Trip of a Lifetime.
Finding adventure at every turn
The family of William A. Buman takes a look back to learn about this historical expedition to the Yukon.
Will Buman born on June 9, 1892-died on June 2, 1952. He grew up on his father and mother’s farm; northeast of Tennant, Iowa. They were successful farmers. As a young man he learned to be a good, hard working farmer, under his father’s training. He chose farming as his goal in life. By the time he was in his late twenties, he was successful farmer. He had dreams of doing great things, talking about Alaska and the Yukon Territory in Canada, how he would love to go on a big game hunting expedition into those countries. He loved to hunt on the farms during hunting seasons, and he loved to read “Outdoor Live” magazine. So that is where he learned about big game hunting expeditions. He learned about Charles Baxter, a hunting guide outfitter in the Yukon and Alaska Territories. This man furnished equipment such as guides, pack horses, a cook, horse wranglers to take care of the horses (20 horses) and tents to live in and all other equipment that was needed to live for three or four months out in the vast wilderness. He provided all foodstuffs needed, except the meat, and fish which would be acquired as the hunters shot animals such as the bear, moose, sheep, goats, caribou, and they did some fishing in the rivers and streams. Wildlife was very plentiful and the fish was so good to eat. So Mr. Baxter provided the cook to do all the cooking on those trips. From ads in Outdoor Live, Will learned of Charles Baxter, who lived in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory and Will wrote to him for information.
So Mr. Baxter sent Will Buman all the necessary information that he needed in equipping himself for such a trip-an all summers hunting expedition to last 3 or 4 months without any news from the outside world and of course Baxter had his price set up (the cost of the trip).
When Will Buman was 28 years old, in the spring of 1920 he became serious and excited with the desire to take this hunting trip, and he was making his plans. Will said this was the dream of his live to take this trip. He learned of three other men, one from Iowa-Mr. Flaherty, and two men from Lander, Wyoming (Editorial note: Riverton, Wyoming), Mr. Graham and Mr. Caraway. So they made arrangements with Charles Baxter, and hired him for their outfitter. They were to travel with pack horses from Whitehorse, Yukon and he gone for seventy-nine days into the interior of the Yukon Territory and Alaska. Will and these men had to travel to Seattle, Washington, take a ferry ship via of the inside passage to Skagway, Alaska, then take the narrow gage railroad form Skagway to Whitehorse-one hundred and ten miles trip. At Whitehorse, where Baxter lived they met Baxter and made preparations as soon as they arrived which would take them into the vast wilderness of glaciers, mountains, riding pack horses loaded with all their equipment they had to take along for the entire trip, fording rivers on back horses and living intents for 79 days. They were to hunt for grizzly bear, caribou, moose, sheep, goats. There only means of travel were on pack horses. The would have no contact with the outside world until they returned to Whitehorse again. There were 7 horse wranglers (men) to care for the horses, 1 cook, 4 guides for the hunters when they looked and stalked animals to kill. The 3 big game hunter men, and Mr. Baxter. About 17 men or a couple more in the outfit. Paid $100 for license (page 43). The hunters had to purchase a license from the Yukon Territory and Alaska. The Alaska license cost $50.00.