This kind of trigger-happiness, I suggested last month, appears to be rooted in the fact that many guides in Alaska have not focused intently on the challenge of following up wounded dangerous game. Many of them don't carry the right kind of guns, and they don't practice snap-shooting. Instead, they seem to have taken a page from war manuals that call for the use of intense ground fire as soon as a client has shot anywhere near a bear. Their focus is on stopping a bear from ever getting away. Hang what that does to the quality of a hunt. And, unfortunately, hang what that does to safety in the field.
I mention all this again because there is a chance coming up to fix this problem and others relating to guide incompetence in Alaska. Seems the Alaska legislature has passed a bill creating a Big Game Commercial Services Board that will have the clout to license and discipline registered guide/outfitters, assistant guides and transporters. The authority of the board allows it to write new guide requirements and then administer the tests. And the good part is, guides themselves don't have a hammerlock........(continued)