Wild & Woolly

Box 92, Teslin, Yukon, Canada


Read about Dick Person in the April 1998 issue of Outside Magazine.

Dick will be presenting at Canoecopia 2000, March 10-12, 2000, at the Dane County Expo Center in Madison, Wisconsin.


Application Form Medical Form Terms of Agreement Gear Checklist

The All-New
Yukon Survival - Thrival Course

June 17-30, 2000

The word survival is a very ambiguous one, and connotes a wide variety of meanings and associated skills. The skills that are being offered in the ensuing course are those of a traditional woodsman travelling and living in the northern wilds.

The daily use of these skills will be facilitated by learning them in a progressive manner during the course of the canoe trip. Travel will be in the southern lakes region where we will be surrounded by imposing peaks of the Coast Ranges, many with glaciers on their north faces. We'll be travelling on a mix of flat and moving water where a rich menu of strokes will be taught. In some places we will track and pole up incoming rivers and then canoe down them. Exact areas selected will be dependent on current water levels.

We will also hike into the mountains to do our topo map work, animal stalking, plant gathering, etc... Animals inhabiting this area include moose, black and grizzly bears, dall sheep, mountain goats, wolves, wolverine, caribou, otter and beaver. If not actually sighted, we'll see tracks and signs of many of them.

Bear defense tactics will be discussed and demonstrated. It is vital to understand their behaviour and then deal with them accordingly.

Food, grub, vittles -- by any name, a focal point of each day. Delicious meals will display Course Leader, Dick Person's skills as an unusual modern wilderness-nutrition advocate using organic foods and precise preparation. Although fish, and possibly small game, will be included in the meal offerings, vegetarians will be totally comfortable with our fare.

Fishing for trout and Arctic grayling is excellent, and the inclusion of lightweight spinning equipment and/or a fly rod is suggested. A belt knife is strongly recommended, either folding or fixed-blade for dressing fish and small game. We have Dick's favourite one available if desired.

Reading animal tracks and sign, and stalking animals, will be practised whenever the opportunity arises. We also will become familiar with the local flora and various of its edible and medicinal qualities.

Upon completion of this trip, a participant should be able to travel comfortably and safely through northern water ways of easy to moderate difficulty (Class I and II ), and with a deep appreciation and respect for the wilderness.

We're happy to welcome back Darwin Wiggett who will share some of his in-depth knowledge and practice of the photographic medium. It is impossible here to properly profile Darwin or the breadth of his artistry. He has written numerous instructional articles for Outdoor and Nature Photography, Photolife Magazine, Wildlife Photographer, etc. Published worldwide, his work has appeared in over 500 publications and he has received over 25 awards for excellence. He holds a Masters degree in Zoology from the University of Alberta and has ten years of teaching and researching in the wildlife field behind him. Add to that an engaging personality and the ability to articulate his concepts, and you have an unbeatable combination.

For '00's Primitive Skills section, we'll have Tim Malone, a long-time friend and former Alaskan. Tim has been an instructor in Arctic Survival and Wilderness Backpacking at Anchorage Community College and more recently an assistant guide for Wild and Woolly and for Alyeska Wilderness Guides. He has 15 years' experience in primitive technologies, i.e. bow/arrow making, cordage, shelters, firemaking, and tool making. Tim is currently a Gero-psychiatric Specialist and Program Director with the Deschutes County Seniors Mental Health Program.

The course/trip is scheduled for June 17-30, 2000 inclusive. We'll catch the period of maximum run-off which will make for excellent canoeing. An equipment check list will be sent when deposit is made.

Traditional Skills

Example: Aboriginal Skills

En Route Commentary:

With an educational background in wildlife biology, overlain by forty years works as a professional outdoors man and guide, Dick delivers provocative and informative insights to human and natural history along the waterways, as well as a philosophy of wilderness living.

Cost:

Covers all transportation and accommodation associated with the trip, as well as meals and equipment. A 30% deposit is due on booking. The deposit is fully refundable up until 90 days. The balance is due 60 days prior to departure.

Total Cost: $2100 US

Course Dates: June 17-30, 2000

Participants arriving by air to Whitehorse will be picked up June 16th. A map will be available to those driving the Alaska Highway.


Your Host: Dick Person

Background

Over 30 years' experience guiding in wilderness areas of North America including the Boundary Canoe Waters of Minnesota and Ontario, Idaho Sawtooths, North Sierras, Mt. Shasta region, Wyoming's Teton Park and Wind River country and Glacier National Park in Montana. I lived and worked at least two years in each of these areas. In Canada I have lived, taught and guided in portions of the Purcell and Rocky Mountain ranges and various drainages of the Yukon River headwaters.

For seventeen years, from 1972 until 1989, I have lived in tipis on the Kootenay Plains and in the foothills of Alberta and on Tagish Lake in the Yukon Territory.

Education

B.A., University of Minnesota. Majors in zoology and geology. Post graduate study (2 years), University of Missouri in Wildlife Management. Research publication on work at Point Barren, Alaska, 1953.

Professional Employment in Outdoor Fields

Itinerant lecturer in the fields listed above, as well as in the dependent fields of health, nutrition and body conditioning to enhance outdoor activity.

Guiding Experience

  1. Canoeing
  2. Backpacking
  3. Technical and Mountaineering.
  4. Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing
  5. Fishing and Hunting
  6. Tipi Living and Wilderness Survival Courses
My guiding career was founded early in the skiing heritage of Swedish parents. I watched my father make my first pair of skis, received my first technical instruction from the coach of the 1958 U.S. Fis Team, Sven Wiik, attending a National Coaches Clinic under him in Gunnison, Colorado and thereafter ski toured the Tetons, Sierras, Selkirks, Canadian Rockies and Coast Ranges of the Yukon. My love of water travel had begun even earlier on family expeditions around northern Minnesota in the early 1930s and expanded rapidly after acquiring a wood/canvas Rehbein canoe at age sixteen. Discharged from the United States Army at 19, I began guiding. A visit to the West in 1946 had already seeded a lifelong commitment to mountain life and travel.

Photography

A vocation I have practiced since my youth, photography spans all the areas in which I have lived and worked and constitutes many hundreds of slides on all phases of outdoor life, scenery and seasons. They have been used as magazine cover shots to illustrate tourist booklets and adventure travel articles, and as archival records, but most often as posters for adventure equipment companies.

Lectures and Slide Presentations

Since 1967 I have given lectures and slide presentations on various aspects of wilderness life and travel to many audiences in Canada and the United States, principally to educational and outdoor groups, but also to the interested public. Presentations in the form of slide shows, lectures, weekend and week-long field trips have been given for such diverse groups as city recreation departments, university classes, Arctic research organizations, community colleges, museums, private schools, environmental groups, sports associations and diverse special interest groups.

In 1986 I had the pleasure of representing "Yukon colour" with stories and poetry at its 1986 Expo pavilion in Vancouver.


For more information. . .

E-mail: dick_person@hotmail.com

Write to: Dick Person, Box 92, Teslin, Yukon, Canada Y0A 1B0

Darwin Wiggett (re: camera gear) can be reached at (403) 852-2164 or via e-mail at dwiggett@telusplanet.net.

Please note that the photos on this web page were taken by Darwin.


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