For AAA Alaskan Outfitters Master Guide Brent Jones, it paid to be ready last week.
Jones was sitting in part-time home in Emporia, Kansas last weekend when he got the email he was hoping for — an outfitter had canceled their booth at the Dallas Safari Club Convention and Jones had a spot.
“I live in Kansas in the winter and Alaska during the hunting season,” Jones said. “I packed up (the booth) hoping someone would call. I talked to DSC last fall and they did not have room. I tried to donate a bear hunt to get in and that didn’t work, either.”
Jones said he was packed up and watching football when the email came.
“I emailed right back and told them, ‘I’ll be there,’” he said. “I left Kansas at 3:30 and was in Dallas by 10:30 — right down I-35.”
Jones said he attended his last DSC show in 1988, but schedule conflicts with the Harrisburg outdoors show prevented him from getting back until this year.
“I’ve seen a bunch of past clients (at this year’s show),” he said. “I’m surprised how many clients have come by.”
Jones, who hunts an area 425 miles southeast of Anchorage near Pilot Point, said bear populations are at an all-time high in his 350-square mile area.
He receives 16 bear tags and nine moose tags annually.
“On an average 10-day hunt, the hunter will see between 30 and 40 bears,” he said. “We are the only place in Alaska where you can walk from camp and shoot a 60-inch moose and a 10-foot bear. Ten of the top 30 bears in the Pope & Young record books are from our area.”
For more information, go to aaaalaskanoutfitters.com.