Ovis Outfitters - Wasilla Alaska - outfitter review

6mm Remington

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Ovis Outfitters - Wasilla Alaska - Matt & Emily Thoft
ovisoutfitters@hotmail.com

So I just wanted to give a review/evaluation of Ovis Outfitters in Alaska in case any of you folks are interested in a hunt or fishing in Alaska. I was so fortunate to have had the opportunity to go on a hunt with them at the end of August of this year. I had an absolutely wonderful time and I got a beautiful grizzly bear. I know that in my own journey as I was looking into booking this once in a lifetime trip, it was hard to figure out who to go with. Friends who I know personally, and folks on this site I trust provided me with a lot of good information. I appreciate what they have to say about other topics including this topic and I wanted to pass along my experience I had hunting with this outfit.

Was my hunt everything I had dreamed of?
Yes and more! I had a fantastic time, met wonderful people, got to see some amazing country, shot a beautiful old grizzly bear, and ate some amazing food. That included grizzly bear backstops one evening in spike camp.

Outfitter - Matt & Emily Thoft - What about them?
Really nice people who were originally from Montana but moved to Alaska to start their outfitting business. Both are licensed guides and pilots and really know their business. They work extremely hard for their clients and give 100% for everyone in camp.

Outfitters hired help - What about them?
I only stayed at base camp for the last three evenings of my of my hunt. Everyone I was around in camp were terrific. I've not been spoiled like that before! Nice people who were a lot of fun to be around. Lots of funny stories and giving each other a hard time was also prevalent.

The camp cook was amazing and the meals she made were to die for. I was the only hunter in camp at the end so I got to dictate what the dinner meal was! She offered to fix rib-eye steaks and I said no way. I want something wild. Dall sheep, moose, caribou, and and all of the above. She fixed moose steak the first evening you could cut with a fork! Desert was home-made from wild berries she had picked up there at the camp! The next night was moose ribs. Oh my goodness they were good. The third evening it was caribou back-strap medallions. They melted in your mouth.

Base Camp & Spike Camp - Equipment - ??
Our spike camp was a nice sized tent and we had everything we needed to be comfortable, warm, and well fed. It was Mountain House meals for all but one of the nights when we dined on grizzly bear steaks, but it was plenty good. The gear was in excellent condition.

Base camp was very comfortable and the small buildings we stayed in and ate in were warm and dry. Very comfortable. A shower was also available. Food was amazing!

Transportation - Those damn little planes that I call flying culverts!
Matt & Emily are both certified pilots and guides. Having some background in being a mechanic I could see the amount of time and care that both have for their planes and all of their equipment. This included another of their pilots that flies hunters. This young man learned to fly when he was about 14 years old like you and I when our parents started teaching us to drive!

Country Hunted -
It was beautiful on the north side of the Brooks Range. Willows were about the only larger bush to be seen. The mountains were gorgeous. The streams were clear and cold. At base camp I caught both Arctic char and graying. It was fantastic.

Game -
I shot a beautiful old grizzly bear and am so blessed to have gotten the chance to go on this hunt. I should have gotten a wolf too, but that's another story. Besides a couple of grizzly bears I saw moose and caribou where we were hunting. This area in the Brooks Range is only one of the areas where Ovis Outfitters has their operation. They have another location that they hunt on the south side of the Brooks Range. The fishing was excellent near base camp and they are looking at starting to take more folks fishing in the summer time. Oh I also saw a musk ox! No your'e not in Kansas any longer Dorothy.

Guides - Mike Lettis -
Mike was a very nice person. We got along great. He took good care of me during my hunt. Spoiled for sure. Mike was guiding me on the 25th year he's been taking grizzly bear hunters out. He's born and raised in Alaska and really knows the state. After I shot my bear I helped to skin the bear, but Mike took care of skinning out the skull and the paws. He was very precise and took his time to do it right! I so appreciate that as this was probably my one and only time I would be going on a hunt like this.

The other guides I got to meet were very friendly and really seemed like great folks. One person guiding for them I have read stories of him in outdoor hunting publications. He's a great guide.

Final -
If I had the money to hunt with Ovis Outfitters again, I would do it in a heartbeat! I highly recommend them to anyone. Even if I had not gotten a bear, my whole adventure would be to me an amazing success. It was fun and just simply wonderful. A good friend of mine hunted with Ovis Outfitters previously and he is who turned me onto them. He has hunted with them once, and he's going back again! That pretty much says it all.

I was not asked to do this and the outfitter has no idea that I am doing it. I wanted to for the members on this site if they too were to be as lucky as I was to get the chance to go on a hunt like this.

Safe hunting and good luck!
David
 
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6mm Remington

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Funny but probably would have worked just fine. Not that it would be something you would really want to use on a critter that fights back pretty hard but, 158 yards perfectly broadside tight behind the shoulder in the lungs. HE spun 180 degrees into the shot, did two tight somersaults in one fluid motion, and was done. Never moved. 140 gr. Nosler Accubond out of my 280 AI.
 

6mm Remington

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Great review, thanks for taking the time to do it. Congrats on your bear!
I did the review because I'd sure like to see more folks take a chance and get in on the trip of a lifetime like it was for me. I know something like this is expensive and I was worried going into it, but I am so glad that I took the chance. I had such an amazing time. It was so much fun and the memories that I now have from that trip!

I know it was difficult trying to figure out which outfitter I should go with. I know there are many good ones but also a few that aren't so good. I can say with confidence that Emily & Matt Thoft are two wonderful people and they give 100% and then some. They are folks who would make sure everything is taken care of so you have the experience that you won't forget.
David
 

Damien

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Good report) I will keep this in mind when I adjust my plans.
 

thusby

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Orvis was just in an article for bear hunting magazine as well. Good write up. Not sure if it was you or not.
 

thusby

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That’s 2 great reviews this month then. It might be grizzly time!
 

Labman

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I have run into Matt and Emily a few times when we were moose hunting in an area they guide in. Great people, I don’t think you could go wrong on a hunt with them. They seem to take great care of their hunters from what I saw. Congrats on the successful hunt👍.
 

6mm Remington

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That’s 2 great reviews this month then. It might be grizzly time!
Contact them now. I think you may have had to have permit applications put in for the 2020 in December, but I do not know about the area on the other side of the Brooks Range where they hunt there. There might also be some extra tags issued just as it was in the case of the permit I was lucky enough to get in on. It would be worth contacting them and at least getting started in the process. Maybe 2020 could still happen. If not maybe next year. They do hunt in the spring for bears in the south area of theirs. Worth talking to them about it.
 

6mm Remington

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I have not seen it, it's nothing that I wrote though.
I found the Bear Hunting magazine with the article written by Joe Kondelis. He was hunting the same time that I was but was with another guide in another spike camp miles and miles away from us out there in the mountains/tundra. Joe got a beautiful bear also.
 
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