Oral History Interviews:

Bud Wiese

Bud Wiese came to Alaska from North Dakota in 1941. He was seeking adventure. Bud worked as a storekeeper in Tanana for a couple of years. In this occupation, he met all of the people in the village. Bud describes the annual cycle of activities including trapping and wood-cutting in the winter, and commercial and subsistence fishing in the summer.

The local residents helped the cheechako adjust and shared many skills necessary for life in the Alaskan Bush. Bud accepted their invitations to go on moose and caribou hunts. Local experts helped him acquire the equipment and skills necessary for dog mushing. Bud still remembers the appeal of night-time mushing under a full moon. These activities met Bud's criteria in his quest for adventure.

Bud was drafted into military service during World War II. After the war, Bud and his wife moved to Fairbanks. They hunted and trapped in the local area. Bud also hunted wolves in the Brooks Range with legendary hunters Chuck Gray, Leroy Shebal and Cleo McMahan. His description of hunting at temperatures of sixty below zero is chilling to hear. These hunts added another chapter in Bud's search for adventure.

Bud shared his love of the outdoors with his family. They have continued to hunt, fish, garden, and pick berries for more than fifty years. In fact, these shared activities have become a unifying force for the Wiese clan. In his low-key manner, Bud shares his views on the ethics of hunting and the values he has instilled in his extended family. After more than sixty years in Alaska, this humble man has satisfied his quest for adventure.

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