During these few weeks, a fellow by the name of Doug Walker, who owns the Commack Lodge and Store in Shungnak, devotes his time to providing visiting hunters with food, lodging and logistical support, all for only $100 a day. Accommodations are bunkhouse-style with TV, hot showers and a dining room. Walker's support service primarily involves linking hunters up with area residents who own boats and can provide service as so-called "transporters," who are authorized by the state only to provide transportation to and from the hunting area. They are not allowed to assist in the hunt in any way, or help hunt, skin or butcher the animal. The transporters charge about $250 per day, and may or may not charge extra for gas. Boats can usually accommodate two hunters who can then split the cost. That brings the total cost of the hunting services up to about $900, a fraction of what you would pay for a fully guided hunt. To be sure, there are some high airline costs associated with this hunt, and I will have more to say about them in a moment.
First, though, it is worth noting that an unguided hunt poses special challenges that some hunters may not be up to. Are you ready and willing to field dress your own animal and then pack it out to the river? Can you judge trophy quality on your own? These are important questions to ask before you book this hunt.
Walker usually accommodates 40........(continued)