Business Profile: Shawn M. Hooton

Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Firm and title: Shawn M. Hooton is the sole proprietor of Seahook Charters of Alaska. Hooton has been a fishing guide for five years, and this is his third year as a fully licensed hunting guide, working with his father, Larry.

Services: "Primarily we do guided hunting and some fishing," Hooton said. Hunting trips include brown bear, black bear, deer and mountain goat. Spring and fall are the principle hunting seasons. Hooton also holds down a job with the state as a network administrator, a position he has had for 14 years.

Prices depend on the prey. Group rates for cruising or fishing are $1,000 a day except for licenses. Groups are usually limited to five or fewer, and chaperoned by one captain and one guide. This rate applies for a minimum charter of three days. Charters up to 10 days can be arranged.

A deer charter is commonly five days in length and serves one to two hunters, with prices beginning at $2,000. A brown bear charter averages 10 days with a cost of $10,000.

Background: Hooton, 35, was born in California but moved to Alaska at age 3.

Family: His father, Larry Hooton, lives "out the road" and owns the vessel Seahook, a 33-footer, on which charters are conducted. His brother, Shane, also lives in Juneau, and his boat, a 46-footer, is used in the business when needed. Shane is a Class A assistant guide. Larry also acts as a guide in the business or as charter boat captain.

Shawn is married to Kristi, and they have three children: twins Austin and Andrew, 3 1/2 years old, and son Ashlan, 1 1/2.

Quotable: "I opened the business to support the Web site and built off my Dad's original business as a charter boat captain, which he started in the early 1980s."

Favorite cruising spot: "Tracy Arm is a real big draw for people who haven't seen anything like that. It's one of the most sought-after areas to go, whether in winter or summer. A lot of clients come in November. It's a steep-walled glacial fjord, a totally different world from the rain forest - lots of waterfalls and fur seals on icebergs, puffins and other marine birds."

Contact information: Hooton can be reached at 790-2767. His Web site is It includes pictures of trophies bagged by successful hunters and fishermen during past charters, plus stories in the "Latest Hunt" section.

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