Name: Jack Reakoff
Age: 61
Residence: Wiseman, Alaska
Occupation: Trapper and tour guide and subsistence user/ hunter/ fisher.
Years lived in Alaska: 61 years
Current Location: Wiseman, Alaska
Date of Photo: August 26, 2019
Temperature: 47F
Current Weather: partly sunny/cloudy

Image Description: Jack cleans a Northern Pike outside his home in Wiseman which he recently caught on the Yukon River some 135 miles and 4 hours south of Wiseman.

What first brought you to live in Alaska: My mom after 56 hours of labor at Providence Hospital down in Anchorage.

1. How has Alaska captured your heart or turned you off?

Well, when I was 18 I went down to Washington State to learn how to fly and I found out that there were way too many fences down there, so I had a high appreciation for the country I came from.

2. Describe just one of your most favorite “Best Day” or “Most memorable experiences” in Alaska.

Meeting my wife Nickie, there, was a memorable experience. I’ve had a lot of good memories. I used to fish in Bristol Bay and I had all kinds of crazy memories of all kinds. And I have excellent recollect abilities down to when I was about six months old when my mom carried me around talking to me. So I’ve got, you know, from early childhood going hunting with my mom and dad. I’ve got all kinds of cool stuff: Brooks Range before there were roads, before there were pipelines, before there were parks.
I remember one time I was hunting sheep. I was climbing this mountain with my dad. There was this DC-3 flying over. He says, “There’s an airplane.” I says, “Oh, yeah.” He goes, “I’ve never seen an airplane fly over when I’m out hunting – never seen an airplane flying.” And, he says, I’ve never seen another hunter ever when I’ve been out hunting. We were up to the north here, just at the head of the Dietrich River. There were hardly any people ever. Most people didn’t even know where the Brooks Range was when I was a kid.

3. What in Life do you know for sure?

For sure I’m living here. People ask me, “When do you intend to leave?” I say, “Well, I might leave feet first” (laughter). I know that for sure.

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2 Comments

  1. I would like to visit, and stay in your community, for about 2 months! Of course this will be around the 1st week in May, 2022! Just to tell a bit about myself, I’m semi-retired. And retired as a teacher of criminal law. I’m fascinated with how ya’ll survive the ruggedness of such a beautiful place.
    Thanks Leonard Newman

  2. Jack Reakoff was 27 when I first met him in him in 1985. Jack helped Rick, his father, with the father’s guiding business on the Chandalar at the time. Jack was/ is a reasoning person with an ethical, helpful manner who knows and loves the Brooks Range country. He was a bush pilot already in his mid-20s. He is a good spokes-person for the north country above the Arctic Circle and issues rising in use of natural resources. He is open to learning changes which impact both Native and Non-Native residents who live on the upper Koyokuk. Jack attributes much of his knowledge and being to experiences with his father, but I see his quiet, reasoning approach as learned from his mother, June.

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