire to hunt with us, and then progress to Canadian species such as Dall Sheep, Mountain Caribou, Stone Sheep, Mountain Grizzly, or other big game.
While guiding Goat hunts for me, all of Isaac's hunters have been successful.
In 2011 business owner Al Gilliam started training and exposing Isaac to the prime hunt areas of the Chilkat region.
Isaac is also a local helicopter ski guide, and he maintains credentials in avalanche prediction and rescue, fire-arm safety training, back-country rescue, and advanced Wilderness First Responder/first-aid.
The following photo gallery profiles Isaac's career as a Canadian Hunting Guide and as a Helicopter Ski Guide in Haines, Alaska:
Assistant Hunting Guide, age 31
Bret Bohn was born and raised in Alaska. He shot his first caribou at age seven and has since dedicated his life to pursuing an Alaska career in aviation and the outdoors.
Bret holds a Bachelor of Science degree in “Science of Aviation Technology” from the University of Alaska, and he is a registered Alaskan hunting guide, presently working for me in the capacity of a Registered Guide. Bret has five years of experience guiding hunters in Alaska, and he has successfully completed dozens of hunts ranging from Southeast Alaska to Kodiak Island and the Alaska Peninsula.
Bret is very experienced judging game animals, and he has specialized in guiding Mountain Goat and Brown Bear hunts. All of our Goat and Black Bear hunts that Bret have guided for me have been successful.
Additionally, Bret travels extensively as a private hunter, with trips to Idaho for elk, Colorado for Cougar and Saskatchewan for Deer. He also has 15 years of experience trapping in Alaska, and he is a trained Polar Bear guard for one of the Alaska pipeline services. Bret holds a certificate from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Hunter Information and Training Program: Basic Hunter and Bow Hunter.
Bret also holds a certificate of training in Wilderness and Remote First Aid/Blood Borne Pathogens as well as Adult AED Training and Standard First Aid.