The 2009 Legend Award honoree was revealed at the 5th Annual Hunter & Outfitter Convention on February 21, 2009 during the Saturday evening awards banquet. For 44 years, Pete Jensen has been providing hunters with the best the Yukon has to offer — longer than any other northern outfitter in history. But most important has been his dedication to the mountains that pulled him from a career with the Mounties and dropped him into a deserving place in history.
While teenagers were busy screaming about The Beatles debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, and sports fans were stunned as the underdog Cassius Clay “shook up the world” to claim the Heavyweight Championship, an energetic young man was laying the groundwork for an endeavor that would outlast them all.
Pete Jensen had originally embarked on a career with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. While stationed in Dawson City, Yukon, Pete spent a year and a half hunting the area to the north, and enjoying the serene wilderness of that Territory. Although he had served with the RCMP for 10 years, Pete knew he would be transferred out of the Yukon if he signed up for another 5-year stint, and he didn’t want to leave. He decided to trade in his “High Browns” for some hunting boots, and put down roots in the mountains he loved.
Having acquired an area from the late Bobby Austin’s widow, Pete Jensen Outfitting opened for business in the spring of 1965. In the early days, Pete only had tents in camp and around two-dozen horses running free in the winter. Four guides, a cook and a wrangler would move from camp to camp together with four hunters at a time. For the next 20 years, Pete went on every hunt as a guide or sometimes as a wrangler, and made many changes along the way.
Throughout the years, Pete’s area has produced a long list of trophies, including a Dall ram that measured 43 ½ inches, a 72-inch moose and a barren ground caribou scoring 441 points. But Pete’s most memorable trophy has to be his wife, Sharon, who started out as the camp cook.
In the mid-70s, the first Fannin sheep started to appear in the area, seemingly from nowhere. With as many as 60% of the sheep being Fannins with varying degrees of color, Pete now is able to offer hunters two of the four sheep needed to complete the Grand Slam.
Today, Pete Jensen Outfitting has 55 horses in their corral, and more than a dozen cabins scattered throughout the area. Although they rarely use tents anymore, all of the hunting is still done on horseback, just the way it was when Pete first started. For 44 years, Pete Jensen has been providing hunters with the best the Yukon has to offer — longer than any other northern outfitter in history. But most important has been his dedication to the mountains that pulled him from a career with the Mounties and dropped him into a deserving place in history.