Passions Take Man Far From Home

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Hunting to Allan Hallman of Star Valley is not just a hobby, but is a lifestyle.

In pursuit of game, he has been to Africa, Alaska and Australia, where he brought down different types of animals during his hunting expeditions.

He said he has shot and taken down caribou, Dall sheep, a grizzly bear, a bison, Sitka black-tailed deer and moose.

Sheep hunting is the hardest, he said, because a lot of climbing is required.

When he hunts, every edible piece of meat is saved and eaten.

When shooting large animals like warthogs and grizzly bears, Hallman said a big gun is needed.

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Allan Hallman has cared for sled dogs for the past 10 years during the Yukon Quest, a 1,000-mile trek from Fairbanks to Whitehorse, Alaska.

"You definitely want a lot of stopping power," he said, adding that it takes many shots to bring down a warthog.

The goal of any hunter, he said, is to harvest animals and it is extremely hard to get a "trophy" as those animals are older, wiser and more intelligent.

He said if he is on a guided tour and is told to shoot a certain animal, he will follow the advice.

Hallman was raised eating venison, and to this day, he still prefers this meat to any other.

Of all the places he has traveled to, Hallman said, Zimbabwe, Africa -- which he has visited three times -- would rank as one of the most beautiful locations for a lot of reasons.

"The difference in the animals, the beauty and the people," he said, "it is so exotic."

He said hunting plays such a huge role in that part of Africa.

Hallman tries to hunt every year and tries to visit other places during his expeditions.

He said the meanest animals he has ever shot was a Cape buffalo.

"They will come after you," he said. "One shot will not take that animal down." He said it once took nine shots to take down this animal while he hunted with his son.

"All of my trips have been with family and friends to enjoy the country we are (visiting)," he said.

When he isn't hunting abroad, Hallman stays at home to enjoy the great hunting available for elk and deer.

Hallman has also been involved in caring for sled dogs for the past 10 years during a 1,000-mile trek from Fairbanks to Whitehorse, Alaska.

He said this event called the Yukon Quest, is the largest dog sled race in the world, and he was in charge of the veterinary program from 1994 to 1998.

There are 10 checkpoints in the 1,000-mile race where veterinarians examine and give the dogs a complete checkup.

In January, Hallman will be going back to Alaska to work with sled dogs preparing for the Copper Basin 300, which is a qualifier for the Yukon Quest.

When he goes to Alaska for the bigger race, he is away from home for three weeks. The Copper Basin 300, he said, will only take seven to 10 days to complete.

He got involved in checking the sled dogs when a friend invited him to Alaska. He has not gone for two years and misses the whole experience.

"Working with the dogs is the key," he said. "The long-distance sled dog is the best athlete in the world. It's a pretty impressive animal."

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