Oral History Interviews:
Will Troyer was born into a large Amish family which farmed in Indiana. He developed an interest in wildlife from a very early age. That early interest led to a career as a wildlife biologist in Alaska. Will has lived in several regions of the State--Southeast, Kodiak, Kenai and Anchorage. Each area held its own special charm.
Troyer first made a name for himself as the manager of the Kodiak Wildlife Refuge. Early in his tenure, Will recognized that it would be necessary to gather basic biological information on the large brown bears which inhabit the Island. He describes the first capture efforts and how the process evolved in later years.
Will shares his respect for how some of the early Kodiak bear hunting guides earned the knowledge the hard way. He also describes the battles between wildlife managers, cattle ranchers, bear guides and businessmen over management of the bears.
Troyer later became the refuge manager on the Kenai. In this new position, development of the canoe systems on the northern half of the Peninsula constituted his major claim to fame. Once again, Will's work ethic led to the success of this project. He took charge of dormant plans and cleared many of the portages by his own hand.
Will describes many of his favorite hunting trips. Big game was an important source of protein when he was raising a family. He now avidly pursues grouse and ptarmigan with a pointing dog. Troyer also shares his evolution as a hunter... from the young man who aggressively seeks a full bag limit to the more mature hunter who can appreciate his time in the field, regardless of the level of harvest.
This recording portrays how the young boy infatuated with birds and animals was able to live his dream of a life in the outdoors studying and hunting the wildlife he loves.