Guide at a Glance
Alaska, United States
Coke grew up on the edge of Fairbanks hunting, trapping and fishing up and down the Chena and Tanana rivers. His passion for the outdoors followed him through high school and into UAF, where he played hockey, made lifelong friends, continued to develop as a hunter and earned a degree in criminal justice.
During those college years, Coke began taking several of his buddies out hunting for everything from Dall sheep to waterfowl (which remains his favorite kind of hunting). He began guiding part-time and was fortunate enough to have a college advisor who was also a guide and made it possible for the young hunter to delay the start of each fall semester, extending his season an extra week or so.
Several of Coke’s college hockey teammates had pointed out to him that he would be wasting extraordinary talent if he didn’t pursue a guiding career, and Coke has been guiding full time since graduation. He learned the craft from some of Alaska’s all-time greatest outfitters, and has been running his own outfitting business since 1992.
It has been a remarkable career. Coke has hunted all of Alaska’s big-game animals in each of the state’s mountain ranges and has earned the reputation as one of North America’s premier horseback outfitters. He takes tremendous pride in the quality of his outfit, horses and staff – he hires guides on the basis of whether he would want to hunt with them himself.
Coke carries a Preferred Outfitter rating with the NRA and Foundation for North American Wild Sheep and serves on the pro staff of such reputable outdoor equipment manufacturers as Leica, Filson and Foxpro. He has personally guided some of the biggest names in the hunting industry, and many of these exploits have been featured in magazine articles and outdoor TV shows.
Coke’s prowess as a sheep hunter, particularly, has brought him widespread attention in the international media, but he just as willingly packages hunts for all of Alaska’s huntable game and waterfowl. Just as he does with the hunts themselves, he makes the scheduling and booking processes easy and keeps the focus on the quality of the experience.
Coke lives with the trophy of his life, Jo-Ann, and their 13-year-old son, Parker, in a home he built on the historic Stampede Road in Healy.