We recently received a handful of reports on an outfitter named Willie Dvorak, who operates Jim River Guide Service. Immediately, we thought someone was trying to pack our database with reports. But then subscriber Jim Mathisen called wanting to talk about his hunt with Dvorak in Alaska and why he thought Dvorak was worth mentioning in our pages. He sent us photos from his hunt and a 10-page, highly detailed report. Mathisen said he was so impressed with Dvorak that he was returning to hunt South Dakota pronghorns with him this coming October. His enthusiasm and detailed descriptions lead us to take a closer look. Turns out Dvorak has quite a portfolio of hunts he offers in South Dakota along with a full range of big game hunts in Alaska. Plus, we liked what he had to say about the way he does business. Dvorak is based in Mellette, South Dakota, in the James River Valley, about an hour from the Aberdeen and Huron regional airports. From there he hunts private properties in Spink and Clark countries for whitetails, pronghorn, bison, predators and prairie dogs. When we communicated with Dvorak, he told us outright that two things set him apart from most other outfitters:
1) "I do all my own guiding at a time when American outfits have evolved into cookie-cutter type outfits, where the hunter may or may not see the person who actually contracts the hunt."
(2) "I provide a list of ALL the clients who hunted with me the last year in lieu of a cherry-picked reference list." On his web site he goes further, telling prospective clients that it is foolish to consider booking a hunt with an outfitter before speaking with hunters who have hunted the same time and place the previous year. "It is important you know ahead of time what you are getting for your money," he says. We couldn't agree more.
So, here's what Hunting Report subscriber James Mathisen had to say about his Alaska brown bear hunt with Dvorak last August. Mathisen........(continued)