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Mountain Monarchs of Alaska LLC - Testimonials

Here's what a few of our customers have had to say about us.
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Lisa McNamee

Lisa McNamee

2019 Dall Sheep Hunt - Am I a Sheep Hunter?

Am I a sheep hunter? Can I conquer a sheep hunt mentally and physically? These two questions and many others have been going through my head for many years. I have read article after article about sheep hunting. I have talked with many members of my chapter of Safari Club International about their sheep hunts. But, the questions still remained, Can I do it? and Can I afford it? In 2015 I drew the coveted 680 tag in Montana. After a fantastic hunt, I killed a wonderful Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ram and loved the hunt. But, it was from a cabin with a cook, driving around in a truck, the pack out was very difficult. However, this was not a full backpack, self contained hunt. So, again the question came up in my head “Am I a sheep hunter?”. Fast forward to January 2018 at the SCI Convention as myself and Donna Boddington were looking for a Dall Sheep hunt. As we sat down at Dave Leonard’s Mountain Monarchs of Alaska booth I immediately liked Dave. Well, the next thing you know Donna and I are booked for our Dall Sheep hunt for August opening day 2019. On January 1, 2019 I began my training. I laid out an entire training regiment for the next 8 months and worked hard to prepare. In the 8 months I only missed 3 scheduled training days. The week before the trip I got a very bad cold followed by bronchitis and then a terrible allergic reaction to the medication my doctor put me on. I was in bed for 7 days before the trip and I was now in panic mode. I could not believe that after all my preparation physically, preparing all my gear, (Brendan Burns of KUIU was kind enough to help me with my packing list), etc. that I was now in bad shape right before the hunt. I called Donna and she too was in panic mode with a bad tooth that needed surgery immediately. “Are you kidding me”? , is all I kept thinking for both of us. My physical trainer kept reassuring me that I had done the work and was ready and that the week in bed would not hamper my results. Off I went on August 7th with Donna having to postpone her hunt by a day so she could have her dental surgery. She ended up with 17 stitches in her mouth, and was off on a plane to meet up at the Ram Hole which is what Dave called their house/cabin. I was worrying about how tough I am and then I hear all about what Donna was going through. I thought to myself, “You better suck it up, she is way tougher than you are.” As soon as I arrived in Bettles which is on the south slope of the Central Brooks Range north of Fairbanks, Dave loaded me up and off to base camp I went. The next day my guide and I hiked 7 ½ hours to our spike camp. We spent three days there without seeing one sheep. My guide Dave Fischer kept reassuring me that this was an awesome location and that the sheep are here we just have to find them. On the third day after combing the entire area and hiking all day we decided the next morning that we would hike the 7 ½ hours back to base camp, resupply, stay the night and head out to another location the next day. I was all for making a move, but was getting a little worried that it would take us two days of hiking to relocate and that would put my remaining hunt days down to three. We made the move and after hiking for over 8 hours in the pouring down rain we arrived at our new spike camp late in the evening with winds that had to be 50-60 miles an hour. It was very difficult to put our tents up. Dinner was Mountain House in my tent by myself reading my book. But, just before going to bed we spotted two rams on the other side of the mountain about 2,000 yards away. I slept great that night knowing that sheep were spotted. The next morning, we hiked across a very dangerous and steep, shale and rock slide. After getting to the other side, we immediately spotted another older Ram with a young Ram. The older Ram was very heavy but from the distance that we were we could not tell if he was legal or not. The wind was blowing so hard even if you laid down it was hard to hold your binoculars still. It was even harder to use the spotting scope. After several hours, we decided that the location that these two Rams were in would be very difficult to make a stalk without them busting us. We decided to try for the other two Rams that we had seen the day before. If that did not work out, then the next day we would approach these rams from a different direction. It was now midday and we made our move. We got close, dropped our back packs and began a slow stalk towards them. Soon enough we were busted and I saw both Rams running out the bottom. We stopped and sat down for about an hour as the two Rams stopped in the bottom of the drainage and laid down to look straight up at us. We were pinned down. After an hour or so they both got up and started up the drainage. At the top of that drainage was our Spike Camp. They were headed right for our camp. We made a move all the way around the mountain to cut across the mountain and cut them off. We spotted the young Ram but could not see the older ram. The young Ram could not sit still. He kept feeding, then would lay down, then would get up. He was like a teenager that could not sit still. Every time we could not see the Rams the young one would give their location away. It was getting late and we decided that we better move now. We snuck very slowly up a ridge and just as we started to sit down to glass I looked up and the big ram was staring right at us about 35 yards away. We were busted again and he took off running up the drainage right towards our camp. I had no choice but to shoot him while I was standing up just as he quartered away at 126 yards. It was the best shot of my life!! I was so excited! On the eighth day I shot my ram. I was now hooked on sheep hunting. All the questioning was now out of my head. I did it! As we got back to the Ram Hole Craig and Donna Boddington and all the crew were waiting to hear our story. Donna had killed a great ram after spending the night on the mountain with no sleeping bags or tent. The ram that she wanted to kill was just too far from spike camp to make the hike in one day. Any question about her toughness was now completely out of the picture. After showering for the first time in 9 days I sat with Donna and Craig drinking red wine and Craig began to talk about Donna and I working towards completing our Ram Slam. I thought are you crazy? I am tired, I lost about 8 more pounds, I did not shower in 9 days! Let’s just take a quick breather here. Within a week of arriving home I called Donna and told her, ok let’s start investigating to book the next ram hunt. I think I answered my two opening questions, OR am I just crazy?

Donna Boddington

Donna Boddington

August 2019 - Paso Robles, CA

I swore I wasn’t going to do another sheep hunt. It’s kind of like swearing off wine or sweets. I fell off the wagon and booked a hunt with Dave Leonard’s Mountain Monarchs Of Alaska. The hunt far exceeded my expectations. I’ve been on a sheep hunt before but this was so well organized and quite honestly, I had the dream team. Jordan Wallace my guide was so good. He was the perfect combination of a tough dedicated guide as well making sure I had a say in my hunt. He was a motivator. We spotted many ewes, lambs and rams. My packer Jeremiah was also one heck of a good hand. They got me on a great ram after many hard days and it was one of the top three hunts of my life. If you’re looking to hunt in Alaska and with a top notch outfitter in one of the best areas for Dall Sheep I’d give Mountain Monarchs Of Alaska the go ahead. If you have any doubts please feel free to contact me at donna@craigboddington.com

Manuel Gomez

Manuel Gomez

Fall 2019 - Mexico

This is my second hunt with Dave Leonard, and his professional team makes it a wonderful adventure, from start to finish. Last year, hunting for Dall sheep up at Brooks Range, and now this past October 2019 for Alaskan Brown Bears, down by the Alaskan Peninsula at Dave River Camp. Both were really beyond my expectations. Hunting in Alaska with such harsh conditions is never easy. It can be tough after a few days. But thanks to Dave, who is always well-prepared and has such an excellent crew, equipment, and resources, my hunt was more enjoyable and comfortable than I could ever imagine. I cannot thank enough for my professional guide, Jordan. He made those long wet, cold, windy, and harsh days feel like I was in my own living room. He was always looking after me, but most importantly, looking for the big one. He led me to harvest the big bear that I always dreamed of. Thank you, Dave, again for the wonderful experience. Thank you to your wonderful staff: Fish, John, Dave, and a very big and special thanks to Colleen. My God! She cooked the most delicious meals with a big smile, and always had the best stories to tell. Without thinking twice, I would definitely recommend Mountain Monarchs of Alaska. See you guys real soon for the Moose hunt!

Ryan Strange

Ryan Strange

Fall 2019 - Huntsville, AL.

I have hung from the wing strut of a plane at 4,000 feet before letting go. I have searched for tunnels in the Sinai Desert with bombs detonating all around me. I have had more than one person attempt to stab me. But let me tell you, for me, there has been nothing more exhilarating or adventurous than harvesting a 10 foot Brown Bear from within 35 yards. Dave Leonard, along with my guide Modele were at the pinnacle of professionalism during my entire hunt. Colleen worked incredibly hard cooking warm meals and fresh pies and the other guides were great also. As a scientist, I conducted extensive research on over ten master guides in Alaska. Dave Leonard’s Mountain Monarchs ranked #1.

Roy  M. Ruiz

Roy M. Ruiz

Fall 2019 - Phoenix. Arizona

As a surviving Disabled Vietnam Veteran I want to encourage any Handicapped person to push your limits to fulfill your dreams; it gives you the reason to live for tomorrow. I’ve hunted Brown Bears for 15 yrs. Since I’ve been a Bowhunter most of my life on my previous hunts I just ran into young cubs or 6-7 footers so I passed them up due to stubbornness for a larger mature bear. My long time friends highly recommended Dave Leonard’s Bear camp and hunting area by the end of the Alaska Peninsula where big bears grow big by the Salmon that feed all the creeks an rivers from the ocean. His Guides are very professional and Colleen the camp cook will out cook anyone and will help you gain a few lbs. on you hunt. My bear ran over a half mile and expired. For my protection I was recommended to stay at base camp cause I could hardly walk from a very recent spinal surgery. My Thanks to Dave Leonard and Staff for helping me fulfill my Brown Bear Dream!!!

Steve Porto

Steve Porto

Dave - Just a short note to thank you and the crew for another remarkable experience in Alaska. I really appreciate everything you and the guys did to make sure I had a safe and successful bear hunt. It was especially nice to team up with Martin again. I really believe it was the best hunt I've ever been on - stunning scenery, the utter remoteness of the Alaska peninsula, great camp, and plenty of bears - big ones! Looking forward to hunting Alaska moose with you one day! Cheers, Steve Porto

Bruce Ansley

Bruce Ansley

New Zealand

I went on a Bear Hunt in the Spring of 2018 with Mountain Monarchs ( my second with Dave Leonard and his team). Out on the Aleutian Islands , away from everybody and everything. Not the place for Armchair Warriors but the place for big Brown Bears. Dave is the consumet Guide . As we say in New Zealand, he’s been there, done that. Great guy and straight as they come. His main camp is comfortable, meals are fantastic (thank you Colleen) and his planes and pilots top notch. And the Bears deserve a mention as well. Got this chap on day 2 in the hunt. Thanks Dave, another great trip and looking forward to our next trip into the Arctic 2020.

John Zent

John Zent

NRA Media: Editorial Director

Alaska is my favorite hunting ground, and though lucky to land with some quality outfits, my home away from home in the 49th state is wherever Mountain Monarchs is making camp. Over the past 40+ years, Dave Leonard has explored this vast state in search of prime hunting opportunities, and his skill as a bush pilot guarantees clients maximum time afield, while getting them in and out of camp safely. Dave and his guides know the land, the game and, importantly, how to keep the hunt geared to the hunter. Literally they coach visitors through the many challenges, and the friendships that develop along the way are even more important to me than the great trophies I've brought home.

Jerry Fleishman

Jerry Fleishman

I want to thank you for making a lifelong dream become reality this fall. When I first spoke with you at the Dallas Safari Club convention, I said didn’t care if I killed a moose and grizzly as long as I had a good hunt and got the Alaskan experience. We got all of that in 2018. I even enjoyed spending the night in the arctic watching the Aurora Borealis light show. I truly appreciate the extra measure you and your team put forth to deliver the Alaskan adventure experience, plus the two magnificent trophies. From the steak dinners at the Ram Hole to the comfortable spike/tent camp along the river, you and your team put together a world class adventure. I hope to be able hunt with you again and will recommend you to anyone looking for a great moose, bear, sheep or caribou hunt. Thanks and God bless!

Craig Boddington

Craig Boddington

2017 Recipient of Weatherby Award

Dave Leonard’s Mountain Monarchs of Alaska is a class act from start to finish! With great country on the Peninsula for brown bear and caribou; and the north for grizzly, moose, and sheep, Mountain Monarchs has it all! Hunting in Alaska is rarely easy, but with Mountain Monarchs you can count on good equipment and experienced guides…and Dave Leonard and his team make it fun.

Manuel Gomez

Manuel Gomez

Mexico

It was a privilege getting to know Dave Leonard and his Mountain Monarchs of Alaska staff in the first place. I would like to thank everyone who participated in this once-in-a-lifetime experience come true. I want to thank you, Dave, for the great service you and everyone provided. Since I got to basecamp, the adventure began and it overcame my expectations. Assistance guide Jordan was very professional and well prepared since basecamp all the way to Spike camp. He took very good care of me throughout the whole hunt. His merit and professionalism took me right into a breathtaking trophy Dall sheep. On the other hand, packer Ben from New Zealand did a terrific job as well. Without him, we wouldn’t have been able to go through our hunt. They both were always committed to help in whatever I needed. Thanks again for everything! We’ll see you guys next Fall on Brown Bear hunt!

Brad Cromeens

Brad Cromeens

I just wanted to take a moment to say Thank You Dave for the bear hunt this spring. As you know, this was my third attempt on the peninsula and my only regret on this one was that it was over so fast (1st day bear). In 16 years of hunting Alaska, I have learned that having a “prepared” outfitter is usually the difference between success and failure. The weather in that part of the world is so unpredictable, an outfitter has to be cautious on the side of safety yet ready to take advantage when a break presents itself. I personally think you did a terrific job on that front. We were comfortable and well fed while we waited for the weather to clear and the super cubs were fueled and the pilots ready as soon as it broke to get us out to spike camp. As far as where you put me to hunt, unbelievable! First evening glassing (couldn’t hunt due to same day flying), we watched 2 massive male bears (bigger than anything I had seen on my other 2 hunts), square off and interact with each other right in front of us. The next night we found the same 2 bears, moved on the one that afforded us a chance and were successful first attempt. Peter did a terrific job getting me to 120 yards on a scarred up old boar for an experience I will never forget. Keep up the great work Dave and hopefully I will see you in 4 more years!!

Dr. Michael D'Ambrose

Dr. Michael D'Ambrose

Montana

It is with the utmost confidence that I recommend Dave Leonard and Mountain Monarchs. Dave and his team do an outstanding job with all aspects of a guided hunt. From pre-hunt planning and scouting, to meals, accommodation, guide quality, and trophy care, everything is just first class. And perhaps what is even more important, Dave and his team genuinely love to hunt. It was wonderful to see an outfitter with as many years experience as Dave has, just as excited to have a moose down as I was! My guides out in the field, Jordan and Fish, were two of the best guides I have ever hunted with. Dave’s hunting area is full of game, and the scenery needs to be seen to be appreciated. Camping out under the northern lights was a highlight of the trip. If you want to have a hunt of a lifetime, do yourself a favor and go!

Jim and Jane Goodman

Jim and Jane Goodman

Dave, our fishing trip with you this late July was absolutely fabulous. As you know I was very concerned about accommodations because my wife was with me. But there certainly was no reason for concern since the accommodations in your RAM Hole Lodge was great. You and your assistant guide Jordan are great chefs. Our opportunity to fish multiple lakes and rivers for huge char, big lake trout, trophy grayling, Pike, Whitefish, and some salmon was beyond belief. Just wish we would have been able to time the sheefish Run. Maybe next time. Also as a pilot myself I was thrilled with the opportunity to fly in the bush again with big tired super Cubs , and otter , beaver, and Cessna 185 on floats And thank Jordan for helping my wife Jane catch so many fish. A few pics are attached. All the best.

Michael Timmerman

Michael Timmerman

Michigan

Hunting the Giant Brown Bear of Alaska with Dave Leonard of Mountain Monarchs was been the highlight of my long and blessed hunting carrier. My guide Dave Dressel’s knowledge and skill was second to none. Bush pilots with a distinguished resume and abilities made the Super Cub flights in and out of spike camp safe and worry free. Harvesting a 10’ class Brown Bear at 50 yards on the third day of my hunt in pristine wilderness is a memory I will cherish forever. Having a professional taxidermist in base camp to prepare my bear hide for shipping is one of the countless testaments to the quality of Dave’s operation. This is more than just a hunt it is an adventure of a lifetime in a pristine wilderness for the largest brown bear on earth. I look forward with great expectation to my next adventure with Mountain Monarchs of Alaska!

Nelson Mitchell

Nelson Mitchell

Thank you Dave for a great hunt and allowing me to achieve my dream of harvesting a monster Alaska Peninsula Brown Bear. I saw multiple bears every day and was fortunate enough to tag out on Day 6. Peter was a Brown Bear expert and a great host in camp. The David River Camp and area measured up to the legendary reputation that precedes it. I’m grateful to call you and your team my friends and I hope to hunt more Alaskan game with Mountain Monarchs. Best wishes to you.

Shannon Wheeler

Shannon Wheeler

Casper, Wyoming

I had an awesome trip.The staff and equipment were first rate. The brown bear hunting was second to none. I had the opportunity to see several great bears before we (Steve, my bear guide and I) decided on the bear I took. My bear squared 10'2" and I believe the skull green score 28 7/16" You can't complain about that!! I almost forgot, I gained 10 pounds while in camp. Must have been all the fresh air and beautiful scenery! Over all I give this hunt a Ten Out of Ten . I would have no reservation's at all about hunting with Mountain Monarchs of Alaska in the future. The only thing is I hope its not too far in the Future.

Dr. Pat Laughlin

Dr. Pat Laughlin

Green Bay, WI.

This was the most exciting and thrilling hunt I have ever been on. Definitely the greatest thrill of my life was taking a ten foot brown bear on the fifth day of the hunt. I had been on another brown bear hunt several years ago with a different outfitter and the guides were drunks and awful. Thank God for Dave Leonard and his guides. They were awesome in every respect. Dave is a master at handling the logistics and has been this well since 1985. You just can’t do any better than to hunt with Dave Leonard and his guides. Don’t even consider another outfitter. This is coming from a hunter that has hunted all over the world on too many hunts to count and knows the real deal when he sees it.

Chris Jackson

Chris Jackson

Indiana

Dave and his entire staff did a wonderful job from start to finish. Despite the fact that this was one of the Alaskan Peninsula’s worst winters, my itinerary went as planned and I harvested a Boone and Crockett bear within days of arrival. Base camp was warm and comfortable, and the meals excellent. His equipment was in good working order and he and his pilots are highly skilled and focused on safety. After the hunt, my hide was professionally prepared at camp, and sent to my taxidermist promptly. I highly recommend Dave for Alaskan brown bear, and look forward to the opportunity to hunt with him again.

Kenn Walsh

Kenn Walsh

Keys & Walsh Construction

Hunting Dall Sheep with Mountain Monarchs is by far the greatest hunting experience I have had. Dave runs a convenient, first class operation and it is easy to see why he is the best when you fly into Bettles and he is the only outfitter waiting on his hunter. Guide Martin was amazing and I was extremely impressed with the knowledge of the terrain and sheep, and how he kept me informed on what to expect. The area we hunted is absolutely amazing and it is obvious that he has top notch animals. These guys have truly become friends, and I look forward to hunting brown bear with them and sheep again soon. Thanks for a great hunt and a memory that will last a life time!”

Tammy & Shane

Well first off, thank you very much for the awesome time had in Alaska!!!!

Sorry to say Dave, but I’m glad you were too busy to baby sit me, cause I had the best time and experiences, with the most awesome (but motley looking) crew!

I would do it again in a flash! I know Shane and Jim were also MORE than happy with their Trophies and hunts.

And the food, my god! I didn’t expect to be eating so well!! I was pretty hesitant though when the 13 yo sheep come out, I wasn’t gonna enjoy this one, I was thinking. But, again I was blown away with it! How the hell could an old ram taste so sweet?

So when can we do it all again? Well I hope the rest of your time there is enjoyable, we may see you before the new year.

Bob Lindsey

Bob Lindsey

Plymouth, Indiana

I once again want to thank you and your staff for the wonderful Brown Bear Hunt this past fall, October 2011. I was very impressed with the organization and competence of you and your entire staff during the hunt. The equipment was top notch and all of your staff were very professional, friendly and worked very well together. The food was great both quantity and quality. Lee was an outstanding guide, a real pleasure to be with in our spike camp during the hunt. Last but not least your territory is second to none for producing excellent Brown Bear. Hope to hunt with you and your outfit again in the near future.

Peter Baenziger

Peter Baenziger

Dave is a good, hard working, honest Master Guide. I have no hesitation in recommending his services and would be happy to act as a referral.

Riley Manzonie

Currant Creek Outfitters

Hey Dave just a note letting you know that I really appreciate everything you guys did for Mark and I. Its not hard to see that you run a quality business that is becoming increasingly rare in our occupation as outfitters. Thanks again and looking forward to chasing an elk with you!

 Hunter Mikuletzky

Hunter Mikuletzky

Almost a year ago I was starting to pack for my sheep hunt, A YEAR!!! WOW. Dave and the Gang, at Mountain Monarchs really know how to make a lasting impression. They truly are a Great bunch of guy's. From booking to helping me acquire the right gear for the trip to meeting me when I stepped off the plane. Dave and Martin thanks for a trip and a Ram of a lifetime. Can't wait to come back!!

Bud Jones

Pokai Parera Farms - R.D. 2 - Eketahuna, New Zealand

Here is the difference, and it makes a lot of difference. When you go with Mountain Monarchs of Alaska and Dave Leonard you can be sure he will do everything possible to make your hunt a success. He has great areas and if one place is not productive he will move you to a place that is. If you want a real hunt and not just a camping trip with a guide going through the motions, go with Dave; he will make it happen for you.

Rick Lange

Dave, I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you and your staff for a spectacular sheep hunt. A 12 year old ram w/ 35" horns was exactly what I was looking for. After hunting caribou last year with you on the Noatak, I knew that booking the sheep hunt with you was the right decision. It was the hunt I had dreamed about for 35 years. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, both physically and mentally, but your guide kept me going and took great care of me the whole time. It was the time of my life and I hope someday we can share another hunting camp. "It was the crowning achievement of my hunting career". PS - tell them all who call "don't wait until you're 50!!"

Bob Young

Bob Young

Maine

My Brown Bear hunt with Dave Leonard's Mountain Monarchs of Alaska. It was the Third hunt I have done with Him. The first was a fall bear hunt (2007) from the David river lodge and was not successful for bear although I did take a beautiful wolf . The second was a Dall sheep hunt(2008) in unit 23 in the Delong Mountains and harvested a 39 " 15 year old ram.....15 years old!! This bear was taken on my second day of hunting (missed the first day because Pen Air did not have my baggage on the plane into Cold Bay) We saw 10 different bears in the two days I hunted 4 of which my very experienced guide estimated to be as big as the bear I took or Bigger. I guess the highlight was when we made the stalk on this bear and was about to shoot at 80 yards A Different Boar of about the same size came around the cliff face in our direction. We debated about 2 minutes as to which was bigger.....must be the official Brown bear Zoo of Alaska! I harvested this Bear because I liked its Color . Dave Has great Guides and support staff. All Equipment was in very good shape and the bush pilot that flew for him(he flys as well) was top shelf.

Dwight Van Brunt

Dwight Van Brunt

Having hunted with Mountain Monarchs seven times in the past twelve years, the Peninsula brown bear hunt just concluded was the best yet. In fact, it was probably the finest North American hunt I've experienced in the last thirty years! Not only is my old boar spectacular, as he squared 10 feet, 10.5 inches, every aspect of the hunt was flawless. The David River base camp was like a home away from home, with great food and wonderful crew. Spike camp was more than comfortable, and the number of bears viewed over the five actual hunting days was staggering. To the smallest detail, everything went off without a hitch, and I can't wait to return.

Jay Graham

Jay Graham

Massachusetts

Hello Dave. Bonnie and I wanted to thank you for the fantastic time you were able to provide for us on the recent bear hunt. From arriving at base camp until we got back into cold bay you and your staff were outstanding. I could have not selected a better guide service then Mountain monarchs. I was fortunate enough to score on a beautiful bear on my first evening of hunting with my brown bear squaring 10'3 with a green skull of 28" A once in a lifetime bear. I look forward to hunting with you in the future.

Ronnie Williams

Ronnie Williams

Bear: 9' 10" squared, 28 7/16" skull

Larry Pulliam

Larry Pulliam

Bear: 9' 4" squared, 29 11/16" skull

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