CANIS Guide Spotlight: Fred Harbison
Name: Fred Harbison
Hometown: Fairbanks, Alaska
What age did you start hunting?
I'd like to say I started hunting at the age of 7 when growing up in West Africa. But, in reality that mostly consisted of flinging homemade arrows at passing monkeys. My true beginning started in high school hunting deer in New Hampshire.
How did you get into hunting or who was influential in getting you to choose to become a guide/outfitter?
Two long-time high school friends got me into hunting. Lance Galvin took me on my first deer hunt in 1986. Henry Tiffany, the outfitter I work for now, took me on as a packer back in 1995 and things progressed from there. I have always been obsessed with mountains, and Dall sheep.
How long have you been guiding/outfitting?
I have been a full time Alaska Big Game Guide for three years and have been guiding remote wilderness trips for over 30 years.
What’s your favorite game or terrain to hunt in?
By far the most challenging terrain and therefore the most rewarding, for me, is the Brooks Range of Alaska. As far as game species, Dall sheep are not only the most majestic animal, and tasty, but truly are a prize when one is harvested. The amount of physical and emotional energy spent on not only finding a trophy Dall ram, but successfully stalking and harvesting one, is on par with any hunt in the world.
Have you noticed a shift in your clientele and reasoning for hunting?
My hunters have been incredible people and friends. They are always trying to improve their outcomes through physical training and gear upgrades. I do think that the hunting community, especially when planning a trip to the Brooks Range, has started to focus on longer duration wilderness adventures and therefore we see more and more true endurance athletes traveling North to test themselves in the Brooks.
What’s your feeling on the modern hunter and how prepared they are for the hunt?
There is no question that the modern hunter, at least the ones that have graced me with their presence, are ready to go from the minute they get off the plane. There are always little things that you can not train for or plan on, but our hunters are very well prepared to optimize their success. They have to be.
How is hunting helping conservation of game/habitat in your area?
As with most areas, hunting and the money brought into the State coffers from licenses and harvest tickets, pays for a vast majority of conservation and educational programs. In AK, hunting is not only a huge industry but is the way people in rural/remote areas actually survive. So, even things like predator control, in certain game units, is a scientifically proven way to improve not only game numbers but predator community health. Hunting is part of the land, and history up here. We can not detach ourselves.
What is your ultimate dream hunt?
Ha ha ha. Loaded question. First choice always. A Dall sheep hunt with a gorgeous woman who adores me!!!!! If a relationship survives that, it must BE. Aside from that dream, an Ibex hunt, high in any snowy mountains would suit me just fine.
Anything you want to say to clients before they arrive?
Do your homework on your guide choices. Do your homework physically and mentally. Get ready not only to hunt, and to have an epic adventure, but get ready to meet lifelong friends and contacts. And try to follow one rule. “Ludi ubi licet si neccesse parterre.” Roughly, “Enjoy when you can, endure when you must.” Works for life too!!!
Guide or Outfitter Website / Social Channels? www.alaskanperimeter.com
Fred Harbison firstname.lastname@example.org